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Thread: Weaning from Pumping

  1. #1

    Default Weaning from Pumping

    I have been pumping exclusively for 15 months for my DS. He has Down syndrome and we had a hard time with breast feeding. I have been trying to wean from pumping. I have been pumping only once a day in the morning for the past 2 weeks. I tried to drop the last pumping session. On Wed I pumped as usual. On Thursday I pumped at the usual time, but not for as long. I did not pump on Friday. I did not pump today. I did not sleep much on Fiday night, and I have been suffering all day today. I didn't expect to be engorged. Should I have continued to pump the same time each day, but shorten the amount of time? Or should I have extended the time between pumping sessions each day - first to 36 hours, then 48 hours, etc? Or should I combine both? I wanted to get my son through flu season, but my hormones are all over the place and I have had more menstrual cycles since he was born than before I conceived! I am not sure pumping is best for my whole family....but I still feel sad. Any advice??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Weaning from Pumping

    Bless you for EP for that long. I'm on month 13 and am only pumping twice a day at 6 am and 9pm. I read in the Breastfeeding Made Simple that using a combination idea works well. Maybe you should have just shortened the time with each succeeding day. You're making me wonder what I should do. I will call my LC to find out what I should do next. Good luck to you. I know my LC would probably say just pump a little bit to relieve the engorgement and soften the breast a little. Why did you leave the morning pumping session as your last? I'm curious why you made that decision.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weaning from Pumping

    Thanks for your encouragement! I went ahead and pumped last night. I will try a combination of techniques for weaning. To answer your question: I had intended to drop the morning pump, but I was so tired one evening that I decided to "close my eyes for a few minutes before pumping". I expected to wake up in an hour or two. Instead I slept until 4am. I usually pump at 6am. I decided to just wait until 6am and pump at regular time, since I had already been thinking about weaning. Mornings are usually so hectic for me, so I would have preferred to drop the morning pump. My milk supply is lower in the evening, so maybe that made it easier for me to drop the night time pump. So I was definitely surprised when I had such difficulty dropping the final pumping session. Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Weaning from Pumping

    I'm in month 11 and still EPing. I've been doing an am and pm pump for about a week, cutting down to just a morning pump this week. By the end of the week, I'll try going 36 hours, then to nothing.

    Isn't it a very emotional thing, no longer pumping? Even for moms who EP, who don't get the baby-breast connection, it's tough to let go of nurturing your child with your own body.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Weaning from Pumping

    I think when I finally dropped my last I just did that, I just quit.

    If I got to the point where I was uncomfortable engorged, I would hand express a little until the pressure was gone and leave it at that.

    You can pretty much do whatever you want, but I recommend you do it over the course of a couple of weeks. So, if you decide to go the "Pump once every 24, then 36, then 48 hours" method, make sure you're pumping for at least a week at that schedule. IE: pump for a week every 24, then drop to 36 for a week, etc.

    You could also go the route of pumping for less time, but again, if you decide to continually decrease, I'd recommend going at least a week at each level before dropping again.

    I know that when I finally "quit" pumping, it was actually about 2-3 months where every other night or so when I was showering I would hand express some milk to relieve the pressure. So I actually didn't stop producing milk until about 21 months.

    As with all things, your experiences may vary. But good job on how long you went! You should be proud! I quit at 18 months because I had a very large, very painful lump in my breast from about 4 weeks postpartum on that I wanted removed, and I was told I could not have it done until I stopped pumping. I decided that, at 18 months, I had done it long enough and that with all the milk I had stored in the freezer, she'd probably get milk for at least another month or two and that that was good.

    Do what you feel is best and be proud of yourself. EPing is hard work.
    Momma to K 05/24/07 (due 05/31/07)
    Momma to I, 06/04/10 VBAC'd (due 05/31/10). Read about it here

    Exclusive Pumper to first for 18 months.
    I got my VBAC!

    Struggling with nursing but one way or another breast milk is all they get.

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