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Thread: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

  1. #1
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    Question Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    I am ready to pump-wean at work. But can I still breastfeed during the day in the weekends (when I don't have to pump)? Will this send confusing message to my body?

    I wish I kept a journal, because I completely forgot how I did this with my first child... The mommy amnesia is real, girls!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    Yes, absolutely. I've been pump weaned for about two years now (I pump weaned at around a year) and still nursing weekends, mornings and evenings - more on weekends, and definitely during the day. Typically I find that I get a bump in supply after a weekend with a lot of nursing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    bfwmomof3, thanks for your reply. It is good to know it is possible. However, do you get engorged during the weekdays when you don't pump, especially Mondays?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    I had some issues with engorgement early on after pump weaning, but I've had a lot of issues with oversupply in general. Once after a week's vacation and lots of nursing my LO (she was about 15 months old at the time), I did have to go back to pumping for a couple weeks and then re-pump wean because I was very full when I went back to work after the vacation. So, I would say, the first Monday that you go back after pump weaning and breastfeeding over the weekend, be prepared to pump or hand express in case you need to. Most people do not have a problem with this, though.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    I had no issues with pump weaning. I used to pump twice so I cut down to once (at a time in between the sessions) and then just cut that out after a week. On weekends or when baby is sick or any time I'm in the mood (or he is) we have no problem nursing. He gets whatever he can get and that's it.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    Pump weaning is harder than I thought. It is tough to stop pumping knowing that I haven't oozed out my full capacity yet!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    I am sorry to be the naysayer here, but I am aware of no evidence that it is always 'safe' for a mom to entirely stop pumping during regular long separations (such as for workdays) at a year or any other particular age. I think this depends tremendously on the individual mother, child, and situation. Reducing the amount of times milk is removed from the breasts acts to reduce milk production, and (in some cases) might also lead to uncomfortable overfullness or worse, no matter what age the child is. Whether milk production reducing is a problem or not will be very individual and depends on how often the child nurses otherwise, how much the child is relying on breastmilk for their overall nutrition, and what the moms typical milk production and breast storage capacity is, and what mom's goal is as far as breastfeeding longevity.

    As far as I can tell, the idea that moms can pump wean at 12 months is based on 1) the desire of moms to stop pumping at some point, which I very much understand and 2) the idea that children no longer "need' breastmilk or to breastfeed after one year, so if breastfeeding is in any way compromised by the lower frequency of milk removal, it is not a big deal. This is different than the idea that pump weaning will have no effect on anything at this age. If there is science or evidence (aside from anecdotal) to suggest that I am incorrect and milk production, breast health, and consequently breastfeeding longevity is never affected by pump weaning at 12 months, I would love to know about it. I certainly believe that the pps pump weaned and had no problems, I just know from personal discussions with moms that some say they have had their milk production and ability to nurse as long as they want compromised by pump weaning, and others who had serious plugs and even mastitis issues due to pump weaning at this age.

    Additionally, when it comes to breastfeeding, weaning of any kind is typically best done slowly and gradually. I would assume pump weaning is the same.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 28th, 2015 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    I think another factor for many moms is that many babies can start tolerating cow's milk at a year. Of course, some babies are sensitive or outright allergic to cow's milk, and some families choose not to drink cow's milk, but it does increase the options for many moms and babies in terms of what to give baby during the day. Also, some babies increase their solids intake at around that time, though of course that is also variable, and certainly was very different between my three kids. Personally I view "around a year" (and that might mean at a year, or a year and a half, or even later, for different moms/babies) as a reasonable compromise - pumping at work for me, personally, was really rather difficult logistically, and again, for me personally, pump weaning has not compromised my ongoing ability to nurse. Overall I do think it's important to consider that this will differ from mother to mother and baby to baby, and I do think it's important to consider the various factors like feelings about cow's milk/ability of baby to drink cow's milk, baby's solids intake, mother's ability to maintain supply with fewer times of removing milk, etc. In short, it is not a black and white matter and will differ in each case, but I do think there is often more flexibility after a year and for many working moms it is a relief to know that. I mean, this is real life, it's not science or evidence but people making different choices and sharing their experiences, and I don't see anywhere on this thread that it says "it's always safe to pump wean at a year." And definitely pump weaning should be done slowly in many cases. I pump weaned over months, and, as I mentioned in my post in this thread, I actually had to go back to pumping for a while due to fullness (and plugged ducts), but others are able to pump wean more quickly without any adverse consequences, as mentioned by another pp.

    So in answer to your question, hayashi, I'd say that if you are finding pump weaning difficult in whatever way - physically, psychologically - the answer is just to slow down or put it on hold for a bit and then see where things stand.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    Thanks for both sides of arguments. Personally, I reached my goal of "one year without formula" and am okay to stop whenever. Baby is taking cow's milk well, although I never see her finish all the milk in cup, she prefers to pour milk on table or throw the cup to the floor. I still breastfeed 3x at home but that's just because it is the easiest way to put her to bed, or stop her from being cranky in the mornings. I'll find out next week if extra breastfeeding in the weekends will mess my body up...

    I stopped pumping after 2 weeks of slow pump-weaning. I got a bit full yesterday by the time I got off work, but not to the point of painful engorgement. Baby did a good job easing my discomfort once I got home. I'm hoping my body will adjust fully in a few days.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pump weaning and breastfeeding at home

    Glad to hear things are going smoothly! I think it's wonderful that you've reached your goal of "one year without formula."

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