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Thread: supply dwindling; time to give up pumping?

  1. #1

    Default supply dwindling; time to give up pumping?

    My baby will be 12 months in 2 weeks.

    Background:

    • At 4 months, I returned to work and pumped.
    • She exclusively drank breastmilk (at breast or pumped) until 6 months.
    • I work 4 days a week, pumping 3-4 times a day at work w/ Ameda Purely Your, with total yield about 9-12 oz.
    • On workdays, I breastfeed at bedtime, during 1-3 night wakings and in morning. On weekends, on demand.

    The problem:

    My supply seems to be dwindling. Now, in same number of pumpings, I only get max. 8 oz.( I haven’t gotten true period back, but there are signs its trying.) And even at night, they don’t feel as full.

    The questions:

    What should I do?
    I’ve heard she can start cow’s milk at 1 year. Can I stop pumping, give her cow’s milk during day (assuming she tolerates it), but keep breastfeeding at night?
    If so, what about weekends? Breastfeed throughout day or stick to work day plan?
    If I quit pumping, will I still make enough milk to keep up the part-time feedings?

    Thanks so much for your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: supply dwindling; time to give up pumping?

    You can quit pumping right around a year old and there should be no problems with your supply when you are with her. Lots of moms here quit pumping at 12 months and go on to nurse for many more months or even years. Your supply at this point will regulate to provide milk only when it's needed. I nursed frequently at night and on weekends even after I stopped pumping.

    Depending on how often you pump you may want to stop gradually, cutting out one session at a time, but you could also just stop and keep your pump with you in case you get painfully engorged (that can lead to plugged ducts or mastitis, which you definitely want to avoid).

    You can try giving cow's milk as a replacement, but it's not nutritionally necessary if you are still nursing 3-4 times per day. Also if she is eating a well balanced diet of solids you shouldn't have any problems.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,616

    Default Re: supply dwindling; time to give up pumping?

    I agree with cutting pumping gradually. 9-12 oz is still a good amount of milk. You might want to cut out one session every few days or decrease the time of your sessions to start. Congrats on making it to a year!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #4

    Default Re: supply dwindling; time to give up pumping?

    Thanks for the advice. I won't miss pumping, but I will miss breastfeeding so it's good to know we can stick with it a while longer. (Sleeping through the night would be nice, too, though )

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