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So, when can I stop pumping?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey working mamas! I thought about posting this in the BFing forum, but this seems like an issue particular to those of us working out of the home for the most part.

So, DD is 10 months old and I WOH three days/week. On those days, I pump a couple times/day which supplies her with enough milk until I get home. We've been lucky in not needing to supplement. On my at-home days and weekends I nurse her on demand.

So, my HOPE is that I can (in good conscience!) stop pumping at 12 months when DD will be starting daycare (she has a nanny now). The daycare provides organic whole milk, so it would be a whole lot simpler than dealing with the whole pumping/bottle thing.

I would continue to nurse her at home until she seems ready to wean.

Other details: she's a big, healthy girl (93rd percentile for weight, 97th for height) and eats three solid meals a day (table foods) in addition to breast milk. She's had dairy (butter, yogurt, cheese, milk in oatmeal) and has done fine with it so no concerns there.

So...does it sound reasonable to switch her to milk while I'm at work? If so, any advice on dropping pumping sessions?

Also, should I then stick to milk during the day on my at-home days and just nurse morning, evening and overnight? I don't know how my body would do nursing during the day some days but not others...

Any BTDT advice or thoughts welcome!
post #2 of 12
I stopped pumping at work when my son was about 13 or 14 months old. It was more difficult psychologically for me than anything else -- I felt guilty, but he seemed not to mind. He is now nearly two, and we still nurse on demand anytime I'm home. You had asked how well your body can handle that -- in my experience, it's been just fine. All weekend, and then during the evenings, I nurse whenever he wants. We also cosleep so he nurses throughout the night. Maybe I'm forgetting the adjustment period, but I want to say it only took a few days for my body to get used to not pumping at work. A week, tops. I still definitely have to nurse as soon as I get home, but I like that special reconnecting time with him.
post #3 of 12
I am in transition - DS is 11 months and last week? or the week before, I switched to just pumping once while at work. sometimes DH needs to use a bag from the freezer to supplement what I have pumped, but that is what the stash is for, right? I plan to stop pumping altogether around his 1st birthday.

I don't know that we will or what we will supplement with once I do stop pumping at work. I think he might be fine with solid meals and water until I get home, but we may do a small cup of dairy or something. He has done fine with cheese and yogurt and other dairy also.

FWIW - I only WOH 2 days a week, I WAH 3 days a week. I am working on ramping up the solids, we are nursing 6 or so times a day, I would love to be more at 3-4 times a day. He mostly STTN, co-sleeping or not, so we don't have as many night-nursing sessions as we used to.
post #4 of 12
I stopped pumping at work the day DD turned 12 mos., and it was liberating.

I am really proud of myself for making it to 12 mos, but i couldn't take it any more and it was a great thing for me. I just tapered down, and then had a couple of uncomfortable days, and that was it. DD had goat's milk at daycare until she was closer to 15 mos. and we happily nursed on demand until she weaned at 17 mos. Our bodies are amazing--they usually "get it" and you should be fine.

Congrats on pumping to 12 mos!
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
I stopped pumping at work the day DD turned 12 mos., and it was liberating.

I am really proud of myself for making it to 12 mos, but i couldn't take it any more and it was a great thing for me. I just tapered down, and then had a couple of uncomfortable days, and that was it.
Same with me and it worked out fine. Pumping for 12 months is a real achievment!! Congrats.
post #6 of 12
I quit pumping around 11 months, had started supplementing a little with formula at about 6 months, switched to whole milk at a year. We continued to nurse on demand at home no problem until we weaned about a month ago (a few weeks shy of DD's 2nd birthday). I loved nursing but hated pumping! I think it's magical the way my body adjusted to the new schedule, weekends, vacations were fine. So weird and wonderful!
post #7 of 12
I think what you are planning is reasonable. But, be warned: I am pumping 1-2xs a day still at 16 months, because the nursing all day some days (weekends) and not others (weekdays) does not work for me. I get plugged ducts during the week. Since I am not willing to wean on weekend days, I am pumping enough for a small bottle for naptime every day.
post #8 of 12
I stopped pumping when my kids were about 6 months old. I worked part time, so they could survive with my milk for the few hours a few times a week that i worked, while eating solids, drinking water or juice, etc.
post #9 of 12
Congratulations on making it to one year. You should be proud of yourself. I think it is a reasonable time to stop pumping and the majority of moms choose to stop around then.

Personally, I try to pump until 18m because I think bm is still really important in late babyhood and early toddlerhood. I have a lot of hangups about work and I felt like they deserved more milk than there were going to get if I stopped. With my son, my supply was too big to adjust to the on again off again thing that a lot of people do. Also, he was late on solids and bm made up the majority of his calories. I didn't want the majority of calories to be from a cow, It turned out that he wouldn't touch cow's milk for 6 months after he fully weaned anyway. With my daughter, my supply is too low to risk it. She isn't very interested in nursing and for that matter, as it is she probably gets more milk when I am away then when I am home. My supply dropped off a cliff when I stopped pumping and my son self-weaned within two months.

Some things to think about:

what are your plans, if any, for a future pregnancy? that can monkey with milk supply, especially if you aren't pumping

how much milk/solids is she getting now? I think small people are designed to have milk still be an important part of her diet, especially in early toddlerhood
are you comfortable with her drinking milk around you? how might the effect her desire to nurse?

this isn't really a pumping comment, but it is about nursing + cow's milk-- a lot of mother's introduce cow's milk specifically to wean their children fully. Cup of milk replaces two nursing sessions, etc. This might not be your plan but it can be the inadvertant outcome.

Basically, are you okay with different outcomes than the one that is envisioned? What is your ideal nursing timeframe? Is it really important for you to make that goal or are you okay with an earlier weaning?
post #10 of 12
My DD was 10 months when I went back to work. She was not interested in drinking milk while I'm gone. I still pump to relieve myself but now I only pump 1-2 times a day. We did not switch to whole milk and I don't plan on giving her whole milk until she is about 18 months maybe. For now, she eats food and drinks water while I'm gone, I nurse her most of the time during the middle of the day, and then on demand at evening, night, and weekends. It works for us.
post #11 of 12
DS will be one in about 3 1/2 weeks, I plan on dropping down to one pumping session when he hits a year, and then sticking with the one session for a week or two and stopping all together. We're going to do cow's milk here as well. He's done fine with the small amounts of dairy we've given him and he seems to be taking less and less milk during the day so I think he'll be fine until I can get home and nurse him.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas! Really good things to think about. I appreciate you sharing your experiences.

I can't believe it's time to even be thinking about not pumping anymore. When DD was born it felt like it would be FOREVER and time has just flown by.
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