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Exclusive Pumpers - How Did You Stop the Night Pumps?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

As many of you know, my son is about four months old and I've been exclusively pumping for him since early on. I've also been prone to plugged ducts and recurrent mastitis. 

 

My pumping schedule is  7am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm and midnight. Each session is 30 minutes long, but I've recently reduced the midnight session to 15 minutes. My supply is great. I produce 10-15 ounces extra per day so am building a freezer stash. 

 

I've been back to work full time for a month now and I'd really like to drop the midnight pump. I just need more sleep. The baby is a champion sleeper, so I feel like I'm missing out! He's usually down by ten and sleeps straight through until we get up.

 

My question for the fellow EPers is how do I wean myself off the midnight pump without running into problems? I don't want to risk ruining my great supply, though I'm okay with a small reduction since I make extra. And I don't want mastitis again!

post #2 of 16
I just wanted to tell you how awesome you are for keeping up the pumping. Go you!
post #3 of 16

I think 9pm to 7am would be too long to go since you have been having problems with plugged ducts and mastitis. It's normal for 4 mo breastfed babies to nurse at least once between 12am and 7am, that 7 hour stretch may be too long and could be related to the plugged ducts and infections. Having too much milk and going too long (more than 4 hours) without feeding or pumping causes the plugged ducts that lead to the infections.

 

I hear that you are saying you need more sleep. I think 99% of moms could say they need more sleep. Maybe there is a way you could make pumping easier at night. You could have everything set up next to the bed and have a cooler next to the bed so you don't have to go to the fridge to put the milk in (that bottle could be used that day). You could go to bed at 10 and pump for 10-15 min at 2 or 3. I had to be in the hospital once when I was nursing and I pumped at night without getting up and hardly waking up. I know it must be harder if you have to do it all the time.

 

Keep up the good work and good luck.

 

 

post #4 of 16

I EP also and have done so since my DD was born. The longest I am able to go at night is 6 hours. It wakes me up just like I would wake up if I have to pee or something. Could you pump at 11 PM and then get up at 6 AM? That would give you about 6 hrs of sleep.

post #5 of 16

I didn't until she was older. Maybe at about 6 months old....

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post

I EP also and have done so since my DD was born. The longest I am able to go at night is 6 hours. It wakes me up just like I would wake up if I have to pee or something. Could you pump at 11 PM and then get up at 6 AM? That would give you about 6 hrs of sleep.


I was thinking of doing 11 and 6:30, which would get me a tiny bit more sleep.

 

He's just such a great sleeper (knock on wood) - he sleeps from 9 or 10 to 6 or 7 on most days, straight through. If I were feeding him directly from the breast, wouldn't my body get used to that longer stretch where he doesn't want to feed? I guess that's what I'm trying to get at with reducing the night time pumping schedule.  

 

post #7 of 16

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I wouldn't count on that sleep schedule to last. My DD was sleeping like that too and then she hit the four month sleep regression. It kind of just creeped up on us. Next thing I knew, she was eating at 9 PM, 11 PM, 12:30 AM, 2 AM, 3:30 AM, 6 AM...you get the picture. It didn't last long but now we are at 9 PM-4 AM but I pump at Midnight and go to bed then.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I wouldn't count on that sleep schedule to last. My DD was sleeping like that too and then she hit the four month sleep regression. It kind of just creeped up on us. Next thing I knew, she was eating at 9 PM, 11 PM, 12:30 AM, 2 AM, 3:30 AM, 6 AM...you get the picture. It didn't last long but now we are at 9 PM-4 AM but I pump at Midnight and go to bed then.


Yeah, I keep hearing talk of this.... sigh. Big, big sigh. Maybe I shouldn't risk messing with my supply just yet. I just feel like something has to give. Maybe I just feel like this is extra hard for me right now because I'm doing my full time office job at home with simultaneously caring for him during the day. I feel like I'm running myself ragged. :-(

 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

 


Yeah, I keep hearing talk of this.... sigh. Big, big sigh. Maybe I shouldn't risk messing with my supply just yet. I just feel like something has to give. Maybe I just feel like this is extra hard for me right now because I'm doing my full time office job at home with simultaneously caring for him during the day. I feel like I'm running myself ragged. :-(

 


That must be so hard. I EPed for ds1, while working almost full time at a daycare, with him there with me, and pumping around the clock, so I know how you feel. I think I dropped the midnight pumping around 4-5 months, but my last pumping was when I went to bed, around 10. Then I pumped in the am around 6am ... I didn't have supply issues until I got pregnant a couple months later. When do you go to bed? 

 

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

That must be so hard. I EPed for ds1, while working almost full time at a daycare, with him there with me, and pumping around the clock, so I know how you feel. I think I dropped the midnight pumping around 4-5 months, but my last pumping was when I went to bed, around 10. Then I pumped in the am around 6am ... I didn't have supply issues until I got pregnant a couple months later. When do you go to bed? 


I'd love to go to bed at ten! Currently I stay up until the midnight pump, then go to bed after. If I try to sleep in between the nine and midnight pumps, I'll miss the midnight pump and then wake up at 2-3 in terrible pain from being too full. I've been thinking about moving the midnight back a little at a time over the course of a month or so - 11:30, then 11:00 and see how my body does with that. If I could get it back to ten eventually I would be so happy!

 

Not that it's nice that you've been in this situation before, but it is kind of comforting to know I'm not the only one in the whole world trying to forge on with this kind of seriously overloaded schedule...

 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

 


I'd love to go to bed at ten! Currently I stay up until the midnight pump, then go to bed after. If I try to sleep in between the nine and midnight pumps, I'll miss the midnight pump and then wake up at 2-3 in terrible pain from being too full. I've been thinking about moving the midnight back a little at a time over the course of a month or so - 11:30, then 11:00 and see how my body does with that. If I could get it back to ten eventually I would be so happy!

 

Not that it's nice that you've been in this situation before, but it is kind of comforting to know I'm not the only one in the whole world trying to forge on with this kind of seriously overloaded schedule...

 

You don't go to sleep until midnight?! Oh, you must be so tired! It sounds like you've got a good idea of what you need to be doing - a slow transition. Yipes, I hope you're able to figure this out soon, mama!  caffix.gif and goodvibes.gif(<--future sleep vibes lol)
 

 

post #12 of 16

I have no field experience, but couldn't you go to bed after the 9:00 pump and set an alarm for 1 or so and pump then? Perhaps using the suggestions upthread for having everything beside you and ready to go. That would also help shorten the overnight no-pumping stretch.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Nope, it just doesn't work for me. I've tried - I just keep right on sleeping and wake up a miserable mess, engorged and more tired the next morning. :-( Plus, we have a one bedroom apartment and co-sleep with the baby, so there is no way ever I am setting an alarm for the middle of the night so he wakes up. 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

Nope, it just doesn't work for me. I've tried - I just keep right on sleeping and wake up a miserable mess, engorged and more tired the next morning. :-( Plus, we have a one bedroom apartment and co-sleep with the baby, so there is no way ever I am setting an alarm for the middle of the night so he wakes up. 



Have you tried setting an alarm? Can you risk one night? I am just asking because I hadn't realized it, but for about a month or so, an alarm that my ds1 set was going off at 12:09am, and we all slept through it. And at that time, there were four of us in the bed. 

 

Just saying winky.gif

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

Have you tried setting an alarm? Can you risk one night? I am just asking because I hadn't realized it, but for about a month or so, an alarm that my ds1 set was going off at 12:09am, and we all slept through it. And at that time, there were four of us in the bed. 

 

Just saying winky.gif


Yeah, I've tried. Wakes him every time. 

 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've made some progress here. I'm going to bed at eleven now! Our pediatrician (who was actually an exclusive pumper with her kids!) recommended I try just pumping for 5 minutes or so around eleven to relieve some of the pressure of being full, without stimulating more production. I've been doing that for about a week now, and it's working for me. Not terribly engorged, an extra hour and a half of sleep and it hasn't reduced my supply by much. I'm so excited. :-)

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