Question for working & pumping moms with nursing toddlers. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-12-2003, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks.

I have 13-month-old twins and I work part-time (5 hours/day, 4 days/wk). My kids are in a wonderful daycare on the campus where I work.

I plan to nurse until they wean naturally, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. My DD is not a big fan of solid foods, though she will eat enough to tide her over when she's hungry. Pumping has gone well, and I've been lucky enough to never have to supplement with formula.

I had planned to phase the pumping out around 15 months or so, somewhere around now. But I am now pumping only one time per day, and when I missed that session one day last week, I got a plugged duct. How am I going to *not* pump? I was hoping to have more flexibility after a year.

I'm also confused about bottles. We are continuing to do EBM in bottles, but if we someday start doing cow's milk, do we put it in a sippy cup? Seems like taking away TWO comfort sources at once! People seem so obsessive about getting rid of the bottle by one year old, but I'm thinking that might be more for bottlefed kids. My kids are not in any danger of becoming attached to the bottle. Shoot, they don't even get attached to blankets or toys. It's mama for them! Though maybe that changes later, I don't know...

What do other attached, extended nursing mamas do in terms of pumping and bottles? EN is easy because you just keep going till they're ready, but nothing I've read has really helped me figure out how to be a *working* EN mama (Mothering Your Nursing Toddler was great except for the "guilt section," lol!). I'm not really worried about my kids starving or anything, I'm just trying to figure out how to relax the pumping "regimen" and gently usher them into toddlerhood at school.

Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 7 Old 05-12-2003, 05:28 PM
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Congrats on the EBF! And with twins too! Anyway, I'm not sure if I can help, since I'm not in the same boat, but I am still nursing my almost 16 month old. I pumped 2x a day until she was 12 months old and then reduced it to 1x and then to none, during the day. I work ft and I'm gone for a total of 7 hours a day from home. In any case, dd was never too interested in taking ebm from the bottle. So, I actually weaned her from the bottle around 12 months and offered ebm in a sippy cup. She seemed to like that and we stuck with it. I then just switched cows milk for ebm. DD did not like the cow's milk very much at all. In fact, she still drinks only a little. Don't be surprised if your little ones are the same way. They know the difference between mama's milk and the "other" stuff. : You can start by giving them your milk in sippy cups and get them used to that before you do the switch with cow's milk. It might make the transition easier. I also made sure that our caregiver offered her a variety of calcium rich foods during the day. She pretty much eats everything now.

As for the pumping, you are probably getting a lot more stimulation with 2 than I was with one. Other than feeling a little full at the end of the day, I didn't experience any other problems. I would suggest that if you feel really full, just pump a little, enough so you won't get a plugged duct. Over time, your body will adjust to the schedule. HTH! Good Luck!

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#3 of 7 Old 05-12-2003, 06:07 PM
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You might need to continue pumping for longer than 15 months, if you're getting a plugged duct when you stop. Is it a convenience (or, rather, INconvenience) issue? If there aren't any issues, you might want to continue longer. If pumping is problematic, however, then you could simply pump (or strip by hand) a bit, once or twice a day, just enough to prevent plugging, as suggested earlier.

I stopped pumping when dd was 18 months old, by the by.

Like Libby's child, my dd has little interest in cow's milk. She drank it the first few times it was offered, probably as a novelty, and now outright refuses it. We offered it in a bottle, a sippy cup and a regular cup, but she simply won't drink it anymore. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably start with a bottle, if that's how they're used to getting their milk. I hear you, incidently, re not worrying about an attachment to the bottle!
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#4 of 7 Old 05-14-2003, 01:54 PM
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I have recently reduced my pumping to once daily at work, but I have been careful about how long since I last nursed I go to the pump and how long until I can nurse again. I agree with the other mom who suggested instead of going down to one pump session a day, maybe reducing the quantity expressed in two sessions will help your body reduce production. . . it's worth a try. I know that while I try not to go more than 6-7 hours between nursing/pumping, there are days when I don't feel I can go that long and I get some relief!!
As for the cows milk; we also just introduced it to our nearly 13month old. I have been adding it gradually by mixing it with the ebm. Right now we are at a 1/3 cows to 2/3 ebm mix which she is tolerating just fine. It has eased the dietary change issues for her (like constipation or bloating from the dairy). It also helps both of us slowing adjust to the decrease of bm in her diet. Good Luck!!

But here's another question - how have you all managed night-weaning, if at all? We are having a very hard time with it, but this working mama needs a full night's sleep.
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#5 of 7 Old 05-14-2003, 05:04 PM
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My dd is almost 17 months old, and I've recently really cut back on nursing. I am still pumping once a day. I'm doing it to try to keep up my supply because I am away from dd for 11 hours a day and I just recently night-weaned. I have always had supply issues since returning to work, so I have continued to pump during the day, even though I never feel "full". I usually only get about two ounces per pumping session now. Mamacate, because you are away from your twins for a relatively short time period, I wouldn't think it would be problematic to stop pumping during the day.

Fiacre, I hear you about needing a night of rest! I typically got only about 4.5 hours of sleep a night, and often much less while I was still nursing dd at night. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I night-weaned. After 14 months of working over 40 hours a week while getting only 1-2 hours of sleep at a stretch, I needed some real sleep. Not only was I tired, it was literally making me sick. I have had five colds in the last five months, plus strep throat, plus mastitis, and I suspect shingles, giving my dd chicken pox in the process. I just had too many days in a row of getting 2-3 hours of sleep while sick and having to go to work the next day. So we night-weaned cold turkey, so to speak. We simply put dd to sleep in her crib and my dh would attend to her when she cried. It was very hard, because she was used to sleeping with us, but I just couldn't do it anymore. She was very unhappy the first night, not so happy the second night, and by the third night she cried less in sleeping in her crib than she cried when she was in bed with us. She has even slept through the night a few times!

When she was about 8 months old, I had a couple weeks off between jobs and tried to get dd sleeping through the night by nursing less at night while I was home to nurse all day long. I tried the No Cry Sleep Solution, which I know many people here have used with great success. But it didn't work with us. The author recommends waiting to nurse so that the baby will get the idea that it's a hassel to nurse at night, but eventually nursing if the baby is persistent that she really wants to nurse. DD ended up crying most of the night while I was trying to do this. She cried much less when I just decided to stop nursing at night and let my dh comfort her if she needed comforting at night. I know this is very unpopular here, so it may not be the advice you are looking for, but it worked for us when nothing else did and I was literally making myself sick over it. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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#6 of 7 Old 05-14-2003, 06:27 PM
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Ocean - my dh started calling The No Cry Sleep Solution the No Sleep Cry Solution b/c it wasn't working for us either!

I think we all need to do what's best for our own families. I believie it is possible to teach our children to be more self reliant while also being loving and compassionate parents. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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#7 of 7 Old 05-19-2003, 03:30 PM
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I agree that your demand with two is more than mine with just one, but I started tapering off the pumping at about 13 months. By about 15 months, I was pumping once a day - late in the day when I was really full. I would pump only for about 10 minutes or so. Then, I had a few days of all day meetings and I managed to skip pumping altogether. I was really full by the time I got to my DS, but not unbearably so.

So, I just went with the flow - so to speak - and that's pretty much how I stopped pumping. That being said, I've just returned from a two week vacation with my DS during which he nursed like crazy. My supply is so hight right now that I may have to start pumping again.....:

DS was never a big bottle guy, so I introduced sippy cups (with EBM) around 8 or 9 months. He transitioned to cow's milk starting around 12 months as my freezer stash began to dwindle. He loves cow's milk so I had no problem there.

I was very nervous about stopping pumping, partly for supply reasons and partly for nostalgic reasons . My supply didn't suffer a bit, but I do still get nostalgic for that baby that depended on mommy's milk 100%.......
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