weaning from breast pump - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 02-26-2002, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got an email from a mother who is working, pumping, and breastfeeding 10 month old child. She wants to do "child led weaning"- Her question to me was she wants to wean herself from the pump when her daughter is a year (so she can drink milk from a cup) and how she should go about doing this. Her daughter nurses about 4-5 times a day when they are together. She wonders if she stops pumping, would this compromise her milk supply.
I know what to say if the mom was wanting to wean her child but have no experience with weaning from pumping. Any input surely appreciated.
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#2 of 14 Old 02-26-2002, 03:12 PM
 
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I returned to work when my ds was 6 wks. old . I pumped until my ds was about 12-13 mo. Until that time, I pumped twice a day. Then when he turned one, I reduced my pumping to once a day. Then at about 13 mo.~I stopped completely. We also did child led weaning and my ds weaned himself at 20 mo. of age. After I stopped pumping, I didn't notice a difference in my son's nursing at all.

I hope this helps

Warmly~

Lisa

Lisa, Todd, Dane and Amber: & :::
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#3 of 14 Old 02-26-2002, 03:24 PM
 
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Like weaning from the breast, weaning from the pump is best done gradually. That will give the mother's milk supply time to adjust, reducing engorgement problems, and also give time for her baby to transition to other milks. I would suggest cutting out one pumping session and try that for a couple weeks. If she gets engorged, she can pump just enough to relieve discomfort and prevent leaking.

Her milk supply will decrease, but this usually happens naturally at that age anyway, and as long as her baby is eating other foods it shouldn't be a problem. A lot of the calories the baby got from pumped milk will be replaced by weaning foods, and other milks can be used to fill in the gaps. If her baby is not eating much in the way of solid foods it might be harder to break away from the pump.

I started weaning from the pump at 13 months. I pumped in the mornings, nursed Chace during my lunch break, and then skipped pumping in the afternoons. He was usually willing to wait for me to get home, but if he fussed a lot, DH would give him soy milk in a bottle. A month later, I broke my arm. I was out of work for two months, and when I went back I started working part time only. At that point I decided my pumping days were over. Chace usually doesn't need any milk while I'm gone but if he starts crying for "boom-boom", dh gives him a soy milk bottle. Of course when I'm home and he wants "boom-boom", soy milk is out of the question
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#4 of 14 Old 02-26-2002, 04:34 PM
 
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I was pumping 2-3 times a day at work until dd was a year old. I started only pumping one time a day. (dd was beginning to drink bm and water while I was at work from a cup). I did this for a week --by the end of the day I thought I was going to burst!!!! After a week I stopped pumping at work but still brought my pump for those times when I felt as if I couldn't wait for my dd after work. After another week I stopped pumping at work. DD wasn't really interested in bm in a cup and only drank water from her cup. I was soo happy to stop pumping at work. DD is still nursing morning and night and all the time on the weekends -- and it's been three months since I used my pump.

Good luck!!!
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#5 of 14 Old 03-01-2002, 12:12 AM
 
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I pumped from when my dd was 3 months to 18 months, but after one year I just pumped once a day, because I found that one middle-of-the-day pumping at least kept up my milk supply for nursing when we were together, and also b/c one pumping a day was really not that hard to do. I'd tell her to cut down to once a day and see how long she feels like keeping it up at that rate.

On cutting down before one year, I'd just go by how much the baby is taking from bottles. If pump production is outstripping bottle demand, then cutting a pumping can't hurt, right?

I think I was one of the rare people who actually got the prolactin high from pumping, though, so I must have enjoyed pumping more than most.

Nancy
mom to Emily (9/25/99) and "baby in the belly" due late July
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#6 of 14 Old 03-03-2002, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Ladies for your wonderful ideas and suggestions. I will let her know her options.
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#7 of 14 Old 03-03-2002, 07:22 PM
 
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daughter turned 12 months. I work 24 hour shifts. Once I felt comfortable for 24 hours on 2 pumpings I quit. She was about 15 1/2 months old.

She still nursed a lot when I wasn't working (4-8 times day) and she went on to nurse until she was 5.4 years old
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#8 of 14 Old 03-03-2002, 09:25 PM
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After a baby is eating solids well the mother should not need to pump. She should have been able to stop pumping months ago. I suggest the book Nursing Mother, Working Mother.

Mothers can become attached to the pump and what they are used to doing. She may need help with the idea that she doesn't have to pump any longer. The baby can nurse more in the evening and at night and go for a long stretch while the mom is at work.
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#9 of 14 Old 03-04-2002, 01:17 PM
 
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I dunno, gabner, you're making it sound like there's something wrong with pumping for a longer period of time. Even if the baby is taking solids well (and at 10 months I doubt that she could have stopped pumping "months ago"), pumped breast milk will still provide many benefits, just like continued nursing. Before one year, solid foods are a complement to nursing, not a replacement. If a mother is gone 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week, it may be possible to rely on solid foods during that time, but it hardly seems advisable. Some babies (my son was one of them) are slower to start solids and really need the benefits of pumped breast milk.

Even though it can be a pain sometimes, pumping provides a way for a mother to take a break from the working world and do something to connect her to her little one. I know my son was greatly comforted by the taste of my milk while I was at work. Some mothers might be happy to keep pumping if they just cut out one session, so there is less of an impact on their work day. If she's feeling put out by all the pumping, cutting back a little and seeing how it goes, for her and her baby, is a good idea.
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#10 of 14 Old 03-04-2002, 06:17 PM
 
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I don't think I ever enjoyed pumping...in fact I hated it, but knew I HAD to do it if I wanted my dd to have bm while I was at work.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-04-2002, 06:43 PM
 
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I was wondering how long I would have to pump. I figured at least a year, and from the look of this thread, I was right.

BTW, I hate pumping too
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#12 of 14 Old 03-05-2002, 01:30 PM
 
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Maribel - I'm sorry you hate pumping too!!! I just kept telling my self I was doing the best for dd. To pass the time...I did a ton of reading on bf...from toddler nursing...to the politics of nursing. Everything I could get my hands on. It made the time go by faster and even helped with my letdowns.

Good luck!!!
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#13 of 14 Old 03-05-2002, 06:30 PM
 
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but it had to be done, because I wanted both of my children to have only breastmilk. I succeeded with both of them.

It's advisable to pump for the first year, otherwise your setting yourself up for having a limited supply and having to resort to formula when your not with your baby.

After a year, many babies are eating a variety of foods and can go all day while the moms at work without breastmilk and nurse more frequently at night. I would not advise this for moms of young babies, because its very possible the baby would wean from the breast. I know some women who are successful with this method, but I know far to many who have failed due to low milk production.
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#14 of 14 Old 03-05-2002, 09:19 PM
 
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Very true Firemom. When I pump, I don't get much and I have to work so hard at keeping my supply up. I love the weekends when I can just nurse exlusively. I also find pumping uncomfortable. I use the Medela Pump in Style and the plastic is so hard and that along with the suction just sucks (heehee, no pun intended). But right along with you, I feel like I have to do it for my DS and want to, for that matter.
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