I feel like this should probably be x-posted in NICU and breastfeeding forums but that sounds annoying...
My DD was born at 27 weeks, in the NICU, has an oral aversion and wont do much of anything for breastfeeding. She has been getting pumped breastmilk in a bottle. She is 10 months old (7 months past her due date). She eats some solids but most of her nutrition is still breastmilk. I have a ton frozen and am still pumping. It is wearing me down. I currently pump about every 6 hours, and my supply is slowly decreasing. I would love to continue to gradually decrease how often I pump- I want her to keep getting some fresh breastmilk but I also have so much frozen that I don't think I'll ever have to use formula. And I think I'd be willing to stick with it longer if I did it less each day. So... any exclusively pumping moms have success with decreasing to just a few pumping sessions per day? Or will my milk up altogether? I realize people breastfeed toddlers etc just a few times per day and still have milk, but pumping might be different...
I think it is absolutely amazing that you've been able to pump enough to feed your LO breast milk exclusively and downright incredible that you also built up a freezer stash. Dropping a pump will probably cause a dip in your supply but for example pumping 16oz happily is a lot better than pumping 22oz and wanting to quit altogether. If I read your post right, you're pumping about 4 times a day. From what I heard from long term EPers, going to three pumps caused a dip for most moms but for some it was only a couple of oz. in your shoes, I'd slowly drop one pump and see what happens. You can always add it back in if you feel your body needs more or you could try doing a power pump once a day or once every other day to see if that would help. Having a freezer stash you have options to play around and find what works for you. I'm sorry, I know this is a vague reply but it's the best I got :-).
Good luck and you have one lucky baby girl to get so much of mommy's milk under such difficult circumstances!
I found that once I cut back, my milk started drying up. But I was already having supply issues. I hoped that cutting back would make it easier on me and help me feel less overwhelmed, but no luck, just more stress from drying up. I felt guilty when I quit, but it was probably the best thing for the whole family. I stopped at 9 1/2 months and DD was able to have some BM until about a year. We were also getting milk from a close friend. My original goal was a minimum of 2 years...ha!
Yea, I would love to get her through next winter with getting some breastmilk (for antibodies) but I find that hard to imagine... although something like twice a day is pretty tolerable... we'll see. I have decided that I won't put pumping over taking care of her-- my husband stays at home with her, but when I'm home, there are times where I don't get to feed her or put her to bed, etc because I'm pumping. So, that's my current criteria...
I exclusively pumped for a full year. I think I dropped to 4 pumps when DS was about 6 months old and dropped to 3 when he was around 8 months. I was still producing milk at 3 pumps and it was plenty when combined with my frozen stash. I dropped to 2 pumps at 10 months (morning and night) and was getting enough for 2 bottles a day. I dropped to 1 pump and was getting enough for his bedtime bottle plus 2 or so oz to freeze. I was able to keep up the 1 pump until a little past a year. I weaned for a no kids vacation with DH.
For some reason I just really wanted DS to have a nonfrozen bedtime bottle. He preferred fresh to frozen and I just was attached to a fresh bedtime bottle. 1 pump a day was very very doable and I could have kept up for some time. When I was pumping 8 times a day I was getting about 45 oz. With 1 pump I was getting around 8.
I don't remember exactly, but I went a couple months of pumping only three times a day (morning/afternoon/night.) Ds was about 6-10months.I think I got around three 5-7oz bottles out of that. It wasn't until I got pregnant did my milk dry up. Before that, I was pumping way more often and having extra milk to freeze, which led to a huge stash. Pumping 3x, for me, only meant that I didn't have extra milk left over to freeze. It was just what I needed for the day.
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