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I'm not sure if I should post my question here, but if not, please move to the correct forum.

DD is 13 months old, and breastfeeding has been/is going well. I have returned to work, and this week, I have been pumping once per day to get rid of the engorgement, not to empty my breasts.

I nurse DD before work, and once I return home (she is away from me for 10 hours per day), and all day/anytime on weekends.

My question is - should I continue pumping once per day? Is there a way to continue nursing as I have explained above, without pumping and without losing my supply? How does the body "know" to produce more milk on the weekends and at night?

Ideally I would love not to pump during working hours, but I don't want to jeopardize my supply.

Any feedback would be great.

Thanks!
 

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Heyla mama!

I started working outside the home when DD was 3.5 months. I was gone 5 hours a day and pumped once (right in the middle) so I could leave bottles for her. When she turned one my work schedule increased to 6 hours a day and I was still pumping once. It took me about a month and a half to wean my pump (I found I still needed to pump during my lunch break early in the week) but dd is now 15 months and I no longer pump.

DD nurses right before I left each morning and as soon as I walked in the door each evening. She nurses a lot during the night and on the weekends. I make sure to offer frequently whenever I'm at home and that seems to do the trick.

I look at it kind of like night weaning. Mamas night wean and their body adjusts. Well, I pump weaned (meaning I wont be night weaning till dd decides it's time...otherwise she'd never get any milk!) and my body figured it out after a bit.

Your body will adjust over time (a week or two to a month or so) and as long as your little one has frequent access when you're home your body will make as much milk as she needs! Unless you've had issues with low supply? If you're needing to pump for comfort that probably isn't the case, but if you DID have supply issues than you might want to keep the pumping session. If you do cut out the pumping session, go slowly (reduce the time you pump, or pump a smaller volume each day for a few days) and you might need to wear breast shields for a while as your body adjusts...I still wear breast pads at work since I'm a hyper-milkie mama!

Good luck!
 

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You should check out the working mamas forum- its a subforum under parenting. There are lots of experienced mamas there who have been in just your situation.

I went back to work when DS was 8 weeks. I pumped for him until 15 months and we have mainted our bf relationship while I am home with no supply problems at all. The body makes milk on demand. We are still nursing at 2 years.

With my DD I went back to work when she was 12 months and never bothered to pump. She did just fine also.
 

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I went back to work when DS was 6 mos old, and have been pumping ever since (he is now 13 mos like your DD). I still pump once a day, but it's really just so he'll have s.th. in his sippy cup other than water at daycare (no cow's milk for DS, just b/c I feel that mama's milk is the best thing for him) I started out pumping 3x/day and getting about 17 oz, now I pump once/day and get 7 oz. Like your DD, DS nurses in the AM and before bed (and throughout the night at Mom's All Night Diner).

I'm not sure what your DD's patterns are, but I find that on the weekends DS doesn't nurse much during the day, really just at naptime and the occasional 3-minute "snack". So the 7oz. (or so - I'm sure DS can get more out than the pump does, LOL!!) I produce during the day is adequate for him. But if your DD seems to want to nurse a LOT on the weekends, maybe keep up pumping once/day at work for the time being - she's probably going through an adjustment period and needs extra nursings for now. My sense would be that as she gets used to the separation she will "wean", as it were, from the daytime nursings. That's my theory anyway - but trust your instincts as far as what DD needs.

I guess I haven't really answered your question as far as supply goes - I honestly don't know if your body "remembers" to produce more milk on the weekends or not!!! I would think not - but if your DD nurses a lot on the weekends, will probably feel like "growth spurt" nursing to your body and you will start to produce more milk. Another thought (sorry so ramble-y) - if you stop pumping and DD doesn't seem to be getting her needs met on the weekends, you can always start up again. Since you're still bfing the rest of the time, your body will simply readjust to increased demand.

One thing I would recommend, if you decide not to pump and engorgement is a problem, taper off gradually - maybe extend the time b/4 your pumping session by 15 minutes a day until you can go the whole day, then you won't be dying by the end of the day!!!

Good luck with whatever you decide!!
 

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From my own experience, I would say that being away from your child for so long and not pumping will lead to a significant reduction in your supply. I stopped pumping at 16 months and really wish I hadn't. My milk dried up and I will always carry guilt for it, that I didn't keep at it and try harder to keep my milk.

It's up to you how you feel about your milk decreasing significantly. I know that if I had it to do over, I would get a better pump and keep at it.
 

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I think every mama has a different experience with pumping and their supply...it's important to keep an eye on how your babe is doing, how often they want to nurse when you're home, how much the drink besides milk, etc. And then go from there.

If you have any underlying supply issues then adding oatmeal and other natural milk supply "enhancers" can't hurt, and keeping the pumping session might be important too. On the other hand, if you're a "milkie-mama" then weaning the pump might not have any impact on your supply (dd is 16 months and I still leak all over the place)


Since milk production is a supply/demand system, reducing the demand (by not pumping during times when your babe previously nursed) will reduce your supply. But this doesn't mean you will necessarily lose your whole supply! Keep an eye on things and nurse/pump more frequently as necessary.

Good luck at work...
 

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I returned to work when DD was 2 months old. I pumped once for every bottle she was taking while I was at work. It started at 3 bottles a day, dropped to 2, and then one, and eventually by age 14 months she no longer wanted a bottle at daycare so I stopped pumping completely.

We still nurse at night and weekends etc, and I most definitely still have milk.
 

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I pumped at least once a day at work until Ani was probably 15 months or so, basically so that she could have a bottle of bm when I was gone. At 14 months or so she started weaning herself from the bottle -- she just didn't want it anymore. So I gradually quit pumping (started too fast and ended up with mastitis
), and just nursed her when I was home. My work schedule is very irratic, too, but even if I feel like I am nursing her all day long for four days in a row, I don't find that I get engorged after working an eight hour shift after that.
 

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I pumped from the beginning (back in class when dd was 3 weeks old) and I pumped for 18 months. My schedule was a bit crazy so I couldnt count on getting in evening nursing sessions some nights. I'd pump for awhile and see how it goes. Once a day is easy, and it will help to not be engorged.

As mentioned, wean from the pump gradually. I got thrush
because I was leaking and didnt realize it. It was so bad it led to weaning at 2 years.
 

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With both of my babies I returned to work full time when they were 3 months old and pumped until they were 12 or 13 months. After that I weaned myself from pumping at work but continued to nurse on demand at home.

It is possible that you could have supply issues but by this age most moms find it's not a problem.

I finished weaning dd two weeks before her 3rd birthday. (I was 5 months pg with ds.) Ds is 2.5 years old and still nursing strong.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

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I never pumped a day in my life. I went back to work when my kids were 11 months and most recently when DS#2 turned 1 y.o. I think supply is VERY individual. When I get home and see my little ones I am FULL and they see me and run to me wanting to nurse. I am a RN and don't have the time or the energy to pump at work. This works well for us. I think it depends of the kid of nurser you have on your hands as well. I mean my kid want to nurse as soon as they see me and all weekend for sure. I have a friend that quickly lost her supply because when she got home she would be busy getting supper / taking kids here and there . . . and forget to offer and the kid never asked and before she knew it days where passing without a good nurse. So listen to your instincts.
 

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Hi there,

Thought I would chime in.

My DD is almost 10 months old. I pump in AM before work and try to pump in the PM after work. I struggle with remembering to get the milk out of the work fridge and feel a little weird because of the way my office is set up.

So.. I nurse when I get home, pump, nurse her at night 2-3 times, nurse her in the AM 1-2 times and then pump before I leave. I never get engorged anymore and I make a lot of milk. Just call me "Bessy".

I agree with all the advice that has been given. Especially the comment about supply being very individual. You will figure it out.


Good luck!
 

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I went back to work full time at 6 weeks postpartum with both my two babies. I pumped at work 3 times a day at first. Then I gradually reduced pumping sessions, one per week, until I wasn't pumping at all, ever. With my first baby I did this when she was 6 months, and my supply remained as good as ever and continued to nurse her all evenings/ nights/ and 24 hours on weekends without any problem. Nursed her until she was 14 months old. With my second, I stopped pumping at work when she was 8 months old. Nursed her evenings/ nights and 24 hours weekends and am still nursing her now at 20 months. In fact, she has picked up her nursing in the last couple of weeks and my supply always matches her demand.
 
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