Weaning from pumping

(7 posts)(5 voices)
  1. DS is now one year old and I THINK I am ready to stop pumping completely (as much as I hate the pumping and never thought I would meet the one year mark and couldn't wait to stop, I am now having mixed feelings about it). I have been supplementing with formula pretty much this entire time. As he increased his solid intake and as his first birthday was approaching I have gradually dropped some feedings, by either skipping a pumping session entirely or by gradually reducing the amount of time I pumped at each session. I am down to pumping three times per day (at approximately 6 am, 7 or 7:30 pm and about 10 or 10:30 pm). For some reason I have a mental block about where to go from here. When I pump at 7:30ish after not having pumped all day I get a lot of milk (for me)- my largest amount pumped of the day. Then when I pump again at 10:00ish I hardly get any milk, since it is so soon. Ideally, since I am having mixed feelings/guilt about stopping pumping, I would like to eliminate the session where I make a little milk first, and keep pumping during the sessions when I make most milk, in case I decide to keep pumping twice a day for a while.

    This is where I get confused. In the past, when I have gone to bed after pumping anywhere before, say, 9:30, I have ended up w/ clogs, even if I got up very early (like at 5) to pump again. So I am nervous to pump for the last time of the night at 7:30 pm. BUT, if I eliminate the 7:30 pump, won't I get rid of the milk supply (which is highest at that time) at that time completely and still get very little milk later at bedtime (as I usually do)? Should I gradually push back the 7:30 session until later and later each day and still pump at the 10:30 session? If I do go gradually, at what point would I stop pumping a second time- maybe when the first time was at 9:00 or 10:00? Would this work? Sorry if it's a stupid question, it is just confusing me.

    Thanks!

    Marie

  2. wow! don't over think it... it is emotional to stop pumping, but if you are ready, add 1 hour more between each pump each time. Do not worry about how much, go ahead and empty...be sure to add the extra hour! you reduce your supply without pain...I pumped/nursed IVF triplets until 7mo (they are 9mo now) I was sad a bit, but the babes love their solids and we are having fun experimenting with food (plus some formula) and I can sleep a bit.

  3. If you are worried about clogs, I would just drop out the 7ish pump, and pump at 10ish. You should get a lot of milk at that time now if you don't pump at 7. When was the last time you got a clog? It may not be as much of a problem since your supply has gone down.
    Jennifer

  4. elenim- Yes, I am DEFINITELY overthinking it! But if I add an hour between pumping times I would end up having to stay up later and later or pump later in the morning, since I'm now only pumping a few times a day...

    Jennifr-Well, there was an easy answer! I guess I was just thinking of only pumping for shorter and shorter lengths of time during that feeding and was thinking then that I would end up losing my supply at that time- but didn't consider skipping it altogether for whatever reason. You are right, I have not had a clog in a very long time- I just live in fear of them! Thank you!

    Marie

  5. Marie,

    I weaned from pumping when my twins were 8 weeks old and I had a lot of milk (well it was rapidly decreasing since I switched from a hospital grade to a regular Medela pump).

    I pretty much ended up alternating between ice packs and a heatind pad that I could wrap around my chest for a few days, along with Aleve/Motrin. But I was dropping all the feedings. I tried to do it slowly (over a week) until one day I was tired of it and went cold turkey (ouch!).

    Lots and LOTS of warm showers

    Congrats on pumping for so long!

    Brittany

  6. Congrats on pumping for so long!

    I pumped for dd for 14 months - I had a huge supply and only pumped 3 times a day for about 8 months and then down to two. When I stopped at 14 months I did once a day for a week, then every other day for a week, then just stopped. I did use the trick of cabbage leaves in my bra and never had a problems. I also never had a clog the whole time I pumped so not sure how that would affect it. I have a friend that when she tried to stop would pump whenever she felt too "full" - I don't recommend this because it took her weeks and weeks to stop pumping. By keeping pumping she kept the production up.

    Good luck and try the cabbage leaves!

    Kathy

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Jennifer- I skipped the 7:00ish pumping time last night and pumped at 10. I had some discomfort but no clogs. I will just try to continue skipping that session and just pump morning and night for a bit. I guess when I try to eliminate one of those pumping times I'll start gradually decreasing the amount of time I pump at a specific session.

    One other question. In general I have just dropped a pumping time completely when weaning. One time I did the gradual decreasing of time spent pumping during that session. It worked well. However, what about the fact that then I'll never get the hindmilk? The time that I did it was not a time I made much milk anyway, so I didn't worry about it too much since that milk would always be combined w/ other milk. Now I'll be fading out a time when I typically produce a lot of milk (I know it will be less and less w/ the gradual decrease in time but I plan to go VERY gradually). Should I just not worry about it? Should I mix half BM and half formula (since he gets formula anyway)? Weight gain is a concern w/ DS so I am always thinking about things.

    Thanks!

    Sorry for all the questions.

    Marie

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