Stop Pumping but not Breasfeeding

JoLee - posted on 11/01/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have 3 children, my youngest is 14 months. I am working full time and I have been pumping at work 4 times a day. I am only getting 8-9 oz a day when I pump. For the hour plus it takes me to pump those 4 times (in total) is starting to take a toll on me and I'm ready to be done with it, but I don't want to stop breastfeeding when I'm with my baby. With my other 2 children, I ended up weaning (if you call it that) before 1 because I was just not producing much milk at all because I was not pumping regularly enough at work. I don't mind (and I have the daycare provider doing it already) supplementing with cows milk. Any advise on how I stop pumping without completely losing my supply?

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Jennifer - posted on 11/01/2010

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Just continue to nurse at home. I seriously hated taking the time to pump at work! I also work full-time. I'd rather take a walk or run errands during my lunch instead of pumping. I never got much milk anyway. I quit pumping when my son was 13 months old. I just gradually reduced the time I pumped until it got to zero. I still nurse him at home and he's 19 months old. Since nursing is supply and demand, I have no problems still producing milk. I nurse in the mornings before work and when I come home in the evenings. Bedtime and sometimes at night, he'll nurse too. Good luck!

Kendra - posted on 11/01/2010

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You will continue to have the supply you need for when your child directly nurses. All you need to do is drop a session per week of pumping to avoid engorgement and mastitis. Easy as that... really!

Ashley - posted on 11/06/2010

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With my second I stopped pumping while I was at work when she turned one. I just nursed her whenever she wanted while I was with her and she continued nursing until she self-weaned at 17 months and I was 3 months pregnant with her little brother :)

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Angela - posted on 11/08/2010

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From what I understand (and in my own experience), pumping isn't really what keeps your milk supply up, breastfeeding is. So the logical answer is to just breastfeed as often as you can, even if it's only in the mornings and evenings. I co-slept with my daughter so that she could breastfeed at night up until she was almost a year old, and that helped a lot. With her right next to me, neither of us had to completely wake up for her to feed. When I got really concerned about it, I would take a day or part of a day off of work and bf her several times a day (and always a lot on the weekends). Also, I made up a tea for myself that included red raspberry leaf, hops leaves (just a little -- it's very bitter), fenugreek, lavendar, and chamomile and drank that everyday. It definitely helped keep my supply up and kept me calm at the same time. =)

Ann Marie - posted on 11/07/2010

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Congrats on making it this far! All the moms here are right. The only thing I would add is to try giving your baby some cow's milk for a few days when you're at work, to make sure he or she digests it well. You might also put the cow's milk in a sippy cup instead of a bottle, as a smooth way to get rid of the bottle.

Then start dropping about 1 pumping session per week, and finally move the last one later and later in the day, and you'll gradually produce less milk during the day. But you'll still have enough to nurse your baby when you're at home. You'll just feel really full after work, and on Mondays (because the baby will want to nurse more on the weekend).

I did this with my first daughter and continued nursing her until she was 18 months old. And I just stopped pumping for my 12-month-old last week. I call it "graduating from the pump", and it's cause for celebration!

Ania - posted on 11/07/2010

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As long as you will feed your baby when you are at home you will just have this much to give her. If you will have enough for morning and night feed then this is it and you don't have to pump to keep this

Becky - posted on 11/07/2010

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I had the same issue. I pumped 4x a day at work and got less and less milk. I quit when I pumped all day and got less than 2 oz. I just nursed my son on-demand at home and made sure to nurse him before I went to work and as soon as I got home. That was around 18 months and he still nurses and gets plenty of milk at 25 months. But he also has had cow's milk since he turned one so I wasn't as stressed about how much milk he was getting. I figured any at all was fine for breastmilk benefits and his diet would take care of the nutrition. At this point I feel that if he continues breastfeeding it's icing on the cake as far as benefits of it and the comfort of it for him. I think I was able to keep a milk supply because he was more efficient than my breastpump and the fact that he nursed a lot when I was at home kept my supply up. Also I became more relaxed because I wasn't stressing about pumping so much at work for so little supply and I was able to enjoy my lunch and breaks at work once I quit pumping. Less stress seemed to equal more milk for me.

Sara - posted on 11/06/2010

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I stopped pumping at work around 11 months with my daughter, and didn't wean until 4-6 months later. I just started mixing breastmilk with cows milk in decreasing ratios, eventually getting to all cows milk. I'd nurse her first thing in the morning, at bedtime and maybe before naps on the weekends. Good for you for pumping so long. It is SUCH a labor of love!

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II returned to work just before my daughter turned 1 and we still breastfeed at home. She eats heaps when she's in childcare. I haven't been able to move her to cows milk because she doesn't like it so she just has water. I decided before I went back that I wouldn't express. You'll be fine without it.

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