If you get squeamish about woman issues, please stop reading NOW.
Sam had his 12 month doctor’s appointment yesterday and our pediatrician thinks that Sam is now able to transition to cow’s milk, so I’m interested in stopping pumping at work. Of course, I will still nurse him when we are together in the mornings and evenings until he weans, but not having to pump at work would be wonderful. I am currently pumping 4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time.
Doing a search on Google, I cam across a lot of message board about how others have quite pumping.
Here are some of the suggestions that I have come across on the La Leche League International website:
• I would reduce the number of pumps by one every couple of days to allow your body to adjust.
• Cold turkey's not usually the best way to go, it can cause engorgement or even plugged ducts or mastitis. When I quit pumping I spaced the sessions out until I was down to one mid-day session instead of one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Then I pushed my mid-day session back a little each day until I wasn't pumping at all, just very full when I picked my lo up for day care. After about 3 days that regulated so that I wasn't so full by the end of the day.
• Just pump to relieve your chest. Don't pump to empty. Your body may be equating ANY amount of pumping w/ required milk for your baby.
After reviewing their suggestions, I went to a site that I have referenced many times during my pumping adventures, Kellymom.com. Here are their recommendations:
Drop one pumping session at a time.
Try dropping one pumping session every 3-7 days. For example, drop the first session on day 1 (while pumping regularly at other sessions), the second session on day 4, the third session on day 7, etc.
Let your comfort be your guide. Many women need to transition more slowly than simply dropping a pumping session all at once. You can do this by decreasing the amount of time (or volume) you pump each day until you are no longer pumping at that session; at that point you can start decreasing pumping duration for the second session.
Gradually decrease pumping time for every pumping session at once.
Try decreasing all the pumping sessions you are dropping by two minutes every other day. For example, if you normally pump for 20 minutes at each nursing session, then on days 1&2 pump for 18 minutes, on days 3&4 pump for 16 minutes, etc. You may find that you can pick up the speed slightly, or you may need to go slower than this. Let your comfort be your guide.
Gradually increase the length of time between pumping sessions.
Instead of keeping pumping sessions at their regular times, gradually lengthen the amount of time between sessions. As usual, let your comfort be your guide. This will gradually decrease the number of pumping sessions. For example, if you normally pump every 3 hours, try pumping every 3.5 hours on days 1-3, every 4 hours on days 4-6, etc. Gradually decrease the duration of pumping sessions as you feel comfortable doing so.
Brian mentioned that we should sell the pump once I am completely off it, but I reminded him that we are still not sure if we are going to have any more children and I would hate to have to buy one. Ours was over $300 (thanks Andrea).
I contacted my lactation consultant, Peggy, and spoke with her about her suggestions for weaning off the pump. She said everything that was listed on the Kellymom.com website: drop one session at a time, decrease pumping time, and increase the length of time between pumping sessions.
I have always been very sensitive about my production and I know that I’m going to be very emotional during this transition, but I know that Samuel is doing well and thriving. He is a wonderful, healthy little boy that is just moving onto the next stage in his development.
At least I still have our mornings and evenings for nursing (until that ends). I really hope that I don't have to give that up anytime soon.