Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weaning Progress

I know this is not such a fun topic but I just want to have a record of how it all went down. I have been trying to research weaning from the pump but have not had success. There is so little info out there on exclusively pumping and even less on how to stop!

So, today is day 4 of weaning. I was going to drop to 4 pumps but, based on the timing, it made more sense to go down to 4. So, I pump when I wake up, during the twins' second nap and lastly before I go to sleep at night. I try not to pump any more than 15 minutes so that I don't empty all the way but its hard - it doesn't feel right to stop when you still have that fullness.

My production has decreased but not by much yet. Yesterday, I think I produced around 45-48 oz, down from 54. I feel like its going to be really painful to drop that midday pump. Not sure when I should drop it. I think when I get down to around 30 oz I can drop to 2 pumps without getting too engorged. I have a history of plugged ducts and have had to do some mini-in-between pumps the past couple days so that it doesn't get out of hand.

I read that sage tea helps decrease milk production, as well as peppermint and cabbage leaves in the bra (thanks, Sadia!!). Beyond that, I'm not sure what else I can do. This seems to be harder than increasing supply - go figure!

My goal is to be done by the end of the month - I'm not sure if that is realistic. I also don't know how long it will be before I get my dear friend back, if you know what I mean. Another goal over which I have no control.

Isn't it lovely, being a woman? *Sigh*


  1. Sorry, I meant to post on your earlier post about this. It took me about a month to wean from my pump. (I was an EPer!) I had to decrease the time of each pump slowly to avoid plugged ducts. The first day I was pumping 30 minutes at each sessions so the next day I went down to 28. If I had plugged ducts then I would take warm showers and manually express a little to relieve the pressure... at a separate time than the pumping.

    Once I was able to get down to 10 minutes at each session with no manual expressing in between then it became easier to drop sessions. I dropped one at a time, giving it a few days until I was down to one pump. After I dropped that last pumping session, I did have a couple of days where I had to manually express.

    I definitely found getting off the pump so much harder than increasing supply! I also did tons of research on HOW to do it and no one had any good advice anywhere, except talking to my twin mom friends on babycenter.

  2. You're welcome!

    As always, LauraC appears to have all the answers, but have you considered talking to a lactation consultant? I've found a good one at a store in town that specializes in nursing clothes and gear, and hospitals usually have someone you can talk to. I contacted the Breastfeeding Hotline at 1-800-994-9662 when Jessica went on nursing strike, and they were very knowledgable and not judgmental in the least.

  3. I have heard pesudofed decreases supply too. It may not be permanent but if you are decreasing demand it may help you on your way. I totally remember dreading weaning....but all in all once you get going...it picks up momentum and goes faster than you think! The first visit from my "friend" was quite horrible, though...(probably because I hadn't had one in a year and a half and had forgotten what it was all about!) It was enough to make me say..."This sucks...I need to get pregnant again so I don't have a period anymore..." And we all know how well that plan works!!
    PS. I didn't actually go through with it, I am too much of a chicken for 3 under 2...:)

  4. Hi Nicole~

    The last couple months I exclusively pumped as well. It took me about 1 month to wean. I was down to pumping only 4 times a day when I decided to start the process. I knew that I would focus on shortening the mid-day ones first as those would be the easiest for me to drop. I never pumped less than 10 minutes during a session...it was time to drop it when I got to that short a period. Eventually I was down to morning and before bed, and then eventually just before bed (which is weird b/c my most productive session used to be the morning one!) As LauraC said, when I felt full or was leaking, I just used a hand pump to express no more than an ounce. There were a couple times that I woke up in the middle of the night soaked (I know, TMI!), but that was it. And then one night, I just didn't have to pump. The next day, I think I had to hand express once, but that was it. I did get a plugged duct once, so I made sure not to push myself too much -- Held the same schedule for a couple of days. I slowly weaned the twins over the course of the month too, so that it was an easy transition for their tummies.

  5. Wooo, I feel for you. Not much fun eh? I pumped forever because my Lulu flat out refused to nurse. I stopped around 8 months, right around the time my pump starting breaking from overuse. In a way, I think the breaking helped. I couldn't get the suction I was used to getting, and as a result, production slowed down. I took it as a sign from the gods that it was time to wean. So- I don't know about other people, but reduced suction worked for me.


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