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how to stop pumping gradually

  1. #1
    mlam is offline Registered User
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    how to stop pumping gradually

    Hi there. I'm a full time mum and have been pumping to exclusively bf my baby for six months. As I'll be travelling in the coming months I need to gradually stop the pumping but am afraid of having hard breast or blocked milk ducts if I don't empty the breasts (experienced lump in the breast before). Any suggestion to stop pumping gradually without causing blocked milk ducts? Thanks.

  2. #2
    stoneyS is offline Registered User
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    reducing expressing gradually

    Hi There,

    MY baby is 5 mnths old, and we are travelling in 2 weeks time. My
    lactation consultant told me that I should gradually reduce the amount of milk I express and then get rid of the mid -day expressing. After that continue reducing the amount of expressing gradually for morning and night-time expressings and your body will produce less and less milk.

  3. #3
    mlam is offline Registered User
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    Hi stoneyS,
    Thanks a lot for your advice. Guess I'll skip the mid-day expressing first during trip and pump and throw for morning and night to keep up the milk supply. Hope this will help me continue bf after trip.

  4. #4
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    it took me around 2.5mths to stop completely doing it gradually. i'm glad i did that way though, no problems with blocked ducts whatsoever. as stoneys has said cut down gradually on time you pump and then cut down the number of pumps during the day. sometimes, i wait a little longer each day in between pumps. i felt the urge to empty my breast in the beginning, if you do so, try to extend the time between pumps and that should start reducing the amount as well. good luck!

  5. #5
    Jonathanmommy is offline Registered User
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    Question slow down on the pumping...

    Hi - my baby is now 6 months and I have also been pumping milk for him the whole time. I am going on a 10 day trip end of this month and plans to bring my hand pump with me. If I keep pumping twice a day or so, will I be able to keep my supply so that when I come home, I can continue to feed him breast milk twice a day? Someone told me if I start to slow down on the pumping, the production will stop very quickly.

  6. #6
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    It is difficult to say exactly what will happen to your milk supply if you reduce pumping to twice a day. Some mothers would be able to resume feeding their baby with no problems and others would find that they have to work at increasing their supply.

    This wouldn’t be the case with a much younger baby but as you have already been breastfeeding for six months it will take your body a while to decrease the supply. (The younger the baby the easier it is to loose your milk.)

    It is important to remember never to leave your breasts uncomfortably full. Being full is the biggest signal to your body to stop making milk. You may find that expressing twice a day isn’t enough to avoid the full feeling. If this is the case then try to pump more often.

    Remember if your bladder was full you wouldn’t think twice about emptying it so have the same view with your breasts. When they are feeling full empty them.

    If you want to wean completely just take off enough to be comfortable again. If you want to continue breastfeeding take as much milk as it is possible to get in a reasonable time. Usually you get more milk to express in groups of five minutes. (e.g. five minutes on the right breast, five minutes on the left, then another five on the right and another five on the left.)

    One study showed that it took an average of 42 days (six weeks) for a mother to stop producing milk after her baby weaned.

    If your milk supply is low when you return home, remember that a couple of days feeding the baby as much as possible will increase the supply again. Try breast compression, http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/15.html. Also try switching breasts (the mothers I’ve helped have found switching breasts to be very efficient.) Feed on one side until the baby stops, then the other side, then return to the first breast again. It is fine to switch 6, 7 8 or even 9 times in one feed.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

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