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Slowly weaning by pumping?

  1. #1
    mommybee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Hong Kong

    Slowly weaning by pumping?

    Since I'll be going back to work soon, I've started to feed all my breast milk to my baby via the bottle instead of directly from breasts. So each time that I'm engorged, I simply pump all the milk out to relieve the pain. I wanted to know if I do not nurse directly anymore, can I use this method as a way of weaning slowly? I do want to feed my baby with breast milk for as long as I could, so I'm reluctant to wean completely. I'm just not sure what will happen to my supply if I just keep pumping.

    Also, does anyone know how I can tell my body to stop producing milk at night so I can sleep through the night?

  2. #2
    sky123 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Hong Kong
    Regular pumping will probably maintain or increase the milk. If you want to reduce the milk pump at longer and longer intervals. At one time I pumped just 4 times a day (Morning, noon and around 4p.m. and at night). Kept this up until baby was 7 months but had to supplement with about 1-2 feeds of formula.

  3. #3
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hong Kong
    Breastfeeding works by replacing the amount of milk you take out. So if you take a lot of milk from your breasts you will continue to make a lot of milk. When you are pumping instead of direct feeding it is difficult to take exactly the amount of milk the baby would so one of two things tends to happen; you slowly loose your milk or you pump too much and increase the supply.

    Usually mothers find long term pumping, especially when they get no stimulating from the baby, hard. Usually the mother is unable to maintain the schedule of pumping eight times a day and so breasts slowly (or not so slowly) start to reduce the amount you can pump. Pumping is much harder work than direct breastfeeding. Also your emotions and how you are feeling impact the amount of milk you can pump whereas these rarely have an effect if the baby is directly feeding.

    Other mothers find it easy to over pump and so end up removing more milk than the baby would have taken, thus increasing the supply. The can lead to plugged ducts and the possibility of mastitis.

    Generally if you are trying to wean we suggest that rather than removing lots of milk when you feel full that you only remove enough to be comfortable. As leaving your body full of milk is the quickest way to tell it to stop producing milk.

    However, do you really want to stop producing milk? You don’t say how old your baby is and this is important. As solutions such as not feeding (or pumping) during in the day time and directly feeding in the mornings and evenings might work well if you baby is six months but is unlike to if the baby is only six weeks.

    I would reconsider using pumping as a way to wean because pumping is generally hard work. It is usually much easier to directly breastfeed. As you are returning to work you will find that you get really tired (it is like having two jobs) thus anything to make your life easier is worth thinking about.

    LLL-HK has a working and breastfeeding e-mail group. You are very welcome to join it,

    Best wishes,

  4. #4
    jxoxo's Avatar
    jxoxo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I have been pumping since my baby was born. He is 3.5 months old now and I plan on doing it until he is 6 months old. I pump 4 times a days - 5am, 11am, 5pm, 11pm. it works perfectly for me. My milk production has been consistent and I use formula when not enough. Good luck!

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