Weaning from Part-Time Pumping

breastmilk, medela, pumping, breastfeeding, breastpump

Working part-time, breastfeeding, and pumping is a little difficult to balance. I returned to work after a beautiful ten-month maternity leave. Atticus wasn't drinking as much at daycare as other babies, but I did not want my supply to drop. We had been nursing on demand since he was born.

After consulting other mom blogs, I found three pumps a day to be the norm. I scheduled a morning, lunchtime, and afternoon pump. This gave me more than enough milk for Atticus, since I was only working three days a week. He often wouldn't drink everything I pumped the days prior, so I had enough to build a freezer stash. Win!

Closer to Atticus's first birthday, I was hoping to wean from the pump. Hauling it to and from work, taking time out of my tasks at work to pump, cleaning the bottles, and freezing the milk was getting to be a bit of a chore. Also, I think my work technically only allows for a nursing mother to pump up to a year after a baby's birth. Just to be sure, I wanted to stop as soon as possible.

I wasn't sure how to stop. I often got full during the day and am quite prone to clogged ducts. (No fun!) I spoke with a few friends and family members who had to pump at work, some quit cold turkey and some gradually reduced the time they pumped.

I found, a gradual let down (aha - breastfeeding humor) of pumping times was the best approach. It took a bit of trial and error, but I managed to quit pumping at work while maintaining a normal breastfeeding routine on my off days in between.

Drop the First Pump First

I started by stopping my morning pump first. It made sense that since I would often nurse Atticus before dropping him off at daycare, I didn't need to pump to relieve any fullness.

Decrease Pump Time

I usually pumped for about 15 minutes a session. I did the following:

  • 10 minutes the first two days
  • 5 minutes the next two days
  • 2 minutes the last two days

Push Out Pump Time

During the process, I sometimes found I didn't need to pump. So, I pushed back my pumping time later and later into the day. This way, my body would get the memo, that not much milk was needed during the times it was used to a pump or nursing baby.


I then used the above approach, dropping my lunchtime pump next.

You're done!

Do a happy dance since you no longer need to wash bottles, search for pump parts as you're rushing out the door. I keep my pump at work just in case. When Atticus is sick, he tends to want to nurse more, and my supply skyrockets for a day or so. But, it adjusts back down and I don't need it the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment