Home » How to Wean From Pumping | Breastfeeding Tips from a Pro!

How to Wean From Pumping | Breastfeeding Tips from a Pro!

by Vaibhav Sharda

If you are using a nursing pillow, it can be a bit awkward to pump without disturbing your little one. However, a well-designed pillow can make it easier to pump, and a good nursing pillow can also make it easier to breastfeed. Here are some tips for using a nursing pillow, and how to wean from pumping.

Parenting is a time of change for most of us. We have to learn about how to meet new milestones, how to adjust to new sleep patterns, and how to keep our sanity when our little ones are too busy to be still long enough to fall asleep. All of this can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I’m here to share with you what I have learned and help you avoid the pitfalls that keep many in the dark. ~*~*~*~

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If you’re a nursing or solely pumping mom, there will come a moment when you’re ready to reduce your pumping or ditch the pump entirely. If you have an oversupply, this advice will help you rapidly wean off the pump or gradually reduce pumping. Weaning off of pumping is really a lot simpler than you think since you have complete control over when and how much you pump, as well as the technique that best fits you.

How to Stop Pumping – Expert Breastfeeding Advice

How to Score a Free Breast Pump

Why Would You Quit Pumping?

You may have been pumping while your preterm infant was in the NICU or the hospital. You’re ready to decrease the quantity you pump now that your baby is at home and feeding wonderfully.

Alternatively, you may have been pumping to assist establish supply or create a breastmilk freezer stockpile. It may be appropriate to reduce your pumping now that you have a large supply and/or a freezer full of liquid gold.

You may be a solely pump-and-feed mother whose child is weaning from the bottle and you’re ready to reduce your pumping efforts.

Alternatively, you may have returned to work and been pumping during the day, but your child is now eating solids or drinking milk from another source throughout the day, and you no longer want to pump while at work.

These strategies may be used alone or in combination to achieve your objective, regardless of why you’re weaning off the pump, whether you want to pump less or totally stop pumping.

Increasing the time between pumping sessions is a good idea.

How to Wean from Pumping

If you’re presently pumping every two to three hours, gradually increase the duration between sessions. At first, increase the time between pumping sessions by 30 minutes to 1 hour. Allow your comfort to lead you. If you’re feeling particularly full or uneasy, wait until those sensations pass before increasing the interval between pumps. As the interval between sessions becomes longer, you’ll be able to drop one or two sessions.

Reduce the amount of time you spend pumping throughout each session.

How to score a free breast pump

Begin by reducing the time you spend pumping each session by 3- 5 minutes every 3- 5 days. If you presently pump for 20 minutes four times a day, for example, you would reduce to 17 minutes four times a day. After 3-5 days, you should be able to reduce your pumping duration even further, from 17 to 14 minutes each session. If you’ve had trouble with poor supply in the past, or if you observe a substantial drop in milk production, I’d recommend waiting the entire 5 days before reducing any more. In addition, if you have an overstock, I would reduce your time every three days.

If you just want to drop a few sessions, reduce the length of time you spend pumping during those sessions. If you’re pumping at work and just want to cut the sessions during the day, for example, you’d reduce your daytime pumping session durations while keeping your am and bedtime pumping/feeds.

Do Not Attend A Session

You may remove a session at a time if you wish to eliminate a pumping session or totally stop pumping. If you presently pump in the morning, lunch, dinner, and before night, I suggest beginning with the midday session. After your body has adjusted, you may gradually reduce the number of sessions you attend.

If dropping a whole pumping session at once seems too much, you may reduce the duration of that session until you can drop it. Usually, after you’ve reduced the session to 7-8 minutes, you may stop without causing too much engorgement or pain.

Take notice of your body.

Clogged Milk Duct

In an ideal world, you could just stop pumping and everything would be OK. Unfortunately, things may become a little more complex. Stopping cold turkey may decrease your supply, result in clogged ducts, mastitis, or cause severe pain. During this process, it’s critical that you pay attention to the signals your body sends you.

Keep in mind that milk is a supply and demand situation. You may reduce the quantity of milk you make by reducing the amount of milk you pump. However, there is a small lag in the procedure. Your supply may take a few days to diminish as a result of the reduced pumping. This safeguards your supply in the event that your baby becomes ill, goes on a breastfeeding strike, or you miss a pumping session. It is critical to have patience during the procedure. Before reducing your pumping any more, wait until you no longer feel too full or unpleasant. If you reduce your milk supply too fast or all at once, you risk blocked ducts or mastitis, both of which are unpleasant and difficult to treat. Check read my earlier post Blocked Milk Ducts? for additional information on clogged ducts. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

wean from pumping - peppermint tea

You may try drinking peppermint tea, eating or drinking sage, or putting cold cabbage leaves in your bra to reduce your milk production faster (only use cabbage leaves if you are not allergic to Sulfa medications and if you do not have cracked or open areas to your nipples).

I hope you found these pointers to be useful. If you have any questions or if I can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me; I am always glad to assist!

Author Information:

Robin Forslund

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Pumping breast milk is not as difficult as many may think. There are many things that can go wrong, but those are often easy fixes that can be made before the big day of introducing solids. The most common problems are engorgement and cracked nipples. Engorgement is a pain, but it can be fixed with a breast massage. If that doesn’t work, try the Lansinoh or Medela nipple shields. If your baby is not latching on effectively, try the La Leche League, a support group for mothers who want help breastfeeding.. Read more about how to stop pumping after 2 weeks and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to wean from pumping?

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of your case.

What is the fastest way to wean off pumping?

The fastest way to wean off pumping is to use a pump that has a built-in suction cup. This will allow you to remove the need for the pump and save your back from unnecessary strain.

How do I transition from breast pumping?

The best way to transition from breast pumping is to pump for a few minutes, and then switch breasts.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • weaning from pumping but still breastfeeding
  • how to wean from pumping
  • how to wean from pumping and nursing
  • weaning from pumping cold turkey
  • how long does it take to wean off pumping

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