When It’s Time to Stop Pumping

There are several different indicators that it might be time to stop pumping:

  • Your baby has reached an age where he or she is getting adequate nutrition through table food or other means.
  • Your baby is able to transition over to exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Your milk supply dwindles or runs out to the point that it is no longer worth the effort.
  • Your lifestyle changes in a way that no longer supports pumping- e.g. work/child-rearing demands do not allow the time, a subsequent pregnancy that leaves you drained, a health issue or illness makes pumping difficult, etc.
  • You and your doctor or your baby’s doctor just decide that it’s time to stop.

For whatever reason you stop, there are some steps to make it easier.

  1. Increase the time between pumping sessions until you’re only pumping morning and night.
  2. Phase out night-time pumping if you’re still doing it.
  3. Try to avoid known stimuli like warm water, certain smells, etc.
  4. Do pump if you feel the need, even if you thought you were done. I ended up pumping once two weeks after I thought I was “done” and then that was it!
  5. Do not pump unless you really feel the “need” to pump.
  6. Use breast pads (disposable or washable) to deal with any leakage.
  7. Give yourself a big pat on the back for what you’ve done!

I stopped pumping after four months because once I got to bring C home, I couldn’t figure out how to work it into my schedule. With my daughter on a feeding tube and attached to an O2 tank and apnea monitor and my son not yet walking, my hands seemed pretty full. Fortunately, because I produced a lot of milk, we had enough stock-piled to last a full seven months. After that, we switched her to NeoSure Advance.

What other recommendations or questions do you have regarding pumping for your preemie?

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When It’s Time to Stop Pumping

There are several different indicators that it might be time to stop pumping:

  • Your baby has reached an age where he or she is getting adequate nutrition through table food or other means.
  • Your baby is able to transition over to exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Your milk supply dwindles or runs out to the point that it is no longer worth the effort.
  • Your lifestyle changes in a way that no longer supports pumping- e.g. work/child-rearing demands do not allow the time, a subsequent pregnancy that leaves you drained, a health issue or illness makes pumping difficult, etc.
  • You and your doctor or your baby’s doctor just decide that it’s time to stop.

For whatever reason you stop, there are some steps to make it easier.

  1. Increase the time between pumping sessions until you’re only pumping morning and night.
  2. Phase out night-time pumping if you’re still doing it.
  3. Try to avoid known stimuli like warm water, certain smells, etc.
  4. Do pump if you feel the need, even if you thought you were done. I ended up pumping once two weeks after I thought I was “done” and then that was it!
  5. Do not pump unless you really feel the “need” to pump.
  6. Use breast pads (disposable or washable) to deal with any leakage.
  7. Give yourself a big pat on the back for what you’ve done!

What other recommendations or questions do you have regarding pumping for your preemie?

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