How long for your body to get it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2007
How long for your body to get it?
5
Sun, 04-06-2008 - 8:39pm

I'm in the process of weaning and dropped to 3 pumps on Friday...last night it took me almost an hour to empty and it got 17 oz (yes, my DH said it looked like I had torpedoes attached to my chest before I hooked myself up!). Don't get me wrong, I was psyched to be able to add more to my freezer stash, BUT I want to be done pumping by next weekend (I think I need to quit from 3 pumps b/c I get frequent clogs and don't want to end up with mastitis while trying to wean). SO, my question is: how long does it take for the body to get the message that it shouldn't produce as much milk? I've read that when people go from 4x to 3x their supply takes a major hit. That hasn't happened yet (and today is day 3 of 3x pumping). Instead I just get really engorged and it takes forever for me to empty.

In addition to being sad (b/c now my DS will have to get formula for a few months after the freezer stash is gone) this weaning this is scary and painful!
Jullie

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2006
Sun, 04-06-2008 - 10:40pm

Well, everyone is different with weaning. 4 to 3 is not a guaranteed supply hit, as many women maintain well at 3 pumps/day. I have to be honest in saying that I think if you can still get 17 oz at a single pump, being done by the weekend may not happen. To stop cold turkey at this point, especially if you are prone to clogs, may set you up for mastitis.

I would wait until you are comfy at 3 pumps (ie, no torpedo), then start dropping one pump by a few minutes each day until you can drop it, then start working on another pump. You may also want to try cabbage or sudafed (pseudoephedrine) to help dry you up. Sage is another thing that may work, you'll have to search kellymom.com.

GL and congrats on reaching your goal!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2007
Tue, 04-08-2008 - 2:42pm

Thanks for the advice on looking at Kellymom...they had some good tips there. I'm curious about dropping a pump by decreasing pumping time each day. Since I'm prone to clogs I try to make sure that I'm totally empty when I pump (otherwise I get a clog). If I drop minutes off of pumping time, doesn't that mean that I'm not really emptying? That was my understanding which is why I was just going to quit cold turkey.

Just as an update -- I'm pumping about 10-12 oz 3x a day (I still have a bit of a clog on the left side). I guess shaving time from the mid-day pump makes the most sense first. Do you have any suggestions on how many minutes and how often to decrease? (I read on kellymom to do it 2 min a day every other day, but I pump for 45 minutes at least -- longer if I know I'm not empty).

Thanks so much for your help!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2007
Tue, 04-08-2008 - 10:00pm

I wasn't prone to clogs, but found

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2006
Tue, 04-08-2008 - 10:46pm

You're right about the emptying thing, and the debate goes on. In general, you want to empty, but if you are trying to wean and producing tons, you have to cut supply somehow w/o being super uncomfortable. Cutting pump time works for many (including me) but some choose to go cold turkey if they get recurrent clogs. If you currently have a clog, you are better off emptying at each pump. Have you tried lecithin to help with clogs?

Here is my weaning schedule (keeping in mind I was not on a deadline to wean), copied from an old post

I went from 6:30A, 11A, 4P, and 9P, 1 hour in AM, 40 minutes for the rest to 6:30, 1, and 9 all 1 hour each. Hung there for a week, then began pushing my 1PM pump back by 1 hour every 3 days, until I was at 4P. Then I started moving my 9P pump up by 30 minutes every other day, as I decreased my 4P pump by about 10 minutes every other day, until I could combine the afternoon and evening pump into one hour long pump around 5 or 6 P. I then held at 2 1-hour long pumps per day at 6A and 6P for one week, then dropped my evening pump by 10 minutes every 2-3 days, until I was only getting about 1-2 oz in a 5-10 min pump and quit that one altogether. Then I did the same thing to wean back my AM pump. My last pump I got 3/4oz--I knew I was done! No probs since. Whole process took about 2 mos, but I was in no hurry so kind of lingered some.

Any other questions post back! If you are at 10-12 oz total per day you are well on your way to done!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2007
Wed, 04-09-2008 - 7:15pm

Thanks for posting your weaning schedule. I might give it a try...I'm also going to increase my lecithin intake to help with these clogs (which might have resolved at my 1 pm pump).

Now that I know that I'm not going to be finished as soon as I'd hoped, I guess I should post for advice on traveling alone with my LO next week and having to pump...that was my main reason for wanting to be done now. We're flying from Boston to San Diego and I'll be alone with my DS (who's 6.5 months).

Thanks!
Jullie