Pumping 8 1/2 months and struggling to keep it up

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2010
Pumping 8 1/2 months and struggling to keep it up
4
Wed, 10-20-2010 - 7:25pm

My son is now 8 1/2 months and I have exclusively pumped since he was born due to his stay in the hospital and him never being able to breastfeed after being given a bottle.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2010
First of all congratulations on making it for so long! It is really a great accomplishment! I am not familiar how breast reduction would affect milk supply, may be somebody else can help you with that. I just wanted to say that any amount of BM is beneficial to your baby, so if dropping pumps will help you to keep going, you should do it. I really can not imagine pumping for so long the way you've had. You must be a very strong person:) generally after 3-4 months dropping some pumps should not affect the supply that much. I really didn't see a big drop till I was at 4 pumps a day. Your situation is probably quite different, but I imagine you still should be able to cut back back on pumping at this point. May be taking some herbs will help you to keep your a decent supply... Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2009

I agree with PP that at 8 1/2 months in, it seems likely that you could take fenugreek and blessed thistle and drop a pump. It's worth a try. I don't know anyone personally who has had a breast reduction, let alone anyone who has tried to pump or BF with one, so I can't offer great advice. Especially if you're considering weaning altogether, I'd think it's worthwhile to see what happens when you drop a pump or two. You could also drop a pump and then power pump for a few days. It might help you produce more at fewer pumps per day, or prevent you from losing too many ounces from dropping pumps.

Even a small amount of BM every day gives your son a lot of antibodies, and is great for his immune system. Adk-trekker posted some time ago about the immune-boosting properties are more concentrated when you produce less milk, so that babies are still getting a whole lot of benefit from the BM even if they don't get much of it per day.

However, it's amazing that you've made it this far. I remember, I found it a lot harder to find motivation to pump when I had to supplement with formula, and I am so impressed that you've kept at it this long. Your baby has had 8.5 months of BM, and you're right that he isn't as fragile as he was as a newborn. He'll still be just fine on formula, so if you feel like this is the right time to wean, try to be proud of how long you persevered. :)

-Jenn

Mom to Ashley Elizabeth, born 11/3/09

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2009

Here's the link to adk_trekker's post about the concentration of the antibodies going up. It's the most recent post in the thread.

http://forums.ivillage.com/t5/Weaning-Retired-EP-ers/When-to-quit/m-p/23775626#M3883

-Jenn

Mom to Ashley Elizabeth, born 11/3/09

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2010

Thanks for the info.