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How Can I Keep Pumping for an Older Baby?

I started having issues with pumping around nine months. Why? And what should I do?

Re:

I started having issues with pumping around nine months. Why? And what should I do?

The Bump Expert

A baby's breastfeeding needs definitely evolve over time, and certainly change as solid foods become part of the daily routine. Some moms see their milk supply lessen at this time.

If you're pumping because you are going to be away from your baby, first, build up a supply of milk so baby will have enough for the number of feedings you'll miss, says Andi Silverman, author of Mama Knows Breast. Second, bring your pump with you when you're away from baby. Pump at the same times baby would be eating in order to maintain your milk supply.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms give infants only breast milk for the first six months. That means no formula, water, juice or solid foods. The AAP also suggests that mothers breastfeed (in addition to feeding the baby solid foods) until baby is at least one year old. And many moms continue to breastfeed as their kids become toddlers. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding, in addition to solids, for two years.

Andi Silvermanm, author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding

re: Q: Pumping problems?

I left my 9 month old with my husband for a wedding weekend getaway. I brough my pump and pumped when I was away. Now I am trying to pumpfor another wedding (just 1 night away) and I only get about 1/2 the amount of milk I usually pump?? And since I got back from the 1st wedding, my baby prefers cups to nursing and will only nurse (without a protest) in the am.

fourreau |

re: Q: Pumping for older babies?

Same experience here - at around 8-9 months, production slowed way down, but from pumping ONLY. DS can get all the milk he wants, I can even self-express it after the pump seems to have run my dry. I had my pump tested and the company sent me some new parts and it worked fine in the tests, but I went from getting 4-5 oz to 2oz each session. I think we either get used to the suction, or maybe because the baby gets better at it, the boob needs super strong suction to get some milk. Anyone know the real answer???

wanitten |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I have soooo many friends, and myself, that this happened to. It seems like for some reason you start to have pumping issues around 8-10mths. I contacted La Leche and they said to have my pump checked (it is fine) and that we were probably lucky to have been able to be so easily stimulated by a pump to being with. They said the average for most women pumping is only 2-3 oz and to get more means you have an over abundance of milk. I used to get 8-10 oz every monring and now only get 2-3. My baby is still gaining plenty of weight and I know my milk is still plentiful, so.... I guess the pump just isn't working as well. Kellymom.com has greta info on this and even said it is ok to just give more solids while you are gone and then feed immediately upon returning. I have been doing this, with the exception of when I know I will be gone at bedtime. Then, I pump for 2-3 days prior to make sure I can leave a bottle for him to be given before bed. Good luck! I freaked out at first when this happened, btu now I kind of en like not pumping so often!

autumnhuddleston |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

Hi there! I'm going through this very same problem. At first I freaked out because right at the time I was starting to pump less my DH went back to work and my DD started daycare. Talk about a nightmare! I wasn't able to get enough she needed for day and was starting to get engorged and very uncomfortable during the workday. So I called Medela and had them check my pump (which was working just fine) and the gal told me that your boobs get use to the pump and the way to get it back to the way it was is to pump 5 to 6 times per day. She told me to do this for about a week and a half and if it doesn't work to call back. So far I've been doing this for a couple of days. Not sure if it's working but I'll let you know! Good luck to all and congrats on still bf'ing!! :)

vexyvixen1031 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I went through the exact same thing. Went into our hospital to the lactation consultant, pump was fine, got on some supplements as I was going to be away longer during the day than normal for 3 days while working out of town. Those helped (blessed thisle & fenugreek), but I was still having issues w/ getting enough milk when pumping - never having any issues when nursing. Called Medela, they told me that my size was changing and I needed a smaller shield - they sent me a smaller shield (I think just "small") and it worked. I started having let down again, which I wasn't having w/ the larger pump shield. I still only get 2 oz. when pumping. Originally I was giving our daycare provider 3 oz bottles still - just using f/m the freezer supply, but tried just 2 oz one day and he was fine and had no issues. I think the need just goes so far down. I'm 6 weeks til his 1 year! Cross your fingers for me ladies! I have a goal to get to that 1 year mark before we start weaning! Good luck to you all! Kristi

kristiingalls |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

SOOOO Glad to hear that I am not the only one experiencing this. There is definitly a lack of info for nursing older babies. I tried a "nursing vacation" to have the baby help bust my supply, and will be having the daycare supplement with food for whatever I don't have. DD will just have to adjust her nursing pattern to get more from me when we are together. 9 months this weekend, hoping to make it to 12.

lac1418 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

Holy Cow! It's great to see that I'm not the only one with this issue. I have been freaking out the past couple of weeks. My LO is 9 months old and I just recently seen a significant decrease in my pumping supply. My left breast has always produced less, but now it is WAY less. Where I may get 3-4 ozs out of my right breast, I get 0.5-1 oz out of my left!!! My left breast has almost gone down to pre-nursing size. I really want to make it to one year and don't want to dry up. I think I'm going to try the smaller shield idea (given that I don't already use the small shield--have to check).

katrreid |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

Me, too. Very common... this has occured with my third baby (I'm pumping now and my baby is 9 months)... I think mom's milk supply naturally drops because baby is adjusting better to eating (supplementing) calories with solid foods, and not exclusively breast milk. If you are concerned, or think baby is not getting enough milk when you are away, try increasing the pumping sessions, drink more fluids (water), etc.

Amy0527 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one that has noticed a drop in pumping results. It happened for me around the 8.5 month mark. I'm lucky I get 1.5oz total when I pump now and trying to pump a 5 oz bottle takes about 5 days. But my daughter seems to have no problem nursing and seems to be getting plenty of milk. Maybe it's just our bodies way of prepping for when we start to ween our babies.

plopat |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I'm having this issue already at 3 months. I'm worried that when I go back to work I will have to supplement with formula. I really don't want to do this! I'm seeing an acupuncturist to see if she can help. Also, I'm PCOS and may try going back on metformin. Any advice would be very helpful!

sbwalk |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I am so glad to see that I'm not alone. I have been struggling for a couple weeks now and even went and bought a new pump (I was using an old one). How much milk should the LO be taking at this point? I have read several posts that say they should be taking almost 30oz a day and I don't feel he's getting anywhere near that. We do 2 bottles of 6oz each while I'm working and then he usually nurses 3 times each day as well. Any thoughts on what your babies are taking in each day? I have 12 weeks to till he turns 1. Hope we make it!!!

Stealthottie |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

Hallo ladies, next week i will be away from my DS all day for 2 days mon and thurs. He is 9months and my first time to be away from him for longer period since he was born. I did not pump he will just take formula while I'm gone but i'm not sure what to do when I come back to nurse him straight away. I dont think i can take the pump with me cause I wont have a place to chill whatever i pumped. Does anyone know if my milk will still be good when he didn't nurse all day and I also did not pump? Do boobs still feel engorged if the baby didn't suck or they were not expressed even after 9months?

nhlanhlamlambo |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

My little boy was jaundice so we had to force-feed him bottles when he was only a couple of days old, he never took to nursing. I've had to pump for him ever since, he's now 9 months! The best way to increase your supply is to pump more often (I was at every 2 hours in the beginning!) and to pump for longer (I've been up to 30 min at a time). When you're at the supply you want 20 min is fine and I'm down to 5 times a day. I'm now freezing my extra for when he's at about a year I can stop pumping earlier than that. I was up to about 63 oz a day when I was pumping 6 times a day (6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm). I'm now down to 5 times a day (6, 9, 1p, 5, and 9) and supply is down to about 48 oz. When you want to wean off a session you shorten from 20 min a pumping to 15 min for a while and so on. As much work as pumping is, I'm proud to be able to donate my milk. So far I've donated about 3000 oz to the milk bank! Good luck all!!

dplamondon |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

@nhlanhlamlambo: You're only going to be away for one day at a time, right? for how many hours? More than 8 hours would make my boobs uncomfortably full; that's happened a couple of times recently and it's not pleasant, but doable. And yes, your milk will still be good even if you don't pump at all. It doesn't go bad while still inside our bodies. :)

baleydyan |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I started having issues with pumping around 4 months. I had to pump because i went back to work. I also contacted the pump manufacturer and they sent me a new pump. The cups were mot providing enough suction and more often than not i would still be engorged and in pain after pumping. What worked for me (and i recommend for everyone) is hand expression. I would pump for 10 mins then hand express. My baby is now 9 months and i get 10 ounces evertytime i express. Hand expression relieves my pain, engorgement, and has allowed me to give my baby breast milk until now. Had i continued just to use the pump, i would've definitely dried up

xnana82x1 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I had the same issue when my little guy was 8 months old. The pump seemed to work much less efficiently, so much so that I got engorged and mastitis! I took antibiotics and nursed and pumped like crazy. I too was able to hand express after I pumped...a bad sign that the pump wasn't working well. I called Medela and got new parts, but there was no difference. My little guy went on a 4 day nursing strike around that time too..awesome. He's back now, though, and the mastitis is resolved. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. Also, I think he's reverse cycling...he won't take a bottle at all while I'm at work, and wants to nurse a lot and at night when I'm home...

ashleighanne1 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I had this crisis too about 7 months....all to figure out on my own about a month later (a month of pain and torture of not being able to empty) that the membranes (Yes, that 5 cent little rubber piece) needed replaced. I replaced those and now do so about every 6 weeks whether they need it or not just to avoid the pain and suffering that caused. I had the pump up at full blast and I couldn't get hardly anything out...changed the membranes and am back down at a little over halfway.

LisaLucas |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

So good to see all these answers! I had the same problem, but it happened around 6 months so I had to start giving the daycare formula to use when I couldn't pump enough. I still nurse about 3-4 times a day even though I'm working full time, but I haven't been able to pump more than an oz. so I just gave up the pumping. Recently when my little guy got sick he would only nurse for over a week so that brought my supply way up again and I pumped 6 oz. my first day back to work, but that ended quickly. I just can't bring myself to pump 5 times a day to get the supply back up. I felt guilty about adding in the formula but he's 9 months now and still loves to nurse, so I'm hoping we can keep it up.

esheehan821 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

This is a big relief that other mom's have same problem, my son just turned 9 months and milk dropped! i didn't have this with my older son until about 2 weeks before he turned 1 (and that turned out to be because i was pregnant with with second son) i thought there was something wrong with my pump, cleaned and changed out all the parts again, started upping my supplments... but still in a while day i'm only making 7 oz! i have been freaking out, but i'm glad to know this isn't just me, i am just hoping to make the next 3 months, he has never had formlua (my older son did, i never made enough for how hungry he was), but we are having to add more solid foods and water.

mnbaker_ssu |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I have exclusively pumped from the time my DD was 1 week old. I had an abundance of milk to begin with and started to taper off around six months. I added an extra pumping session a day, to bring my total to 5, and made sure to drink plenty of water and was able to get my supply back up. My DD is 10 months old now and we are still going strong. I hope to continue to the 2 year mark. Of course after she is a year old she won't need as many ounces so I will be able to cut back on pumping.

turtlew1976 |

Q&A: Pumping for older babies?

I'm so glad to know it's not just me! I'm going back to work full-time (have been part-time since I went back to work when DD was 2 mo) and have noticed I'm getting less when I pump for her morning bottle when I'm away and also at night (extra milk for cereal feedings and to catch up on her morning bottle). I've been on vacation for the last 2 weeks and am using it as a nursing holiday - no bottles, just me - and notice she seems to be dropping a feeding, which should make life a little easier when I start back to work fulltime next week. DD is almost 10 mo now, just hoping to make it a little more and then we can tap into the freezer stash if necessary; I don't want to do formula unless we have to, though I hope we can keep nursing at bedtime and mornings before I leave for work. I'll miss my sweet little nursling being gone all day! @sbwalk: Check with your doc but Metformin is a galactalogue, it helps you make milk - some moms who can't make enough are actually prescribed it to increase supply. You should be fine on it.

formossissima |