So, you’ve had your beautiful bundle of joy, you have gone through the process of feeding from the nipple and have even experienced the joys of breastmilk expression, but now it is time to move away from that and say goodbye to breast pumping.
Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, this is not as black and white as it may come across. There are many mothers who need a nudge in the right direction when it comes to weaning off pumping and here we will be guiding you through just how to do so.
The Breast Pump
This is a time during the first moments of motherhood where the breast pump and mother are best friends. A breast pump is there to soothe the pain in breasts, it is there to provide the partner with supplies to feed their baby too.
Overall, the breast pump is an effective tool. Choose to use the manual pump or spend some more on an electronic device. Either way, the pump works to aid mother’s in need, but eventually it needs to be put away.
Why Do People Choose To Wean Off?
There are many reasons a person chooses to stop using a breast pump and those reasons are each unique to the individual, however here are a list of possibilities:
- They have been pumping excessively and are ready to stop.
- They want to stop pumping by the time baby turns 12 months.
- They no longer need to pump to increase milk supply.
- Baby is becoming interested in solids.
What NOT To Do
Before delving into how to wean off pumping, it is important to recognize what should be avoided.
Going Cold Turkey
There are many mothers out there who think it is the best option to quit cold turkey however this is not the case.
Completely dropping pumping can lead to a number of risks such as an infection caused by a clogged milk duct. It is very important to make sure the weaning off process is gradual to protect the mother’s safety.
The Right Way To Wean Off Pumping
If you are a mother wanting to wean off the pump then it is important you know how to do it correctly. The worst that can happen is for your breasts to become infected and if not treated by a doctor this can cause mastitis.
Weaning off pumping only takes a few steps and as long as this is followed, you will find yourself breast pump free in no time.
Decrease Your Pumping Sessions
It is important to start slow and not completely cut off pumping so instead it is best to slowly decrease your pumping sessions. By decreasing your sessions every few days, you will find that your milk supply will slowly fade with it.
A good method is to focus on the amount of times a day you pump. For example, if you are pumping four times a day, cut that down to three. This also has links to pumping time. As well as the amount of sessions, focus on the time spent by cutting the time down by a few minutes.
Increase The Time Between Each Pumping Session
Next, you want to increase the time between each of your sessions to get your body used to not being on a steady schedule. For instance, if you pump at 8am every morning, try to wait around a little longer, as much as an hour or two if you can.
However, you don’t want to be in pain so if it does get too bad feel free to get the pump. It is all about trial and error.
Repeat For Results
Continue these steps until eventually you are able to stop altogether. Remember, weaning off will not happen in a day; this is a process.
By gradually decreasing your pumping sessions, the time it takes to pump and lengthening out the time in between pumping, your body will soon respond until eventually your breasts stop producing milk.
Always Listen To Your Body
The female body knows what it is doing so it is very important to listen to it. your mind and body are two completely separate entities and this should be acknowledged. Although your mind may be wanting you to finish with the constant pumping, your body is still producing milk and telling you it needs to be dealt with.
If you are trying to wean off and you feel pain in your breast, there is no avoiding this. It may not be what you want but for the sake of your health pick up that breast pump and express that milk. Just because your breasts are still producing milk, that does not mean that your methods are not working.
It is all about weaning off gradually and listening to your body. Eventually the milk supply will run dryer and dryer until there is no more need for pumping.
This article has not only shown the correct ways of weaning off pumping but has displayed the ability it takes to be a mother. As females, we have to endure plenty of hard labor and as mothers there is even more to get through.
We carry a baby for 9 months, give birth, endure endless sleepless nights, there is no time for day naps, we breastfeed, we express that milk and then we wean off. It is safe to say this takes a lot of hard work.
When it comes to the topic of weaning off, this can be a hard task for women; there is a risk of infection if done incorrectly, you need to maintain patience and it can be painful. But despite this, this shouldn’t put a damper on the experience.
So, whether you are already a mother going through this journey or someone getting ready for motherhood, just know that every moment is worth it. You have been blessed with a beautiful child – this is another reason to make it through the pain.