M.O. asks from Springfield, GA on June 22, 2012
Pumping While Away from Baby - Springfield,GA
My son is 18 months old. I am down to only nursing him at bedtime. I am out of town and just tried pumping any got nothing, just a few drops. I will be gone until Tuesday. Does this mean I'm done nursing him? I really wasn't ready to stop but I don't know what I can do at this point. Any ideas?
J.G. answers from Chicago on June 22, 2012
I would still try to pump frequently (maybe every 4 hours or so for 10 minutes?) while you're away even if you're not getting much. It's very possible that your son will still be able to get milk from your breasts when you return.
I had a friend who went away for a 3 or 4 day trip and planned to wean her son while she was away. When she got back home he wanted to nurse and she thought that her milk supply was gone so she told him that she didn't have any more milk. When he kept insisting she put him to her breast so that he could "see" that the milk was gone but she was surprised to find that he was still able to nurse. So unfortunately (for her), she hasn't weaned him yet like she planned to. So maybe you will still be able to nurse once you get home.
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S.L. answers from Asheville on June 23, 2012
Try hand expressing milk, some people just don't respond to the pump, especially if they don't use it often. Definately relax, it does not mean your done nursing, when you go back and your son nurses as per normal schedule, you milk will return in response to his demand. Also, taking alfalfa 2 tabs 3 times a day may help increase supply. Also, congrats on nursing this long so far:)
B.G. answers from Champaign on June 23, 2012
Wow! 18 months! That's awesome. good for you.
If you want to continue nursing him, I would go ahead and pump even if you don't get much. The pump will stimulate you and keep your supply going. With my oldest, my supply slowly fizzled and one day it was just gone. My youngest did not feed from me but received pumped milk (health issues, weird story). We were on vacation, and I was having a terrible time trying to sit down and pump. Family vacations can be crazy! Anyway, I thought I was going to be dry for sure. It took a couple of weeks after I stopped pumping for the pain to go away. My point being, my supply might not have been as good, but I really could have continued even after that crazy week.
You could try pumping each night and first thing in the morning. I always got more in the morning anyway, and pumping more than once a day should help your body hang in there until you see your son again.
J.L. answers from St. Cloud on June 23, 2012
Have you pumped before in the last 18 months? Some women have a very hard time getting their milk to let down while pumping, even though it's there. Think of how long he's actually nursing for too. If it's just a few minutes, how much is he really "demanding", probably not much.
If I were you, first pat yourself on the back for the last 18 months!!! What an amazing healthy investment you've made for your son! Then secondly, I'd continue pumping around his bedtime while you're away. Pump for a good 20 minutes. If anything, the pumping will tell your body to make more milk. Before you pump, try to really relax...maybe treat yourself to a bath before. Then start thinking about your son. If you have pictures with, then definitely look at them. As you start pumping close your eyes and imagine yourself in a regular bedtime nursing situation. It's amazing how our thoughts are connected with letting down. If you get a few drops, don't stress, just remember you've spent the last 20 minutes telling your body to make more milk.