Weaning from Breast Pump; Exclusively Pumping and Bottlefeeding

Updated on February 17, 2008
T.B. asks from Franklin, WI
9 answers

I have been exclusively pumping and bottlefeeding my 3 month old. I have had a lot of problems with clogged milk ducts. I am thinking of weaning off of the pump before I return to work but everytime I try, I get another clogged duct (very frustrating). Does anyone have any tips on how to successfully wean from the pump?

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answers from Milwaukee on

I pumped and bottle fed my baby the first 3 1/2 months and I got clogged all the time. The best way to unclog is breastfeeding. Weaning at this time would be very difficult and uncomfortable since your milk production is probably at it's highest. I thought about it many times because the clogging was just getting worse and worse. I did't want to switch to formula though so I breast fed my baby more everyday until I was only pumping once or twice a day. It really helped reduce the clogs and by transitioning to breastfeeding gradually I didn't get too sore. It hurts a lot when you first latch baby on but after 60-90 seconds it goes away and the clog goes away in just one feeding so it's worth it! Now I am breastfeeding exclusivly for the first time. I hope you are able to work through this and continue the benefits of breastfeeding because it only gets better from here! Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I'm the mom of a 4 1/2 month girl. We pumped for the first 6 weeks. I had met with a lactation consultant who suggested taking a couple weeks to wean off the pump. She recommended cutting out one pump a day for a couple days then 2 for a couple days and so on. I took about one an half weeks then stopped. I used ice packs frequently and tylenol for the pain. I've heard cabbage leaves do help to cool and fit nice. Good luck!



answers from Green Bay on

Hello Tanya, when I have a blocked milk duct, i would massage my breast or sometimes I get a warm wet face towel and put it on my breast to help soothe the pain, then massage. I have a 7 mon old boy and I was exclusively pumping to give him brest milk. I gradually weaned him and took motrin to ease the pain. hope this help



answers from Lincoln on

I know that Good Samaritan has a lactation consultant (I met her at the library), but she only works part time. You might want to give her a call to see what help she can offer. I, too, worked while my son was an infant and I still kept breastfeeding him. Okay, so he still nurses at 2 years. Like some of the others, I think your babe would still nurse and might appreciate the opportunity. You could pump at work, if needed.


answers from Des Moines on

Have you tried contacting La Leche League? http://www.llli.org/ They would be an excellent resource for you for finding information.



answers from Des Moines on

Maybe you need to try weaning very gradually. For example, instead of eliminating a pumping session all together, try cutting one pumping session back by a couple of minutes, then a couple more minutes the next day, then a couple more each day until you drop that session. Then choose the next session to start cutting back by a couple of minutes each day until you drop that session. Depending on how many times a day you pump, it could take a while do do it this way but maybe just going slowly would help.
Obviously this is your choice and if you want to wean now- then go for it. But if you have any doubt about whether it is time to wean, I would explore your options for pumping at work so you can continue to breastfeed. It is a commitment and you do have to do some juggling in your work schedule, but it can be done.
Good luck no matter what you choose to do!



answers from Davenport on

Hi Tanya, I understand the feeling. I had 1 breast that wanted to clog too. I used a hot pack, and massage of the breast to keep it from clogging up. Granted you do it all day long or your will keep your milk supply going. This helped to dry up, and helped easy any discomfort. If this doesn't help, I know there are also some natural herbs that help to dry up the milk with no side effects , and no clogging. Hope this helps.



answers from St. Cloud on

I am a nursing mom of a great soon to be 10 month old boy. I don't have any advice for you as far as weaning goes, but I am wondering why you would want to wean off the pump if you are only going back very part time? Pumping can be a pain in the butt as I know, I work part time and I am a full time student. You are giving your baby the best doing what your during. I would really suggest keeping your baby on breastmilk, even if you are bottlefeeding and not actually nursing. This is just one opinion, but I have seen many benefits compared to my older two kids. They were both formula fed. Good luck with your decision and sorry I did not really have advice for you. I am planning to stop nursing at a year and I don't know where to start with the weaning process myself.


answers from Minneapolis on

Plugged ducts are common with pumping, some get them, some don't. But the pump will not extract milk nearly as well as yoiur baby. My advice? Find a lactation consultant in your area and get your baby back on the breast, that way your baby can extract the milk properly, and yo ucan pump when you go back to work and continue to breastfeed. At 3 months old your baby will easily transition back to the breast.

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