Breastfeeding/Pumping Help Needed!!

Updated on February 06, 2009
C.F. asks from Saugus, MA
9 answers

Hi all. I am exclusively pumping for a my four month old, but nursing her twice a night when she wakes up. I haven't weaned her from night feedings yet because I am wondering if that would diminish my milk supply. Right now my first pump of the day gives me 8 ounces but then that amount starts to dwindle throughout the remainder of the pump sessions throughout the day.

How will I ever wean her without hurting my supply? Any insight would be appreciated.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for your feedback. My baby went to the doctor's and just as everyone said, she is far too young to be weaned from night feedings. I was under the impression that after a certain weight (10 pounds) an infant no longer required food in the middle of the night so the waking were habitual. In any event, I am continuing to nurse my infant in those wee hours.

Some people have asked me how many times a day I pump. I work full time (hence why I pump and not nurse) and am able to pump at work about 4 times and then I pump another two times at home after work and then I nurse her in the middle of the night. My child gets nothing but breastmilk, but does get an occassional bottle of formula at times (and again, when I do give her formula, I still pump). Anyway, I appreciate everyone's help and am happy to know I'm doing the right thing still.

As a sidenote to grandma Lowell, your responses to my questions always seem harsh, extremely opinionated and quite franky, rude. If you cannot answer my questions in a respectful manner, I would appreciate you not answering at all. Thank you.

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

I would not wean her from any feedings that she wants until she is a year old! I pump while I am at work and then she feeds on demand. She will not get as much milk with exclusive pumping.

More Answers



answers from Boston on

My personal opinion is that breastfed babies should still be getting a night feeding at 4 months. Breastmilk is digested faster quicker than formula. And yes your supply may go down by dropping this feeding. Especialy since breastfeeding is more efficient than pumping, Your daughter's feeding may be a good stimulant for your milk production.

My son weaned himself off his nightfeeding around 9 or 10mos. I'm hoping that my now 9 month old will do the same. Hope this helps. ood luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

I'm impressed that you are trying so hard to keep her on breastmilk. Exclusive pumping is a real challenge! I'm sure you are doing the best for you and your baby, but it is not necessary to wean her at night if you don't want to. My 12 month old still nurses a couple of times a night (she doesn't really wake up, just kind of rolls over, nurses and goes back to sleep).

I went back to work after my first child when he was 8 weeks and pumped for him when I was at work. I kept some pics of him with me and used them to think a lot about being a mother to him. I think I also found it good to have something that smelled like him-a onesie or blanket or even a small stuffed animal. However, I think the most important factor for me was to believe unquestioningly that there would be enough milk for him. If there was less one day, it would be b/c he needed less.

Babies' needs for milk vary quite a bit. During growth spurts or colds or teething, they might nurse non-stop. At other times, they will be too busy to stop and you could get a real feeling of fullness. I think the key is to trust that your body can provide for your baby exactly what she needs!

Just a little side anecdote, I am still nursing my 3 year old as well. I was sick and in the hospital in the fall and pumped to keep from getting engorged. My 1 year old nurses exclusively from the right breast and my 3 year old from the left. When I pumped, the milk was different on each side. My little one's, who was 9 mos, was thinner and bluish, while my 3 year old's was thicker and creamier-more like whole milk!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

why wean her from night feeding at this point? She is still way too young to go through the night without eating. this is also an important time for bonding between the two of you. And yes I do think it will affect your milk supply. There is no need to wean her at such a young age, you dont want to jeopardize her health. For more concrete information go to



answers from New London on

Do you breastfeed her before she goes to bed or after work? 8 ounces is a lot for one pumping session. I would barely get any and I breastfed for 10 months. How many times a day do you pump?? I would add two pumping sessions during the day to make up for the ones you are losing at night if you stop breast feeding at night. Your body may make up for it and you may even have more in the morning if you aren't breastfeeding at night. But at 4 months your baby may still need to eat at night, whether by breast or by bottle. Just wanted to let you know that I stopped breastfeeding at night at around 6 or 7 months. I'm impressed that you are so committed to breastfeeding. And when it is time to switch to formula exclusively or to milk, don't let anyone give you a hard time. You do what is going to work for you and your baby. Best to you!!



answers from Boston on


Although it will likely decrease your supply initially, your body will adjust to the change. You might need to pump more during the day for a few days though, so your body knows to keep producing the same amount of milk. I have been pumping at work for 5 months now (daughter is 8 months old) and periodically I've had to pump extra (sometimes an extra pumping session in the evening). My daughter is just starting to sleep through the night (yeah!), but it still isn't every night. Some days I pump less than others, but overall I have been able to keep up. If you can store any extra milk that might make you feel better too since you know you'll have something to lean on if you don't keep up with her eating needs. Just do what you can and try not to worry about it too much. I know from experience that the more I worry about not having enough milk, the less I can pump. Good luck!



answers from Boston on


When I asked my daughter doctor about weaning the night feedings she said you can try to do it between 9 and 12 months of age. Not sooner. Also waking up during the early months helps reduces the risk of SIDS.

A friend of mine once said that different flanges yielded her different amount of milk. Are you using differnt flanges?

I never pumped that much but you can always get in touch with the ladies of La Leche League. They should be able to answer your questions about pumping and milk supply.

Good luck,
L. M



answers from Boston on

First of all, congratuations on your new baby and for making the committment to provide breast milk. Unfortnately, despite medical help, my daughter was never able to latch properly so I exclusively pumped for her for 13 months - working part-time since she was 12 weeks old. If your baby is waking to eat at night, nurse her. She will give up the night time feedings when she's ready. If for some reason you don't want to nurse and would rather bottle feed, you need to pump. The general rule I followed throughout was that if my daughter ate, I pumped - yes, EVERY time. That kept my supply on her schedule. You have to pump until after full let down and hind milk evacuation. If she ate at 3 a.m., I pumped as soon as she was back to sleep. It's normal for your first pumping of the day to have the greatest volume and between 2-4 in the afternoon to be the least. It's a lot of work (especially with a 2 year old in the house), but it can be done and you should be commended for trying so hard. If you have any other questions, I'm more than happy to try to answer them. Best of luck to you and your family.




answers from Boston on

Even as an older mother (age 40), I didn't have supply problems when pumping exclusively and not doing night feedings. My dr. warned me that my supply would dwindle if I didn't also "nurse" some of the time - but my supply seemed to hold out fine. My baby boy was just impossible to nurse from day one (would fall asleep constantly during sessions), so I finally gave up (at around 1-2 months) and hired a lactation consultant who told me to rent a hospital-grade, dual electric pump (I think Madela works just as well). I only fed him from pumped-milk bottles after that. I was religious about pumping every 3-4 hours throughout each day (and used the electric pump at work). I also would get a pretty good supply with the first pumping of the day (e.g. 8 oz.) and then not as much during later sessions (2-4). If I wanted to increase my supply (e.g. if I dropped a night feeding - which I did by the time my son was 3-4 months), I would just add an extra pump session during the day for awhile. I only pumped this way for about 5 months before I gave up breastfeeding altogether, though, so I'm not sure how well pumping works as your baby grows and eats more. You could always supplement with formula if you find your supply doesn't keep pace with your baby's growth at some point. Even if only half to two-thirds of her milk came from you (by, say 6 mos.) - she is still getting a tremendous benefit.
Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions