Cutting Back on Pumping

As your baby begins to eat more solid foods, you may find that you need to pump less when you're away from your little one. The best way to cut back on pumping is to do so gradually, so that it's less of a shock to the system and the overall breastfeeding relationship: 

  • Removing milk less often will signal the breasts to make less milk. You can gradually cut back on pumping by shortening your pumping sessions (start by pumping for 2 fewer minutes, then 5 minutes, then 10) or by cutting out 1 or more sessions a day.
  • If you choose to cut sessions, start by increasing the time between pumps. If you usually pump every 3 hours, you can try going an extra 15 or 20 minutes before your next pump. In time (usually at least a few weeks), you'll be able to go longer periods without pumping.
  • Continue to feed your baby on demand when you’re together. This often happens in the morning and at night.
  • Some mothers choose to continue pumping to freeze and donate the milk they make. If you’re interested in milk donation, find a milk bank or milk donation center through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
See also ...

•  Are you ready to wean from your pump?

•  Weaning your baby off the breast

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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