How to Wean Yourself From Pumping

It’s time to wean your baby, but how? Weaning from breastfeeding is one thing, but what about our pumping mamas out there? How do you wean when you’re primarily pumping for your baby? How long will it take? How do you know when you’re ready? And what are some of the challenges, both mentally and physically?

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
How to Wean Yourself From Pumping

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: It’s time to wean your baby, but how? Weaning from breastfeeding is one thing, but what about our pumping mammas out there? How do you do it? How do you wean when you’re primarily pumping for your baby? And how long will it take? How do know when you’re ready? And what are some of the challenges, both mentally and physically? We are The Boob Group.

[Intro/ Theme Music] 

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group, we are here to support all moms who want to give their baby’s breast milk and to respect the choices of moms who want to feed their babies in other ways.  I’m Sunny Gault, thanks so much for listening to us. Have you subscribed to The Boob Group newsletter? We send out an email each time we release an episode and you can sign up on our website at . That's also where you can subscribe to the newsletters for some of our other podcast focused on pregnancy, parenting, we even have a show out there about twins for all you twin parents out there, so lots of great information I think we've released over 600 episodes now.

So subscribe to the newsletters and you'll learn more about the new episodes when they're released. Let's meet the moms that are joining us today for a conversation. I'll kick things off I am Sunny and I have four kids, my oldest is a boy, five, he will be six actually next month, I have a four-year-old boy as well and I have twin girls who are two and half years old so we were pretty quick about our conception process, it was kind of like “boom boom boom”.  

As far as pumping is concerned, I did pump on and off with my first until I kind of got frustrated with it, and I do have some experience in exclusive pumping with my twins for the first two months because they were preemies, there were born at 35 weeks, and they couldn’t latch at the time, so I had about two months of exclusive pumping before we went to breast-feeding. Alright so let's continue on in our conversation here Amanda, Amanda is our expert today, but Amanda tell us a little bit more about your experience as a mom.

AMANDA GLEN: Sure so I am Amanda, I live in Chicago and I have three children. My oldest is five, and then I also have a three-year-old and a nine-month-old, and so my first baby, the five-year-old, is the one that I exclusively pumped for. He had a really hard time nursing, he would nurse for an hour at a time and then be hungry 30 minutes later and he wasn't really gaining any weight, so I was in the whole process where you nurse and then you pump and then you bottle-feed and then you start again immediately and so, eventually I just switched to exclusively pumping and I pumped for him for 14 months. Then for my other two children I've actually been able to nurse them and then I pump at work, but I'm still nursing my nine-month-old and it's going great so. 

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah that’s awesome. I think they call that triple feedings, I had to do that for a little bit too with my, with my girls and that, that you just feel like you constantly have something on the breast or you're feeding something it’s like, those three hours in between or whatever they tell you to do in the beginning like, man you just have no time off with triple feedings 

AMANDA GLEN: Exactly! 

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, and Leticia tell us a little bit about yourself?

LETICIA: My name is Leticia, I'm an attorney working full time. My son Theo is five months old and I've been exclusively pumping since about four weeks, and I experienced a lot of the same issues Amanda was having which led me to exclusively pump and we've been happier ever since.

SUNNY GAULT: I love it, and Liz tell us a little bit about you and your family?

LIZ: Hi, I'm Liz from Ontario, Canada, and my daughter Violet she's 10 months, we had an emergency C-section and as you know that can affect your milk production so they started me pumping right away. But between her being a little bit small and me having some issues with my nipples, breastfeeding was just a real challenge for us. So by two months, I decided to just stop trying to breastfeed and go exclusively to pumping, and she's 10 months now, so that’s eight months that I've been exclusively pumping. 

SUNNY GAULT: Wow. You guys are rock stars, exclusive pumpers, and man. I know just from those two months, that is so challenging and I just really appreciate you guys I take, I think it takes so much dedication. So round of applause for you guys being able to do, you know, what you need to do for your babies and just keep on keeping at it, right? It's awesome, I love it!

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so before we dive into conversation today we have a segment on the show called “mama hacks”, I love this segment, it was actually created by you guys somewhat unintentionally because people kept sending us their hacks when it came to breastfeeding and pumping and I’m like we need to make a segment out of this, so that's exactly what we did. So our comment today comes from Jen, and this is what Jen does regarding pumping she says “I carried a manual pump and clean bottles with me to reduce the stress of getting back to my electric pump during the busy times, the bathroom or car are not ideal but better than missing a session, also hands-free nursing bras were a must-have for me”, and who was I talking to today or wasn't today, but I think it was someone on this call that said what time are we recording because I have to schedule this with my pumping brakes.

LIZ: That was me.

SUNNY GAULT: That was you Liz? 

LIZ: Yeah.

SUNNY GAULT: So you get it?

LIZ: Oh yeah, my whole life is divided into the windows of okay, I need to be home in three hours, I need to be home in four hours, and so I plan my day in these little packets. 

LETICIA: Completely understand that.

SUNNY GAULT: Right. Now did anyone else try the manual pumps or you know anything that Jen was talking about here to, to make life a little bit easier?

AMANDA GLEN: I think that using the manual pump is a great idea especially when you need to be discreet about the fact that you have to pump, like if you are going to have a job interview, you maybe, that's going to last through a pumping session, you maybe don't want to tell someone who's interviewing you that you don't know very well that you know you need a pumping break, but if you can just excuse yourself to the restroom and you have a manual pump in your purse and that's a great way to just take the pressure off and not have to worry about any of that.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, like literally take the pressure off.


SUNNY GAULT:  Suck the milk out so there is not as much pressure. Leticia, were you going to say something?

LETICIA: Yeah I keep a spare manual pump in my car because I know one of these days I'm going to get to work without my pump or, you know, without something, so I'm in constant fear of being stranded without a pump. So I had read online to keep just a spare in your car and that, that's been really handy.

SUNNY GAULT: You know I think manual pumps sometimes get a bad rep out there because they're manual and, you know, who could just use a manual pump if you're pumping a lot. But we just actually just released an episode by the time this episode comes out it would've been released, and it was all about the benefits of manual pumps as well as hand expression, because I just think that those are two things that can really help moms especially when you're in a bind, or you're stuck in traffic, or something crazy happens, that is out-of-control that you don't have an outlet right there or, you know, your battery is off or something like that can really help so.

Anyways we want to thank Jen for sending in this “mama hack”, we so appreciate. If you're listening to this and you are like “I have a great breastfeeding or pumping tip” we certainly want to hear about it, you can email us through our website at , also through Facebook, Twitter, pretty much anyway you can hit us up on social media, let me know and we will share it with our audience.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Today we’re talking about how to wean from pumping, and this topic was inspired by one of our listeners, Liz, who I invited to be on the show today. She actually posted this a while ago and sorry it took so long to get to this topic, but this is what she wrote, so I have to embarrass you a little bit Liz, she wrote “Hi, love New Mommy Media, you guys got me through my entire pregnancy and now into life with baby. I have an episode suggestion for The Boob group, I would love to have an episode for moms who are exclusively pumping, and what to do when it's time to wean. How do you wean yourself from pumping? And this is still a while off for me but I didn't want to end up getting clogged ducks or mastitis because I don't know the best way, thanks in advance.” And I'm so glad when I reached out to Liz I was like, “Oh Liz you are probably not even going to be impacted by this anymore”, and you were like “No! I actually haven't weaned yet” so.

LIZ: Yeah, the funny thing is I'm actually going be weaning within the next month I think.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh this is great time you see, I was all concerned that I couldn't do the episode in time but this is perfect timing!

LIZ: Perfect timing.

SUNNY GAULT: I love it, love it. So we should also say so, so Liz hasn't weaned yet. Leticia hasn’t weaned yet, Amanda has so just to give you a little bit of perspective here on who’s contributing to the conversation. At the moment I'm not, I'm not pumping so I’m not really part of that. Alright so let's dive into this, Amanda Glen is our expert, and her website is, we'll be sure to link to that. She's a mom of three and the author of “Exclusive Pumping and Milk Supply”, so Amanda welcome to our show.

AMANDA GLEN: Thank you, thank you so much for having me.

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely, Amanda how does a mom know when it's time to wean from pumping?

AMANDA GLEN: So yeah, this is a tricky topic, it's important to be sure that you're ready and that your baby is ready, because it's kind of hard to roll things back once you've started the process. So I think that the two things to really think about are that you have a plan for what you're going to feed your baby next, and so that could be formula, it could be cow’s milk, it kind of depends on how old they are, but it's important I think to test it first, to make sure that your baby will take the formula that you're planning to feed him or her, or is okay with cow’s milk.

So first I would make sure that you do a test run before you kind of remove the source of the breast milk that you can give the baby. Then the other thing is, I think that a mom is ready to wean when they are told that pumping is taking on her is greater than the benefits of pumping. I think that's different for every mom, it could be, you know, two, after two weeks of pumping or it could be after two years of pumping, it's really dependent on the person.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, we are really talking about two separate things here that have to come together. Mom has to be ready to do it, baby has to be ready to do it, so there, and I feel like there's a lot of factors to, to kind of think about in this whole process. Alright and so for the moms that are part of the conversation I know you haven't weaned yet but what's  kind of going through your mind as far as the weaning process is concerned?  What have you thought? I'm sure you've thought ahead, a little bit at least and what have you thought about Leticia?

LETICIA: I am trying to calculate how much milk I need in my freezer stash, to get Theo to a year of breastmilk, so I can quit.

SUNNY GAULT: Ok, well that's good. Have you come up with any numbers yet?

LETICIA: It's a problem right now, because his milk intake is varying so much. So I'm trying to look at old averages that I have. So I'm thinking I'm going to have to plan for six bottles a day, so I've got probably two more months of pumping.

SUNNY GAULT: Ok, alright, and then for Liz I know you said that this is probably going to happen within the next month, so what have you thought about? Obviously, a while ago you sent that email so you were even thinking about it back then, so what comes to mind?

LIZ: Well here in Canada we have a wonderfully long mat leave, which is a year, and so I'm actually coming up on that year and I decided I really don't want to deal with pumping at work. So I’ve decided, you know, I want to be weaned off before I have to go to work, which is at the beginning of August and so, I need to try to figure out. Also, I have a pretty big freezer stash and then that's going to last her, well after she's a year old. But yeah I just kind of need to figure out because I, you know work can be stressful enough to have a fair commute, and I would actually have to add time into my workday to fit in the pumping’s during the day and that would take time away from my daughter at night and I really don't want to do that.

SUNNY GAULT: When you sent that you had one-year maternity leave, I think a lot of the moms here in the US listening to that went “Ohhh I so wish I had that”.

LIZ: I know, Well I used to live in the States and so after moving back to Canada I was really, really glad that I had, by the time I had a child, so that I could take advantage of that.

SUNNY GAULT: Wow, because what we have on average. What is it, ladies? Six weeks, or something like that, for maternity leave?

LETICIA: I wasn't even out of the fog at six weeks, I could not function at my job. 

SUNNY GAULT: Right, right. Well and that’s a whole other conversation about


SUNNY GAULT:  Maternity leaves here in the United States. Alright so Amanda weaning is all about dropping pumping sessions, so how does mom know what pumping session to drop first?

AMANDA GLEN: Ok, so basically if you’re, it kind of depends on how many pumps a day that you're at this point, so if you're  pumping more than four times a day and you’ve decided to wean, you can drop whichever pump is the most annoying to you first, it doesn't really matter. Then once you get down to three you're going to want to have them about eight hours apart, so when you drop the third pump, then you want to space it so that the remaining two are about 12 hours apart. Then when you're down to two again you just want to drop whichever one is most annoying to you so.

Most people will do it so that they have one before they go to bed and then one when they get up in the morning, so if, you know, if you're rushing out the door to go to work, or mornings aren't good for you, then you might want to drop the morning one first, where as, you know, if you want to do another one first that’s fine too.  The great thing about weaning from pumping is that you don't have to worry about what works for your baby at all, it's all about what works for you, so this is I think one way that exclusively pumping is a bit easier.

SUNNY GAULT: That's a really good point because as I mentioned I'm still breastfeeding my twins and I think about weaning with them so we don't worry about the pump, but most of my concerns with weaning is going to come from, you know what their needs are and how do you separate that bond, you know, that you have with when you're breastfeeding, so that’s a really, really good point doesn't mean that weaning from the pump is easy.


SUNNY GAULT:  By any means, but it's just one more thing you got to put on there when you're weaning from breast-feeding so, I have to ask, you talked about you know, the sessions that you may not like the most, the most annoying sessions for you, so for our moms, you know, what would you say if you had to breakdown now? What would you say is the most annoying session that you would probably get rid of first? 

LIZ: Midnight for me. 

SUNNY GAULT: Midnight?

LIZ: Yeah, I usually have only gotten to sleep for an hour or two and then I'm trying to wake up to pump right then.

SUNNY GAULT: You don't pump throughout the night though, do you? 

LIZ: I do! Yeah, I've struggled with, I have struggled to supply the whole time and so just to keep my supply I'm also on domperidon to keep my supply up.


LIZ:  So I pump every three to four hours 24 hours a day.

SUNNY GAULT: And you are still, so you did that from the beginning, and you are still doing that?

LIZ: That's what I have done since she was two months.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh my goodness, see that's what I did in the beginning with my girls and I'll, ah man I only did that for two months and I was like "wow this is tough", so the time length you said since she was two months and she is how old now? 

LIZ: She is 10 months now.

SUNNY GAULT: So eight months, I got that right, yeah eight months, oh my goodness. 

LIZ: I had a little break while I was on vacation recently where I went to a five hour pumping schedule so I got.


LIZ: About four hours of sleep at a time, but yeah. 

SUNNY GAULT: Are you just constantly tired?

LIZ: Every time my husband says he's tired I just roll my eyes and say, "really?”

LETICIA: I think he is washing parts for you.


LIZ: No, no, no, no. 

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, and Leticia what's the annoying session that you would drop first?

LETICIA: Well I'm at six pumps a day, and in order to keep with my court schedule I have to pump right when I get to work at eight AM, and I had just pumped at 05:45 so, if I could get rid of one it would be that one, but if I don't pump at eight I risk having to wait till noon so.


LETICIA: I go ahead and pump it eight, even though I feel like I barely got detached from the pump to get to work.

SUNNY GAULT: That's so tough too, because you're just getting to work so I can imagine people are coming to you talking to you about stuff, you're trying to get situated for the day and you are like, "wait I have to..." or maybe you don't, I don't know, do you dart into a room before anyone sees you? That's probably what I would end up doing.

LETICIA: I just had to be really clear with everyone that when the cow signs on the door I'm busy, so don't, don't call or anything because I'm pumping and I did explain to them that, you know, like stress affects your letdown, and if I'm going to do this and it's going to be worthwhile. I need to make sure I'm getting as much milk as possible so they were understanding after I explained.

SUNNY GAULT: Good, good, alright. Amanda what about moms who need to wean quickly? I guess first of all, what would be some reasons that moms need to wean quickly?

AMANDA GLEN: Some reasons might be if you, you know, all of a sudden are going to need to go into the hospital for a procedure or something like that, and you are like alright, I don't want to deal with when I'm pumping while I'm there or maybe there's a last-minute girls weekend that's come up in a few weeks and, you know, your baby is a year old and you don't want to call around your pump you decide you want to be done before you go. But maybe you don't need to wean quickly there, but it's what you want to do.

So yeah, those are two reasons, I think, until, so what I would recommend in that situation is to kind of break out some other tricks. So the two that I think are the most helpful are cabbage leaves and Sudafed. So Sudafed is known to reduce milk supply, so if you're breastfeeding and not weaning you should not take Sudafed because I think there was a study that came out that said over 24 hours it reduces your milk supply by about 25%, if that, you're not doing this intentionally then that, that can be dangerous. But if you're weaning it's a great way to kind of reduce the chances that you'll get clogged ducts or mastitis if you need to go, if you need to drop the pumps down quickly.

Then cabbage leaves are another great way to reduce engorgement. What basically, what you do is you take the leaf off the cabbage and you, you know, slice the vein open a bit, and then you put it in your bra, which is, you know, great probably don't want to do that at work but when you're home or maybe overnight it's a good option, and what it does is it opens up, opens up the capillaries in your breasts so that the milk doesn't get stuck, that the blood keeps flowing and the milk keeps moving and doesn't get stuck, and get you clogged duct.

SUNNY GAULT: That is fascinating, I have never heard of that before.


SUNNY GAULT: Wow, okay, does it have to be right over the area or is it, I'm assuming it has to be touching the area that could be impacted by it?

AMANDA GLEN: Yes, so you just want to, you want to get one of the leaves on the outside of the cabbage, and it should cover pretty much your whole breast if you put it in your bra.

SUNNY GAULT: Wow that's awesome, I love that, it's so, it's such a natural thing to do right? Yeah just don't tell me when you have cabbage in your bra there, at work, I don't know how understanding they would be of that. Alright let's go ahead, let's take a quick break, when we come back we're gonna talk about some of the physical and emotional challenges you could face when weaning from pumping, and also what do you do with your pump at the end when you're done? We'll figure that out when we come back.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome back, we're continuing our discussion about weaning from pumping and Amanda Glen from is our expert. So, Amanda we started talking about, right before the break, we were talking about weaning quickly and some things that you can do to help with kind of clogged ducts or, you know, things getting kind of trapped in the breast that you don't want to if you're trying to wean quickly. I want to kind of to pick up with that. What are some of the possible complications which can occur during the weaning process?

AMANDA GLEN: Yeah so those are the two big ones, clogged ducts and mastitis, and so the way you want to approach that and make sure that you don't have it, in addition to the Sudafed and the cabbage, which I think is optional that's kind of more of a, if you've gotten mastitis during your pumping career you might want to employ them, but if you've never had a clogged duct or mastitis while you've been pumping, then basically what you just want to do is slowly reduce the volume when you're dropping your pump.

So, let's say that you're pumping three times a day and you're going to drop one of your pumping sessions, what I would do is take a look at how much you usually get during that pumping session and then slowly decrease the volume. So let's say you're getting five ounces a day, one day you pump until you get four and then you are done, so maybe that, maybe you are usually pumping for half an hour and you get four ounces in the first 20 minutes then that's it, you're done, and then the next day you do three ounces, and then two.

Basically, the idea is to get your breast used to making less milk, and because, you know, breastfeeding is a supply and demand process the more demand that, that your body thinks that there is for the milk, the more supply it makes. So you want to reduce the demand so that it reduces the supply if that makes sense, and that is what reduces the chances that you'll get a clogged duct or mastitis.

LIZ: So how quickly should you be reducing these? Like we talked about going down in your number of pumps per day like, from you know six pumping’s, to five pumping’s, to four pumping’s, but how often do you reduce the number of pumpings? Is it like once a week you drop a pump?

AMANDA GLEN: So yeah, so this completely depends on your history with your breast health, so I don't know, have you had a clogged duct or mastitis before?

LIZ: I have had clogged duct two or three times I can’t remember.


LIZ: But no mastitis.

AMANDA GLEN: Ok, well that's great.

LIZ: I have struggled with supply the whole time, so I'm really trying to mentally get ready for this instead of this push, you know, I feel like I'm, I tell my husband "I'm power pumping this month, you know, but I have to get that out of my head that I'm not pumping for the most amount of volume, but I don't want to just go cold turkey and end up with mastitis".

AMANDA GLEN: Right, right, and that makes a lot of sense. So what I would say is if you, if you had never had a clogged duct or anything like that before I would say you could maybe drop a session as quickly as every two days. I would probably if you have the time, I would stretch it out to more like a week, so I would say maybe every week you stop, you drop a session. If you've had been getting mastitis regularly throughout your pumping career then I would say between, you could drop one, between every week to two weeks. So it just kind of depends on your own history of your breast health that you've had while you have been pumping.

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so let's talk about something that can be very challenging for moms, and that is, the emotional side, and it might be different if you're exclusively pumping as opposed to exclusively breast-feeding or something like that, but I still think there is something there. You know that you're giving your baby this breast milk, which your baby really needs, and I still think that there is an emotional part in all of that so, so what can moms expect to experience emotionally Amanda?

AMANDA GLEN: So I think one of the things, something that we actually just hit on is the, "I'm supposed to be pumping all the time", and you've been working so hard to keep your supply up. I mean that something that you could've been focused on for, you know, two hours a day for the past year, and so to say goodbye to that and kind of be going backward I think can be a little difficult, especially if you're kind of a type-A person like me.

So I think the key there is to just try and focus on how much easier your life is going to be as soon as you've dropped these pumping sessions and you're not, you know, like, like we talked about before, pumping every three to four hours throughout the night, like just kind of try and focus on, you have done a fantastic job, and your life is going to get a lot easier when you're done.

The other thing I think that can be an emotional issue is that, a lot of moms, not everyone, and that a lot of moms often feel guilty about not nursing. I know that I personally felt like, you know, I didn't try hard enough, maybe if I would've kept going eventually he would've caught on, and so I kind of felt like guilty about it, and so then weaning was kind of like, then giving up again a little bit I thought. This is just me, this isn't what I think everyone thinks, but that's kind of what I was thinking a little bit, and so it took some time to kind of, deal with that and work through it, and again I think, it's, the best thing is to just focus on how much easier your life is going to be and what a great job you've done by pumping as long as you have.

SUNNY GAULT: So for our moms, we have talked a little bit about, you know, the physical complications, we talked about, you know, clogged ducts and, you know, mastitis, as well as some of the emotional challenges you may go through. Is there anything that we talked about that really resonated with you and you're like wow, yeah that is probably something that I am going to experience? Anything? I know Liz you talked a little bit about, you know, the physical stuff, you know, and how do you, how do you go through that.

LIZ: Yeah, well I mean I got over the guilt, over not keeping up breastfeeding pretty quickly because I was in so much pain and both of us were frustrated and it was just so much better for both of us to not deal with that every time she had to feed. So that part was easy for me because then feeding for her became an easy thing, and honestly, I'm looking forward to the freedom, you know, I mean we took a little day trip last week to a botanical garden an hour away, and I had to pump on the way there and the way back, just so that I wouldn't be pumping when we got home so that I could put her to bed, you know, because it just doesn't, you can't pump and do something else at the same time.


LIZ: So I'm looking forward to that freedom.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Leticia, what do you think about freedom? You are looking forward to that as well I'm assuming?

LETICIA: Oh yes, I'm planning for freedom, but I am worried that I'm going to just be constantly anxious about my freezer stash once I do stop, because I've been lucky and haven't had supply issues, I'm worried that I'll then have instant regret of I should've just kept going. So that's something I'm going to have to work through I think.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Amanda do you have any thoughts on that? On how moms can overcome just concern over, you know, the amount of breast milk that's still in the freezer?

AMANDA GLEN: Yeah, I mean, I think I would just plan for, to have a buffer. Just have a little bit more than you, maybe 10% more than you think you'd need, and that will, I mean, even if you don't end up needing it, it will give you peace of mind I guess.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah maybe not factor that into the formula, Leticia, that you're talking about. The extra 10% it's like, "well I know it's there but I'm not going to factor it in", and then if something happens, you know, fingers crossed kind of thing, hopefully, that wouldn’t, that would be enough, but I think anyone that pumps kind of has that freezer concern, you know, because you've worked so hard to express that milk and what happens if it's no longer there, or your freezer break. So there are just a trillion things that could happen right? I totally get that.

Alright, so let's talk about what do you do with your pump when things are set and done. We actually just released an episode about the anatomy of a pump, and we broke down what's actually, you know, how do pumps work, and the reason we did that is, we had a mom reach out to us and said that she was interested in selling her pump but it was a single-use pump, so I'm like, "oh, we got to go through, and we got to talk about single-use versus multi-use". So Amanda, what would you say to moms out there? What, what can you do with your pump? What should you do with your pump when you're done?

AMANDA GLEN: Ok, so if you think that you might have another child, that you would want to use your pump for, what I would recommend doing is to clean everything that you can, so all of the pump parts, and then I would clean obviously the outside of the pump and everything. Then I would stick all the pump parts into a Ziplock bag, and then I would store all of this at room temperature.

So after my second child, we weren’t sure that we are going to have a third, and I just kind of was home from work on the last that I was pumping and I just put it in our garage and I didn't clean anything because I was like "Oh I probably not going to need that again". So that was not so fun when I had to pull it out for the third, it was pretty gross and I had to throw away all of the pump parts from that one and that was kind of a waste. So, what I recommend doing is, if you think you might use it again, clean everything and then stored at room temperature. If you are done having babies, Medela has a recycling program that you can use so that it doesn't end up sitting in a landfill, and then also I believe HIGEA has a recycling program as well. So if you have a pump from one of those manufacturers you can send it back into them and they'll find a way to recycle it.

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, and moms have you thought about what you're going to do with your pumps afterward when you get all that freedom that we just talked about?

LIZ: I haven't, that hasn't even come across my mind actually.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, Leticia? 

LETICIA: I guess I'm going to miss the pump, I don't know.

SUNNY GAULT: You are going to have separation anxiety from your pump.

LETICIA: I guess! I think I'll just keep mine, but it's great to hear about those recycling programs I was not aware of those. I definitely will utilize those when we're finished.

LIZ: Do they take manual pumps as well as electric pumps?

AMANDA GLEN: That's a good question, I'm not sure about that. I haven't actually, I obviously haven’t sent my back in yet, but yeah, that would be good if they did.

SUNNY GAULT:  Yeah, yeah, I can look into that and see if I can find any information online and I'll post it to the episode page for this, for this episode. So yeah, I love the idea of recycling programs, keep in mind if you do want to donate a friend or something like that it really does need to be a multi-user pump, and it should usually say on there, usually it's the hospital grade ones that are, so odds are that your pump does not fall in that category so you really shouldn't resell it or anything like that, that’s a health issue. But you could certainly keep it for yourself for future babies or maybe a oops baby down the road, who knows? I ended up getting rid of my first pump a little too soon, and I was like "oh I got to get my pump..." and then I’m like "ohh I don’t have my pump anymore..."

So just make sure, my advice is just to make sure that you are truly done with it, there's nothing that says "you got to get rid of it right away" even if you didn't have that great of a relationship with it, you know, like Amanda was saying you can put it somewhere that is room temperature, not focus on it, get your freedom back, and if you need to go back, you can go back. Alright ladies, well thanks so much to everyone for being part of our show today.

If you're a member of The Boob Group Club then be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode. So, many moms are breastfeeding and pumping for their babies, and they are actually doing both is what I meant, so you are breastfeeding and you're pumping, so you are doing both for one child. So does the weaning process look any different for moms who are pumping but maybe aren't exclusively pumping? So, we'll touch on that just a little bit in our bonus content, and if you want more information about our club and how you can get that bonus content you can visit the member’s portion of our website.

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SUNNY GAULT: Ok, we have a question for one of our experts and this comes from Millelie Sanchez, and Millelie writes: "I'm a very excited new mom to be. I am 32 years old, and 15 weeks pregnant with my first child. I'm worried about what my milk production will be like once my baby is born, and I would like to know if there's anything I can do or any supplements that I should consider pre or post-birth to help if this becomes an issue. My mom tells me that with both me and my younger sister she was only able to breastfeed us for about two to three months, and then she would have no more milk at all. My sister just had her first baby about four months ago, she decided to supplement with formula while breastfeeding, and then after three months she also said she stopped producing milk. On my sister's side of things, I don't know if she really tried to find anything at all to help her produce any more milk, or if she just decided that was fine with her and moved on to formula full-time. I'm not one to judge what someone decides to do when it comes to breastfeeding your baby, but I would like to breastfeed for as long as I can, both nursing and by pumping. I would like to be prepared with any information ahead of time, if I see that my milk production is starting to slow down. I hope that all this makes sense, and I hope that this becomes helpful information from many other moms with the same question that I have. Thank you in advance"

HELEN ANDERSON: Hi Millelie, my name is Helen Anderson. I'm a registered nurse and a certified lactation educator, and I’m one of the experts here at New Mommy Media, and I want to thank you for your question. I get a lot of questions about milk supply, and how to increase it once it starts going down, and I really like questions like yours were able to talk about kind of how to safeguard against that happening in the first place.

So, the first thing that you want to do, if you want to have a strong milk supply is to have as natural of a birth as possible. So that means if you're able to let yourself go into labor. So there's no medical reason why you wouldn't, that means that you don't have high blood pressure, you don't have leaking amniotic fluid, any of those other things that would kind of necessitate an induction or a C-section, you are otherwise healthy and you're just kind of going to let your labor start on its own. That helps because that gets your hormones all where they need to be, and so that when you have your baby, your body is ready to make all that breast milk.

So, you want to put your baby to breast as soon as possible after birth, that means that your baby doesn’t have a bath, your baby doesn't have eye drops, all those things can wait, your baby can just be wiped off and get put on your abdomen or at the breast. Your baby just has a diaper on, hopefully, and then your chest is bare and we call that skin to skin contact, and we know the more skin to skin contact, the more likely breastfeeding is going to be successful, and that means that baby is going to latch, the baby is going to start breastfeeding right away, as long as you don't have too many medications or any trauma during the birth experience that's going to keep your baby from breastfeeding right away.

So we want to avoid any pacifiers, your baby's sucking impulse should be satisfied by you, and you want to be sure that you're breastfeeding every three hours or so. It's okay to wake a sleeping baby, to nurse your baby, you want to do breast compression which is where you actually put some pressure on your breast and kind of work the milk down towards the nipple. That helps to empty the breast more thoroughly, and that helps support a strong supply. If you are pumping, do hands-on pumping, which is kind of the same idea where we are going to kind of compress the breast, try to get as much milk out as possible, and so that your body gets the signal to make more milk.

The other thing is you want to try to get enough rest, you want to try to get enough hydration, and you want to really concentrate on breastfeeding, that's really your job, especially in those first weeks. So be sure that you have help with housework and other children if you can. So, thank you so much for your question, good luck, and your baby is lucky to have you as a mama.

SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. Thanks so much for listening to The Boob Group.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
∞ Preggie Pals for expecting parents
∞ Newbies for newly postpartum moms
∞ Parent Savers for moms and dads with infants and toddlers and
∞ Twin Talks for parents with multiples.

This is The Boob Group where moms know breast.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media network? We are expanding our line-up and looking for great content. If you are a business or an organization interested in learning more about our co-branded podcasts, visit our website at

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