How to Wean Off of Pumping

Pumping is a great way to provide breast milk for your baby. However, weaning can be difficult and exhausting. There are many ways to wean off of pumping so that you can spend more quality time with your baby or work on other things in life. This article discusses how to get started with the process of weaning off of pumping, including some helpful tips!

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How do I wean from the pump?

The weaning process from the breast pump is somewhat different when it comes to reducing pumping sessions. There are a variety of ways on how to wean off of pumping.

  • Stop pumping cold turkey
  • Dropping one pumping session at a time
  • Going longer in between pumping sessions
  • Shortening the length of time that you are pumping

Keep in mind that:

If you wean from the breast pump too fast, you are at risk of clogged ducts, engorgement, and even mastitis. It’s important to take your time until you are ready to stop completely.

How to Wean Off of Pumping

6 Steps for weaning off of the pump

1. Stop the use of supplements that boost your milk supply

If you are taking any supplements to boost your supply, it’s important to stop if you are wanting to decrease your breast milk at this time. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider whenever you are changing your diet or supplements.

2. Gradually cut back on the time spent pumping until you can go without it entirely

Shorten your pumping sessions by about 5 minutes every week. If you normally pump for 20 minutes, reduce it to 15 minutes, and then next week reduce it to 10 minutes. Continue to do this until you can drop that pumping session.

3. Remove the evening pumping sessions first

Your milk supply is at its highest in the morning. Cutting out the evening pumping sessions first will result in less discomfort.

Pumping for shorter periods of time may make it easier to wean off completely from the pump.

4. Go longer in between pumping sessions

Lengthen the amount of time in between pumping sessions. Make sure not to push it too far to avoid engorgement.

Decreasing the time between pumping sessions gradually can help your body adjust.

Continue going longer in between pumping sessions until you are comfortable with stopping all together. This is a great way on how to wean off of pumping!

5. Remember that some moms will need to pump for longer than others

If this is you, don’t worry! You’ll get there eventually.¬†Every breastfeeding mom has a different supply so it will take some people longer to wean than others. Just focus on taking it slowly so your body can adjust.

6. Keep an eye out for signs of mastitis

Make sure to take care of yourself and unclog any milk ducts if they occur. Taking sunflower lecithin can help prevent clogs at this time too. If you are unable to treat the clogged duct or mastitis on your own be sure to talk to your doctor to help get treatment.

How long does it take to wean from the breast pump?

Weaning from a breast pump can take longer than weaning from breastfeeding. When your baby is breastfeeding, they will naturally get distracted and take in less milk when they are eating solid foods.

Weaning from the pump is different because your pump will have the same output in the length of time you pump. It doesn’t change no matter how much food your baby eats or how distracted they get.

The time that it takes for you to wean from the pump will vary from person to person. If you exclusively pump, it could take a little longer. Some moms will be able to wean from the pump in just a few weeks, while others may take longer. If you feel like it takes too much time and effort to wean off of pumping consider using cabbage leaves or No Flow Tea.

How to Wean Off of Pumping

How to prevent clogged ducts and mastitis when weaning from a pump?

By not weaning too quickly will help you prevent clogged ducts and mastitis. You can also try wearing a loose-fitting bra, slowly weaning from the pump, and taking sunflower lecithin.

If you are prone to getting clogs then I would steer clear of going cold turkey. If you stop pumping breast milk too quickly, odds are you will get a clogged duct.

Focus on gradually decreasing the time you are pumping and you can drop pumping sessions every few days.How to Wean Off of Pumping

It’s important to unclog any milk ducts that may form and to seek medical attention if the clogged ducts don’t go away or you develop mastitis or flu-like symptoms.

If you are having trouble weaning from a pump on your own, be sure to ask for help from a board-certified lactation consultant or your health care provider for professional medical advice. They will be more than happy to help you with the process!

What is the fastest way to wean off pumping?

To speed up the process, try shorting the time that you pump and gradually increase the time that you go between pumping sessions. By doing both instead of one strategy, it will speed up the process!

Dropping one session at a time every few days will also help speed things up.

How can I dry up my milk without getting mastitis?

You can use chilled cabbage leaves in your bra to help dry up your milk. As well as drinking No Flow Tea. The tea has herbs like sage and peppermint that are known to decrease milk production.


Final Thoughts

The weaning process from pumping can be difficult, but it’s definitely possible! Just take it slowly and be patient with your body. be rest assured that you will fully wean from pumping very soon. There are many ways to gradually decrease milk production, so find what works best for you and stick with it. If you run into any problems on how to wean off pumping, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your health care provider.

Be sure to read Best Organic Baby Formulas for Breastfed Babies and Best Sippy Cups for Breastfed Babies

This post is for informational and educational purposes only and should never replace professional medical advice.

About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.