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FINALLY giving up expressing, the end is in sight, but how do I stop?

(16 Posts)
NineUnlikelyTales Mon 06-Aug-07 22:49:06

Firstly..please don't embarrass me by congratulating me on how long I have managed to express for my DS as I was overwhelmed with all the kindness last time and definitely don't deserve it twice

Anyway, I have been exclusively expressing DS for the last 11m and my goal is to get to 12m. Easy peasy, the end is in sight and finally I can get a blooming lie in and go out for the day without taking a suitcase full of equipment! Brilliant.

But can anyone advice me how to cut down and then stop? At the moment I produce about 1.2litres of milk a day in 4 expresses, and if I don't get all the milk out every time I get painful blocked ducts really easily. I am worried that they might turn into mastitis - is this likely? And what is the best thing to try - cut down to 3 expresses, then 2, etc or try and reduce the amount I get each time first?


Sterny if you read this I am not ignoring you - I have big email problems and can't read or send messages ATM. Will be in touch as soon as I can

TheQueenOfQuotes Mon 06-Aug-07 22:51:21

OMG - I'm sorry I HAVE to congratulate you - I didn't know that you'd been expressing that long so am I allowed???

As for cutting down.....sorry can't help

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 06-Aug-07 22:52:45


No idea

Have only BF, and kind of cut down (as with DD at the moment). But have not suffered the blocked duct thing. Even if I spend a whole day without BF, I may leak but that is it

I am not much help really am I?

NineUnlikelyTales Mon 06-Aug-07 22:54:22

Okay so you can congratulate me..No one else though <<stern look>> I would have been a lot happier if I could have BF though. Never mind, hopefully next time.

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 22:56:45

Just my personal opinion...but I would maybe start by reducing the time you express rather than a whole session sounds like you are getting a lot from each session so to cut one out completely might cause problems for you. How long do you express for on each side & each session?

...& cannot possibly ignore your HUGE achievment...I express exclusivly for just over a month & know just how hard it have my utmost admiration

hatwoman Mon 06-Aug-07 22:57:40

I;m with qoq. I didn;t know either and I am in AWE.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 06-Aug-07 23:02:13

Akcherlee yes - I said impressed earlier... AWE sums it so much better

We really aren't helping are we?

NineUnlikelyTales Tue 07-Aug-07 11:23:07

Terramum I will give your suggestion a go, but it is difficult because I know that if I don't remove even the last 10ml from the breast last thing at night, I wake up with blocked ducts

At the moment I express for about 20-25 minutes a time with a double pump.

8am I get 200ml from each breast
2pm 140 each
7pm 120 each
10pm 100 each

BTW the reason I mentioned the length of servive as it were, was in case the length of time I had been doing it impacted on the way I should stop IYSWIM

prettybird Tue 07-Aug-07 11:28:26

Are they blocked or are you just feeling full?

I had mastitis and near mastitis a couple of times while I was breastfeeding (and once long before I was ever pregnant - wierd! ), so I can understadn why you are wanting to avoid it.

Why not try one apporach one day - eg reducing the time yuo express (ie stopping befire your boob is "empty") and the aother apporach the next day - dropping one of the expressing sessions totally. See which of the apporaches makes you feel least uncomfortable.

terramum Tue 07-Aug-07 11:29:34

I'm not sure if the length of time you have been pumping would affect things....maybe call al the helplines & see if you can find a BFC with good pumping knowledge to help you?

awayfromhome Tue 07-Aug-07 11:38:31

NineUnlikelyTales - another well done from me I expressed exclusively until my ds was 6 months, I used to get about 900 mls with 4 expressings.

I found that cutting down one express at a time and also reducing the copious amounts of water I was drinking did the trick. I was uncomfortable for a few days, but it was really quite amazing how quickly my supply then diminished, by the time I was down to 1 express I was only getting about 100mls! I did this over a period of 2-3 weeks.

I didn't reduce the amount of time I was expressing, I just expressed each time until there wasn't any milk - but had no blocked ducts or any other problems. Hope it goes well for you

NineUnlikelyTales Tue 07-Aug-07 13:15:46

Prettybird they are definitely blocked as they get very painful and I have to do the whole hot flannel/massage like a loon thing, and I can feel the lump still there even when no milk will come out. I think your suggestion of trying both approaches is a good one.

Awayfromhome it is good to hear how you managed to stop (well done yourself BTW). I was expecting it to take at least 2-3 weeks so that is encouraging.

There are loads of women I know here and in RL who are/have been exclusively expressing and it makes me so that almost all of us had terrible 'help' from the professionals which meant that instead of BF we ended up chained to a machine. I have admiration for anyone who manages it even for a week with a newborn.

Sterny Tue 07-Aug-07 19:11:05


Sorry it's taken me a while to see your thread Nine. Am staying at my Mum's for a bit and don't have such easy access to the computer.

The way I stopped expressing was to cut down the number of times I expressed very gradually and also I didn't express for quite as long. I was helped by the fact that I gave back the pump that the hospital had loaned me and my crappy hand one was very tedious. Basically, I just used to express a bit to make myself comfortable but not totally empty myself out. I had had terrible problems with blocked ducts in the past but managed to stop expressing without any problems.

You have done so well. Well done you.

Hope to hear from you when you get your email sorted

Shivs1974 Tue 07-Aug-07 20:00:18

Congratulations too. I exclusively expressed for dd1 for a year so I know how time consuming, tiring, boring it can be. I bet you can't wait to put your pump away.

I did what Sterny suggested - but it also "helped" that I was pregnant and was struggling to express enough milk without increasing the number of times I pumped.

I decreased it down over a 2-3 wk period.

Well done - you've done a fantastic job.

ib Tue 07-Aug-07 20:09:06

Cabbage leaves? They were miraculous on my blocked ducts.

I was told sage tea dries up your milk but haven't tried it,

(ib puts away her congratulations but mutters things about awe under her breath)

NineUnlikelyTales Wed 08-Aug-07 21:23:29

Shivs1974 you said it - boring, time consuming etc. I coud happily stamp on my machine and grind it into 1000 pieces

OK so I followed the advice given below and dropped the daytime express today. So far so good, no blockages yet. I feel strange about it though because I have spent so long trying to keep my milk production up that I feel like I should be doing something to compensate! I'm sure I'll get over it though. I can't wait to go out tomorrow without my machine..

ib I will try the cabbage leaves if I have problems.

Thanks all for your suggestions and kind words

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