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How to stop using a breast pump

Sometimes, it is more convenient to bottle feed your baby breastmilk. This may be due to poor latch on, nipple soreness or work commitments. By using a manual or electric breastfeeding pump, you can express the milk from your breasts and store it ready for your hungry baby to drink.

After a certain period of expressing milk, you may decide to go back to the normal skin-to-skin method of breastfeeding. Or, begin introducing solid foods, reducing the amount of milk needed.

RELATED: How do I store expressed breastmilk?

How to stop using a breastfeeding pump

  • Start by dropping one pumping session at a time, every 3-7 days. This allows for your body to catch up with you and steadily slows down milk production.
  • Gradually decrease the pumping time of each session, by 2 minutes, every other day  For example, if you normally pump for 20 minutes at each nursing session, then on days 1&2 pump for 18 minutes and on days 3&4 pump for 16 minutes and so on.

RELATED: Breastfeeding tips and tricks from NUH

  • Begin to increase the length of time between pumping sessions. This will eventually decrease the number of pumping sessions. For example, if you normally pump every 3 hours, try pumping every 3.5 hours on days 1-3, every 4 hours on days 4-6 and so on.

It is a steady process to stop using a breastfeeding pump. If you are unable to breastfeed your baby but they are still following a milk diet, or, if you are beginning to introduce solid foods and hoping to stop milk feeding altogether, then you may think about supplementing with a formula.

In all cases, you should make contact with your health professional. They can assess your case on an individual basis and make sure your baby has an adequate diet and plenty of nutrition during this transition period.

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