Signup for our newsletter to receive pregnancy, parenting and child health updates.

ask an expert

Should I continue to supplement on weekends?

I recently had to start my 9 month old in daycare and prior to that he was exclusively breast fed and eating solids. I only have a single hand pump so I decided to let him have formula at daycare, but I want to continue breastfeeding him at night and in the morning.

My question is about the weekends. I have been continuing to give him breast milk all day on the weekends but I'm worried that I am confusing my body. During the day on weekdays my breasts are very full and then on the weekends it's hard to have enough for him.

Is it ok to continue doing this, or should I switch to giving him formula on the weekends as well? I don't want to get a clogged duct or anything from changing the schedule so often.


Christine Tracy | Other Provider

Christine Tracy

Good for you for nursing your baby and providing the very best for the both of you. 

I understand your concern and your dilemma. Naturally, your breasts respond to the weekend nursings with an increase in milk during the first few days of the week. If it's at all possible, use your hand pump while you are at work to empty some of your milk. 

Even if you do not have enough break time to empty them completely, just pumping a little will be beneficial. Fresh pumped milk can sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours, so I offer you this short-cut:  Set up your pump in a safe, private, convenient place at work.  When you are near it, pump for a few minutes. Leave the pump and milk there. In a few hours, pump again. Then put your milk in the refrigerator or in a cooler with freezer packs to take home with you. Resume breastfeeding at home as usual. Your body will adjust to your routine and the little bit of convenient pumping will minimize any discomfort that may happen from fullness.

It is okay to continue your current routine, but add a little pumping if needed to alleviate the weekday fullness. I am glad you are enjoying breastfeeding and the uniquely special "together time" you and your baby share.

Read more answers by Christine Tracy