Monday, July 14, 2014

Weaning from the Pump and Other Breastfeeding Thoughts

Patsy is now 10 months old. WOW. It is now time for me to think about weaning from the pump, or at least start decreasing my daily sessions. My work has been really supportive throughout my pumping journey. We have a special "wellness room" where I've been able to go several times a day, every day for the past several months. I have a chair to relax in, internet connectivity, personal mini fridge, and privacy. My job is very deadline-based and I'm a salaried employee. Therefore, as long as I get my work done on time, it doesn't really matter how I do it. Considering I'm in a male-dominated industry, major props to my employer for making this a comfortable environment for a working and nursing mother.

Back when I went back to work when she was only 4 months old, pumping every day for her was a huge chore. I got up early to pump before I got ready for work. I then would pump 4 times during my normal 11 hour day away from Patsy (1.5 hour commute each way, 8 hour work day).
Storing my pump parts in the fridge between sessions. Crucial time saver. And I'm lazy.

As she started solid foods, 5 times went to 4. I was still waking up early, but dropped one of my work day sessions. Then, I enjoyed my sleep a little too much and started sleeping through my morning session so we were down to 3. After the most recent power outage, I realized how much milk I really had in our freezer. (I had to transport it to another freezer until our power was restored. Crisis averted.) And now we're down to 2 sessions per day.

Freezer stash filling up an entire cooler. Holy crap.

I've been looking forward to ending my pumping journey for months. Looking forward to that one year mark where I could stop pumping on a regular basis. I never expected to feel sad about the fact that as we approach her first birthday, she is less dependent upon me for her nourishment. I was her only food source for 6 months of her life. That is kind of crazy to think about! I still plan on breastfeeding beyond a year, in the mornings and evenings. My justification for it is that she has zero plans on stopping any time soon. She really loves nursing. Also, I'm away from her for most of the day, most of the week. I think she nurses for comfort at home as she misses me while I'm gone. I really want to enjoy the time where she smiles when she sees me walk through the door, smiles as she looks up at me while she's nursing, and gets so excited she jumps for joy when I walk into the room. And just enjoy this time while she is still a baby, as I know she won't be a baby forever. And I mean, let's be real folks... who could deny this face.

I still haven't quite gotten the balls to post a breastfeeding selfie on social media, or here. Major props to MichelleMeghan, Jen and Ashley who keep it real about their own breastfeeding journeys on their blogs. Breastfeeding is definitely an adventure, but one that I felt has been worth taking. :)

If you stumbled across this page and you're looking to end your own pumping journey, check out this great resource.


  1. My office has a "mother's room" for pumping, and apparently you need to get special access to it through HR because they once found a guy (I assume an employee) sleeping in there.

  2. Interesting. We have a problem with people taking naps in the room too, or using it as a "pow-wow" space for private conversations. I have no issues with knocking on the door, saying that I need to use the space.

  3. Thanks for sharing, it helps to read others' experiences!! Pumping so many times a day is exhausting and breasfeeding in general is much more of a commitment then I had expected it to be. That said, I think it is 100% worth all of the struggles (pumping, soreness, fussy baby etc)! The bond I have with my daughter that we developed through nursing is SO amazing!!

  4. I love this post, and your honesty. I am currently torn over whether or not to pump at work when I go back to school. I was only able to pump once anyway with my schedule, and it was in my classroom, in the dark, blah blah blah (btw, SO jealous of your accommodations)! But I definitely want to continue nursing when home, as long as she wants me to. If that's for another month, 6 months, one year - I'm right there with you - I just love that time together! :)

    And, SUPER cute Patsy pic!

  5. I agree! I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world! I really cherish the time we spend together and I'm grateful for the bond we have made through our nursing relationship. :)

  6. Thanks Meghan! I know the feeling. After not pumping for so many months, I'm sure it would not be fun to have to go back to it. Thankfully Layla's one year mark isn't too far into the school year. And if you do decide to pump, hopefully you'll be able to build up a little bit of a stash this summer by the time you go back to work. I'm sure you'll find what works best for you and Layla!

    Thanks! BTW LOVED the crawling video of your little girl on IG. She's getting so big!

  7. Michelle @ Crazy Running LegsJuly 18, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Woo-hoo on starting to wean from the pump! It took me about a month longer than I thought it would and I WAS a little sad when I stopped (I'm pretty sure that has more to do with being my last baby than the actual act of pumping, which is just horrible). I'm still BFing a few times a day and I'm happy to keep that going for a while :)

    Congrats on making it mama -- it's a HUGE accomplishment!

    PS - Patsy is SOOOOO cute!

  8. Thanks Michelle! Yeah, the act of pumping is pretty much the worst, but nursing is pretty much the best! (I know know how moms can exclusively pump. Now THAT is dedication!) Patsy can't wait to meet her pal E in October! :)

  9. "wellness room", i like that. at my office, the ladies affectionately dumbed ours "the barn" {moooo!} which i sort of hated but they were so sweet to set it up while i was on leave so i guess the name stays.
    pumping is no fun and it'll be awesome to wean from it, but in the mean time, i'm very grateful to still have this special time nursing my little guy. i love all your tips and advice - spot on and super beneficial to any new mothers who may want to breastfeed.

  10. Thanks Lucinda! Nursing is what makes the pumping all worthwhile!