Monday was the last day I plan to ever use my breastpump. I remember my final pumping session vividly: we were moving into our new house, and I crouched on the floor in my dining room, hiding from the movers. Of course, it didn’t work and I still got caught. Oh well!
My mother keeps asking me what I’m going to do about stopping pumping. “You’re just stopping cold turkey??” And she’s right–as with any weaning, it’s better to work gradually to avoid both engorgement and potential complications like mastitis or clogged ducts.
What I’ve done is eliminate one pumping session at a time throughout the work day. I chose a very slow weaning time, so I eliminated one session per month leading up to the time I planned to stop pumping altogether. My son agrees to eat a lot of solids and drink a lot of water, so I don’t worry too much about his nutrition or hydration needs while we are separated.
This gave my body plenty of time to adjust, and so now, I’ve been down to just one pump per day. (Gosh, I can’t imagine how I was making it through 3 pumps per day! How exhausting that was…)
Today is my first work day without pumping and, while I feel a little full, I’m not super uncomfortable and I’m probably not going to pull out the pump. I do have it with me just in case, but I think I’m going to switch to a manual just-in-case pump, since my only real objective is avoiding engorgement and discomfort. Why lug a whole pump and cooler around if I’m just looking to take the edge off?
I want to point out that weaning from pumping during the work day does not have to mean weaning from nursing. I plan to nurse my son as long as he’d like…even if I wish he’d like it a little bit less at night.
Nursing is definitely not an all or nothing endeavor, so I know my body will continue to make milk for my baby in the mornings and evenings as long as he continues to stimulate production by nursing.
Did you wean from pumping when you met your milestone? Leave us a comment to share your experience!