Stopping Pumping at the First Birthday

My baby turns one in a few weeks. I have no intention of stopping nursing–I hope he nurses for at least another year! But…I can’t wait to stop pumping for him while I work. I don’t work very much, about 10 hours per week, and he’s doing pretty well on solid foods. Heck, most of my work stints are short enough he should technically be ok without any milk.

But my little guy still likes to nurse every two hours and, well, I’m not going to pump any more once he turns one. I’m actually kind of excited to offer him solid food and other milk for the brief times we are separated, because I just do not want to have to think about pumping and storing and cooling and carrying around my milking equipment.

This week, for instance, I have a meeting to attend in the evening. It’s maddening for me to try to plan this outing around a nursing session. Of course, I know this is what I signed up for when I began my nursing relationship. I know it’s such a brief period in my child’s life and even in my life. Even if it seems like it’s lasting forever!

But, darn it, once he’s old enough to consume other things, I am really looking forward to just scheduling my meeting for a time of day rather than trying to find someone who can be flexible enough to meet “after Felix nurses.”

This is true of recreational activities as well. I’ve been training for a half-marathon, and I can’t schedule my long runs on weekends. Since I’ll be gone more than two hours for my longest training run (I am not a fast runner), I need to either rely on some pumped milk for him OR wait until Felix is ready to nurse, nurse him, and then immediately sprint out the door so I can make sure I am back in time for his next feeding.

I just think being able to rely on some other whole milk will alleviate some of the pressure I’ve been feeling to either stick close by him or schlepp pumping luggage.

I am also sort of fantasizing about smashing my pump, Office Space style, once I am done using it. And then putting the components in the recycling bin! I can only imagine the feelings mothers must have when they finish pumping for their full-time jobs if I’m feeling this way about my part-time pumping.

It’s also a wee bit sad for me to think about my baby getting old enough to go longer between feedings, eat food, and drink other liquids. How dare he grow up while I’m trying to appreciate his cute, little baby face? For now, though, the feelings of excitement about stopping pumping overpower the feelings of nostalgia. We’ll see how I am once he actually has a birthday!

How long did you wait before you stopped pumping for your baby? Share your story with us in the comments.

1 comment to Stopping Pumping at the First Birthday

  • I can really appreciate your mixed feelings on the end of pumping. As you have seen with your baby, breastfeeding is not just about the glorious mothers’ milk. It’s really maybe even more about the “breastfeeding relationship” you allude to. Of course baby needs the milk. Even more, baby needs the mom. Our society offers us so many temptations to separate and go for the feel-good rewards of “independence.” But then, as breastfeeding mommies, we can feel conflicted and maybe even self-betrayed when we realize we have forgone the feel-good rewards of real connection in this incredible relationship–which, as you say, does come to a definite end one day…to take a different form. Sometimes later, we wonder what the grand rush was all about, anyway….

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