This week we hit another mommy milestone. I stopped pumping.
And at first I thought the world was going to end. But it didn’t.
I had been going back and forth for weeks torn about whether or not to stop. I finally made was able to make up my mind and decided to stop pumping in the middle of the week. There were a couple of things that helped me in making that decision to pull the plug on pumping, and I will be sharing with you today.
Transition to Solid Foods
She has been starting to depend more on food and less on milk. She is down to about 3-4 bottles a day, and she is drinking formula as well. Because she is eating foods, it seems as if my body can tell that she no longer needs as much milk.
I was never able to produce a whole lot during a pumping session (even with my other kids); I would only come up with 3-4oz for a 18-20 min session. But just within the last week or two, it has dropped drastically and now I’m only getting about 1-2oz a session.
Even though I had a small freezer stash left, pumping so little was becoming discouraging, realizing that I would need to pump 3 times a day to even make one bottle for her. I was already down to only pumping once during an 8 hour shift and it was taking me so much effort to produce such little amounts.
Interrupting my work flow
Work has been extremely busy lately. We have our annual convention coming up so this time of year is always the busiest for me. Sometimes it can be a real hassle to stop what I’m doing to pump, and it would throw my whole day off. It got to the point where I had to set an alarm to pump, otherwise I would forget.
Having to set an alarm to pump meant another thing: my body was able to go through longer periods of time without noticing that I needed to let anything out. I used to have the urge to pump because I would feel very heavy. But within the last month or so, I no longer felt uncomfortable or heaviness as 12, 1, and 2pm rolled around. Because Keira was now (for the most part) sleeping through the night without a feed, my body was already adjusted to these longer periods without a feed/pump session.
Who wants to be a bag lady?
I was exhausted from being a bag lady. Lugging my huge bag (these pumps are so heavy) along with my purse and my lunch box every day to work was a chore in itself. People would sometimes ask me, “Geez, what do you have in there” and my reply would be “Mom stuff”. Not having to worry about taking it everywhere for the past few days is nice–and it’s one less bag to pack at night, and one less bag to lug to the car in the morning rush.
My husband and I ALSO don’t have to wash extra breast pump parts with the bottles. It’s just one less thing to do at night after a long day of work.
All of last year I was able to use a spare office to pump. It was a spacious corner office, with a desk and a nice executive chair. But earlier this year, we hired someone that is now in that office. And the only room left was our storage room.
Our storage room is a very narrow cold space. I am glad I had a room to be in, but I dreaded going in it. The chair wasn’t the best, and there was no table to put my things. I propped my pump on a bunch of stacked boxes. We came up with a system to notify people when I was using that room (post it on the door), so they wouldn’t come in, but it still felt weird being in there knowing that others had the key to that room.
I’m breaking up with my pump
I loved my pump for what it allowed me to do (especially in the first few months), which was provide nourishment for my child. It was great for what I needed to do — but I personally am over pumping. Sure, I could use the 15-20 minutes of catching up on a show or watching part of a movie, but I am simply over it. It’s like that point in pregnancy (around 6 or 7 months) where you are completely done and want nothing more but to NOT be pregnant anymore.
In a matter of days, I can say that saying goodbye to the pump has been a bit of a weight lifted off of my shoulders! I can honestly say having one less “mom thing” to worry about on a daily basis can make a huge difference!
The journey continues
It’s bitter sweet because although I’ll still continue to breastfeed her, I know that our breast feeding journey is nearing its end by saying goodbye to the pump. And it’s just a constant reminder of how big she is getting.
I didn’t get to breast feed this long with my other two, with AJ it was 3 months and with Mila I completely dried up at around 7 months. So I am glad that we made it this far and I cherish the little moments that we share.
My goal is continue until 1 year and I’m 2 months away from hitting it, so I have every intention to reach it. But I also know that with breastfeeding down to 2-3x a day, I’m not sure how long my milk supply will last. I hope it will continue for a little but longer. Until then, I’ll embrace the extra cuddles I get with her and the smiles I get when she looks up at me.
If you are still on the pump and are thinking about stopping, I hope that this post helped you. At the end of the day, listen to YOUR wants and what your body needs. What about you other mama’s out there? How was your transition and how long did you pump and breastfeed? Comment below and please share this post! <3
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