from the blog.

Hanging Up the Pump

We made it!

I did it, a full year of providing my son with breastmilk, even as a working mother, and I’ve officially weaned from the pump. Well, I weaned a couple months ago but I’m just now writing about it. O is over a year now and we’re nursing on demand while I’m at home. I’m sending the remainder of my frozen stash with him during the day. Some days, he doesn’t take any milk at all. He’s a busy boy now. I thought I would do a little update to my post on pumping numbers that I wrote for World Breastfeeding Week last year.

So, here’s my update in all its geekish glory.

167 pumping days from April 1, 2015 to January 6th, 2016.

Total time spent: 181 hours and 55 minutesMinutes Spent Pumping Per Month

Total ounces pumped: 1,951.5

Total number of sessions: 395Total Sessions per Month

I have a spreadsheet; I also have graphs. Pumping was something I took very seriously. It was very strange to not pack my pump, wash the bottles, the parts, take those breaks at work every day. It was hard to not record the ounces, to see the work I was putting in for my baby toddler while I was away from him. It was a really emotionally charged few weeks. On one hand I was glad to not be chained to the pump; on the other…I was releasing some of the control. I was no longer monitoring what he was getting every day. I loved having something tangible to assure me I was doing enough.

I really liked looking at how my supply changed to meet the demand. As I pumped less often, I got more per session but not really more per day. I have a small storage capacity. Pumping (and nursing) often is the best recipe for me. Sure, there are pills I can take, cookies I can eat, but no amount of galactogogues can make up for creating the demand.

I had to break out my pump again for a bout of mastitis (which is another post all together), and it was really hard for me to not panic at the measly 2 oz I pumped in place of the 4 oz, 5 oz, or even 6 oz I was used to getting before. But I had to remember, my body is changing. O is changing, and his needs are changing, so the numbers don’t matter as much as feeding him does.

And feed him, I do. I would say he still nurses as much as he always has. The minute I pick him up, he furiously signs “milk” and tugs at my shirt. It’s our time to reconnect after being apart all day. He nurses before dinner, before bed, while we fall asleep, several times overnight, and again in the morning. I was so worried we wouldn’t make it this far, but now there’s no end in sight. We’ll wean when we’re ready. For now, we nurse.

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