When the time came for me to wean my twosome, the challenge was twofold: emotional and physical. There were the regular ups and down of leaving behind their infancy and their total dependence on me, and at times I was weepy and sad. But what was even harder was figuring out how to wean. There is lots of information out there for dropping nursing sessions, but that wasn’t really my issue. From 4 months on, I had been exclusively pumping for my son (who just up and quit nursing seemingly overnight), and nursing my daughter or pumping bottles for her too. Needless to say, I was a pumping pro, and my body was accustomed to producing a certain amount of milk EVERY DAY. Some day, someone might google “weaning from pump,” so I thought I would share my experience, in the hopes that it might help another mom. Here are my notes I kept for that very purpose:
Week 1:3 bottles breastmilk, 1 sippy cup of breastmilk
Week 2:3 bottles of breastmilk, 1 cup of whole milk; replace afternoon bottle with whole milk, drop afternoon pumping
Week 2, Day 3: develop ENORMOUS baseball sized plugged duct. Massage, hot compresses, pump. Up at 4 am, massage, hot compresses, pump. Dislodge plug. Lesson learned. Dropping the afternoon pumping was too drastic.
Week 2, Day 4: pump in morning, pump for 5 minutes in afternoon, pump at night. See decrease in supply.
Week 2, Day 5: pump in morning and evening, see decrease in supply.
Week 3:Kids are on 2 bottle of breastmilk, 2 cups of whole milk
Feeling anxious, nervous, guilty, unsure; Confusing in my mind to go from doing everything possible to make as much milk as possible to seeing the amount being pumped go down and down…stopping the pump before 3rd letdown…recognizing that the amt of food I desire is decreasing. Does seem lovely and natural to no longer be pumping in afternoon
Haven’t nursed Faith in days…feeling okay about that…our memorable last nursing was a Saturday morning…she was being sweet, drank her fill and then started playing…have occasionally offered to her, but she isn’t interested…
Mother’s Day is tomorrow…feeling weepy and sentimental, wondering if I nursed F for the last time…
Week 4:Feeling content, relieved, not too guilty, proud of our year. Gradually decreasing amount of time pumping in morning and evening. Kids are on 1 bottle of breastmilk, 3 cups of whole milk.
Had a revelation in Target…they finished their sippy cups of milk, and I realized that I could BUY them more milk! I didn’t need to rush home, or worry, or plan 20 steps ahead…very freeing! Amount of milk in my breasts decreasing…no issues of discomfort…
Week 5: Once I had completely weaned from pumping and nursing Faith, I went three days with out pumping/nursing and my breasts gradually filled up with milk to the point that I was quite uncomfortable. However, I rode it out, and the discomfort only lasted two days, and then I dried up quite quickly.
Becoming a pump free family has been a very nice change for us. It was time, and I am grateful that it worked for us to give the kids breastmilk for a year. I am thankful to have my body back, but I was very disheartened to see my DD+ shrink to barely a B in one month. I also have had some issues with weight gain. I really tried to cut back on my calories, and become more aware of my intake, but within days of totally weaning, I had gained NINE pounds. Several of those pounds came back of, and it may be more related to having PCOS, but it was very discouraging and made me want to hook my self back up to my milking machine!