The Ups and Downs of Weaning from Pumping At Work
Happy Worldwide Breastfeeding week! It seems a bit ironic that I'm writing about weaning from pumping on this week, but it's part of the breastfeeding journey for many nursing moms.
Around Ryker's first birthday, I began slowly weaning from pumping while at work. This is the one and only milestone I look forward to during the first year of life. Let’s face it, pumping at work is not fun! It’s uncomfortable, takes a lot of time out of your work day, and is often the cause of plugged ducts (for me). So how come I feel so gosh darn sad now that I am almost fully weaned from pumping? The first week was super hard. Other than being uncomfortable from full breasts, I experienced extreme emotional ups and even worse downs. One minute I was feeling happy and engaged at work, the next minute I would want to burst into tears and go home to snuggle with my baby boy.
If it had been my first time going through weaning from pumping, I would be super concerned about the crazy emotions. Yet, I knew from experience that is just how my body reacts to the huge change. When I weaned from the pump with my first baby at 10 months, I struggled with feelings of sadness for just a few days. Around one year, he completely self-weaned from nursing. It was much different with my second son. Right after his first birthday, I weaned from pumping, but we continued our nursing relationship well past his second year of life. It was actually a long process to wean him from his bedtime nursing session, especially after his baby brother was born.
My feelings of sadness lasted about two weeks this time. Just as I was about to make an appointment with my OB to talk about it, I started feeling more normal. I'm about a month out from weaning off the pump and happily continuing to nurse Ryker. Perhaps why I feel so down during this adjustment period is that pumping at work is the way I can connect with my baby while I’m at work each and every day. Without pumping, it’s just another straight eight hours being away from him. I've been a working mom my entire motherhood career, yet at every major transition in my children’s life, I struggle with all the moments I am missing. Surely it gets easier, right?
How did you handle the emotions of weaning from pumping or nursing?