The Ups and Downs of Weaning from Pumping At Work

adjusting the freemie
Image via Mindi Stavish

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. 

{ MORE: You Want Your Breastmilk Confiscated? Go Ahead and Pump on the Plane }

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. 

{ MORE: The Best New Breast Pumps and Accessories This Spring }

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?  

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The Ups and Downs of Weaning from Pumping At Work

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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