Life Lately: Weaning from Pumping & Breastfeeding
This post is one I’ll do every now again about me personally, if it’s not your thing head here for a favorite recipe of mine! 🙂
Lincoln is almost 7 months old. We feel it! He’s so much an extension of who we are it’s like we’ve never not had him. He’s eating three meals a day, big bottles and is already to 50 foods out of our 100 new foods by 1 year! I absolutely love experimenting with his meals and it’s got my creative cooking juices going again. We do a lot of purees but he loves grabbing his food (and purees haha) with his hands and feeding himself that way. He seems to eat even more when he does that! If you want to read about our first 25/100 foods, head here.
Lincoln’s eating and this mama is over pumping
Something weighing on me right now is that I’ve made the hard decision to stop pumping, breastfeeding and transition to formula. Trust me when I say, fed is best but it doesn’t make a transition from breast to bottle easier. I felt so torn on switching so let me do a quick recap of our journey.
In the first few days of life he was non-stop cluster feeding but he rapidly lost a lot of weight. I’m not talking the normal amount. My milk wasn’t coming in, the stress was crazy (hello, nation wide shut down) and we ended up adding some formula. We supplemented for three days (THREE) and I wish I had never worried about that. It helped him get stronger, nurse better, and we went full breastfeeding steam ahead!
Then came returning to work and the pumping. The pump and I have an on again, off again relationship. As Linc grew, so did the amount in his bottles. In a flash he was taking 6, 7 and then 8 ounce bottles and I was pumping and begging my body to become a super supplier. I worked really hard at pumping. Every session I was massaging, trying to meditate, but quickly it was burning me out. I talked with a lactation consultant, I tried different flange sizes, but it wore me out mentally. For a few months now, it has been at the point where if I wasn’t with Lincoln on a weekend we’d have to use what I had in the freezer and there wouldn’t be enough during the week. Finally, I made my way back to supplementing with formula last week.
Making the switch…
Guess how I feel? So much better. He started doing bottles of half formula, half breast milk and the pressure/stress to pump enough milk for him every day dissipated. I am spacing out my pumping and I’ve jumped to two pumps a day with breastfeeding him in the morning. Note, not everyone can jump to this type of weaning and it should always be done gradually to prevent mastitis. I know my body and my breasts pretty well at this point and it just feels right. My plan is to continue a middle of the day pump, wean from my last evening one, continue my morning breastfeed session and eventually/soon stop all together.
I’ll miss so *easily* calming him by offering nursing, but I know he will still reach for me and turn to me for comfort. He is fed, he is well, and we are so lucky we made it as far as we did. People talk a lot about starting breastfeeding, but I wanted to shed light on choosing to stop. It’s emotional and unexpected but good lord I cannot wait to stop hearing my pump rhythmically breathe at me!! 🥴
So that’s a huge change for me and I hope you’ve enjoyed that update 😉 I feel so relieved and truly, it’s only another five months of some formula, breastmilk and then we’ll be done with that phase too! Perspective and letting go of any judgement on myself was key. I hope any mama’s reading this can feel that and not judge themselves for how they’ve fed their little ones. You are the best mom for your little(s).
Anything else going on??
This is a LONG life lately post, but I had to share that journey with you all. Aside from that it is definitely Autumn verging on winter temps, I’m getting back into running which feels great, and my online shopping is reaching an all time high. Hah! Anyone grab their coffee and browse Target online just like they would in the store? Just me?
Tell me, if we were grabbing a beer together (my favorite beverage of choice) or a coffee or anything…what life updates would you share? I’d love to chat with you!