The End of a Pumping Journey

It has been a little while since I have written about my breast feeding experience with William. We have reached the year mark. That had always been my goal to breast feed William through his 1st birthday. That goal has been accomplished! Such a big milestone and I am so excited and proud of both of us. 

Photo credit: Karre Ann Photography from William's 12 month photo session.

Photo credit: Karre Ann Photography from William's 12 month photo session.

I started pumping when my milk came in (so the first week of life with William). I know that my lactation consultant that I met with in the hospital said I didn't need to do that, but I was so uncomfortable. When my milk came it the only thing that helped was pumping. Then I would just pump randomly 1-2 times a day over maternity leave to comfort. I would freeze the milk and plan to use that for when I went back to work. 

I ended up having an over supply of breastmilk, but honestly, I was fine with that. I really wanted William to only have breastmilk so that was a "problem" that I was fine with. If you haven't read through my first breast feeding post - CLICK HERE and check it out. I wrote about breast feeding as being a choice and a gift that I wanted to give my child. I am not here to judge, you as a mother, if you breast feed or not. Each mother and child has to decide what will work for them. For myself and William, I wanted to breast feed and that meant also pumping. 

Lots of mothers that I have spoken with hate pumping. They loathe it and it is something they dislike. I tried really hard to look at it has a choice and again, something that I was doing for my child. I wanted to give my child that gift of my breastmilk and when going back to work I knew that meant having to pump. 

At the beginning, I went back to work when William was just turning 8 weeks old. I pumped 3 times during the work day. I also had a 45 minute drive to/from work. Then I would breast feed him throughout the night, in the morning before going to daycare, he would go with 3 bottles and then I would breast feeding twice before bed. William also would get up to eat throughout the night until 6-7 months of age. I was pumping/breastfeeding 8 times a day for about 6 months. Then I started pumping only 2 times at work and continued to do that until William was 12 months old. I wanted to make sure to keep up my supply. Again, I probably didn't have to do that, but I had more than enough milk and it was something I was happy to do. 

Well now I have reached the end of my pumping at work journey. This week I stopped pumping at work. I had decreased pumping at work to only once a day after William turned one. Then after talking with one of our MD/Lactation Consultants I understood that I needed to let that go. There was no NEED to keep pumping at work. I am still breast feeding William in the morning and at night before bed. He enjoys that and it works for us. 

This week I stopped carrying my pump to work. I have a beautiful Sarah Wells Pumping bag that I love and served me well for the last year. It is hard to believe that this part is finally over. I never loved pumping, but I didn't hate it. It was something that I knew I had to do and I made the best of it. Now that it is done, it is bittersweet. I love being able to wear clothes to where I don't have to think about being able to get to my boobs. Today I wore a cute dress and it was awesome. I haven't been able to do that in a year. But at the same time, this change means my baby is no longer a baby, but a toddler. 

I know that I will be able to continue to breast feed for as long as William is interested. That is a blessing and I am fine with that. I just wanted to share about my pumping/breast feeding journey. I know that lots of times you just hear the terrifying stories or people complaining. I wanted to share with you a positive story that came to a happy end. 

If you want any more information about breast feeding and why breastmilk is the best thing for your baby, check out this blog post on The Powers of Breastmilk that I put together earlier in 2017. If you have any other questions, feel free to message me and I would love to help you out or put you in touch with someone who can answer your question.