On March 1st, I decided to reduce my number of pumps from 4 to 3, officially starting the weaning process. Meaning that I’m pumping less to produce less milk on purpose.

It feels weird. I mean, for the last 4.5 months, my life has been about increasing and/or maintaining my milk supply. Now, all of a sudden I have to change my mindset and pretty much reverse all the hard work I have put in.

It’s bitter sweet, to say the least.

I’m very excited to be done with it. It takes up at least 2 hours of my day, and for some reason I often need to pump at the most inopportune times (when I was pumping 4 times a day, I had to do it at 5:30 – making dinner later and eating into our evening). Also, it’s getting harder and harder to pump while I’m alone with Evan because he’s getting so active and is hard to entertain him for 30 minutes while attached to the pump.

That being said, I’m sad that I won’t be giving Evan breast milk for very much longer. In fact, this week we’ve had to start supplementing with formula. We had given him some before, but that was more to make sure he would take it than anything. But, now it’s a must, and we had to buy our first formula yesterday (we had some free samples before).

I’m not sure how long it will take me to wean. I plan on going down to two pumps on April 1st. At that point, I’ll only be pumping in the morning before DH goes to work, and then before bed, so I might end up staying at two for a while since it will be relatively easy. That way, Evan can get at least some breast milk past 6 months.

So, I didn’t really fulfill my resolution to pump exclusively until 6 months, but I will pump for sure until then and probably after. Nothing to feel guilty about!

It’s funny how I can feel this way about something I hated doing for so long! I am proud of myself for sticking with it, even though it was/is a giant pain in the ass.


Comments on: "Weaning" (6)

  1. You did a great job so far Alyssa! Be proud of all the hard work. There's something I've come to realize over the last year or so – often when something seems so important and hard at the time and so much of a struggle, it's amazing how those memories fade and it turns out to be so not a big deal. Evan will be happiest to have a happy mom who has extra time on her hands for playing! 🙂


  2. You have done an awesome job! I don't know if I would have been able to do it as long as you have. I mean I pump, but not as much as you are doing and not with the little one around. Great job!!!


  3. Anonymous said:

    wow – I can't believe you kept it up so long!


  4. I doubt I would have lasted as long with breastmilk if I had to exclusively pump. That is hard work! I predict that you hang out at one pumping session/day for longer than you think you will. At least, that is what I did both times.

    Whatever you do, remember that in 5 years, no one will care- probably not even you!


  5. Popped over from Moxie's comments, and MAN, I FEEL YOU. My daughter was born August 24th and was in the NICU for 11 days (due October 1st). So of course to get my supply established I had to do the around-the-clock pumping thing. Then one thing after another happened that made establishing breastfeeding nearly impossible — I was only allowed to nurse her once a day because she needed calorie fortifier added to her bottle due to being small for gestational age (4 lbs at birth), then I developed massive oversupply and would need to pump after I nursed her anyway to relieve engorgement, then my daughter was horrifically colicky so I tried an elimination diet, then she development breastmilk jaundice at 2 months of age, then I developed drug-resistant thrush for THREE MONTHS that made nursing excruciating, then there was the foremilk-hindmilk imbalance that left my daughter with a belly full of lactose and screaming in pain. I mean, are you KIDDING ME?

    Many people would say that I've already gone far above and beyond what any sane person would do to give their child breastmilk. Numerous people have told me that they would have stopped long ago. Yet? I was racked with guilt for a few months in there about my inability to nurse. Yes, even though she was getting exclusively breastmilk, I still felt guilty. I would wonder what people were thinking as I gave my daughter a bottle or bought her calorie-supplementing formula. I would hear about the purported benefits of the contact between the breast and the baby's saliva and how it helped you to create antibodies so that your milk is tailor-made to help your child fight disease, and I would worry that my “generic” breastmilk wasn't doing the trick. Looking back at this now, I'm sure I had some postpartum anxiety issues that probably should have been better controlled.

    So now I'm 6 1/2 months postpartum. I've dropped down to three pumps a day. I did so to start weaning, but I'm finding three pumps very manageable — one is done before baby wakes up in the morning, one while I'm at work, and one after she goes to sleep at night. I never thought I'd make it this far, but not I'm finally into a good groove.

    I apologize for writing a novel. I just wanted to say: you've done GREAT. Pat yourself on the back. This motherhood shit is HARD.



  6. Thanks everyone!

    PiquantMolly – welcome to the blog, and thank you so much for sharing your story! It's amazing what we as mothers can feel guilty about, isn't it?


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