Weaning from the pump was bitter sweet.
There was a sense of lightness (quite literally) muddled with pangs of intermittent guilt I experienced when it was time to stop. What made this a tough call was that the decision had to be entirely mine and nothing or no one elses’, I had to stop before the very thing I considered a blessing destroyed me.
Surprisingly, It wasn’t as hard as I had expected it to be. I just had to take it slow. Like REALLY slow. There are several ways to wean, I scoured the Internet and other support forums to figure which way would suit me the best.
Here are some of the methods…
1) Going Cold turkey – This is when you STOP pumping entirely and just wait it out until your body shocks itself into recognizing that milk is no more needed to be made. Was this for me? Hell no! I didn’t want mastitis or anything like it getting anywhere close to me.
2) Pump drop – Dropping every other pump until you stop.
3) Time reduction – Shaving off pump time by a few minutes per pump or the pump you wish to drop until you don’t need to anymore. Example: Lets say I am pumping for 20 mins 3 times a day and I wish to go to 2 times a day, I’ll then start reducing the middle pump time (by 5 mins every other day) until I no longer need to pump in between.
4) Pump for comfort – Pump only until you are light enough to be comfortable but not empty and wait out the next session until its absolutely necessary
What worked for me was a combination of 3 and 4. By the time I got the hang of the process I knew what I needed to do (instinctively) so as to not get myself into any trouble. It took time and patience and a whole month and a half to stop entirely. I realized nothing is textbook when it comes to ones own body, I just needed to respond to its needs and I was done without much drama.
What am I going to do now that it’s over? Consider making a breast milk piece of jewelry to commemorate my journey? Ummmm…. Perhaps yes, perhaps no but more than anything else I just want to enjoy my babies UNINTERRUPTED. I’ve missed out on so much of my kids these past 14 months that I never want to miss a thing again.
Then again, I sure as hell wouldn’t change a thing for if I had to do it all over I would in a heartbeat!