So, I am starting to wind down on breastfeeding.
The Bean is 11 months + 1 week old. I committed myself to breastfeeding for at least a year, the length of time promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am quickly approaching her 1 year birthday, a time at which she can transition from breastmilk to either cow's milk or soy milk (we haven't yet decided which... if anyone has any experience with soy, I'd love to hear about it). And we have a pretty significant stockpile of breastmilk in the freezer to plow through, enough to carry her through her actual birthday.
So this week I have gone from pumping three times a day (once at home, twice at work) to pumping just twice a day (once at home, once at work). Next week, I'll stop pumping at work altogether. Bittersweet is the only way I can describe it. I am elated at the impending freedom that not nursing during the day will bring... No more nursing bras, no more restrictions on my clothing, and I'll be able to move my daily run to daytime instead of running right after work (when I'd much rather be playing with the Bean). Even just transitioning from two pump sessions at work down to one has been very liberating.
But I am sad and anxious too. Nursing has been an incredible bonding experience for the Bean and I, and it's been wonderful for us. I am so glad that I could help nourish her strong little body and help her grow. I hope that I'll have enough milk to continue nursing first thing in the morning and last thing at night for months to come. So I'm nervous at how my body will react to the change in demand.
But overall, I'm pretty happy at being able to hit my "breastfeeding for one year" goal. Not all working moms have the luxury of a semi-supportive work environment, and even those who do often have trouble keeping up with their child's demand. It's been hard, but I'm proud to of what I was able to accomplish. And I'm looking forward to next week when I can shift my run schedule to the daytime...
And as a public service, I plan to write a "working girl's guide to breastfeeding" in the very near future...
Now I am mid-career
22 hours ago