This week has been trying to say the least. I had this bright idea that I would wean from pumping. John Luke has practically weaned himself from the breast. Once he figured out his surroundings were pretty interesting, it’s been hard to keep his attention at the breast, except in the middle of the night or early morning.
We had latching and supply problems in the beginning. As a result, he was introduced to the bottle very early. It’s been a struggle to keep him on the breast every since. I am still pumping 3-4 times per day, but the supply is getting less and less.
I’ve spent hours pumping trying to “build up” my supply with very little results. I am only producing about 6 ounces per day now. I have been starting to wonder if the benefits outweigh the time spent, now that he’s almost eight months old. I realize any amount of breast milk is better than formula; however, starting to question whether time spent stimulating his mind with reading and being outdoors would be more productive.
Recently, we had a busy weekend with fourth of July activities. I thought I would eliminate a pumping session over the weekend and see how it goes. I pumped less at the other three sessions as well. I usually pump right before bed at least one hour. Thirty minutes on each side to empty the breast as much as possible before going to bed.
After eliminating a pumping session, and reducing time spent pumping per session, I have spent a lot of quality time with my pump making up for it. I found myself with a clogged milk duct. And it’s been a dud.
I have spent HOURS this week trying to get the duct unclogged. I’ve pumped about an hour at each session, several times per day. I’ve taken hot showers and expressed the milk in the shower. Total waste. The kid gets no benefits from it that way, but the heat from the shower helps get the duct unclogged. I have massaged the affected breast with a hand massager before pumping. Slept with the plugged breasts on a heating pad, and spent time researching how to get the duct unclogged to prevent mastitis.
I have a friend who pumped four times per day and eventually dried up without having to wean. I do get a little sad at the thought of not producing anymore milk. It’s good to put on his oatmeal and rice cereal in the morning, and occasionally he gets a full bottle of breast milk. I think I will go back to pumping and let nature take care of itself.