As I alluded to in my previous post, I’ve been feeling the itch. The itch to stop breastfeeding. An itch that is more than an itch really – more of a clawing feeling from deep inside that makes me want to jump over the balcony whenever I’m breastfeeding. This doesn’t happen while pumping, most likely because the pump does not do acrobatics on my lap. The pump doesn’t stop after five minutes to fidget and smile and pinch and point at the cat and then freak out if I try to put the boob away and continue this behavior for a good fifteen minutes or until I can’t stand it anymore and decide enough is ENOUGH and go eat some cheerios.
Also, I’ve been pumping less and less milk. I had to add a third session into my routine during the day to get back up to 10 ounces output. Jack eats some snacks and sometimes eats lunch and/or dinner, but about 60-75% of what he consumes is still breastmilk. I haven’t been paying attention and when I finally looked up “when can I stop pumping?” I found out that most moms stop around a year. Well, gee, that’s great. How the hell do I do that? Answer: I can’t quite yet. Not while Jack is not eating much in the way of solids.
I am happy to continue breastfeeding a couple times a day for the next year, but I feel the need to have my body back, as well. I have touch issues and they have not gone away since giving birth to Jack. I have fought them for nearly 15 months now, and luckily Jack nurses for 10-15 minutes tops each session. But even that is wearing on me these days. See “clawing” above – it’s like I’m back in month one! I’d like Jack to cut back.
So I’m trying to make sure we are good about offering solids and I’m setting a goal to stop pumping (or at least cut down to one session) by 18 months. That’s three months away which seems pretty close when I think about it. Ugh. I feel so clueless. The information on weaning is totally lacking, in my opinion. I’ve read LLL, I’ve got books, and I’ve googled. Either the information is crap or I’m a novice googler.
So if you’re out there and reading this and have been in this place, please give me your feedback. Explicit instructions are always good, and I love to read research. My sanity will thank you.