It’s Groundhog Day around here in more ways than one. Yes, it is actually Groundhog Day, February 2nd but Groundhog Day for me because here I sit connected to my Medela pump.
A lot of things in life are easier said than done, but I would’ve never thought that weening would be so difficult.
My goal was to breastfeed for one year and on January 16th our baby girl turned one! YAY!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAUDIA!! And happy day to me because I would finally be freed from my pump and all those beautiful nursing tanks and bras….yeah right.
Around New Year's day I began slowly decreasing the amount of time I pumped and the number of times I pumped a day. I should mention now that around 8 or 9 months Claudia decided that a bottle was faster and easier for her and she refused to breastfeed (It was sad but perhaps easier in the long run because I would hate to be weening now and have to tell her “no”). That being said, I began solely pumping what seemed to be around the clock. I pumped all the time and everywhere such as while I was driving, feeding the baby, cooking dinner, at a wedding reception. I pumped almost every 3-4 hours to keep up with my production and nourishing the babes.
However, Last Monday I woke up and felt like I could finally go without pumping and so I did, up until today. I went almost a week without pumping but my breasts slowly became engorged again to the point of needing some sort of resolution. I searched and searched on-line and turned to my go-to breastfeeding site, Kellymom.com and still wasn’t quite sure what to do. There is a ton of information out there about how to breastfeed, such as multiple ways to hold your baby or different methods to increase milk production, there are even support groups but there is not a lot of information about weening. For me breastfeeding was pretty much a breeze, so i really shouldn’t complain because for a lot of women it is very difficult to the point that they can’t continue. However, after wearing tight sports bras 24-7, avoiding any stimulation (go ahead and laugh, because my husband isn’t) applying cabbage leaves to my girls, sucking on peppermint candy and taking Sudafed, I’m still lactating.
At the risk of clogging a duct and developing mastitis I contacted the lactation consultant, Anita Fort at Roper Hospital. Roper has amazing services for pregnancy and newborn care including a breastfeeding support group like I mentioned before and a lactation consultant who was a HUGE help in the days immediately following Claudia's delivery when I wasn't quite sure if I was doing everything right! This time Anita assured me it would take time and possibly more time than I anticipated to completely stop producing milk but that all the methods I was trying should help. Finally, she told me what I was afraid she was going to say, that I needed to pump.
So, here I am, Groundhogs day all over again, pumping. Let’s hope this time really is the last time and I won’t pull a Bill Murray and hear that annoying errr urr, err urr sound from my pump tomorrow.