11.5 months and the end of pumping (!!!)

November 29, 2018

I have two more days left before reaching my goal to pump until December 1.  Yesterday I pumped x2 at work for the first time (instead of x3), and I plan on doing that again today and tomorrow.

And then that’s it.

I can taste the freedom.  I cannot overstate how annoying it was to continue doing this at work.  The pain was multidimensional:

– the annoyance of being interrupted – it was always hard to start any bigger project knowing that I’d have to stop to pump

– the anxiety of figuring out how to fit the sessions in while not angering patients by making them wait (if I got behind, or didn’t time things exactly right)

– the frustration of not getting as much milk as I felt was ideal on any given day (HUGE stressor / area of pointless self-flagellation)

– the physical pain of the stupid pump itself

– the actual time taken away from my work, leading me to get behind on charts nearly every single day (and the subsequent stress of when I was going to make this up).

Answers to some FAQ (even if maybe some of them were only frequently asked inside of my own head . . .)

YEESH.  That sounds terrible.  Was it worth it?

I don’t know.

Are you glad you did it?

At this juncture, yes.  In part because I had never made it this far before, and I am glad to have had the experience.  Being able to nurse an 11 month old on demand is a sweet and convenient luxury that I never had with my other 2 (Annabel: I quit pumping at 9m, and she did AM/PM nursing until 13m; Cameron: I quit pumping at 6m, and he rejected the breast entirely at 9m leading to an abrupt end before I was ready).

Would you do it again?

We are not planning on any more babies (bittersweet, but definitely the right choice for our family!), so it’s hard to answer this.  But maybe not.  I think the Annabel plan (pump until 9m, then AM/PM nurse) might have been the sweet spot for me.

Did your freezer stash last?

Yes.  There are probably ~40 oz in there, but since I elected to mostly give her fresh rather than thawed milk, most of it is from Feb/March and I do not have a deep freezer, so I’m not really sure if it’s good.  We have been giving Genevieve some cow’s milk during the day starting last week (our pediatrician suggested this to phase it in gradually) and she is now liking it okay after an initial rejection, so I don’t know if we’ll even use the old freezer stuff (!).

Why do you think you were able to keep up this time?

1) Night nursing (ugh).  No sleep training = better stimulation to supply.  She still eats every night.  More on that to follow.

2) Not overfeeding her pumped milk during the day.  Example: by this point, she is happy — and not failing to thrive in any way — eating ~9oz (2 x 4.5 oz bottles) during the day.  She also nurses morning, evening, and once overnight, so all together who knows how many oz.

Are you still going to nurse?

I’d like to transition to just morning, bedtime, and maybe before a nap on a weekend if I’m home.  But I’d like to not have to schedule around it anymore.

So . . . she still wakes up at night?  That sucks.

I KNOW, right?  Last night she woke up TWICE, despite a really good feeding (since I had last pumped at ~1 pm) at 7pm.  I no longer think she’s doing it out of hunger — I think it’s that she wakes up, and then wants to nurse for comfort out of habit.  Which is understandable and sweet, since I’ve reinforced that habit for her entire life!  But — I am really ready to stop.  I want to sleep through the night.  I want to sleep more than 5 hours in a row on a regular basis.  So, I think it’s going to be time to sleep train very soon.  However, I need to figure out how to do this without waking the entire house (esp since we are not living at home).  I may have Josh go in* with a pacifier and just stop going in to offer milk at night.

What are you going to do with all of the extra time?

Finish my charts at work!
Have lunch with colleagues.
Go for the occasional mid-day walk or lunch out
Read, but not while attached to a pump
Lose that scattered feeling of constant task switching and clock monitoring!!!

11.5 months old

* He doesn’t start his new job until January so now is probably the time . . .



  • Reply Anne L. March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I’m so glad for you that this stressful season of pumping is coming to a close! It’s so liberating to #dumpthepump! Also glad the multifaceted pain of pumping will be behind you!

  • Reply Beth C March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    YESSSS! Congrats!!! Freedom from the pump!

  • Reply Erica Sparky March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I’m so happy for you! I think you are right about the sweet spot with A – that’s what I did with B and G and it was good for us. I still have my pump and don’t know what to do with it, 6 months after quitting. Need to figure it out! And it sounds like a good plan to have Josh go in with a pacifier for her now.

  • Reply Sarah K March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    My kids never slept through the night til I weaned (after 1yr for both of them). I loved nursing but gosh that was exhausting!!! Maybe you will make some progress on the sleep front now. =)

  • Reply cate March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Congrats!!! I’m very jealous, as I have 53 days of pumping to go… but reading your pumping posts was super helpful and motivating 🙂

    I’m in Dr. Milk on facebook, and everyone on there says they give frozen milk regardless of age, FWIW 🙂

  • Reply Nikki March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Celebrating with you! 16 days of pumping left for me! Then out for two weeks for the holidays and my daughter turns one the first week of January so planning to return to work on Jan 7 refreshed from two weeks away and kick off a new year at work without my pump! (well maybe a hand pump just in case of any issues the first week or so) Yay 2019! I caved and did the sleep training at 9.5 months, had some freezer stash to fall back on if any issues and offered an extra 2-3 ounces at night for the first 3 weeks or so to make sure no hunger issues interrupted our sleep training. It went great, tough 2 nights and then better and better from there.

  • Reply Cbs March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Well done! I stopped a few months ago and it’s like I’ve got so much more time in my day.

  • Reply Eva March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    "lose that scattered feeling of constant task switching and clock monitoring!!!" -> That’s absolutely the thing I dread most about pumping (and having to be home on time because the nanny leaves at 4pm) – yet here I am, with a 16-month-old and still pumping twice a day at work…

  • Reply Callie March 10, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    I love your honest posts about things that many others don’t feel comfortable talking about. Congrats on your newfound freedom! 🙂

  • Reply Laura Webb March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the post. I appreciate you sharing this since it is often something people don’t talk about and so helpful to paln or at least get an idea of what being working Mom is like.

  • Reply Kelsey March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Still would really love tools or tips on how to start becoming organized and goal focused. I”m type B and a procrastinator and would really like to change that about myself.

  • Reply suggahsweet March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm


  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Way to go!

  • Reply Connie March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Good for you for meeting this goal! Sometimes it’s what we learn along the way to success that is just as important as the goal itself.

  • Reply Leslie Kapoor-Lemon March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Celebrating with you!!!! My last day of pumping was 11/16, and DS turned 1 11/19! I can agree with all you have written – I feel like I’ve pumped everywhere – planes, trains, automobiles, friend’s homes, etc. – and found mother’s rooms in different places I’ve gone for offsite work meetings. A mum recently did a great WaPo piece on this recently: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2018/11/

    DS is our first child, and we hope to have another. In the future I think I’ll be open to combo feeding earlier on. The toughest session for me was the pre-bed pumping session. I’d often fall asleep hooked to tubing and not realize it until hours had passed. After dropping that session at 10.5 months I felt better, and I’m still getting over the initial shock and realization that I don’t have to pump during a workday. That I can go to offsite meetings without timing my sessions/lugging my pump bag. I actually think I may be able to squeeze in a workout during the workday now since pumping has stopped…

    Good luck on Sleep Training! Would love to hear why you are opting to do it now vs. earlier.

    Really have fallen in love with your blog and the podcast. It’s helping me so much! Thank You!

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