looking toward not pumping at work after a year
My baby will be 1 year old in a few months. My supervisor is trying to arrange office spaces over the medium- and long term and has offered to give me priority for a private office so that I can pump at my desk but I need to give her an estimate of how long I'll need to pump. I understand that after a year, you can either replace breast milk with cow's milk during the day and/or just breastfeed on-demand several times over the evenings/weekends and there is no need to pump during the work day. Is this true, and can I rely on this transition taking place at exactly the one-year mark or will I need a few weeks/months after that point to slow down and stop pumping?
For what it is worth, my baby is almost 8 months old. Our current routine is roughly: nurse 6 am, nurse 8 am, pump/bottle at daycare 10:30 am, nurse 1 pm, pump/bottle at 3:30 pm, nurse 5:30 pm onward. I would continue to go nurse at lunch indefinitely after I stop pumping so when I give up pumping I will be giving up two pumping sessions and still nursing every 4-5 hours during the day. Not sure if this makes a difference with how quickly I can wean from the pump. So far she's doing well with solids but breastmilk is of course still her primary source of nutrition. I have a freezer stash but at her current rate of consumption I don't think it would get us through more than a couple of weeks.
I would love to hear your experiences from a logistical standpoint so I can plan my office situation for the next few months. Thanks.
ETA I just realized there are a few recent posts about basically this topic. Very helpful. I'd still be interested in hearing about anyone's experience though. I am imagining that what I might do is drop down to one pump session per day right around 1 year as we introduce cow's milk, but continue to send a bottle of EBM each day. And then maybe a couple of weeks later, drop the other pumping session? So maybe I should try to hang on to the private office until my baby is 13 mos old? Or longer? That is the real question I'm asking!
Re: looking toward not pumping at work after a year
Hi sprocket, with my first baby, I absolutely had to be pump weaned at a year and I did it without any problems. With baby 2 I backed down to 1 pumping session about 4-6 weeks before she turned one (I had lots of milk in the freezer) and then pump weaned altogether at a year. I really don't think you'll have a problem pump weaning at a year, or shortly thereafter, especially since you'll still be nursing at midday. You also probably won't need to substitute cow's milk unless you want to - from the schedule you've listed you'll still have at least 3 nursing sessions during the 24 hours (and probably more than that) which is all you need. But if you don't want to have an external schedule imposed on your pump weaning process, you could tell your supervisor that you expect to be done pumping in no more than 6 months - that gives you a little extra breathing room to wind down on pumping. For example, if you end up going through your freezer stash before then for whatever reason, then you're tied to pumping until the one-year point, and you have to give yourself a couple weeks to eliminate the two sessions, so maybe it would be closer to thirteen months.