Re: Freezer stash for future weaning plans
Welcome to the forum!
After a year, it's hard to say what a "reasonable" stash would look like. Are you hoping to meet all your child's "dairy" needs or just some of them? How much formula would you want to use? Whatever the answer, you absolutely want to check periodically for lipase. Your milk should be fine stored with other items in the deep freeze. Just don't throw a dripping raw chicken on top of your stored milk and everything should be fine!
Any time you remove milk from the breast, by nursing, pumping, or hand expression, you boost your prolactin level. The higher your prolactin level, the lower your estrogen level. They lower your estrogen level, the less likely it is that you will have a fertile cycle. So yes, that one additional hand expression session could be keeping your fertility away. But I don't think it's particularly likely. No matter what the experience in your circle of moms has been, the average time until return of fertility for a mom who is nursing is about 15.5 months. 6 months is actually fairly early to have your cycle back, and you should not expect at at this point. You mentioned that you are nursing 5x per day and expressing once. That seems like very little nursing for an 8 month old baby. Is the relatively infrequent nursing your baby's idea, or have you tried to put her on a schedule?
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"