My son is 13 months old and has been exclusively breastfed since birth. I will be going back to work in about a month and have some questions regarding this new transition. He currently nurses 4 times a day: wake up, 12:00, 4:30 and before bed. I am going to definitely have to cut the lunch nursing session. I was considering still being able to nurse him when I get home from work, but I’m afraid it won’t happen because of rushing to get dinner ready. Hopefully a morning and night feeding along with whole milk during the day is adequate. I currently have 400 ounces of milk stockpiled in the freezer. I’ve been using it for his oatmeal which he still loves. When he goes to daycare, they will provide whole milk. I’ve also been pumping about 30 minutes twice a day, but now only get roughly 2 ounces total a day. I question if it is even worth it to keep doing it but I feel the health benefits of breast milk have been beaten in my brain and I feel guilty thinking of quitting. I guess my questions are:
1. When should I start weaning him and getting him to drink whole milk?
2. Once he drinks whole milk, will he refuse breast milk?
3. Because I only get roughly an ounce at a time pumping, do I need to slowly decrease it or can I stop pumping cold turkey?
4. Is it recommended to use up the breast milk quicker by offering it to him in a cup for lunch or save it and spread it out over a longer period of time (like just in his oatmeal)? I feel I worked hard to build my freezer stash and don’t want it to go to waste. Again, he will be going to daycare in a month.
Mommy doesn’t feel ready for these changes, but I have to go back to work. I never dreamed I would enjoy breastfeeding this much and am having a really difficult time thinking about the changes that will occur in the next month.
Thank you in advance for your advice!