I have a question about pumping after my son is a year old. Here's my context:
My son is currently six and a half months old, and I'm starting a new job in two weeks. To start with it'll be just Fridays for four, maybe four and a half hours per day. However, starting in June (the week after his first birthday, in fact), it's going to a full-time five day per week position running from 7:30-3:30pm.
The issue is, I probably won't be able to pump. For the next few months, that's fine - I do one pumping session each night after he goes to bed which provides for a freezer stash and the one feeding I'll miss on Fridays. The summer, though, is another story. My job is with an outdoor education organization where I'll be transporting groups of children in a van out to relatively remote regional parks and doing nature education stuff in the woods all day. I'll pretty much be the only adult in charge - I'll have a teenage assistant who can watch them while I run to the bathroom, but that's it. (I live in California and the law states that employers are required to provide pumping opportunities unless it would "seriously disrupt operations." They're a very small company and it seems fairly clear that having to hire an entire other employee to go along all day just so I can have 20 minute pumping sessions would pretty seriously disrupt their operations.)
That all being said, here's my litany of questions:
Is this actually something I really need to worry about at one year of age? Do I really need to be finding a way to pump for a 1+ year old? (My mother tells me I self-weaned at almost exactly a year, but I do want to nurse my son for longer than that if possible.)
Given that when summer comes I'll be jumping right into full-time work, how can I ease into the reduction of pumping/feeding without setting myself up for mastitis?
I will have quite a freezer stash built up by then so we'll be able to gradually taper off his milk consumption during the daytime, but how does one actually go about doing that? Any resources? I would like to avoid too much cow's milk for as long as possible. (However, my son already is really really into a wide variety of solid foods, fortunately - that boy absolutely LOVES eating - so there's that going for us.)
I know this is way out in the future but I want to try to plan in advance, especially if what I learn means I need to negotiate a different arrangement with my employer. I really appreciate any help you might be able to offer. Thanks for reading!