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The Mum Project: Breastfeeding & Weaning

Who knew that breastfeeding and being a working mother would be tough? I envisioned sitting at my desk making phone calls, doing deals, generally bossing it whilst breast pumping with a smile on my face. In a way, this does happen, but it’s much more of a process than I anticipated.

While I have managed to breast pump at work for the last three months with a smile, it has become increasingly difficult managing my time. I’ve moved departments at my company and my days are packed with meetings. On the very bad days I literally have one hour to do actual work, while the rest of the day is back-to-back meetings. So the time has come where I have decided to cut down slightly on breastfeeding.

While it has been a challenge, there are some very helpful products that have aided me in my “breastfeeding journey”. Here are a few challenges and tips on being a working breastfeeding mother and how to start the process of weaning.

There is no time to pump

As I’ve mentioned, I struggle to find time to pump at work these days however I have found the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump very helpful. The pump is small enough to keep in my purse, it doesn’t make any noise, it’s efficient at getting the milk out and there is no need for batteries or an electrical source. The breast cushion is really nice as well; it feels like my boob is on a padded oasis to milkville.

Your boob is going to explode!

I had a day where I wasn’t able to pump at all and my boob literally looked and felt like it was going to explode. Can you imagine being in a meeting and all of a sudden milk starts bursting out of your bra? That was me. I was sitting there for an hour and finally had to excuse myself ten minutes before the meeting finished (luckily I was finished speaking). I quickly ran to the toilet and hand expressed just enough to feel comfortable again. After work when I arrived home I used the Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy as my right boob (the one that produces more milk) was very sore. This has been helpful on many occasions, especially when I first started breastfeeding. I even use this while I breast-pump sometimes as it helps the milk flow faster.

Literally, this was me after I used the Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy…

Happy mum

Weaning onto solids

Some of my friends have delayed this process because apparently some cultures wait a year until they stop breastfeeding and starting them on solids. I decided that my son was ready at around six months. Luckily this has been a fairly easy process for me; the only challenge is making sure you are expressing enough to keep up your milk supply. My son loves food now, he’ll eat everything in the bowl plus more, but this leaves me with very full boobs. This is where I use the Lansinoh 2-in-1 Double Electric Breast Pump - it’s super-fast and easy, it also doesn’t make much noise at all (especially if you are at work).

The process of cutting down on breastfeeding

When I started breastfeeding I didn’t realise that stopping would be an issue. I thought that you just, you know, stopped. But there are various ways to completely stop. You can either do it gradually or stop cold turkey (which I’ve heard is a very painful process).

I am currently breastfeeding in the mornings and evenings and over the last couple of weeks have been gradually cutting down and so far it seems to be going very well. The first day I only pumped a small amount in the evening and on the second day, cut out the second session, but still hand expressed slightly to ensure I was comfortable. By the third day, I was able to cut out the second session completely.

After five days of cutting back, everything was feeling fairly normal and I am now only pumping once a day at work. So all in all, weaning has been successful and I am feeling very happy. In the next few months I’ll have an update on what it’s like completely stopping breastfeeding!