Over here in Mo and Will and Magpie Land, we are several days into weaning my left breast. It is emotionally so difficult to close up shop on this tricky breast, but I won't miss the fevers and constant blocked ducts.
My doctor suggested I take the opportunity while on antibiotics to do this weaning, and so I've been working at it for several days.
The process is fairly simple physically...although emotionally, it's a whole other story. Basically, because I'd been so sick, my supply was way down already, and when I resumed my every three hour pumping schedule, I only pumped for 15 minutes on that side. Then every day or every other day (depending on how uncomfortable I've been physically), I've cut down each pump time by 3-4 minutes on the left breast. I go the full amount of time (approximately 30 minutes) on the other breast. I'm down now to four minutes on the left breast, and it produces very little milk in that amount of time. Just pumping on the right breast makes milk let down from the left, though, so that I get about 10 mls just leaking out from that. Not sure how long that will go on for, as I plan tomorrow or the next day to stop pumping on the left side entirely.
So that's the physical part of this. Emotionally, it is so difficult to take actions that reduce my hard-won milk supply, and will eventually stop it on that side. I put in a great deal of effort to get my supply up enough to feed Magpie, particularly challenging for me because she never did really latch on at all. Everything in me emotionally tells me it is wrong to stop pumping from that breast. That my baby needs my food. It must be hardwired, some primal mama thing, because it is soooo powerful. I have to remind myself every time I shut off the pump prematurely why I am doing this. And talk myself out of the idea of, "Maybe now it won't be so bad. Let me try it one more time." I have to remind myself I have tried, and I've gotten mastitis six times, each time more quickly than the time before. I have to tell myself we were headed nowhere good with this. That I needed to stop.
So here we are. At the moment, I'm making about three ounces on the right breast most pumping sessions, which is not enough to feed Ms. Magpie. Once I've fully weaned from the left breast, my doctor said I should wait a couple of days and then can restart the domperidone I was previously taking. With it she thinks I might be able to get my supply up higher. I will try it very cautiously. I think taking the domperidone is part of what has made me susceptible to mastitis. I can't find anything on Google suggesting a link, but it is a suspicion of mine. So I will try the domperidone again, but we are expecting to have to supplement with donor milk or formula. Fortunately these other options exist.
In other news, we are currently on our first real vacation as a family of three! It has been a lot of fun. A real logistical adventure, to be sure! I will post about our time away soon.
But for now, just sign me
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