I have pumped at work since returning from maternity leave in September. I have written about my experiences and pumped diligently for 9 months. At the beginning of May I began only pumping on my way to work and my way home and using the milk that I collected just for the next day and allowing my 15 month old son to have coconut milk or water when he was thirsty at home without me or at daycare. June however, I started to back off my regimen of pumping.
It actually happened by accident. My son started to regularly wake 1-2 hours before I had to get up for work. I would bring him into my room and nurse him back to sleep. This is what I had done for 5 months with him but, he usually had visited in the middle of the night rather then the morning. So because I nursed so close to leaving for work I decided not to pump while driving to work. I still brought my pump and a cooler with me and pumped during a break when I felt I needed some relief. Then I would pump on the way to daycare.
Then things picked up again at work and I forgot to pump a few days in a row and only pumped on the way to daycare. This was still allowing me a bottle to leave at home and I got more freedom at work in order to complete tasks I put off – like cleaning my desk or grading some projects during a prep instead of taking it home with me. I continued this way for a week and then I decided not to pump while driving to daycare. When I got to daycare, if I needed to I would nurse right away. I still carried my pump and cooler back and forth to work, just in case I had an emergency and needed to pump.
With a week left of school, I bravely walked out of my house in the morning without my pump or cooler. It felt strange not to have three bags. I felt a bit like my pre-baby self. I love who I am as a mom but I miss the old me occasionally. The old me used designer handbags and wore sky-high heels – the new me uses a designer diaper bag as a purse and sporty flats. I felt more like me and forgot about the pump.
As for the effect if any on our nursing relationship – there has not been a change. We nurse regularly when we are together. He does stay a little longer but that is okay because as a working mom I use those moments to reconnect with my son. On the weekends he is happy to run around and searches me out a few times a day. I am pleased with what I have be able to accomplish for 16 months and I feel that we still have a lot of nursing in our future but I won’t be seeing my pump again until the next baby comes along.
 My daycare is breastfeeding friendly and I have done this on other occasions and am comfortable with the staff so they have no issues with me sitting down to chat and nurse.