I have decided to stop expressing milk. After 6 months of twice-daily milking sessions every day I’m in the office, I am, quite simply, tired of the whole thing. It takes a good 40 minutes out of my working day, and makes scheduling meetings hard. This week I stopped. It feels like the right thing to do. There are still a few bottles in the freezer so Ingrid will get her afternoon milk at the nursery for a few more days, but that’s it. This weekend we’ll see what she thinks of cow’s milk.

I have no immediate plans to stop breastfeeding, though. Unlike expressing, breastfeeding is comfortable, enjoyable and relaxing for both of us, as long as it happens during the day. In fact it is generally relaxing at night as well… When Ingrid wakes in the middle of the night and gets upset and wants the magic boob, I can sometimes feel really annoyed with her for waking me and then screaming in my ear. But once we both lie down and she gets the boob, the annoyed feelings go away and are replaced by tenderness again.

It’s interesting, I think, that the things that help calm Ingrid when she is unhappy or wound-up – breastfeeding, wearing her in a sling, rocking and swaying, singing and humming – all help relax me as well. There is the immediate effect, of course, of not having to hold a crying baby any more, and that makes a huge difference! But even once she has stopped crying, I feel more and more relaxed as I go on doing whatever I’m doing to calm her. Nature has created an interesting and pleasant dynamic there.

Today was the second day of no expressing. Yesterday I didn’t notice any difference, but today I felt like I had a lot of milk (probably because Ingrid fed earlier than usual this morning) – enough to feel distinctly uncomfortable. I think this was the first time I looked forward to getting home and breastfeeding, more than Ingrid did!