Hoping for some advice on pump weaning. Since I've been back at work for over 6 months now, during the week LO gets bottle fed all day and then I nurse her twice at night (and MOTN if she wakes up, which is unusual normally, but she's teething right now so it's a crapshoot). On weekends I used to just nurse her, but about a month ago I got mastitis from a clog and decided I'd be better off keeping up my pumping schedule on weekends too (LO needs to work on transitioning to sippy cups anyway, so this isn't a huge deal). Ideally, I would have enough breastmilk to get her to 12 months and then I'd move to cow's milk whenever my stash runs out. however, I would like to continue nursing her at night until the self-weans (assuming my body will accept making milk only for the nighttime feeds, of course).
Right now I pump three times a day - once when I wake up around 5am, and twice at work/during the day, typically around 9:30am and 2pm. I then nurse LO at 5:30pm and 7pm-ish (bedtime). As LO is about to hit 10 months next week, I would like to cut out one of my daytime pumps. The last time I cut a pump session, I was going from 3 work pumps to 2 and it was fairly easy because I nursed LO at home on weekends and I was actually pumping more often than was necessary - I was yielding massive surpluses daily during the week. So when we traveled for a week at Christmas, I just didn't pump - I exclusively nursed so my body would get back in line with LO's daily needs. And then when I went back to work I just started the new schedule. I had no issues with that.
Now that I've had mastitis WHICH WAS TERRIBLE, I want to be REALLY cautious about cutting the remaining pump sessions. What is the most effective way to drop one? Cutting the length of the session over a few weeks? I was thinking I'd slowly move my two daytime pumps closer and closer together until they meet in the middle and that would be my new pump time. Should I do that while also cutting the length on the one I'm planning to drop? I never thought this would be such a problem - I had 8+ months of smooth sailing before the Clog That Ruined Everything, and now I'm gun shy. But I SO want the time I currently spend pumping back - it would be great to go back to the gym finally.
Advice? Additional info: i have about 500 ounces frozen, and daily right now I operate somewhere between breaking even and deficit of up to 5 ounces (I'm trying to use up my stash slowly over the next two months or so, so the deficit doesn't really concern me). I'm thinking I'll drop one pump session at the 10 month mark, and then drop the mid-day session at 12 months, and then the morning one after that (unless it's better to slowly drop them both at once? no idea). I think I could pretty easily drop the 5:30pm nursing session once LO is eating more solid foods by distracting her with dinner, and then i'll just nurse her at bedtime until she rejects that. Advance advice for that process would also be appreciated. Thanks!