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I'm posting this on the Breastfeeding Board as well.
This is a little long, but I have quite a few different things going on at one time and I'm just not sure how best to deal with them. I've done a lot of reading on kellymom.com and other sites but would like to get some feedback from others who may have experienced similar things.
Just for a bit of background. My LO is 10 months old. I exclusively BF to 4 months and then began introducing some solids. He's receiving no formula supplements and eats solids generally three times a day (cereal in the am, meat/veggies at lunch, fruit at night).
I have been back to work part time since February and while at work M-W had been pumping approximately 12-16 oz in two sessions. I could generally get 2-3 oz from the left side and 3-5 from the right at each session. That milk I would send along with my LO to his care giver the next day. Just in the last 2 weeks or so the amount of milk that I have been able to pump has decreased by almost half. I'm lucky to get 9 oz. pumped in a day. The milk I am pumping seems to be fattier than it was before, but there's not as much of it. AF returned for me about 2 months ago, so I'm not sure if there is a correlation there.
I had a fairly good freezer supply built up but because I haven't been able to send "fresh" 12 oz. along with my LO I've had to send frozen to make up the difference and now it's almost gone.
Here's where some of the breastfeeding issues come in. On the days when I am at home I really have been trying to nurse my LO as much as possible to get my supply back up. However, he fusses and lunges off my lap during the day (I think because he doesn't want to fall asleep) making it really challenging to have productive nursing sessions. It is much worse when trying to nurse on my left side since the supply seems to be lower or at least slower. I have had some minor success in using a pacifier to calm him down and then switching him over to my breast, but that is sporadic at best.
He nurses like a champ in the morning and right before bed with no problems.
So here's the issue. It has always been my goal to exclusively BF to a year without formula. After a year I planned to wean him from daytime BF/BM but continue to BF in the morning and at night if he wanted to. I'm not sure if the fact that I'm pumping less means that he requires less milk and so I should be ok with only sending 9 oz with him for a day or if I need to consider supplementing.
His growth has been fairly good although between 6 to 9 months he only gained about 1.5 lbs (he's around 18 to 18.5 lbs now). He is pretty long and in the 75-85th percentile for height.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you can provide.
I think, and I"m by no means an expert. that you are probably pumping less during the day, because you haven't kept up with the demand. so since you pump less, but baby is still eating as much as before (because of your freezer stash) then baby isn't putting the demand on you during the evenings to stimulate your body to increase production.
My baby isn't that old, and I by no means want her to go hungry, but on days I pump less, I send what I pump, and I let them know that is what she has for now (unless it's a major drop) and for them to not give her any bottles for 1 hour before I am due to pick her up. so that way when we get home, she'll be set to nurse, and if she didn't get as much during the day as she would have really liked, but enough to be okay, she'll nurse alot more in the evenings and at night for me.
This has only happened once so far (but I've only been back to work 2 weeks) and it seemed to work. could you maybe cut down how much frozen you use so that baby will nurse more in the evenings.
and then maybe try some of the milk cookies (lacation cookies?) to help up your supply a little?
I had a big pumping output drop by 8-9 months or so. At 9 months I decreased how much milk I sent for my DD - I was sending 12oz over 4 bottles, so I took out one bottle and the daily total was 9oz. She was taking in plenty of solids at the time and did fine with that.
You can also try for a good pumping session or two on the days you arent working, to help boost your supply and give you some extra milk to send. I started pumping before work each morning, and for a while, also after I put her to bed. This, plus the freezer supply I had, got me through to one year with no formula. I stopped pumping at work around 11 months because the office I was pumping in was no longer vacant.
Thanks for the advice! I am going to try just sending what I'm able to pump, hopefully at least 9 oz and see how it goes. With the solids I'm hoping that will be fine and that he'll just nurse more when he gets home.