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Thread: questioning supply for my 9 month old

  1. #1

    Default questioning supply for my 9 month old

    this is my first time posting, so thank you in advance for your guidance and help and I hope I am doing this correctly...

    My daughter is now 9 months old and a great eater, but I am concerned about my supply and keeping up with her. I would like to continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of her life, but lately we both seem frustrated which is super sad to me.

    I exclusively breastfeed her 6 x a day and she gets 3 meals of solids. 1 of BF times is an 8 ounce bottle which is after dinner but before bath. She sleeps 12 hours a night.

    I have noticed lately that my supply seems low for my daughter - she is grabbing for me every 2 hours when she used to be perfectly fine between feedings.

    Here is how I noticed that my supply is low:
    I pump at night for the after supper bottle around 8:30 after I have finished the rest of the dinner/clean up for our family. I have been only producing 4-5 ounces at that session, whereas in the past I have been producing 6 or 6.5. In the morning after I feed her upon waking, I pump 2-3 ounces when I used to pump 4. To make a long story short, I no longer pump enough at night and in the AM to provide the 8 ounce bottle at night when I used to be able to provide that and store 2-3 additional ounces as reserve.

    I think I need to start supplementing with formula which saddens me but I don't see any other options. How should I best go about supplementing?

    Nurse her every 4 hours and then give her formula for the other 2 feedings? Any advice that you can give me would be much appreciated.

    Thank you so much for your time and knowledge!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,262

    Default Re: questioning supply for my 9 month ol

    Welcome to the forum, and congrats on making it to 9 months of nursing!

    The situation you describe does not sound like low supply to me, though I can completely understand why you (and many other mothers) mistake this particular cluster of occurrences for low supply. The following are totally normal:
    - Increased nursing frequency. Babies seek the breast for many reasons other than hunger, including teething, need for reassurance, desire to be close to mom, etc. Hunger can also be in the mix, though. Babies will nurse more often when they desire an increase in milk supply (remember, demand = supply, so increase demand and supply goes up), something that can conicide with a growth spurt or with a simply readjustment of supply.
    - Decreased pump output after many months of nursing. This can happen for many reasons, including your pump starting to wear down, your body no longer responding as enthusiastically to the pump, or supply adjusting downwards. Many moms find that they must eventually add in a few extra sessions in order to make enough milk to fill the bottles they are giving.

    You do not need to start supplementing with formula unless you want to. But it sounds like it would be a good idea to increase the number of nursing sessions, and perhaps to slip in a few extra pumping sessions as well. You're doing a great job and I think if you are willing to slightly adjust your expectations of what your baby and your body should be doing, you'll be nursing for as long as you want.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: questioning supply for my 9 month ol

    Edit: posted simultaneous to mommal so sorry if there is repition!
    I am not sure you actually have insufficient supply, but if you do, before you start formula feeding, why not trying to offer the breast more often or just let baby nurse as much as she wants and see if more frequent nursing sessions will increase your supply as needed? This is how supply usually works, baby increases nursing sessions due to growth spurt etc,. and this, in turn, ramps up supply. I see you said you nurse 6 plus times a day and that may seem like enough for a nine month old but it may not be enough for this particular 9 month old.

    What you pump is not a good way to gage milk supply. Have you troubleshooted the pump, checked tubing connection, changed the membranes? Also, pumping 4 ounces at a once a day session, although less than what you were getting before, is certainly a reasonable amount to be getting at one pumping session. With three solid meals a day, it is entirely possible that your milk supply has naturally decreased a bit as would be expected when less breastmilk is being taken in due to more solids. If this is the case, supply usually can be easily increased by nursing more often. Since it is much more important, nutritionally, that your child continue to get breastmilk until at least a year, than to have lots of solids, you could consider cutting back on the solid meals or at least nursing prior to each meal if you have not already been doing that.

    You also could forgo the 8 ounce bottle at night and nurse instead, even if that means baby wakes up more, becasue if your baby wakes once or twice during the night to breastfeed that will also help with increasing supply & ensuring baby is gettign enough milk.

    Plus there are galactagogues you could consider using for helping increase supply. Kellymom.com has good info on these and low supply in general, as does the book Making More Milk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: questioning supply for my 9 month ol

    Over time, supply does decrease somewhat as baby begins to eat solid foods. At 9 months of age, unless the baby is not wetting enough diapers, I would not worry about supply. Even if you are not making as much as you were before, baby does not need as much as she did when she was not taking solid food. Just nurse as much as she wants. and let the solids fill in any gaps for what you don't produce.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: questioning supply for my 9 month ol

    This is very typical for the age. Back off on solids a bit and spend a few days just focusing on baby and nursing. That will increase your supply faster than anything else. No reason to give up
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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