I pump at work and in the past week or so, I've noticed a drop in my pumping output. I used to usually get around 9 oz (but could be up to 11 oz) with my first pump of the day and then about 6 oz with my second. That is way more than my son drinks, I'd say he usually takes about 6 oz while I'm gone but it could be up to 9 or 10 oz if he's particularly hungry or if I'm having a longer than usual day. Last week, I had two very busy days where I wasn't able to pump properly--one day I went 7 hours (!) without pumping, which I never had to do before. When I did pump I got about 12 oz but since then it seems like my supply has dropped by at least a few oz and not come back up. My son also seemed hungry this weekend--it took almost an hour to nurse him down before bedtime and he was sucking furiously (not just comfort nursing) the whole time.
I got my period back last month and am about due for it again, so I think that may be contributing to the decrease in supply, along with a couple days of not-optimal pumping. I also think I'm having some trouble letting down for the pump; I can feel that there is still some milk left in there but I can't seem to get it out.
Anyway, I'm thinking of dropping down to one pump per day in about a month (he will be 11.5 months when I do this; I am taking licensing exams one month from tomorrow and while I do get break time it would be nice to only need to pump once instead of twice that day). So I expect my output will diminish further then.
I do want to continue nursing into toddlerhood and I'm just anxious that I can see my supply dropping when I've worked so hard to keep it up until now. I'm worried it will drop too much and that I won't have enough for DS, which is what it seemed like happened this weekend. This weekend I just let him continue nursing and nursing until he was finally satisfied, hoping that would stimulate my production, but I felt bad about it because I could tell he was hungry/thirsty.
My mom watches DS during the day and we're trying to figure out how to balance solids vs. milk at this stage. Up until now I've always had her give a bottle first and then offer solids (usually a bit of whatever she's having for lunch). Now, given that I'd like to pump wean between 12-15 months, we're wondering if she should be giving the solids first or instead of a bottle? I've asked her to offer solids twice a day while I'm at work; I usually just nurse him when I'm at home. He's getting more interested in solids and eating more than he used to, and I think we could encourage him in that direction if we wanted to, but I don't want to decrease his breastmilk intake prematurely either. I'm just not sure how to balance it all. I do want to pump wean at some point fairly soon after a year but it doesn't need to be right at a year, 14 or 15 months would be okay.
What do you suggest in terms of the solids vs. milk question, and how do I make sure my milk supply holds up for as long as I need it to, until DS is ready to take more solids? Thanks in advance!