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Thread: Working part time, supply dropping, supplementing now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    13

    Red face Working part time, supply dropping, supplementing now?

    Hi mommas! Firstly, I have no been a frequent poster, but I must say that these forums have been SO helpful to me!! I did not have a smooth start to nursing and there have been many bumps and doubts along the way, but any time that happened, I would find myself here. Reading the advice of so many wonderful helpful women has brought me this far. I am 14 days away from the year mark--we're gonna make it!!! Yahoo!!

    Here's my question. The little man is a ravenous solid eater at this point, but we still nurse 5 or 6 times a day. I am working two days a week and pumping while I'm at work. My output has dropped off in the last month or so (AF has returned, joy!). I know this is not really an indicator of what baby is getting at the breast, but it's also dropped enough that it is no longer sufficient to make up the two feedings that I am missing while at work. He is taking 2 bottles of 5 ounces while I'm gone. I'm pumping twice while I'm as work and typically getting 4 ounces per session now. Could we try cutting back his bottle to 4 ounces? If that turns out to be insufficient, what would I supplement with at this point? Cow's milk? Can I mix breastmilk and cow's milk? I don't think I can quit pumping entirely because I do want to maintain those feedings when I'm at home. At least until he no longer wants them. I guess 4 ounce bottles may end up being sufficient, I just figured that my supply might keep dropping at this point. I know I could add a pump session to make up the difference, but I honestly don't care to do that. Any practical advice would be appreciated. I'm not sure how to approach the situation since it's only 2 days a week.

    Thanks so much!!!
    Momma to B. Born 11/27/11 at 10 lbs 2 oz.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,084

    Default Re: Working part time, supply dropping, supplementing now?

    Most moms stop pumping at a year, so that is an option if you are interested. At this point your supply is firmly established; enough that it is there when you need it. You are not going to dry up completely from not pumping during the day, particularly if it is only 2 days a week.

    If you continue to nurse 3-5 times per 24 hour period you do not have to replace the breastmilk with any milk alternatives, though cows milk is perfectly fine after a year old if you wish to introduce it. Especially for good solids eaters, most can make it through the day on food and water (or occasional juice if you want) and just nurse when they are with you.

    And of course if you wish to continue providing breastmilk, that is fine too. Four ounces is a pretty fantastic output, especially at this point (many women start to struggle with pumping output starting at about 9 months on). There is much less worry about sending 'enough' for the reasons I mentioned before, so there is no need to be concerned if it continues to drop.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Working part time, supply dropping, supplementing now?

    I agree with the previous poster. Unless you feel strongly about continuing to supplement/pump, it may not be necessary. It is NOT necessary to "replace" breastmilk with cows milk, although it's fine to introduce it if you want to.

    With my first child, I pumped until the year's mark, then pump-weaned. He continued to nurse during the day when I was home and nursed until he was 2.5 years old (there is an old thread somewhere by me complaining about how much he nurses at 18 months...).

    With #2, I was lucky enough to be home with her until she was 8 months. She refused to take a bottle and was going well with the solids, and she nursed a lot when I was home evenings and at night, so we made the decision for me not to pump at that point. She made up for it by nursing more when I was home and ate solids while I was away (full time). She nursed until she turned 3.

    That's not recommended for everyone's situation, but just to say that you don't necessarily need to worry about making the breastmilk/supplement intake while you are away exactly match the situation when you are home once you hit the 12 month mark. If I were in your shoes, I definitely would not supplement with formula at this point. It's also possible that one factor in your pumping supply dropping is that he may be eating less at each feeding than he used to, even if he's still nursing frequently.

    Congrats on making it this far!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Working part time, supply dropping, supplementing now?

    Thanks ladies!! I think I'll try dropping the bottles down to four ounces first and see how that goes. I'm only concerned about stopping pumping completely because my work days are back to back. We just started getting longer stretches of sleep at night and finally dropped a night feeding so I'd hate to back slide on that as compensation. . Yes, this momma is enjoying a bit more sleep! Thanks for your input. It's good to know that supply is pretty steady at this point. Boobs really are amazing things.
    Momma to B. Born 11/27/11 at 10 lbs 2 oz.

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