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Thread: Drop in pumping output at 9 months?

  1. #1

    Default Drop in pumping output at 9 months?

    My son was born July 2012 and I EBFed until 4.5 months when I went back to work. I pump 4 times when I'm away from him--right before I leave the house after I nurse him (around 6:30am), and 3 times at work (9:30, 12:30, 3:30), then I pick him up around 5:30 and we nurse right away, and then again before bed (8:30ish.) He's been sleeping through the night (most nights) for about the past 6-8 weeks.

    Until recently, I haven't had any issues pumping enough for his bottles. I leave him three 3.5-4oz bottles and I always pumped just about that much. Actually, back in the end of February/beginning of March, around when he starting sleeping through the night, I was pumping way extra because I was waking up engorged.

    We went on spring break at the end March and when I came back to work, I suddenly was pumping way less than I had been. I'd always pumped 2.5-3oz per session, and sometimes I was fighting for 2! Then I got my period, and thought that was the issue. But my period ended, and things never got back on track.

    I'm now only pumping 2oz per session. I have a very modest freezer stash (about 50oz at this point) and I really can't afford to pull a bag for him every day. I've started leaving him two 4oz bottles and trying to get home to him earlier, but I'd really like to still be leaving three and not always rushing out of work at the first possible moment.

    I've tried Fenugreek (made me and baby really gassy), lactation cookies, oatmeal, water intake, More Milk Plus and nothing has really seemed to do much. He doesn't seem to miss the bottle at all, still happily eats 3 solid meals a day, and is continuing to sleep through the night so he seems satisfied...I'm just worried because I've made it so far and I would be heartbroken if I had to supplement at this point.

    I'm a teacher so I don't even need to make it to his first birthday in July. I have 6 and a half weeks of school left and then I'll be home with him and can happily EBF on demand again. But until then...help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Drop in pumping output at 9 months?

    From what I've heard on the forums, and from personal experience, a "pump slump" somewhere in the 8-10 months range is fairly common. Personally I ate a lot of steal cut oats, took fenegreek, tried to fit an extra pump session in at work, and made an extra effort to offer nursing to baby quite frequently when we were together to stimulate supply ... all of that got me through the slump, and now (at 11 mos) I am back to the normal output. Perhaps other veteran moms will chime in here with additional suggestions to get through the slump.

    Also, have you changed out your pump parts? If you haven't already, new valves and membranes could be the issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: Drop in pumping output at 9 months?



    I agree with mercystreet about the pump slump and changing out the pump parts.

    Another thought: my mantra has always been that nighttime nursing is great for supply. I'm wondering whether baby sttn is contributing to your drop in output. Since you only have six weeks to go, how would you feel about either trying a dream feed at night or a nighttime pump? One way to do it so that it's less disruptive to your sleep is to do that extra session right before you go to bed.

    You're so close!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Drop in pumping output at 9 months?

    Glad to find this post today! I don't have a clear question, but I'm also pumping part-time for a 9.5 month old and noticed a decrease in output recently. I haven't kept track long enough to know if it's a brief thing or something longer. What do you think of the influence of solids in baby's demand (which you can't measure when he's nursing, of course)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: Drop in pumping output at 9 months?

    Well, until a year breastmilk will make up the bulk of baby's nutrition, and the way most babies eat (a bite here, a spoonful there, most of the food on their face/hands/floor!) they really don't get a lot of calories from solids. So at most I think demand could drop by a couple ounces. My baby, who is enthusiastic about solids, went from drinking 16-18 ounces while I was at work in the early part of the year, to 12-16 ounces in the last couple months of the first year. However, other babies really don't take in much solids at all until after they turn one (my first baby was like that), so there might be no change at all in how much milk they are drinking.

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