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Thread: Tried pump weaning and supply dramatically dropped

  1. #1

    Default Tried pump weaning and supply dramatically dropped

    My LO is almost 8 months old and is eating 3 meals of solids a day and I am only nursing her 4 times a day now instead of every 2 hours. She hasn't nursed at night since she was about 3 months old, but I get up every night to pump. I work 5 days a week and had been pumping twice day, but get to BF my LO at lunch.

    With the morning, lunch, afternoon and evening nursings, I figured I didn't need to keep pumping during the day. So this week I stopped pumping during the day. Since I still pump at night, I noticed a dramatic decrease in the milk from my left breast and a slight decrease in the right. I figured that since my LO was nursing less often and for much shorter periods, that my supply would decrease a little, but not down to just barely 2 ounces after no feeding/pumping for 8 hours or more! Is this normal? I used to get at least 3 to 4 ounces from each side. I am at work and pumping right now... back to 2 times a day and once a night for fear of drying up too soon. I am not ready to give up BF my LO!! Any input/guidance is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
    Becky - mom to Coraleana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Tried pump weaning and supply dramatically dropped

    Hi Becky, welcome to the forum!

    Okay, so for any breastfed baby of any age, nursing 4 times a day is very, very unusual. Breastfed babies eat small, frequent meals - usually around 2-4 ounces at least 8 times per 24 hours, and often 10-12 times or even more! And that pattern continues through the first year, when breastmilk is the primary form of nutrition. Any solids introduced before a year are complementary, for baby to learn new tastes, textures, and the motor skills to feed herself. After a year, solids gradually assumes a more important role, and breastmilk becomes complementary.

    So I guess one question I have is, how many ounces of milk is your LO getting while you are at work? It's possible that she's getting most of the milk she needs there, and consequently not nursing much when you're together. The second question is whether she is actually getting too much solids. Remember that solids at this point are nutritionally inferior to breastmilk, so if she is getting too full on solids, to the point that it is interfering with her intake of breastmilk, you may want to cut back on the solids. Think of it as stuffing yourself full of candy - this will make you want to eat less nutritionally valuable food. (I'm not saying you are giving her candy, or that the solids you are giving her are as nutritionally empty as candy is, I'm just exaggerating a bit to make a point.)

    In terms of your supply - well, that's actually an easy one to deal with. If you pump and/or nurse less, your body will make less milk. Nurse more and return to your old pumping routine, and your supply will go back up. It's all supply and demand.

    ETA: Most working moms pump wean at a year or thereabouts. 8 months is too early. Because of breastmilk being the primary source of nutrition up to age 1.

    ETA2: While you're working on getting your supply back up, you may want to nurse only in the evenings - no solids when you're together. And always offer milk before solids before age 1.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; May 15th, 2013 at 02:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Tried pump weaning and supply dramatically dropped

    with the PP's excellent post.

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