Re: Giving bottles / supply questions
Any time you pump rather than nursing, there is potential for your supply to be affected; as you said, the pump is not as effective at removing milk as the baby. How likely is it that what you're doing will cause a problem? Not very. Your baby is 5 months old, which means your supply is probably pretty stable and your baby is an able nurser who can make up for supply dips by nursing more and draining the breast more thoroughly. And you're pumping just 1x per day, rather than relying heavily on the pump, and the amount you are pumping is good.
Now, if you skip pumping sessions, the potential is much higher for you to have a decrease in supply. Again, doing this once in a while- almost surely not a big deal. Doing it several days in a row... That could cause you a short-term problem, which your baby would likely remedy by nursing more. If you are going to be out and want to use a bottle and not pump, that's probably okay- just don't make a habit of it and nurse or pump ASAP. And if you find that your supply is dippi due to skipped nursing/pumping sessions, then find another way to manage your outings.
It is completely untrue that if you lose your supply after 6 months, it's irretreivable. Milk supply can be increased at any time. My mom was actually forced to wean my sister at 3 months due to some bad medical advice. She was unable to maintain supply by expressing, and did not have a pump, and consequently her milk dried up competely within a few weeks. She was given the go-ahead to nurse again at 6 months, and solely by allowing my sister to nurse, she managed to regain a full milk supply and nurse my sister until 18 months.
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!"