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Thread: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

  1. #1

    Question Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    Hello all! I posted this in the Working and Breastfeeding forum, but I'm hoping to get more insight by posting here as well.

    Baby boy is 8 months old. Recently I've noticed my supply dwindling a bit while pumping at work. My little guy is really enjoying his solids now, so I'm wondering if that's why? Here is our sample schedule:

    6:30a - nursing
    8a - solids
    9:30a - bottle of breastmilk (at daycare)
    noon - solids
    1:30p - bottle of breastmilk (at daycare)
    5p - solids
    6:30p - nursing
    10p - dreamfeed
    (perhaps another nighttime nursing session if he wakes up)

    Does this sound like an ok schedule for an 8 1/2 month old?

    I used to pump 14 oz at work, in two pumping sessions. Recently I've been getting 8-9 oz (yesterday I only got 7!). Little man has also not been finishing his bottles at daycare (I was sending two 6.5 oz bottles, I'm now only sending two 4.5 oz bottles, and sometimes he won't finish the second one).

    Do I need to be concerned? Or is this ok and normal? He's gaining weight appropriately, so that's not a concern. I just want to make sure my supply doesn't diminish completely, as I really want to nurse him up to or past his one year birthday.

    Thank you for any input/advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    Oooh, 14 ounces in two pumping sessions! I am very jealous. I am a full time working/pumping mom too, so I am very familiar with this concern.

    Three things. 1) I feel like almost everyone goes the 'pump slump' around 7-9 months where you have to work a little harder to keep output at a steady level. I used to crank out the ounces in the first 7 months postpartum. Now I have to be a bit more disciplined about pumping/nursing to get the same output. So i think you are completely normal with this concern at this stage of your baby's life. 2) I count that you are either pumping or nursing about 6 or so times per day. I've been encouraged by other posters to try to aim for 8+ sessions per day to maintain supply. Your supply could be dipping due to lack of stimulation. 3) the bottle amounts seem, in my humble opinion, a bit high. I have always sent my BF'd baby with 3-4 oz bottles with the instruction to feed every 2-3 hours. Not everyone is the same, so maybe 6.5 oz in one nursing session is normal output for you and your baby, but baby may not be finishing the second bottle because it has too many ounces. Smaller bottle sizes might take the pressure off your expected pumping output, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    Great advice from connectikate! Baby's bottle intake while apart from you is generally in the range of 1 - 1.5 ounces per hour. So if you're apart from baby 9 hours, 9 oz may be fine. And usually baby should be taking that in 2-4 oz bottles, since that is more similar to what is happening at the breast. But I do agree that your overall nursing/pumping sessions per day is low and likely explains the drop in pump output. I see some potential opportunities for more nursing and/or pumping in you schedule: for example, nurse before the morning solids (ie, try to get two nursing sessions in the morning); definitely nurse when you reunite with baby in the evening, BEFORE solids - aim for at least two nursing sessions before bedtime, for example; add a second dreamfeed in. Or you could add another pumping session at work, but I always prefer to do more nursing over more pumping! Or some combination of more nursing and more pumping. Most moms do pump three times in a full-time workday. Sounds like you have gotten away with two, but as connectikate says, many moms do have to up the pumping in the later part of the first year.

    Also make sure your pump is in good working order. Change membranes out; consider changing out other parts like valves and flanges.

    In general, the recommendation is for a baby under one to nurse before solids. That is because breastmilk is the best nutrition for baby, so you don't want baby filling up on solids and not taking in the breastmilk. Solids before one is mainly to learn tastes, textures, and feeding skills.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    Thank you both!

    connectikate - 6.5 oz was normal output session for me at one point, and baby boy downed bottles of that size! Now, things have slowed down a bit, and even if I sent a 6.5oz bottle, he wouldn't drink it. Yesterday I sent a 3.5oz and a 4oz, and he drank both. Tomorrow's bottles will be similar, as today I had a subpar pumping day (7 oz total). So, I guess I just need to wrap my head around the smaller bottle size and that being ok. I was just so used to sending 6 oz bottles, and him drinking it!

    bfwmomof3 - I will definitely attempt to incorporate two more nursing/pumping sessions, starting this evening! It does sound like I've been lucky to have only had to pump twice daily. I think I will add another quick pumping session to my day, and definitely work in at least one or two more nursing sessions at home.

    I really appreciate your advice and insight, ladies! I will keep you posted

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    I just wanted to give a quick update here...

    I actually had a chemical pregnancy last cycle. I believe that is what greatly impacted my supply. Now that I'm on to my next cycle, my milk supply is back to normal! Thought an update might be helpful, in case someone in a similar situation stumbles upon this thread in the future. Again, thanks for your help, ladies!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Pumping output decreasing; 8 month old baby (x-posted)

    Glad to hear your supply is back!

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