I am in my 11th month of breastfeeding and today was the first day I broke down and cried after a pumping session. I pumped 6 oz on Monday, 3oz on Tuesday and 2oz today
I've been going up and down on bf amounts since May - when my baby girl wanted to try solids. I went out of town the last week in May and during that trip my pump malfunctioned and I couldn't get more than an ounce or so with the pump. When I returned home I was back to using the employer provided pump during work hours and nursed at home. I increased my pumping sessions to make up for the malfunctioning pump. After a few weeks of that I was feeling full all the time so I went to a lactaction consultant who said I was now over-producing and could cut back.
I got my new pump for my morning sessions, cut dow to 2 pump sessions at work and would nurse on-demand when home. At the end of July we had family in town and my on-demand nursing sessions were reduced to one or two as the baby was so distracted by the visitors. Since that time I've seen my milk supply, and my freezer stash dwindle down.
In mid-August I was no longer pumping enough to keep up with her bottle needs while I was at work so we brought on formula. I continued to pump 3 times a day and nurse on-demand but our nursing sessions were more like drive-bys as she is moving on to the next shiny object.
In September I met with my midwife who suggested I try More Milk herbal tincture to help increase my supply. I tried that for 2 weeks as she directed but only saw the first day of increase and back to low production after that. I increased my sessions as well and would get 1/2 an ounce total each session and sore nipples
I am now down to 1 pumping session a day, nursing when I get home and "snacking" between 6pm-9pm where she nurses for a few seconds at a time. When she does nurse she doesn't seem satisfied as far as hunger goes and will make her hunger noises a short while later. I keep offering breast but she nurses for a minute or two and jumps off to look at things. If we offer a bottle she will chug that right down.
I am sad that formula is now the main "milk" in her diet and that breastmilk has become a treat and I work so hard for it. I just started a new job and with all my training and learning I admit my water intake has been minimal.
I am not ready to let go off the nursing experience and embrace formula as a full time meal. Today I am making efforts to drink lots of water and add some more short pumping sessions for stimulation.
Her weight is normal range, her diaper output is normal. She is happy and healthy and enjoying a couple of solids during the day.
Any other suggestions to hang on to my breastmilk?
I really appreciate the feedback and advice - Thank you.