It sounds like your body has simply regulated your milk supply. After your hormones level out your body becomes more efficient at producing milk ... see the info quoted below. Is he having 5-6 wet diapers a day?
After 5 1/2 mos. of successful BFing on-demand, and after having started solids for my son about a month ago, my milk supply seems to have decreased dramatically even with pumping. I pump after nursings and between feedings (and he only eats solids twice daily).
The distractible baby stage is a passing phase ... it will get better! I'm still going through it with my almost 8 month old, but it has been improving. I know firsthand how upsetting it can be. We nurse a lot at night and always take advantage of nap times when she's sleeping/drowsy to nurse then too ... night and nap nursing has been a lifesaver for us. This resource here has a lot of good info on this issue: The Distractible Baby.
He doesn't seem to want to wean (which is good) because he nurses well for his first a.m. feeding; but his other BFs he seems distracted (regardless of our environment). He suckles but lets go and looks around, then latches back on doing this several times in a BF session even with switching sides and burping. While BFing he kicks his legs. He's been a great nurser until now. The only other time that he's not distracted is for those nights when he needs a feeding in the middle of the night.
This is normal as your body adjusts to your baby's needs, see quote below. This is not any indication of milk supply or production - it's just a normal adjustment that the body makes when your breasts begin to regulate your supply. The time this happens varies for every woman, and actually happens several times. I noticed it most at the six week mark and again at 4 months. Even though I knew what was happening it still alarmed me to see such a change.
I don't feel myself letting down when BFing or pumping now.
See: My pumping output has decreased. What can I do?
My pumping production is down from what was more than an additional 6 oz per day on a given day to 3 oz if I'm lucky. (I've emptied my froz. EBM supply.)
Are you bottle feeding too then with the EBM? Is this something you need to do? As Kelly Mom's site states: "Nursing is a supply & demand process. Milk is produced as your baby nurses, and the amount that she nurses lets your body know how much milk is required. Every bottle (of formula, juice or water) that your baby gets means that your body gets the signal to produce that much less milk."
And remember that your baby removes milk from your breasts far more efficiently than any pump could! The amount of milk you are able to pump is not ever a reliable indicator of how much milk you are producing, or how much milk baby is taking in.
You are not failing him! You are giving him a priceless gift in breastfeeding him, and what a wonderful mama you are for being so concerned about his well-being and determined to make certain he is healthy and happy.
I'm committed to providing DS with BM for the entire first year and I'm really feeling like I'm failing him right now.
I think cutting back on solids is an excellent idea to up your supply and get your baby more breastmilk back in his diet. If your baby started solids early (before around 6 months), you are more likely to notice a drop in your milk supply. Taking a very slow start to solids around 6 months or later is less likely to affect your supply.
I've even cut back on the amt of solids at his 2 solids feedings hoping to stimulate more desire/need to BF.
See: Why Delay Solids?
"Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months): World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Department of Health & Human Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Health Canada.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby's diet - they do not add to baby's total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely."
Most babies will become developmentally and physiologically ready to eat solids by 6-9 months of age."
Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC states:
"Many mothers have concerns about milk supply after the early weeks because they notice a drop in pumped amounts or they notice that their breasts feel "soft" or "empty". It is normal for your breasts to feel mostly soft after the first weeks, although if there has been a long stretch without nursing or pumping they might feel a little full and heavy.
The feeling of fullness (sometimes even engorgement) that nursing mothers notice during the early weeks of breastfeeding is really not the norm at all, but means that mom's breasts haven't yet adjusted to the amount of milk that baby needs. At some point, typically around 6-12 weeks (if a mom has oversupply it may take longer), your milk supply will begin to regulate and your breasts will begin to feel less full, soft, or even empty. You may stop leaking, you may stop feeling let-down (or feel it less), and if you pump you may notice that you're not getting as much milk. This doesn't mean that milk supply has dropped, but that your body has figured out how much milk is being removed from the breast and is no longer making too much. This change may come about gradually or seem rather sudden. Many people are not aware that these breast changes are normal because so many mothers stop breastfeeding early on and never see this change (or mistakenly interpret this change as a sign that milk supply has dried up and wean because of this change)."
Take a look at these resources:
Is your milk supply really low?
I'm pumping my milk to feed my baby, but my supply is going down. What can I do?
Is there a La Leche League Group in your area? The leaders will help you for free. Here is the link to find one:
How to Find a La Leche League Leader Near You
Hopefully this has answered most of your concerns, or at the very least helped you feel you are not alone. Please keep us updated on your progress and good luck!