I went back to work when LO was 10 weeks old and I was pumping 2x at work and 1x at home and getting about 3 oz total each pumping session. After some time my supply started to decrease so that getting 3oz a session was a good day. At this point we started supplementing with formula for daycare because I couldn't pump enough and we flew through our freezer stash. Currently, LO is nearly 5 months old and I am now pumping 3x at work and 1x at home before I go to bed and I'm getting 0.5oz to 1oz total a session! This sucks. I'm lucky if I can get one bottle for LO to bring to daycare and she drinks 5 x 3.5oz bottles while I'm away from her, so she's now getting a lot of formula. I talked to my midwife about this problem and she suggested I try to nurse her more often and that the pump is obviously not stimulating me to make more milk like nursing would. So, I'm fitting in an extra nursing session as soon as I see LO after daycare but this hasn't helped as of yet (it's only been about a week). I've also been on fenugreek and mothers milk tea and I'm eating oatmeal and none of it has helped. Does anyone have any suggestions as to increase the stimulating ability of the pump?? Should I get a different breast shield or increase the suction strength?? I've tried to play around with the strength but it hasn't seemed to make a difference.
Also, if I can't increase my pumping output, it seems like a waste of time and energy to keep trying, BUT I don't want to stop nursing. Is it possible to stop pumping and only nurse her in the morning, and 2x at night before she goes to sleep and usually she's up once in the night to nurse too. Will my milk supply drop even lower if I stop pumping or will my body realize that it only needs to make milk at those certain times??? Also, I only nurse her during the weekend and never give a bottle - will I still be able to do this if I stop pumping?? I'm just scared to stop pumping because I don't want to dry up completely, but it seems like the pump isn't stimulating my milk production much anyway.