Re: Concerned about milk supply.
At 9 months, formula is a better choice than whole milk. Formula is not an exact match for breast milk, but it is a better match than plain cow's milk- even if it's whole and organic and all the other good things.
I would not recommend mixing formula and breastmilk unless your baby won't take the formula any other way. If you mix formula and breastmilk, and your baby doesn't finish the bottle, you'll have to dump some of your milk along with the unused formula. If you offer a bottle of breastmilk first, and then top off with formula, it won't matter how much of the second bottle gets wasted.
There are some things you can try to increase your pumping output, including:
- Getting your pump checked out. Pumps do wear out when used heavily.
- Renting a hospital-grade pump for a while.
- Pumping more frequently. The more you pump, the more you will make. You can even pump after nursing when you are together with your child, and fill up some bottles while not at work.
- Power pumping. Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, and finally pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in a 1-hour time period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds and boosts mom's milk supply during a growth spurt.
- Herbal supplements to increase your milk. Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle are available in pill form at most health food stores, or as a tea (Google "Mother's Milk Tea.")
- Prescription drugs to increase your milk. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (available in Canada and the EU) are anti-nausea drugs that have the side-effect of raising your prolactin levels and, consequently, your milk supply. Do not take this route without discussing it with your doctor, and make sure you discuss any family or personal history of depression before taking Reglan, which is associated with an increased risk for that illness.
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