Re: sudden decrease in milk supply
- You are nursing on demand
- You have not been supplementing with formula
- You are not pregnant or on a new form of hormonal birth control (including the Mirena IUD)
- The baby is producing adequate wet diapers in a 24-hour period
Then the fussiness you are observing is probably due to something other than supply issues. At 6 months, teething, colds, and ear infections are common causes of fussing at the breast.
The pumping output you describe is pretty normal. 2.5 oz is a normal yield for a mom of a 6 month old who has not been pumping regularly. Many babies drink only that amount at the breast- something which can surprise a mom who expects that a breastfed baby will be eating an amount equivalent to that taken in by formula-fed infants the same age. Also, the baby is better at extracting milk from the breast than the pump is, so what you pump is probably less than the baby can get. Another reason why pumping isn't a good gauge of supply is that all moms respond differently to the pump depending on a) how often they pump, b) what sort of pump they are using, c) when they pump, d) how long ago it was they last nursed, and e) how precisely their milk supply meets the baby's demand. Many moms who pump during the newborn stage get accustomed to seeing a large volume of milk, and are surprised when they pump later in the baby's life and see much less output. But that's normal. Most moms start out producing excess milk- it's nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while he masters the art of nursing. As time goes on, however, supply shrinks to meet demand very precisely, without a lot of extra. This is a more efficient use of the body's energy and reduces the risk that mom will come down with plugged ducts or mastitis.
I strongly suggest taking a look at the following link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html It can help you assess whether or not there really is a problem, and can help you troubleshoot the issue if there is one.
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