Problems with my milk supply... can't seem to pump anymore

Julie - posted on 05/20/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I am a mom to a 6 month old girl. Breastfeeding has been going extremely well since the beginning. I started feeding her some solid food around a month ago and now my supply seems to be drying up. I used to be able to pump 6-8 oz a day on top of what I was feeding her (which I was using for her cereal and when I needed to leave her with her Dad). Now I can barely pump 3 and today not even 1 oz! My daughter has been sick lately and has actually lost weight from her 4 month checkup and was having urate crystals... so now I am concerned that my supply is drying up. I was thinking that I should scale back a bit from solids and give her more milk to make sure she is getting everything she needs. Could my supply be the reason she is losing weight? She sleeps through the night and I wonder if this is also wreaking havoc with my supply. I am not ready to stop breastfeeding... I really don't want to give her formula. Help! Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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[deleted account]

I can see why you're concerned. First, pumping 6-8 oz is *a lot* of milk. The average pumping output is .5-2 oz total (both breasts!). So you were getting way above average. It's very normal for pumping output to decrease over time. Are you exclusively pumping? If not, then offer the breast frequently to help with supply. Here's some info:
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumpi...

When starting solids you want to be careful not to replace breast milk. Solids are just for fun until they're one. If she's sick and not urinating well then I would stop all solids and nurse extremely frequently until you see her diaper count improve. If you don't see any improvement then you need to contact an IBCLC (at your local hospital) or a La Leche League leader (http://www.llli.org). Once she gets back to normal you can slowly add solids back in, but always nurse before giving solids to make sure she's still getting plenty of milk.

[deleted account]

If you run into an issue you can still call the closest leader, even if she's hours away. They will talk with you over the phone. I'm glad her diapers are better! I'm sure that worried you!

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Julie - posted on 05/21/2012

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Thank you for your response and links Sara... I am nursing full-time (as I am lucky enough to be at home full-time with her right now). I use the milk I pump to put in her cereal and occasionally when I leave her with her Dad or a friend for a couple of hours.

I have now scaled back the solids I was giving her without completely stopping and am putting her to the breast as often as possible. I am hoping this will have a positive impact. I was (and still am) making sure I nurse well her before each "solid food" feeding.

As for pumping, the kelly-mom link was particularly helpful and informative - thank you! I had no idea that I was pumping so much in comparison to the average. My mind is so much more at ease now. I guess my milk supply is better regulated now. Pfew!

I would love to contact a LLL leader but I live in a really remote fly-in community in Northern Canada (arctic region). I am heading "south" in June and will consult a lactation specialist when I am in the city if the pumping has not improved by then. Fortunately, her wet diapers have improved and there are no more signs of crystals.

Thanks again for your thoughtful response Sara - I really appreciate it. :)

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