Milk Supply Almost Gone - Anyone Else? — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Milk Supply Almost Gone - Anyone Else?

jen83mnjen83mn member
edited June 2016 in September 2015 Moms
Anyone else? I've been lucky enough to be able to go almost 10 months breastfeeding/pumping exclusively, but am now down to 4 bottles of milk in my freezer stash and am not making enough to keep up with baby. In three 20-minute pumping sessions I'm making 4-4.5 oz total, enough for one bottle (LO takes 2 4.5 oz bottles a day while I'm at work). He's also no longer getting enough while nursing and is still hungry afterward. We supplemented with formula for the first time last week because at this rate I know I won't be able to make it the last two months on just breast milk alone.

Not looking for ideas to increase milk supply, since I've tried it all: More More Plus, tea, lactation cookies, brewer's yeast, oatmeal, Gatorade, changing pump membranes, pumping/nursing frequently ... nothing seems to make a difference anymore. So just looking to see if anyone else is in the same boat and can sympathize or if it's just me!

Also wondering for those who have been there if it's even worth it to pump anymore or if I could drop the pumping at work and just continue to nurse when at home (before work, after work, and before bed), or if I would lose my supply completely by doing so? Pumping for an hour at work every day to make less than one bottle of milk is very frustrating, especially when I hate pumping, but I do still want LO to get breastmilk from nursing until he's 12 months. If I drop one work pumping session a week starting now, is it possible to still keep my supply for the morning and bedtime feedings if I continue doing those?

I blame the return of my period at 5 months post-partum; my supply has dropped steadily since then. Estrogen is a powerful thing!

Re: Milk Supply Almost Gone - Anyone Else?

  • I dropped my work pumps about 6 weeks ago.   I was still able to successfully nurse in the mornings and at night without problems.   That continued until this weekend when I got really sick and had to be on some strong antibiotics... so now we are weaning completely.  I'm a little sad I didn't have much of a choice,  but I was also kinda ready to wean.   Lo and I were both using it as a crutch in the middle of the night,  so hopefully this will push the sleeping over the edge and finally get a decent routine!

    If you've been running low on supply during the day,  it shouldn't be tough to cut out the daytime pumps. I went from 2 down to 1, down to none pretty quickly without issue.   Good luck!
    jen83mn
  • Not really in the same boat but I cannot wait to quit pumping! Holy shit I hate it so damn much! Exclusively pumping blows and at 11 mos I'm gonna start weaning and use our freezer stash. Enjoy your freedom away from that pump mama, you have done great! 
    vibarra27jen83mncallistosmile
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  • chaser61chaser61 member
    edited June 2016
    Do you think he is just day weaning and can go with less milk during the day while away from you? I send in less and less milk as the weeks go by because he prefers solid foods. A couple of my friends said it was the natural progression for their kids. They just lost interest in nursing or taking milk during the day but mornings, evenings, and nights they still nursed.

    I dropped from 3 pumps to 2 pumps at around 5 months and my supply stayed the same. Since we started solids at 6 months I have had a steady drop in supply starting around 7 / 7.5 months and am planning to go to 1 pump because he doesn't need as much during the day. LO is nine months tomorrow. I still nurse in the mornings, right when I get him from daycare and nights. I think it would be fine to drop a pump at work. Worst case, you could add it back in.
    jen83mn
  • Same boat over here! Baby will be a year old on July 21st (one of our September preemies!) and my supply has majorly dropped. I got my period back early..like by 3 or 4 months pp. My goal was to make it to at least a year, so while I'm feeling sad now that being done is really here, I feel good about making it. Baby nurses in the morning and at night and usually a couple times throughout the day too, probably more for comfort and habit. He also drinks toddler formla, but he's a skinny mini so we plan to just do formula before transitioning to milk. Either way, totally feel how you're feeling!
    jen83mnrachelkawesome
  • Same boat. Used to pump twice before going to bed and end up with almost 9 oz for the next day. Now I'm only pumping 2 or max 3oz. My daughter is eating tons of solids though. Has water with her meals. I give her tiger nut milk, almond milk, or bone broth to make up for whatever nursing isn't providing. I figure she's almost 10 and a half months and so we're skipping formula and may just start adding cows and/or sheeps milk bottles soon. 

    Im going to nurse as long as I can. Preferably past 18 months. But morning, occasional afternoon and night will have to suffice. 

    I don't think you would completely dry up as long you continue to nurse on a regular basis (even if just once or twice a day).
    BFP May 2013 - MMC at 8 weeks
    BFP September 2013 - MMC at 12 weeks
    BFP February 2014 - early loss/CP at 4.5 weeks
    BFP May 2014 - MMC/ complete molar pregnancy at 11 weeks
    BFP December 2015 - DD born 8/18/2015
    BFP November 2016 - pending...



    jen83mn
  • Same boat. Right now i can barely pump enough for her to eat while i am at work. Been needing to take about a bottle a day from freezer stash. She does seem to be happy after nursing sessions, but not sure how long that will last. It sucks. My baby girl just turned 10 months as well. I wanted to make it until November (15 months). but at this rate, idk if i will make it a year.
    jen83mn
  • Am definitely noticing a decrease in my pump output too, but am still nursing very frequently.  I just ordered new tubing/membranes, etc. from Aeroflow (for free!) and am hoping that makes a small difference.  

    I think this is very common around this time, and am trying to remind myself that pump output does not necessarily represent supply.  Tough when you are an exclusive pumper though, I know.  Be proud Mommas that you are doing all you can for your babies! 
    jen83mn
  • Congrats on making it to 10 months! My LO is 9 1/2 months and I've noticed a decline in my supply over the past month or so. I'm still pumping the same amount of time as always but the output seems to be less and less. I'm only able to nurse morning and night right before bed with my work schedule. I've noticed that LO doesn't seem to want to nurse as long either which I think is affecting my supply too. I'm hoping to make it to one year (September 21st). I'm hoping LO decides to start nursing better again. Good work mama's on making it this far!
    jen83mn
  • Yep. Same here. I hardly get much from a pump and LO nurses less and less. Hoping to make it to a year!
    jen83mn
  • Saaaaaaame here and it breaks my heart. 
    jen83mn
  • I EP and got a huge freezer stash going (was pumping over 50 oz a day, and had to donate a ton before I got a chest freezer). We've been going through the stash and I'm down to 2 pumps a day. When I started this schedule I was still making almost 20 oz a day and now I get mayyyyybe 10 on a really good day. I'm hoping it stays steady here so I can give him at least a little fresh every day until a year, and I'm planning to start adding in a substitute at the start of September (born the 19th). I'm so sad about my supply dropping off. I really wanted my freezer stash to last past a year but I'm on track to blow through it all at exactly a year. 

    jen83mn
  • Thanks ladies! Glad to know I'm not the only one (but wish we all weren't struggling!). My little guy loves his milk and loves nursing, but only when milk is actually coming out!

    Proud we were able to make it 10 months, and will just have to give him as much as I can the next few months and supplement with formula as needed :) Now that we've tried formula a few times, it definitely makes me much less stressed when pumping at work knowing that I have a back-up option if I need it!

    Next kiddo I will definitely be pumping as much as I can during maternity leave and the first few months when my supply is still strong to build up a bigger freezer stash, knowing what I know now. I had oversupply at the beginning so I should have taken advantage more!
  • My supply dropped when I got my first pp period. I started supplementing around 6 months. A felt a huge weight lifted once I knew there was another option when I couldn't pump enough. Now I nurse in the morning and at night but give formula during the day. It is working for us and I've stopped stressing. I was happy to make it as long as I did. 
    jen83mn
  • My supply dropped when I got my first pp period. I started supplementing around 6 months. A felt a huge weight lifted once I knew there was another option when I couldn't pump enough. Now I nurse in the morning and at night but give formula during the day. It is working for us and I've stopped stressing. I was happy to make it as long as I did. 
    That's exactly how I felt! I think I'm going to drop one pumping session at work this week and go down to 2 from 3 ... I've only been pumping literally a few drops in one of those sessions anyways. Then I'll drop another session at 11 months so I'm only pumping once at work then, so we can gradually wean by 12 months. I'll keep all my nursing sessions for now, but so ready to be done pumping!
  • TabulaRasa25TabulaRasa25 member
    edited July 2016
    I don't pump because I'm home,  and I'm looking at weaning once we hit 12 mo., which will coincide with school starting again.  It's naturally been dropping off with him eating more solids.  We still do a solid early  morning and bedtime nursing,  but during the day,  they're less frequent and pretty short-term.  So my body's naturally adjusted to meet that demand. I have been home with him this summer and haven't pumped,  and shouldn't have to in the fall. We'll just supplement as needed when I'm at class.  My goal was to make a year,  which is well within reach. 
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