Well, my son is 7 months and eating solids.
Thanks for stopping by, Nicole! Would it be ok if I asked you a few questions?
- Why do you think your supply is tanking? Is it strictly based on pumping output or are you having issues with weight gain, diaper output or other issues while nursing directly as well?
- Are you pumping all day because you're away from him at work or for another reason?
- What kind of pump are you using? You're pumping twice right now? For how long? If you have concerns about supply, I would absolutely NOT advise reducing to one pump. That would be telling your supply you need less milk. I would definitely keep with two or increase to three pumps per day.
- How long are you away from him during the day? How many bottles and how much in each bottle?
- How many times does he nurse directly in a typical day?
- How much solids is he eating?
- Are you on any hormonal birth control or other meds that might affect supply? Any health issues that might affect supply, like PCOS, thyroid, anemia or hormonal issues?
- Biting while teething is hard to deal with but fortunately, it's usually a temporary phase. Here's some good info to deal with biting: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html.
Sorry to bombard you with so many questions but it will help us understand your situation a bit better. Hang in there, mama!
Pumping output is down from maybe 12 - 16 ounces to only 3 - 4.
With five nursing sessions in the time you are with him, it is likely he is getting a lot of his milk at that time.
One thing you can do is on the weekend or whenever you are home with him is to offer and nurse lots all through the couple of days. As you have thought, extra nursing will boost your supply. So would an extra pumping session per day even if it is short.
Another thing is that a baby of seven months should be having mainly breastmilk, with solids to experiment with for taste, and texture. They should not be the main part of his diet at the moment. With that in mind, there is no need to be rushing to several solid feeds in a 24 hour period, which can lead to low supply.
What I would do and what I did when I was working is let the solids be for when the baby is in daycare, and while I was at home, I would still nurse directly all of the time. I did not begin offering solids at home until the baby was around one year old.
That way, with all those good nursing sessions in your time together, the baby is still getting a lot of milk.
Thanks for the quick reply, Nicole.
The fact that he's been sick lately is likely a contributing factor in your supply taking a dip since he likely wasn't nursing as well then. Exercising is not a factor fortunately so keep that up.
The amount of milk you're offering during the day is great.
My main area of concern is the amount of solids he's eating. Typically at 7 months old, we still see babies on one small meal of solids per day. If I'm understanding correctly, he's eating three larger meals of solids per day. Is that right? Eating so many solids so many will absolutely impact your supply. Would it be possible to ratchet back down slowly