I have been working full time since dd turned 8 weeks old. I pump 4 times a day on my long 10 hour work days and 3 times on my 7 hour work days. I was getting about 3-4 oz per session up until she turned 10 months old then it dropped to about 2-3 oz per session. It was fine as I was still able to get the amount she needed for bottle. About 3 weeks ago right after her first birthday my supply has dropped to 1/2oz-1oz per pumping session. I haven't done anything differently and she is still bf the same amount of times. (bf when she wakes up, 1-2 bottles depending on if its a long or short day, bf when I get home on short days, and bf before bed)
She gets really upset at the bottles because she wants more milk in them so I tried supplementing some organic milk. She was drinking them with 1oz of cow milk, but still got mad because she wanted more in the bottle. I added another 1oz of cows milk and now she is refusing it completely and even more upset. I feel so bad! I am taking a supplement (fenugreek, blessed thistle, and anise) which has helped a tiny bit, but not much.
How much food does she eat? Would she accept a snack instead of one of the bottles on the long day and then the milk could be combined in to one bigger bottle? I didn't have this issue as my LO refused bottles from daycare staff so she just increased her solid food intake until we could be together again (like you we did wake up, pick up and bedtime feeds).
The fact that she appears to want them but then refuses them could be because she doesn't like the cows milk or it could indicate that maybe it's not lack of milk but something else like teething that is bothering her. Additional grumpiness plus wanting but then refusing feeds was classic teething in my LO.
Have you tried going up to a faster nipple on the bottle? The frustration might be that the milk is coming out too slow. You might also have luck transitioning to a sippy cup or straw cup.
I wouldn't worry about the quantity of your milk dropping, because the composition changes at the 12-14 month mark, usually. They don't need the water content anymore, so there's more fat and dense calories. My supply dropped off until I was able to stop pumping at 16 months and just give straight cow's milk, and we still have a great nursing relationship at nearly 18 months. 😊
I just wanted to update just in case anyone else deals with this in the future. She has been drinking water in a sippy and eating 3 meals along with snacks throughout the day so I think the bottles were more for comfort at nap time rather than hunger. We kept a bottle in the fridge for a few days just in case, but we only gave it to her if she really seemed to want it. She didn't seem bothered when it wasn't offered so we just did away with bottles.
She will only take a sip of cows milk here and there, but we do offer it in a sippy at meals. Someone suggested almond milk so I'm trying that this weekend in a cup. The doctor said as long as she is getting 3 sources of calcium then she's fine, it doesn't have to be from milk. That made me feel sooooo much better as I was only stressing about her getting a bottle because I thought it was something she still really needed. She loves yogurt and cheese she gets that daily along with 2 nursing sessions (morning and before bed) that I don't plan on stopping anytime soon...that is unless she stops wanting it on her own.
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