Am I producing enough milk if I don’t pump enough milk out?


My baby is 8 1/2 months old. She loves to breastfeed, LOVES. She is exclusively breastfed unless I’m at work and she (barely) gets breastmilk from the bottle. She takes bare minimum from a bottle as she has always boycotted bottles since 2 mo old.
I work one day a week where I am gone for 13 hours. I work in a fast paced high stress job with a lot of moving parts. I try to pump every 3 hours, often gets stretched to 4 hours.
My child is healthy and growing. Up until 6 months I would pump 3-4 oz total per session every 4 hours. The past 2 months what I pump has been dwindling. Recently I pumped at work and only got 1 1/2 oz the entire day. I have tried 2 different pumps and a hand pump. I have tried different settings. I also breastfeed my baby in the early morning before I leave and do a dream feed when I get home.
I am concerned my supply has dropped but also do not understand how when my baby is exclusively put to breast 6 days a week.
I did get my period back somewhere around 6 months and wondering if this also plays a factor.
My daughter also loves to eat solids. Just as much as she likes to breastfeed. I do feel like she eats a lot of food for her age but it doesn’t effect how often she goes to breast.
Am I still producing enough for her even though I am not pumping nearly anything? She seems satisfied after going to breast. Should I check in with the pediatrician for a weight check? I am worried they will tell me to offer bottle at some point during day. while I have breast milk stored, she doesn’t like to take a bottle and often it is a fight for her.
Why would my supply have dropped so significantly?
Love, a scared mom who’s thoughts can’t stop racing

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Posted by ALO
Asked on February 12, 2024 5:17 am
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Hi, ALO! This is a very common situation for families to go through. It's understandable that you feel overwhelmed and worried. It sounds like there are a lot of contributing factors.

Your menstrual cycle can certainly play into the drop in supply - this article may be helpful:

Solids can also impact your supply. If she's eating a lot of solids, even if she's still going to the breast as much as she always was, she might not be transferring as much milk, thus, we'd see a decrease in milk supply. Pumping every 4 hours at work may be playing into it, as well as the stress you experience at work. You didn't mention if you nursed at night or pumped during the night - if these feeds/pumps have been eliminated, that will have a negative impact on supply as well.

At the end of the day, if she's growing and happy, that's important. We do want breast milk to be the primary source of nutrition, so I would probably cut back on how much solid food she gets. However, it's hard to say without meeting with you directly the exact cause of what's going on.

I would suggest you book a consult with a member of my team to determine if there's anything else you can do at this point!

Good luck!

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Answered on February 21, 2024 7:35 am
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