More solids = less milk?
I only use my breastpump (baby has not wanted to nurse directly since she was a week old) and I am curious. Will my baby start drinking less milk the more she eats of solid food? I am trying to plan for the future. ( I do have a small stockpile of frozen milk in the freezer) I am having to pump every four hours to keep up with her eating habits! She drinks 6-8 ounces every four hours (except over night - she only drinks 6 ounces once during the night). I am exhausted from doing this five months and counting. I know breastfeeding is best for both of us. Please tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I even wake up during the night to pump while she is still sleeping.
Wow - you are a trouper! I only had to pump full time (including in the middle of the night) for 4 days when my 3rd child was in the hospital. I pumped ever 2 hours, and then at 11pm, 4am and again at 6am, going just one 5 hour stretch in the middle of the night. I was exhausted as well, but also had the stress of a newborn having open heart surgery and being in ICU. I didn't pump nearly as long as you have been pumping, but I was exhausted and know that feeling well.
The first thing I would think about would be working to get baby to take the breast again. There are two things that come to mind in trying to get her to latch, if the only reason she is refusing the breast is because she is now accustomed to a bottle nipple.
1. Use the pump to bring on the let-down, then take the pump off and immediately put baby to the breast so that milk is flowing into her mouth. Babies who prefer bottles usually like the fact that they don't have to work to get the milk - the milk starts flowing immediately. Babies who are breastfed will actually have to suck, suck, suck for a little bit until the milk starts flowing. When a baby is used to instant gratification (milk as soon as they latch) they will often get frustrated at the breast. So this is the first thing I would try - bringing on the let down with the pump, then latching baby immediately.
2. Once baby is latched and the let down is active, then you can use compressions once the milk flow slows, in order to keep baby interested and drinking. I'm going to place 2 videos below showing you how to do compressions to keep baby interested and milk flowing.
As far as when baby will be getting most of her nutrients from solids rather than from breastmilk - this would come after 12 months of age. Before that, "food is for fun" and most babies can go onto cow milk when they are a year old.
You're doing great! If you find that you're health is suffering or you're just feeling completely exhausted or overwhelmed you could offer some formula and lessen the time between pumping but I'd try to see if baby will take the breast first because this would especially make your night time feeds much easy (just roll over and latch her on while you both go back to sleep).
Green smoothies are also very nutritious and this is something you can offer daughter now. Here's a video showing you how to feed a green smoothie to a baby through a straw.
Thank you Kate!
I will definitely try getting her to latch on. Being able to get more sleep sounds great!! No one has suggested that to me - even a lactation consultant! I will let you know if it works for us!
The green smoothies look great, too.
I'm just checking in to see if you tried the green smoothies with your daughter and how it's going with trying to get her to latch on. I know it can be very challenging, but I'm wondering if you tried pumping until you had a let-down and how she took to the breast with milk pouring into her mouth immediately.
I want to share this story with you about a mum who was able to re-lactate and get her son to latch again so that he was taking full feeds at the breast.
Does that story give you any ideas on how to go about this process?