I am starting to panic about my milk supply. My daughter is 6 months old and we've had a great breastfeeding relationship. I stayed home with her for 3 months. I breastfed on demand and had a great supply. I pumped some extra milk every day and froze it and by the time I went back to work, I had about 3 weeks extra supply of milk in the freezer.
So, I went back to work 3 months ago. I pump 3x a day for 20 minutes each time. Baby girl drinks 12 to 14 oz of pumped milk a day at daycare. At first, I had no problem getting this much milk. Sometimes I'd even pump 16 oz each day at work and I'd freeze the extra ounces. I always nurse on demand when I am home.
Lately I've been picking up every bug or virus going around. I had a sinus infection that lasted about a month and I finally had to give in and get antibiotics for it. The antibiotics caused a noticeable dip in my milk supply. Then, last week, I had a really bad stomach flu bug that physically wiped me out and I couldn't stay hydrated. I still nursed her. I was so weak that I couldn't lift her and my husband would have to bring her to me. There were a few feedings that I was too incapacitated to do, so he had to give her some of the frozen milk.Thank goodness baby girl hasn't gotten sick at all! This is one big reason why I want to keep breastfeeding as long as I can, I can tell that her immune system is strong.
Anyway, I'm feeling healthy now, but my milk supply is seriously lagging and seems like it is getting worse. I am lucky if I can get 8 oz during my 3x a day pumping sessions. Tonight, I pumped TWICE after I put baby girl to bed so that I would have enough to send to day care. Even then, I came up 1 oz short and had to dip into my rapidly depleting freezer stash.
Baby girl is gaining weight just fine and is super healthy. She has just started eating some homemade fruit and vegetable baby food 2x a day. I have been eating oatmeal every day, taking my vitamins, and getting good sleep.
I am worried that my visions of nursing my child until she is at least two are starting to fade away. I am committed to not supplementing with formula. Has anyone else ever perked up their supply after a period of extended illness? How did you do it? Is there anything in addition to what I am doing that I can try?
Oh, and once in awhile one of the daycare providers will accidentally spill some breast milk. They always apologize. I've got 6 oz of spare frozen milk cubes in the freezer at daycare, so baby girl won't have to go without...but still, man, it takes me sooo much work to get each ounce of milk that I feel pretty sad when any of it gets wasted. : (