I have always had PLENTY of milk, for both of my girls, until about a month ago. Then I started having trouble pumping enough to leave behind for my 8-month-old when I have to be away from her. (I am away from her for one 7-hour stretch once a week, one overnight for 12 hours once a week, and sometimes one more full day or half day away from her.) I used to have a huge "bank account" in the freezer, but that's totally gone now. Now when I pump, unless I'm totally full (like after the overnight), I only get a tiny amount, not even close to an ounce. It isn't even worth saving. I'm using the same techniques as always, it just isn't working anymore. I'm not on any medication, but I have started taking fenugreek capsules, which don't seem to be helping. I don't think my supply is actually the issue... its really just pumping.
The last several times I've left her, I've left behind such a small amount of milk, that it makes me very uncomfortable. She has drunk all of it each time and been hungry when I came home. Of course she is also eating foods and drinking water when she's out of milk, so that helps. But I'm so uncomfortable, I have started to think about having some formula in the house for just in case. Just THINKING about that (much less typing it) makes me almost gag. Neither of my girls has ever had formula, even one time. But since she's 8 months old and already eating lots of different foods, maybe it isn't as big a deal as I'm imagining. (If this makes any difference at all, she uses sippy cups, not bottles.)
Maybe could I get away with giving her whole goat's milk instead? It would only be for when she has run out of pumped breastmilk, only on the few times a week I'm away. Is that so different from just another table food?
It seems so odd that I can't pump all of a sudden. I still have plenty of milk when I'm performing live... I'm tandem feeding the two of them whenever I'm home and no one goes hungry.
Sorry to go on and on, but here it is in a nutshell:
1. Thoughts on sudden trouble with pumping after 3 years and 8 months of breastfeeding?
2. Thoughts on formula as a back-up in this stage of the game?
3. Thoughts on goat's milk instead?