Q&A: Am I making enough breast milk?
I have been breastfeeding my nine-month-old daugher since she was born. She is now eating oatmeal and baby food (oatmeal twice a day, two fruits, two vegetables, and two dinners daily). I just took her to the doctor for her nine-month check up and she is underweight.
For the past few months she has been nursing on both, or sometimes one of my breasts for only two or three minutes every three to four hours. I am concerned that I am not making enough milk to fulfill her needs. I've tried to give her formula and she absolutely will not take a bottle, as soon as she sees it she cries and throws a fit. Today she has been pretty fussy and she hardly nurses...please help!
I wish I could see your daughter’s growth chart to better understand what you mean by “underweight.” If she has actually lost weight, then medical tests should have been done to find out why. On the other hand, it is fairly common for a nine to twelve-month-old to dip slightly on his or her growth chart due to normal appetite changes, and because new skills like crawling and walking burn calories.
If you still want to exclusively breastfeed and are convinced that this is the problem, a nutritionist or lactation consultant may be able to help you find the trouble spots in her feeding pattern. By pumping, you can get a better sense of how much milk you are producing and whether it is sufficient for a nine-month-old.
If you have decided that supplementing with formula is the right step, consider these two points. She is much less likely to want to take a bottle from you than from someone else. Your scent, feel and sound remind her of the comfort of the breast. Have someone else feed her (and you may have to leave the room for this to work).
Another option is to forget the bottle entirely and wean her directly to a sippy cup. She is at the age where solids begin to be a more important source of calories and nutrients, and 16 to 24 ounces of milk or formula may be all she needs (though good weight gain is the ultimate goal).