I had been exclusively breastfeeding my DD, and when she was 5 weeks old we decided to give her one bottle of formula per day at 7pm (her bedtime). We did this for 5 nights, and then had a bit of a rethink and decided it made more sense for me to breastfeed at 7pm, and for my DH to give her the bottle of formula when she next woke, as it would probably coincide with his own bedtime.
However, we are 3 nights into this new regime, and she is waking at 9pm and is clearly hungry. In the daytime, and at other nighttime feeds she easily goes 3-4 hours between feeds, so it leads me to think that the 5 days of missing the 7pm feed means my breasts are no longer producing enough milk at this time.
Is there anything I can do? If I keep persisting with the 7pm breastfeeds will my supply increase again?
Yes your supply may have dwindled slightly but by keeping up the 7pm bf then you will get your supply back to normal within a few days. Rather than giving her formula have you thought about expressing so she could have that and then your supply won't suffer?
Your most important bf are the ones in the middle of the night (between 2am & 6am roughly) as this is when your prolactin levels are at their highest and they tell your body roughly how much milk to make for the following day.
Thank you so much for such a quick reply, I'll keep persisting as you suggest. Formula seemed a good idea to my sleep-deprived brain at the time, but will give expressing a go, as I don't want to mess up my supply.
Your DD could be having a growth spurt (they often do at around 6 weeks), which often leads to cluster feeding in the evenings. So this might have happened even in you hadn't changed your feeding pattern.
If it is a supply issue it shouldn't take more than a few days to sort itself out, so just keep feeding on demand.