milk supply low, spirits high

blecccch for babies

blecccch for babies

These are expensive. These taste awful. It’s worse than awful. Downing all these herbal pills and tinctures tastes like I’m in the oral section of a hippie orgy and I’m not the one receiving.

This is all to increase my milk supply because TJ refuses formula. This is not a formula versus breastmilk debate. I personally have no issue with people who choose one way or the other, or a combination. TJ hates formula and when my mom, who is watching him for the next month while I’m at work, offers him a bottle, he refuses, fusses and gags. But with breastmilk, it’s like he’s in Cabo, gulping down a margarita at Seรฑor Frog’s.

So I breastfeed and pump and repeat zen litanies in my head because I can’t let any stress affect my lactation station. It’s particularly difficult when I’m in Whole Foods and my mother says, “You should save more money,” and I just grit my teeth and answer, “Well, that would be easier if someone didn’t buy cans of sardines that cost five dollars each!” And I shut my eyes and travel to that special zen cave in my mind when later she says, “WHY ARE YOU PRETTY TODAY!?” Like there must be an prisoner-of-war-style interrogation if I don’t look like I’m still in labor, if I dare decide to sweep some blush across my orangepeel-sized pores.

I’ve been pumping before I go to bed and pumping the first thing in the morning. It’s getting better at work because I’ve been sticking to a schedule of doing it three times a day.

The pills and pumping have helped, although my body now smells like I did the nasty with a plate of waffles. Don’t get me wrong, I used to knock the boots with my breakfast, but I would just take a shower, cry underneath the hot spray, “UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!” and I would go about my day. Now the sickening maple smell follows me.

I know all of this is working since I wake up in the night and my chest is soaked. Another benefit is that I’m both feeding my hungry baby and winning a wet t-shirt without the use of water. It’s almost like being back in Cabo. Almost.

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  1. Have you also tried oatmeal? I used it when I induced lactation for an adoptive placement. I ate it in cookies, shakes and everything else I could make it in (meatloaf, etc.) It did wonders!!

  2. OMG! This made my morning! You are hilarious! Congrats on winning the wet T-Shirt contest. That is always my favorite part of breast feeding. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I second the oatmeal suggestion- that worked for me as well. Trader Joes has some good steel cut oatmeal in the frozen section that’s really yummy and easy to make in the morning.

    Hope things get better with the milk production soon!

  4. Sorry you’re having to do all of this extra work, but thanks for telling it with your usual sense of humor. You crack me up, girl.

  5. I love how you brought the cabo joke back in at the end! your comedic timing is awesome.

  6. I’m glad that is working for you. I need to do the same thing and then maybe I could feed my baby less formula (we are combination feeding). Congrats on sticking with breastfeeding, maybe not by total choice since TJ wont take the formula, but none the less a very awesome acheivement! I think exclusively breastfeeding mothers deserve a medal because that shit is haaarrrd! I could only do it for three weeks.

  7. Definitely try oatmeal! I stressed the whole time I was breastfeeding/pumping for my kid. I felt like a camel with the amount of water I was drinking and like Oliver Twist for all the dang oatmeal.
    The books seriously don’t tell you how hard it is to breastfeed a kid.

  8. I’ve heard the milk increasing herbs make you smell like maple syrup but never tried them and had no idea about the oatmeal (but totally want to try it now!). I use a breastmilk tea and it helps. Granted, I’m currently living in Germany and it’s a German brand but it works really well at increasing my supply. I’m on month 16 of breastfeeding (I’ve never given her formula and we didn’t start any foods til 6.5 months) and it has really helped keep my supply going. It tastes pretty good to me and I only add a bit of sugar. I would be totally happy to send you some of the tea if you would like :o) I’m all about supporting other breastfeeding moms.

  9. loltastic

  10. Those herbal supplements make you smell like maple syrup?! You need to start watching your back, girl! You get some fat dude on a restrictive diet with a hankering for pancake walking near you…you are done for!

  11. I have no commentary on the brestfeeding part…the knocking boots with your breakfast part on the other hand…

  12. Beer!!! You haven’t tried dark beer yet??! Darkest Guinness you can find – it helps with milk production… Might as well have a good time.
    Of course, only one a day – but still!
    I did that along with the drops and I did OK…
    Good luck!
    Love your posts and your humor ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Aw, Mona. I am right there with you on the breastfeeding struggles. *HUGS* and if you need anything (I think i still have a couple bottles of Fenugreek if you want them), you call me, ok??

  14. I smell like Mrs. Butterworth, too. That ho.

  15. I’m not sure what happened, but the other night Jakey smelled like maple syrup. I’m thinking, this kid must have read the directions incorrectly. I’m the one who’s supposed to take the fenugreek, not him.

  16. Oh that sucks (the low milk supply I mean). Yeah, fenugreek is the worst. I had to use that stuff after brilliant me thought it would be good idea to donate blood while nursing a 4 month old. Um no, it was a very bad idea. But, it did help increase my supply. Your son is Beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

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