Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Milk Factory

Breast alert, anyone not interested in talking about them you've come to the wrong place!  I realize not everyone is as comfortable talking details about things as I am, but I do believe in talking about the aspects of motherhood that aren't a walk in the park.  I apologize if anyone is uncomfortable reading about it, but I write about the good the bad and the ugly, and I know that for every issue one of us may have, someone else is out there experiencing it as well, and if you're anything like me, it feels good to find someone else's words that hit close to home.
I've had a really healthy large milk supply from the very start, and after we got the latch issue resolved in the first month, breastfeeding has been going perfectly. I love, love, love nursing Henry.  It has been the most special thing I've ever done, and I know he is equally enthusiastic about it. It's our thing. I enjoy it, I'm proud of it, and I plan to do it for months to come, so imagine my disappointment when I woke up on Monday morning to practically half the milk supply that I'm used to. Where I would usually wake up with two very full boobs, one seemed to have jumped ship and given up... for no apparent reason. It's been a rough few days wondering why this has happened, worrying about if the other would follow suit, dreading the idea that our idea of how breastfeeding would go might radically change. Henry isn't phased by it, he's just as happy with them as ever, but I can feel the huge difference, and I can see it.  I've been drinking Mother's Milk tea, taking an herbal supplement that makes me nearly gag every single time.  It's full of things to increase milk production and is said to be fairly effective, but it tastes like the spiciest herb packed dirt in the world. I hold it under my tongue until it feels like it'll burn off or I'll gag, and then I finally swallow it and try quickly to erase the flavor with something else.  Today I tried something else for the first time--acupuncture.  Another thing that is said to be very effective with lactating mothers.  If you had asked me a couple of years ago to willingly get pricked with dozens of needles I would have just about fallen over.  I would have been more happy to give my boob to a pack of wolves. But there I was today, entirely enthusiastic and ready to jump on a bed with needles being tapped into my skin.  Motherly love, I tell ya.
And I actually really enjoyed it.  It was relaxing, and I really believe it is going to help so we shall see. I feel like it's getting a little better but if lefty really has checked out at this point (so, so sad) then I'll just embrace the one sided feeding gig.  I am definitely 100% committed to exclusively nursing this boy even if that means being uneven. C'est la vie.
Anyone heard enough (more than) about the tatas? I'm done with that now, but for any of you experiencing anything like that, I encourage you to try some of these things!
Here are some recent pictures of life with the ever-growing, extremely fun baby H:
Ridiculously cute in this towel
He woke up with this little tuft on the top of his head
Dog park walk!
The baby and the bearded man

Henry "helps" with the garden
Brimming with spinach, chard, lettuce, kale, arugula, carrots
The peas

The freshest.
Henry likes to hold them. I like to eat them. 


  1. I am sure that is tough to watch your milk production go down, and I pray that everything gets better. A mothers love ;) acupuncture eh? I can only imagine the crazy things I'll do to help keep the bond with my son when he gets here!

  2. Thanks you :) You do whatever it takes! Pretty incredible. I think I'll be a return customer to the acupuncturist though, it was so interesting!

  3. Oh jeez. I just wrote this long post and then it didn't post correctly. Okay,this will be the abbreviated version of what I just wrote. So...I remember around S's 3 or 4 month mark I started feeling the same way you are, and so did many of my mommy friends. It turns out that frequently around that time period milk production adjusts to what baby (Henry!) needs and you don't make quite so much. Since you aren't engorged it feels like you don't have enough, but your really do! I drank mother's milk tea and did a few other things, and it helped, but I think I would have been just fine even if I had just let it go.
    Only you know what's going on with you, but nursing (and even a perceived lack of milk) can unnerve the best of us, so just some food for thought. I am the furthest thing from full these days (boobs are pretty much prebaby size) but am still nursing S at 16 months. So drink your tea, do your acupuncture, nurse on the affected side first, and *try* not to worry too much about it (hard I know-you're talking to the worry queen) because you may just have more milk than you feel like you do.
    Sounds and looks like your family is doing wonderfully. Henry is a doll!


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