Monday, August 10, 2009


I don't understand my boobs.

Whoops, sorry. ALERT: This is a post about breastfeeding.

Ok, like I said, I don't understand my boobs. My milk supply has gone all wonky.

A few months ago I started taking Fenugreek to help my milk production. Man, oh man, did it WORK. I was still getting the same amount from the right side, but the left side kicked into high gear. And then I stopped taking the supplement. Mostly because I ran out, was too lazy to go up to Whol.e Fo.ods for more (Ok, loading that little chunker in and out of the car and shopping carts takes its toll FAST!), and I wanted to see what would happen. And a little part of me almost believed that this supplement was having an effect on my PPD.

Not so much. I was off it for about 2 weeks I'd say. And there would be times that I would get 3 ounces from the left side after 8 HOURS, 3 ounces from the left side after 3 hours, and 1 ounce from that same left side after 3 hours. In no particular order, and no, that is not my pumping schedule.

Meanwhile, my right side stayed constant at 3-4 ounces per pumping every 3 hours.

And I saw no difference in my demeanor. Although I think my blood sugar levels bounced around. I got dizzy every now and then. I thought it was earthquakes. Seriously, I did.

So then...I was at the store buying produce for Isaac's food and thought what the hey, I will start it up again. Into my basket went the month's supply of Fenugreek and I began the twice a day regimen once again.

Now I still get the 3-4 ounces from the right side. 6 in the morning And anywhere from 1-5 ounces on the left side. At any given time.

I understand that this unevenness is common in breastfeeding. But every time I think I have it figured out, BAM! Changes again. It is getting to be a pain changing my pumping schedule and trying to guess when I will have enough milk to pump in order to keep up our supply.

Breastfeeding is challenging. I say challenging and not hard because well, I enjoy not having to measure out formula and mix it and all that stuff. That seems taxing. And I know that breastfeeding is not for everyone, and is sometimes not even possible for mothers. But it is for us. I like that Isaac's food is automatically ready to go whereever he goes (for the most part). And I love that his food is made to order as he needs it. Yes, pumping is a pain in the arse. And it was rough being tied to my sofa for the first 4 weeks of Isaac's life because he wanted to eat every 2 hours. ON. THE. DOT. But I love doing this for him. Really, I do. I love the bonding experience it provides me with. And let's face it, the calorie burn doesn't suck. :) It still makes me a little nutso every now and then and there are time when I think it would be so much better to stop. At the end of the day, I know I can get through the next 5 months or so. We have come through almost 7.

And with that said, it is time to pump.

1 comment:

Stacie said...

I agree 110% that breastfeeding is challenging. I did it for 8 months. I had to stop because I dried up fairly quick. I think it had to due with me working full-time, pumping less, and nursing less.

I also took Fenugreek -- a LOT of it. It worked, but I hardly had any milk by the time I started it. Next time I get pregnant and nurse, I am going to take it earlier on.

I remember trying every combination of nursing/pumping/supplementing/schedule possible. I beat it to death. It got to the point where I literally made a spreadsheet with a crazy schedule on it. That lasted less than one day.

Things never go as you plan--even when it comes to nursing.