It was a chilly night and morning so we had to bundle Simon up. His legs and arms were getting cold to the touch. He’s “wearing” his Halo Sleep Sack and a fuzzy blue sweater.
I’ve been noticing this week that Simon’s eyelashes seem to be getting longer and eyebrows darker. I was expecting him to have beautiful eyelashes when he was born since I notice that boys generally have longer, fuller eyelashes than girls. I guess it just took some time for them to grow. His baby acne is a lot better now, he has occasional flares but they resolve quickly.
As the weather got better in the afternoon, we went to run an errand and have lunch. Our errand was to visit the Kaiser SF Lactation Center to get some advice and buy some spare parts. Quite suddenly, my milk production seemed to have reduced by 50-75%. I started to notice it Tuesday when I pumped after Simon finished a feeding and it would only result in 1-2 oz when usually it is much more. I didn’t think much of it since Simon seemed satisfied so I figured it was Simon just drinking more. But then on Wednesday morning, after I woke up from sleeping 4 to 5 hours, not breastfeeding and not pumping, I was only able to pump 2 oz when I know I usually can pump 8 oz and my breasts did not feel very full. So then I really started to get worried. I looked up on the internet what I should do in order to get my milk supply back up as I was afraid Simon wasn’t getting enough to eat. There’s a lot of information out there so I decided to try these few things:
1. A bowl of regular oatmeal (not instant) daily is supposed to boost up milk production
2. Pumping after each feeding to help to stimulate your body to produce more by making it think baby needs more
3. Drinking more water
4. Exclusively breast feeding, no more supplementing the night with frozen breast milk. Ron usually feeds Simon at night so that I can get some rest but did not do this for Wednesday night; reminded me of when Simon first came home, being up every 1-2 hours to breastfeed.
I noticed this morning that it seemed to be helping. Even though every hour or every 2 hour pumping is a pain, it seems as if I am producing more. But I still wanted some advice and I needed some parts of my Ameda pump. I have two pumps, the Ameda is a hospital grade pump which my dad gave me. His pharmacy used to rent them but got out of the business but kept this one for me. I also have a Medela Pump in Style portable pump which I plan to use when I go back to work. When I was in the hospital, I used a Medela hospital pump and they let me keep the parts which actually fit on my Ameda pump. Unfortunately, the barrier-filter part got clogged so I stopped using the Ameda pump about a week ago and switched to using the portable Medela. So after much research, I finally found that Kaiser SF’s lactation center sells the dual pumping kit for the Ameda pump so I could pick it up right away rather than ordering it.
My Ameda pump, I believe the model is Ameda SMB. It may look clunky but works fantastic.
So when I stopped by, one of the lactation consultants helped me out and listened to my situation and basically confirmed what I thought was the cause of my decreased milk production. I went to the spa on Sunday and was gone for most of the late morning and afternoon. I only pumped twice while I was gone and only breastfed once in the morning and then again at 6pm. On Monday, I only breastfed until 1pm then was out all afternoon and evening and I only pumped once while out and also didn’t breastfeed again until almost 9pm. So basically, no demand = no supply. The lactation consultant said I was doing all the right things for now and recommended Herb Lore Nursing Tea. You brew a big pot and basically drink it whenever you nurse. The tea contains fennel seed, Goat’s Rue and Red Raspberry Leaf which help to boost milk production. Also nettle leaf and alfalfa which is for vitamins and minerals. Lastly chamomile for relaxation (among other effects) because when you are stressed, the milk won’t come either. So I have been drinking it all day today; effects should be noticeable within 12-24 hours. Let’s hope so.
For all those future mothers out there, don’t be careless like me if you want to be able to breastfeed for a full year! Even if you take time out for yourself, be sure to make time to pump and if your baby is with you, let him or her nurse, don’t depend on a bottle. Or else you might end up stressing out like me.
After visiting the lactation center, I felt a lot better so we headed off to lunch at Pho Garden. We had been there previously and enjoyed their pho. They are home of the Pho Challenge and now they give you a souvenir bowl if you complete the challenge: 1 hour to eat 2 lbs noodles, 2 lbs meat plus soup = 22 lbs. If you don’t complete it, you get a t-shirt. Not bad either way considering it is only $22 to compete. We ordered our regular sized pho and I also enjoyed a delicious three color drink.
Keeping my fingers crossed that my milk will come back in full-force!
Speaking of fingers, today’s milestone, Simon grabbed onto Ron’s finger and actually held on! He’s been doing it off-and-on this evening and even tugged at my finger. He seems like he’s figuring out his hands as he is now hitting the toys that hang from his playmat. So cute 🙂