Milk update

Day 63

Thank you to all our friends who offered advice about how to get my milk supply back up.  I blogged about my issue here.  It’s pretty much back to normal now and Simon seems to be eating enough and getting chubbier again.  In that short week, you could tell that Simon was losing a bit of weight, his cheeks were less chubby and he lost the “rolls” on his arms.  Now his cheeks are chubby again and the “rolls” are forming again on his arms.

The tips that I think helped me:

1.  Keep well hydrated, plain water is fine.  Yesterday, Simon’s doctor said something funny but very true: Most of us live in a state of dehydration.  I know I definitely do not drink enough water during the day, I have to constantly remind myself.  I’m not sure how I will keep up when I’m back at work since we’re not allowed to have water in the pharmacy.  Constantly going in and out of the pharmacy can be difficult but I’ll just have to try and probably drink a ton at one time.

2.  Soy milk is a good source of fluids and protein.  My friend Trang says this helped her a lot and it seems to do some good as well.  I would recommend trying to find the unsweetened type or else it contains too much sugar (up to 17g per serving).

3.  Herb Lore Nursing Tea which was recommended by the Kaiser SF Lactation Center (and they sell it there too) which seemed to help a bit after drinking it religiously for 2 days.  This may also have helped because I was drinking more liquids.

4.  Herb Lore Fenugreek capsules which was also recommended by the Kaiser SF Lactation Center (and they sell it there too).  I had been drinking the nursing tea for four days with very slow improvement so they suggested I add this on as well.  It is three capsules by mouth three times a day with food.  It is a pain to swallow them since they are large gelatin capsules but it seemed to really have boosted my milk supply.  Once the milk supply is established I’m supposed to slowly wean off of it but I may continue for a little while longer until I feel more comfortable.  Apparently if you abruptly stop, it can have a negative impact and decrease your milk supply again.

5.  Old-fashioned Quaker oatmeal.  I read about this on another website so thought I’d try it.  It wouldn’t hurt and it’s good for digestion.  Every morning I was eating a bowl made with milk, Sun Crystals , and dried fruit.  A few days ago I baked some oatmeal pecan cinnamon cookies so I wouldn’t have to deal with microwaving it every morning and so I did not necessarily have it eat it for breakfast.  Sometimes I just want some bacon and eggs for breakfast!  Here is the recipe for the Oatmeal Pecan Cinnamon Cookies.  I did not add the chocolate chunks this time.

6.  Pump pump pump!  I had been letting myself go over 4 hours without pumping or breastfeeding and this signals your body that baby doesn’t need as much milk.  So we are limiting the number of prepared bottles and bringing my portable pump with me if we anticipate being out for a long period of time.

7.  Rest and relax!  This is probably the most important.  If you are tired and stressed, the milk won’t come.  After a few days of intense breast feeding and pumping, I allowed myself one night to have longer periods of sleep and had Ron feed Simon with our stored supply.  I noticed a big difference after I finally got some good sleep and was able to relax.

8.  Papaya.  If you like papaya, it doesn’t hurt.  Since I was doing so many other things, I’m not sure how much it helped on the day that I ate a ton.  But there is usually a basis behind these Asian remedies.

9.  Breast feed your baby.  This one should have been like “duh!”… I had been exclusively pumping at night and didn’t realize how negatively that could impact my milk supply.  Now I’ve been doing a combination of both breast feeding and having Ron bottle feed him.  I’m not sure what will happen when he starts sleeping through the night.

10.  Ask your Asian mommies for soups and broths, sometimes they really do know what’s best.  I had two soups during this time period.  One was a sesame oil chicken in ginger and rice wine broth.  The second was a pig feet and eggs in a black vinegar soup.

Wow, seems like a lot but I guess most of us would do anything for our babies.  It was really frustrating in the beginning but I wanted what was best for Simon so just kept at it.

Now on to pictures for the day.  I mentioned yesterday that Simon had his first round of vaccinations and his poor legs had little band aids on them so here are his little chubby legs.  Poor guy actually seemed to bleed quite a bit but after removal of the band aids, you can hardly tell where the shots were placed.



Simon and I went for our second outing alone this afternoon.  He had been awake for more than 2 hours already and seemed to be winding down so I thought a stroll would help him to fall sleep.  He didn’t fuss much except when he wanted to eat a little bit and when I got to Old Navy on Market Street, he started to fall asleep.  I’m always impressed he can sleep in such loud environments when he sometimes has trouble falling asleep at home when the TV is on.  He probably didn’t have an extremely restful nap since whenever we’d go somewhere quiet (like inside the elevator), he would open his eyes for a few minutes and then fall back asleep again.

It was interesting to maneuver around various stores (Old Navy, Gap, Westfield Shopping Center) with the Snap’n’Go since I hardly take the elevator so had to figure out where they were.  I had originally planned to take him out in the Baby Bjorn but he just didn’t want to so I used the car seat and Snap’n’Go.  I now know I can carry the car seat and the folded up Snap’n’Go down the front stairs but to come home, I have to carry Simon up first and put him in the apartment then retrieve the Snap’n’Go.  For some reason, it’s difficult for me to carry both up the stairs.  Ron just carries them attached together but I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet, need to work out 😛

After we got home, Simon woke up and ate a lot, played for a bit, then fell quickly asleep.  I was amazed he fell asleep without a fuss and thought he was going to sleep well.  I forget sometimes that he is a baby and can be unpredictable.  He woke up after half and hour and wanted to eat more.  He really tanked himself up with milk (bottle and breast) then finally fell asleep again at 9pm.  He’s been sleeping a bit longer but not quite through the night yet.

I love it when Simon catches himself in the mirror (the light green thing with flowers on the right is a mirror on his playmat) and he gets really excited and laughs and coos.  So adorable!


1 thought on “Milk update

  1. Nimisha

    Hi Jen! this was a really useful one, been reading up on breast-feeding lately and contemplating about bottle-feeding at definitely shed some light on my doubts! 🙂
    Love reading the daily blogs and seeing Simon’s pics too!

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