So I wrote my last post from a very gloom-and-doom place. My supply was down again and I really did think it was all over. I only pumped enough milk to give Zach one bottle that day and I was sad abut it and assumed it was the end. Well, it wasn't, and I learned some things in the process.
1.) When I said I was taking Blessed Thistle before, it actually was Milk Thistle. I was told to take Blessed Thistle by our LLL leader, and so I went to the GNC where I buy my fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea, and they had Milk Thistle in the same area, so I got confused and was told by the guy working that evening that they were the same. But when I went to this health foods store that has an herbs section, the guy working said nope, that I was duped. I'm actually on Blessed Thistle now and in just 2 doses, it has already made a difference.
2.) The same guy knew immediately what I was doing when I picked up Fenugreek also, and he added some Red Raspberry Leaf tea to the mix. He said it enhances the effects of the Blessed Thistle. We'll see.
3.) Yep, Parsley really is evil. I had gone from pumping 4 oz. at a time (really not a lot to begin with) to a pitiful, tear-inducing 0.5 oz. or less. I thought it was because I had some busy days where I only pumped 6 or 7 times, all in a row. And that still may be a part of it, but I had also started this diet with all of these healthy foods I don't eat normally. Among them? Fresh sage and parsley, both considered galactofuges that reduce milk production. The parsley had been in this pesto I had made and was eating at pretty regular intervals. Once I stopped, I immediately went up to 3 ounces at a time after one day of pumping my standard 8 times a day.
I'm back at it. Herbal supplements and pumping. And since Zach is now 8 months old, my goal of breastfeeding for one year is right around the corner. No, we didn't actually breastfeed beyond the 4th month, but I don't consider it a failure since he has continued to get breastmilk from me. Actually I'm kind of glad because I am a wuss. I should explain that! I have read up on extended breastfeeding and agree with it, but I have always felt weird about the idea of a walkie-talkie kid coming up and lifting my shirt to nurse. Well, since we don't physically breastfeed, I can continue to give Zach breastmilk without ridicule and discomfort. So now my new goal is 18 months. I don't know if I'll make it. This whole exclusive pumping thing is pretty labor intensive, but I'm going to try. My hope is that Zach will get at least some breastmilk beyond his first birthday.
So anyway, theconcludes this episode of the Boob Chronicles. For now.