I’m a science person, right? Not a holistic medicine person. I don’t believe that apple cider vinegar can cure everything from blisters to cancer, and of COURSE we’re vaccinating Jack. I don’t plan to change my mind about any of that, but I AM willing to try just about anything to make sure I can continue to feed Jack.
A couple of weeks ago, maybe three now, Jack started to behave strangely while nursing, and without going into all the details (because I’m tired and that takes too long), I’ve asked for help, and two other moms, his doctor, and two lactation nurses (one of whom witnessed him nurse) all think I have low milk supply. Jack is still gaining weight, so no one is seriously concerned about him, but I’m not ready to give up on being his sole source of food.
Solution #1: pump constantly. Sharon (the visiting lactation nurse who looks and sounds like John’s Aunt Toni – it’s eerie) suggested pumping after every feeding for 24-48 hours. I haven’t managed EVERY feeding (sometimes I let him nap if he falls asleep eating), but I’ve been pumping a lot and not seeing a lot of improvement. We’re coming up on 96 hours, and MAYBE making some progress. We’ve replaced the bedtime feeding with a bottle because that late in the day I’m producing practically nothing and both Jack and I are very not happy about it. Anyway, the pumping is supposed to be telling my body that the baby needs more so, damn it, produce more. We’ll see.
Solution #2 is the one I want to talk about. After suggesting pumping all the time, Sharon asked, “Have you tried any herbs?” Part one of the answer: I haven’t tried ANYthing because I didn’t know what the problem was. Part two of the answer: um, what? What kind of herbs? Like, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme? Or, like, herbs? What is happening here?
Apparently, some herbs are galactagogues, meaning they’ll help produce milk, like fenugreek, alfalfa, and, I kid you not, something called blessed thistle. I feel hippy-dippier just typing that. So Sharon suggested I try those herbs, in addition to the constant pumping, either in pill form or in Mother’s Milk Tea. (I can’t believe this is a real thing.) I like tea, so I ordered some of that, and it arrived today. I was worried about the fenugreek (I really don’t like licorice), but the tea tastes pretty much like a basic chamomile (I don’t drink much herbal tea, so give me a break here if I’m totally off base), and I can deal with that. Of course, I have to deal with it 3-5 cups a day for it to be effective.
The tea has been in the house for 90 minutes, and I’ve had two cups already. I’ll get at least three in tonight.
THIS HAD BETTER WORK.