Galactagogues to the rescue!

Friday, April 06, 2012

I am so close... so close I can actually see an end in sight.  Twelve months ago, when I was thinking about and preparing for the arrival of Gianna, I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding.  But I was just so nervous it wouldn't work.  None of my friends had breastfed for a full year; most of them gave up within the first week.  The only person I knew at the time who had successfully breastfed the entire first year was my sister.  I knew I had her support and most importantly, Sean's support, so I set the goal of breastfeeding the entire first year.  Admittedly, this was in large part a financial decision.  Of course I knew all about the research and proven statistics that breastfeeding truly is best for baby but to be totally honest, that wasn't the deciding factor.  It was money.  Afterall, we had no job and we were living in my in-laws basement.  So you can see why that made our minds up for us! 

This isn't going to be a long lament on my history with BF'ing thought I hope to write a post about that soon (for anyone who cares, and mostly for myself).  Guys, you can check out now because I'm certain you don't care about this.  So this week... I am ONE month away from meeting my goal of exclusively BF'ing for a year, and my milk started to dry up.  Uh-oh.  I have no clue why, except that I've recently started exercising again.  I'm still eating and drinking a lot so I think the exercise may have been the culprit.   On Saturday night, I was putting Gia to bed, and she just wasn't getting enough milk.  As I was singing to her and rocking her to sleep, she started doing the sign language gesture for "milk."  She wanted more and I had nothing to give her!  (I should note here that she refuses any kind of formula, will not take a bottle and will not take pumped milk in any form... not in a sippy, straw or anything else!)  I put her to bed anyway, fully prepared to be up several times to attempt to nurse her again.  And I was heartbroken.  (Surprisingly, she slept ALL NIGHT LONG!) The next day I decided to spring into action.  I looked up every kind of galactagogue (ooh, good word!) then headed to the store.  Here is what I came home with:

1. Oatmeal Cream Pies- Not only are these little gems yummy but they are made of oatmeal too.  Though I don't know that its been scientifically proven, it would stand to reason that these would help with lactation, too right?  Yum. 
2. Oat Revolution Oatmeal Cereal with Flax- This stuff is amazing!  I got the maple & brown sugar variety but there were several to choose from. The best part?  You don't have to dirty a measuring cup or just "eyeball" the amount of water you add because the pouch doubles as a measuring device!  Yup!  Dump out the cereal in your bowl then fill the pouch to the brown line with water.  Microwave 90 seconds and you're on your way to better lactation.  Or a healthier heart.  Or lower cholesterol.  Or losing weight.  Oatmeal is great for so many reasons. And I like the extra texture the flax seed provides.  (BTW, have you checked out the benefits of flax?  Also endless!)
3. Fenugreek- This herbal supplement has many uses and is actually used as a spice in cooking.  I stared taking 2 capsules, 3 times a day.  Then I bumped it up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day.  I'm convinced this is the stuff that really worked for me.  It works within a day of taking it.  However there are two downsides... the first being some GI issues.  Nothing big, just annoying.  But the other side effect is that your sweat, skin and pee will all smell like maple syrup.  No joke!  And since I've been sweating a lot at the gym every day, well, lets just say its not a subtle smell.  Shew! 
4. Mother's Milk Tea- I haven't actually tried this yet, so I don't even know how it tastes.  Though I've been warned that its not that great. 

So, there you have it.  That's my arsenal of galactagogues that will hopefully help me get to the 12 month mark, and keep Gia healthy, full and growing!

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4 Lovely Words

  1. Way to go, sis! You're amazing! I'm super impressed with your continued dedication even though some would have given up and just accepted finishing a month before the goal. Love you!

  2. Interesting. I'm impressed at your stick-to-it-ive-ness. Way to go, Shey.

    And I learned a new word. Thanks.

  3. Way to go Shey! You can do it! But don't get discouraged if your body naturally starts to tell you it's time to stop. I planned to bf K to 12 mos. however K had other plans. She self weened at 10 mos. she was just done, and didn't want to anymore. So at that point we switched her to whole milk. I was very sad. But thankfully she went straight to a zippy cup, so we really didn't have to mess with the bottle thing. :) hope you can reach your goal! All the stuff you bought is beat, and should help for sure! Love all that stuff!

  4. Congrats for making it this far!! That is amazing!! & something I hope to do with my 2nd. Hazel didn't do too well breastfeeding & so I pump, but have a low supply. I know all the tricks way too well!


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