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December 19, 2011

Googling "Boob Juice for Dummies"

Last week, our house was struck by the Virus of Death. When I say our house, I mean myself since I'm usually the one that cooks, cleans, and chooses reasonably fashionable clothes for the kids to wear. With all of those duties falling on my husband's broad shoulders for a few days, I spent some quality time resting and cultivating a petri dish of Diet Pepsi drool and cold germs on my pillow.

The first sign of the cold was the sharp knife stabbing directly into my brain. That particular symptom, always good for a night of jolly fun, brought back memories of the death metal I pumped through my headphones during college. Unfortunately, with no volume dial to crank down the main, I laid in bed waiting for sleep that never came. By four in the morning, I was a haze of watery eyes and exhaustion, so I stumbled upstairs in the dark, searching for an elusive bottle of magic to put me out of my misery.

While it would certainly stand to reason that pills and all things of a potentially toxic nature should be kept in a centralized location for situations such as this, I say nay. Why make things simple for those late-night medication runs? Let's keep our pills ALL OVER THE HOUSE!

So there I was, stubbing my toes on our cabinets and tripping over toy cars to find the guardian of sleep, my beloved Benadryl. Now if this is the part of the post where you're saying, Wait, are you supposed to be taking Benadryl? You're still nursing... RIGHT? then consider this the part of the post where I throw my old obstetrician under the bus and remember (again) why I'm glad to be seeing a midwife. As sweet of a lady as that OB was, when she told me that I could take Benadryl after having Nathaniel, she neglected to mention one tiny little side effect that turned out to be not so tiny after all.


Unfortunately, that hunger was not my own. Poor little Evelyn noticed the change first when I started producing less milk than normal. Because I'm somewhat less observant than the Queen of The Milk, it took a bit before I noticed a difference, but I simply chalked it up to the fact that my sinuses were so swollen that they could be seen from outer space. But then the congestion went away and the cold subsided.

And so did my milk.

Trying not to work myself into a boob-induced frenzy, I talked myself off of the ledge, reasoning that the lost milk would come back on its own since I wasn't completely devoid of nutrition for the little lady. After having a little chat with myself, I was fully convinced so I kicked back with a coma-inducing amount of Christmas toffee and waited for the inevitable to occur.

When it came, it wasn't what I expected. It was like getting granny panties for Christmas. Or (for those of us who have had children), A THONG... because we're all dying to accentuate that sexy episiotomy scar. But as the general shock started to wear off, I realized what I was up against: it was Mother Nature, doing her worst.

Oh yes, there she was in all of her monthly glory, reveling in my shock and roiling hatred of the fact that her very appearance was an affront to the fact that I am still breastfeeding my baby. So with her arrival and my sudden and unexpected need for a box of Tampax, I think we can safely infer that my body thinks we're done with the whole "feed the little person thing."

In light of this news, I will be spending my afternoon Googling all sorts of appropriate things like "boob juice for dummies," which will undoubtedly produce some quality YouTube hits. But all joking aside, consider this my parenting cry for help. I don't particularly enjoy being The Food, but there's something about how my daughter loves holding my hand as she nurses, how she stops and smiles at me, and how she curls into my stomach when she falls asleep in my arms that makes me loathe to give up now.

I'm not ready to quit and I won't go down without a fight. Giving my little girl the healthiest start to her life is important to me, even if it means regular wakeup calls at 3am. So even as I wait for Mother Nature to get the message that there is, in fact, a hungry little person over here, consider this your cue. Dear Internet, I'm open to suggestions.


  1. Here is a recipe (i have never tried it, but heard others have and had good luck with it)

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
    Prep Time: 15 mins Total Time: 27 mins Makes 4 dozen
    • 1 cup butter, softened (I used Smart Balance because it has Omega-3
    in it)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal (available at health food stores)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 cups oats (not instant oats)
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips)
    • 2 -4 tablespoons brewer's yeast (available at health food stores)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
    3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
    4. Add eggs and mix well.
    5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
    6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
    7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
    8. Stir in oats and chips.
    9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
    10. Bake for 12 minutes.
    11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

  2. If I ever noticed that I was producing less with the twins, I would start pumping more and then my body would make more milk. It was annoying to have to pump more frequently, but it helped! Perhaps you could try pumping after she nurses, or nurse when she is hungry and pump at other times to trick your body into thinking she is eating again. Also, whenever I took out a pumping session with my girls, I would inevitably get my period- around 5 mo or so, and yet I still bf my girls until 13-14mo, so don't let that get you too stressed about having to stop nursing! Good luck!

  3. I would say pump some more. Don't wear restrictive clothing....maybe even go braless. Drink plenty of WATER! Your body won't give up on you. Keep up the good work!!

  4. Fenugreek! You can buy it at health stores and at GNC. It worked wonders for me, and within hours of taking it. I just took it for about a week until my supply was back up to normal and then stopped.

    A friend of mine drank something called Mother's Milk tea, which I couldn't find, but then the Fenugreek worked miracles, so I didn't need it, anyway.

  5. Fenugreek! I'm already taking it because I'm having supply issues already. I had them with Garrett too. Fenugreek saved us! Brewer's yeast is good too, they sell it at GNC. Lots of water, oatmeal, Mother's milk tea (tastes disgusting by the way). Good luck, Mama!

  6. Fenugreek messed both me and Lily up pretty bad, we had GI issues for a while...and once I stopped taking it I actually made more! Sorry I can't agree with that one!

    I eat oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast, drink tons of water, and double pump...We were unsuccessful with nursing, so I pump exclusively, but I almost always pump both sides the pump both again, no supply issues here anymore!

  7. First, I have eaten way too many of the lactation cookies mentioned above. :) Not sure if they helped or not though.

    Second, this exact same thing happened to me. Pump, pump, pump after each nursing. I also took fenugreek (not sure if it worked, but I loved smelling like maple syrup). Please, please, please take a minute and read my story. I think you will feel much better. :)