Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Supply-Side Economics

I'm having milk supply issues for the first time. I have no idea why- it could be hormones, it could be stress, it could be my diet, it could be lack of sleep, it could be the fates laughing at me because I was just saying on Friday that I've had little problem keeping up with Pumpkin's bottle needs. Actually, I think it is that I got complacent and didn't always pump in the morning to replace the bottle Hubby gave her in the middle of the night.Now that she is mobile, it is hard to keep her from playing with the tubes or power cord while I pump in the morning, so it has just gotten more difficult from a logistics standpoint and I let it slide. Oops.

Hubby rightly points out that if would not be the end of the world if I had to give Pumpkin an ounce or two of formula a day. However, I am having a very hard time accepting that. I've made it so far, I think, surely I shouldn't give up now! There is also a small, irrational voice that says I'll be failing Pumpkin if I don't keep her "exclusively breastfed" (except for the solids she's eating, of course). I know that this is silly, but that doesn't keep the little voice quiet.

Luckily, it is truly a demand and supply system, so if I up the demand, my supply should go back up. I'm pulling out all of the stops to try to solve the problem. Here are the steps I'm taking:

1. I've added a pumping session before bedtime, and am pumping in the mornings, too.
2. I'm taking fenugreek three times a day (at least when I can remember to take the stuff to work with me- this is apparently yet another thing I need to keep in duplicates, so that I can just leave a bottle at work).
3. I am increasing my protein intake. This is fun. When was the last time you said "I really should have the cheeseburger for lunch?"

Next, I'll start drinking a dark beer every night. The B vitamins in beer are supposed to help milk supply. It will certainly help the stress levels, and it is another fun "requirement".

Pumpkin is helping out, too, by sleeping better. I got almost five hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, and two or three more hours of patchy sleep! Maybe the great sleep experiment is working? I'm almost afraid to type that out loud for fear of jinxing myself!

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