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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know what's going on. Ever since yesterday afternoon, I've had barely any milk. I had to give Jackson a bottle of EBM from our freezer stash last night at bedtime because I was totally dry. I made enough for his overnight feeds, but then today I had hardly anything again. I gave him EBM this morning, then was able to feed him little bits throughout the day. Not very much though. At first I thought my slow let-down was the problem, Jackson would get too impatient and frustrated that he wouldn't try anymore. But then I pumped after I gave him the bottle this morning, and got NOTHING.<br><br>
Even worse, we almost gave him a bottle of formula tonight <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">. He was so hungry, and wouldn't even try to latch on because he was just so frustrated with my boob. I only had one frozen bag of EBM left, and when we defrosted it he wouldn't take that either. I tasted it and I think it had turned sour. DH mixed up a bottle of formula that we had laying around the house and brought it in to us, but Jackson wouldn't take it. Poor guy, I just held him and rocked him (and cried). When I put him down, I tried again to feed him and he was able to get a little bit out of each breast. Hopefully that will keep him asleep long enough to replenish my supply for the night (but I doubt it).<br><br>
I'm so confused, why is this happening? Its just out of the blue! For 5 months we've had the greatest nursing relationship, no problems at all. And now suddenly this. I fed him 3 hours ago, and my breasts still feel empty <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. We don't have any EBM left. I know its a vicious cycle to supplement that way, but what else could I do with a hungry baby? I'm so upset. I hate that we even tried to give him formula tonight, and I'm glad that he wouldn't take it. But what do I do the next time this happens? DH is very supportive of bf'ing, but when his baby is hungry he pushes for formula. I think he feels like I'm being selfish to not give formula when Jackson is hungry and I can't feed him.<br><br>
I've been drinking a ton of fluids, and I bought some Fenugreek today and started taking it. Can you think of anything else I should be doing? I may even call my doc on Tuesday and ask him about Reglan. I'm just at such a loss. I have no idea why this is happening. Any suggestions for me?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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If he's five months old, and sometimes refusing the breast, I would seriously think about throwing out the bottles. If you work away from home, then just use the bottles at daycare. A bottle is easier, nursing is harder work, and too many bottles can make a baby prefer the faster bottle flow. You can also switch to a newborn nipple, which flows slower. You can use a sippy cup or even get a soft, flexible newborn cup from a lactation consultant or a LLL leader.<br><br>
Cup feeding:<br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/alternative-feeding.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html</a><br><br>
Have you talked to a LLL leader or LC?<br><br>
Sometimes there are false alarms when the milk supply is actually fine. If he fusses at the breast, that does not ITSELF mean no milk is there....it could mean a growth spurt where he is trying to INCREASE your supply and as you may know the formula short-circuits that...why do you feel your milk is gone? Is he having plenty of wet diapers, does he cry wet tears, is he alert and not sleeping too much?<br><br>
Also, it is normal for breasts to start to feel empty as nursing goes on...and that fact, by itself, doesn't indicate a supply problem:<br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/breast-fullness.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/breast-fullness.html</a><br><br>
But if it truly IS a supply problem I put some links at the bottom of this post.<br><br>
Pumping: what kind of pump are you using? Is it possible that after 5 months a part has worn out? Can you call the pump company or an LC to ask? Is it a high quality hospital grade electric? These can be rented by the week from a hospital or LC.<br><br>
To help supply: eliminate caffeine (medicine, sodas, coffee, chocolate) and don't use pacifiers. Cosleeping bf babies get twice as much milk at night as babies who sleep separate from their nursing moms, (-sleep researcher James McKenna.) This may be because sleep releases milk-producing chemicals in the mom and/or because skin-to-skin contact increases supply. Some moms take a "babymoon" to increase supply and do nothing but nurse in bed for a few days, letting the baby nurse often. Spending some of that time topless and/or in a tub together can really help.<br><br>
Low supply, causes, solutions:<br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html</a><br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/increase.html" target="_blank">http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/increase.html</a><br><br>
Fussing at breast, causes, solutions:<br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns...le-nursing.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns...le-nursing.html</a><br><br>
Pumping:<br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/...g_decrease.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/...g_decrease.html</a><br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug96p118.html" target="_blank">http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug96p118.html</a><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/index.html</a><br><br><br>
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When I put him down, I tried again to feed him and he was able to get a little bit out of each breast. Hopefully that will keep him asleep long enough to replenish my supply for the night (but I doubt it).</td>
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This is not how your supply is replenished. The way your breasrs make more milk is not to have a break to fill up, but to be stimulated lots of times. So if he latches on every 30 minutes your breasts know they need to make more milk, not if he doesn't nurse for a few hours.<br><br>
I also don't understand why you think you have no milk- especially if he isn't hungrily swallowing those bottles. I think if he was really hungry he would have taken them. Does he still have wet diapers?<br><br>
I also agree that having a bottle could be affecting your supply, not only does he not stimulate your breasts again, but he could be not sucking right on your breasts to really get the milk.<br><br>
I hope you get this worked out.
 

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After 5 mos, it would be extremely unlikely to have you milk suddenly dry up. Lactation just doens't work that way.<br><br>
He may be refusing the breast b/c he is in pain from teething or perhaps thrush (offer a cold or frozen wet washcloth, or some moms like homeopathic teething tablets). He may be getting too many bottles and starting to get nipple preference. Maybe switching over to sip cups when you are separated now would be a good idea.<br><br>
Trying to pump when you are upset and near panic might delay a letdown. Try to relax and trust your body. Nurse frequently and take your fenugreek if it makes you feel better, rest and eat and drink. Offer the breast several times an hour. There is no reason why you would produce enough at night and not during the day, unless it is b/c you are more relaxed at night.<br><br>
Very rarely a mom may have a couple days of lower supply just before a period. Just offer frequently and drink lots of water in this case.<br><br>
It doesn't help when your dh is doubting too and pushing formula. Call your local LLL Leader for active support!<br><br>
Good luck, hon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I agree, call your local LLL Leader.<br><br>
I know for myself I used to be a pumping machine, and then one day I woke up and could not pump one single drop out -- it was the weirdest thing. It was like all of a sudden my breasts did not respond to the pump. I noticed no difference in my baby's eating habits, though.<br><br>
Also, some women find they don't get the fullness or engorgement after they have been nursing for a while -- it seems to taper off in some women.<br><br>
It sounds like you are worried sick about this. One suggestion might be to take your baby to bed with you for a day. Stay in bed, have your partner bring you whatever you need (okay, wroks better on a weekend), stay in your pj's and let your baby nurse all day long. If your supply needs increasing, this is a good way to do it.<br><br>
I agree it sounds like something else may be going on with your baby...how does his mouth look? ANy teeth or white spots? Could he have ear infection or a cold?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for the responses, mamas. You're right <b>ldsapmama</b>, I am worried sick over this. Its frustrating that we have had no problems whatsoever, I guess I took for granted how wonderful it was. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I don't have to worry about throwing away the bottles now, because I don't have any EBM left. Prior to this situation, he's only had a bottle a couple of times in his life. I'm a SAHM, so I'm here all day to feed him.<br><br>
I think the main reason he's refusing the breast at times is because he's frustrated. He sucks for a while, but not long enough to get the milk flowing. He breaks off and cries. If I can get him to stay latched on until letdown occurs, he will nurse until he empties the breast (I can tell by his swallows - they basically stop and he's just sucking). Usually he doesn't even empty them before he's full, but now it only takes 2 minutes max. for him to empty it.<br><br>
Part of the problem is that he's not a big comfort nurser. If he was, I think it would work to spend all day in bed and nurse. But Jackson only wants to nurse when he's hungry, and if he gets frustrated he just quits. Its a bad cycle, because once he's hungry he has even less patience for let-down. Then of course I'm stressed so that makes it take even longer... ugh!<br><br>
He's still got wet diapers and plenty of drool, so I'm not worried yet about dehydration. He's acting normal, no fever, sleeping well.
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Very rarely a mom may have a couple days of lower supply just before a period.</td>
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This happened last month too, but only for about 12 hours (AF should be here in about 5 days). It scared me, but resolved so quickly that I didn't give it much thought afterwards. This time we're going on 48 hours of decreased supply, and I'm more concerned. I don't know what to do if it happens each month!! I'll hope that this is the cause, and it will resolve itself soon.
 

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Can you try breast compressions while he's nursing, to stimulate another letdown?<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/newman/breast_compression_01-03.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/newman/breas...ion_01-03.html</a><br><br>
Even if he doesn't want to stay in bed nursing all day, I would try the topless approach. Often when my son is distractible the sight of my breasts in plain view will remind him where the good stuff is.<br><br>
I would focus on getting him to nurse as much as possible and don't worry about the pumping. Nursing is the best way to get your supply up to where it needs to be.<br><br>
If you're going to take fenugreek, take 3-4 capsules 3 times a day. You will start smelling like maple syrup! If you can get blessed thistle to add to that, so much the better, but fenugreek by itself is pretty strong. Also try eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning and drink lots and lots of water! Visualizations really help, too: when you nurse your son, picture rivers of milk flowing out of your breasts, while doing some deep relaxing breathing.<br><br>
Hang in there, mama, you can do this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks <b>Jane</b>, those are good tips.<br><br>
The most frustrating thing is that I don't think he's nursing long enough to stimulate more production. Only occasionally does he actually nurse long enough to get some milk. I've been offering him the breast often (and he's searching for it often too), but mostly he just sucks for about 15 seconds, then cries and stops. I think he remembers how frustrated he is. If he would latch on for a long time, even if he wasn't getting anything, I would feel like we were accomplishing something.<br><br>
I just put him down for a nap, and pumped for about 20 minutes for stimulation purposes only. I'm napping him in our bed so I can go in and nurse him during the nap when he wakes up. Usually he naps in his crib, but he sleeps with us at night.<br><br>
Oops, he's waking up... going to nurse...<br><br>
(Thanks again for the support ladies, I think more than anything I just need people to say, "Stick with it! You'll make it!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )
 

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Stick with it! You'll make it!<br><br>
Seriously, you will. I am so glad I kept nursing my ds even through the times when I was worried about my supply or he didn't seem interested. It's been great for us.
 

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<br><br><b>STICK WITH IT! YOU'LL MAKE IT!</b> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Sorry if I overwhelmed you with too much information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, <b>Momtwice</b> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
You didn't overwhelm me, its just taking a while to all sink in. I've been thinking about your thoughts all day.<br><br>
I'm confused a little. You mention (and the Kellymom links also say it) that all the symptoms I'm having may NOT mean low supply. Fussing at the breast, not feeling "full", increased number of feeds, decreased length of feeds. I can see that, but its just that they're all happening at the same time, within the last 48-72 hours. Add that to his length of drinking time (short) and getting frustrated after the milk runs down. *But* he's still got lots of wet diapers, tears, drool, etc. At least I know he's not dehydrated, but I'm still confused. It really does seem like I have a much lower supply than a few days ago.<br><br>
I've been offering him the breast A LOT. It doesn't seem to be making a difference, but then I guess I'm being a bit unrealistic about how fast the whole process works.<br><br>
Its killing me. DH is still pushing to supplement with formula <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. I can understand his point, his child is hungry! I'm not able to explain why I feel so strongly about not supplementing, so he's trying to be supportive without fully understanding why.<br><br>
I'm just praying that it comes back soon. I may be calling my doc tomorrow to ask about Reglan. I just don't know what else to do.
 

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I want to reiterate about teething pain. It may be painful for him to nurse if his gums are sore. 5 mos is a big teething time. How about the idea of having him suck on a cold wet washcloth for a few mins before a nurse to try and numb his gums? While he is doing this, pump or hand express to get the flow started. If it is flowing freely when he latches on, it may not hurt him as much. Just get it started for him.<br><br>
Kids can teethe for months before gums get red or a tooth erupts. BTDT.<br><br>
One more thought. Hypothyroidism can cause havoc to one's milk supply. Rather than go on Reglan (which can have side effects) perhaps a thyroid check first? BTW, if you do need a galactogogue drug, Domperidone has less side effects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good morning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. Things seem a bit better today. He didn't fuss at all last night during his night feeds, and when he pulled away I saw milk dripping down his cheek <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">. We may be on the upswing.<br><br>
I'm thinking more and more that this is related to AF. I hear what you're saying about teething, <b>DaryLLL</b>, but he doesn't seem to be upset at any other time. If he was teething, wouldn't he be crankier in general? Maybe not, this is my first babe so there's a lot I don't know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.<br><br>
But if it IS AF-related, how do I prepare each month? Do I start Fenugreek again a week before my period is due? I can deal with a momentary decrease, but 3 days is really tough!!<br><br>
Again, thank you all so much for taking the time to read about my situation and provide your insight and help. I truly appreciate it, even if it was stuff I didn't want to hear at the time. I feel better prepared for when it should happen again. I knew I could count on you ladies. Love ya, mamas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> .<br><br><i>Edited to add</i>: GREAT suggestion about the thyroid levels. I will ask for a check if this continues much longer. And I've heard of domperidone, but is it available here? I thought it was a Canadian-marketed drug. Would I still need an Rx, or can I get it another way?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">GREAT suggestion about the thyroid levels. I will ask for a check if this continues much longer. And I've heard of domperidone, but is it available here?</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
You are "D," right? You know I'm a thyroid freak! Do you have a 6 month pp visit with your OB? If so, make sure she/he checks your thyroid (although, knowing your professional background, you could probably check yourself, huh?).<br><br>
You can order domperidone from many places, most commonly Canada and New Zealand. You know I'm not an expert, but I'd see your LC before moving on to domperidone; from what I understand, it's use is recommended for <i>after</i> less invasive remedies are tried (pumping, fenugreek, day in bed, etc).<br><br><a href="http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/domperidonewhere.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/d...onewhere.shtml</a><br><br>
HTH!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Things seem a bit better today. He didn't fuss at all last night during his night feeds, and when he pulled away I saw milk dripping down his cheek</td>
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I just wanted to say, YAAY! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> That's wonderful. I can only imagine how frustrated/scared you must have been.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by jackson's mama</i><br>
Good morning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. Things seem a bit better today. He didn't fuss at all last night during his night feeds, and when he pulled away I saw milk dripping down his cheek <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">. We may be on the upswing.</td>
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That is good news.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm thinking more and more that this is related to AF. I hear what you're saying about teething, DaryLLL, but he doesn't seem to be upset at any other time. If he was teething, wouldn't he be crankier in general? Maybe not, this is my first babe so there's a lot I don't know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.</td>
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Sure is hard being a first time mama. The first one is your guinea pig! No matter how many books you read or people you talk to.<br><br>
Babies teethe in different ways. Some will be cranky all day/night. Some (like mine) only seemed bothered at night, as the business of the day kept them distracted. Some (again, like my 3) are soothed by frequent nursing. Some, OTOH, seem bothered by nursing, I guess the vacuum they create to suckle adds to the pain! That is why getting the flow started for them may help, as they don't have to suck so hard to get it going themselves.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But if it IS AF-related, how do I prepare each month? Do I start Fenugreek again a week before my period is due? I can deal with a momentary decrease, but 3 days is really tough!!</td>
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I don't know. Probably different things will work for different people. This is rare enough, I don't have much exp helping moms with it. Anybody?<br><br>
Perhaps it is only temporary and will not happen every month, but just until your new hormonal state settles down!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi mamas,<br><br>
Well, things are a bit better but not much. Jackson's unwillingness to suck long enough to initiate letdown is a major problem now. I know that there is milk there for him (not as much as usual, but some), but we're having a really hard time getting milk to flow before he gets frustrated. Poor kid just does so much crying at each feeding! The crying with real tears... its heartbreaking.<br><br>
I feel more confident about things, and that's a huge improvement. But we're still struggling.<br><br>
I'm looking into domperidone just to have around the house for each month. I'm not sure if its OK to take it this way or not, and I'm having trouble finding websites that address this. One website I found said that this was an appropriate use of domperidone:
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When a mother has a decrease in milk supply, often associated with the use of birth control pills (avoid estrogen containing birth control pills while breastfeeding), or on occasion for no obvious reason when the baby is 3 or 4 months old, domperidone will often bring the supply back to normal.</td>
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Sounds like the first part is a hormonal cause (albeit synthetic hormones rather than natural cycle), and the second part could be anything. It is comforting to know that there are enough women that experience a drop in supply "for no obvious reason" that they would mention it... and that domperidone works for most of them.<br><br><b>Bananasmom</b>, yes I'm D <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. Thank you for that website. It doesn't sound like I need an Rx to get it.
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Perhaps it is only temporary and will not happen every month, but just until your new hormonal state settles down!</td>
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Yes! I'm hoping so!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is so [email protected] frustrating.<br><br>
So I'm offering the breast a lot though out the day, but I feel like its almost doing more harm than good. After Jackson empties both breasts after the rare feed where he gets milk, there's nothing left for him the next time I offer. He just cries and gets so mad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> . I feel like he's remembering these times, and each time I offer the breast he gets frustrated easier. He acts ravenous and sucks hard for a few seconds, then breaks off and cries. I don't want to make him dread every feeding, and it feels like he sees the boob and is conflicted... hungry yet he knows how frustrated he gets. It is so hard to watch my baby cry when I should be able to feed him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">.<br><br>
DH keeps asking me if I have any errands to run. I think he wants me to leave so he can feed J some of the EBM that I've been able to pump at night (after J goes to bed). At least I know he's not going to sneak some formula in there while I'm gone.<br><br>
And while I love the fenugreek for helping me produce a bit more milk, the smell of curry is starting to drive me crazy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">
 
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