or “The Joys of an Abundant Supply”
I got to thinking the other day as I was nursing Robert and he was coughing and sputtering over his meal and I was pressing my hand against the breast he wasn’t nursing on to try and stem the flow that I should list the humorous faux-pas (for lack of a better term) of the over-abundant nursing mother…
#1 – “I’m sorry little one, did I just squirt you in the eye?”
#2 – I swear I either change my shirt 2-4 times a day or more or just walk around smelling like sour milk.
#3 – you get used to that soggy feeling
#4 – The song “Drip, drip, drip little April showers…” runs through your mind constantly
#5 – When someone mentions that your baby is hungry you get in the habit of automatically glancing down at your shirt first to find the wet spots, rather than checking if your baby is actually crying.
#6 – You never quite get over or used to the horrifying moments of inopportune let-down while teaching Relief Society or speaking in Sacrament meeting at church (or any other public speaking engagement, for that matter). And at those moments, you can’t exactly clench your arm to your breast to stop the flow.
#7 – When you say hi to a stranger and their eyebrows raise, they blush, look quickly away, or their eyes widen exponentially, you know you are leaking AGAIN.
#8 – You might as well wash the sheets every day – because you wake up every morning soaked – either from excess after feeding the baby, or because you leaked over night.
#9 – in order not to soil your clothes you stuff entire dishtowels into your bra… but then you forget to take them out when the doorbell rings.
#10 – oh – and nursing pads? Read the one about the dishtowels again.
#11 – the other moms in the nursing lounge look at you a bit oddly when you stuff a towel or washcloth into the bra on one side before beginning to nurse on the other.
#12 – your husband asks upon arriving home from work, “Did you spill something, or are you just happy to see me?” After which you promptly whack him on top of the head with a wooden spoon.
#13 – overproduction can lend to humor and stress relief in difficult situations. Namely when Jacob was in the hospital and I was pumping – the entire mini freezer for breast milk was filled by me! on the day of Jacob’s surgery Paul and I wore our semi matching cow pajama pants – the only difference? Mine said “Got milk?” To which one of the nurses pointed out laughing, “Honey, you need an exclamation point, not a question mark!”
No wonder they said breastfeeding was a form of birth control!
I meant to write this post the other day because I thought it would be rather humorous, but then I got busy – I suppose life as a mom of six tends to get that way from time to time – so they tell me anyway. Well, today as I was researching an issue completely unrelated (Robert has blocked tear ducts right now and his eyes are weepy – we haven’t dealt with blocked tear ducts since Liz was a baby, so I suppose I am entitled to forget a few things after 11 years) and I found, along with ideas on helping Robert’s little eyes, a wealth of information that I wish I had learned 11 years ago!
So, overactive let-down is an actual issue – addressed by the Leche League! I never knew this. I always thought I should be happy that I have plenty of milk, especially because I know some moms who have a hard time producing sufficient milk for their babies, while secretly I’ve felt rather miserable. Engorgement, frequently plugged ducts, never feeling comfortable – it hurts! But, I didn’t want to complain or feel ungrateful. Anyway, as I was researching the clogged tear ducts, I stumbled across a post on the leche league forum that talked about putting a few drops of breast milk in baby’s eyes to help with the clogged tear ducts (which totally works by the way, I remembered doing that with Liz after I read about it) and the one mom said something about doing it unintentionally because she always squirted him in the eye – followed by the comment “I have OALD”. And I got to thinking – what is that, so i did a search and found out about over-active let down.
The thing is, is that it causes gassiness in infants (my babies were always burpy, farty, explosive stinkies, you name it – they were gassy babes), and numerous other things that cause baby (and mom) to be uncomfortable. And the coolest part? There are things I can do to help and decrease the overabundant supply! I never knew. By following the standard nursing instructions I was making the problem worse – never knew that either. So – if you happen to have an over-abundant milk supply check out the following link. I sure wish I had read this before baby number 6!
And if you have a baby with clogged tear ducts – here is what I found out: (from the on call nurse and online)
1- wash away the drainage with a clean damp cloth – preferably warm
2- gently massage with your pinky (be sure it is clean, please) in a semi circle from the corner of the eye where the lids meet inward to the nose – 5-10 times 6 times a day
3 – apply mother’s milk – a few drops in the corner of their eye about 6 times a day – mother’s milk has infection-fighting white blood cells and other natural antibacterial substances and it’s gentle on sensitive baby eyes than prescriptions.
4- see your pediatrician if the above isn’t working – it can take some time for the ducts to clear up – signs of larger problems are red irritated eyes or puffy lids, etc.