New Parent Tip: Fenugreek

fenugreek While I cannot know first-hand how well it works, I have observed the seemingly magical powers of Fenugreek through TB’s milk production over the past five weeks. As the Wikipedia entry will tell you, Fenugreek is a herb with many common uses. One area of particular interest to nursing moms is its properties as a milk producing agent.

Taken orally in capsule form or as one of several ingredients in the popular Mother’s Milk Tea, Fenugreek greatly improves breast milk production quickly. The capsules can be found in many supplement and drug stores. The tea is not as effective as the capsules due to the lower levels of Fenugreek but TB finds sipping the tea relaxing and combines it with a couple capsules each day.

Before getting all excited you should know there are some drawbacks:

  1. All that milk has to come out which means either lots of feeding, lots of pumping or sore mammary glands.
  2. Storing breast milk safely for long periods requires a deep freezer and expensive containers.

Of course, if things get too abundant, just cut back or stop taking it altogether. Lastly, while Fenugreek is used in many food products, it would be wise to consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

Update: TB loves the bottle labels. 😎

Getting prepared for fatherhood

[This post includes a Baby Stats contest. Remember, you have to play to win.]

Stork and baby The baby countdown has resulted in a new form of March Madness now that we are near the final week.

It is all—ok, more like 99.99999%—excitement for me at this point but there is still a smidgen of fear in the deepest recesses of my brain. I know we will be fine on the things we can control but it is those things we outside our control that give me pause. It certainly has not been all roses for TB during the past couple weeks as the baby’s descent has made it harder for her to sleep and sit. Amazingly, she still doesn’t complain. In fact, she seems to want the baby to stay in there and gets mad at me when I try to coax the kid to come on out. I think she’s just trying to buy more time to decide on names.

Here is an ultrasound picture from week 29 (ten weeks ago!)

20090116_TBaby_04
29 weeks

I initially considered entitling this post “Getting ready for fatherhood” but I am convinced one is never ready. All I can do is work on my skills, gather advice and hope fortune favors the prepared. Once the baby arrives, I want TB to be able to focus on her wellbeing and the baby and not be concerned about anything else.

Keith Football 10In terms of my skills, I know how to take care of myself and my household. There is not a chore I haven’t done—I can thank my mom for that—but I’m a bit rusty on some things like ironing and washing clothes. I also know how to swaddle, change diapers, burp and perform other baby-related grunt and wet work thanks to having a couple much-younger siblings. I will need to be more efficient and tireless. Luckily, when I focus on something I really focus and I have my game face on as far as this baby is concerned. See picture to the right for my game face at age 10. You don’t want to mess with me. (Don’t hate on the ‘fro. 🙂 )

New skills I will have to acquire?

  1. Coping with our Ashford & Simpson dynamic duo becoming a Batman & Robin where I play Alfred Pennyworth.
  2. Monitoring my world through cries and dirty diapers instead of email and the Web.
  3. Trading in Dr. Dre for Dr. Seuss.
  4. Bathing a newborn. I hear Dustin Hoffman’s character screaming, “Hot water burn baby!” in the scene from Rain Man and imagine TB kicking me out the house.
  5. Celebrating holidays. TB and I are really bad about holidays and very grateful we have wonderful friends who do them brilliantly.

Those are the first things that popped into my head. There are lots of others. We are bringing in the big guns from the start in the form of grandmas and aunts starting with my MIL Rhon arriving tomorrow a full week before the baby is due and not a moment too soon.

As we head into the final week let’s have a Baby Stats contest.

Here is how points will be awarded:

  • Gender = 3 points
  • Syllables in first name = 5 points
  • Syllables in middle name = 7 points
  • Date of delivery = 9 points
  • Length = 11 points
  • Weight = 13 points
  • Time of birth = 15 points
  • Length of labor = 17 points

Rules:

  1. Closest numeric values win whether under or over
  2. Full points for every correct (or nearest) answer
  3. Labor starts at the point contractions have been at least 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for an hour and ends with delivery
  4. Entries must be submitted as a comment before labor begins
  5. One entry per person (adults only)

Prizes awarded for top 3 totals. In the event there are more than 3 ties at the top, we will award more prizes.