Category: Everyday Life

Milking It: Fenugreek

Milking It: Fenugreek |

If you have done any googling, you have no doubt come across “fenugreek” as a way of upping your milk supply. But why? And how? And what are your options? Read on fellow milkies, read on!

Fenugreek is a plant grown in Europe and the Middle East. It mainly comes from India, but is also harvested from Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, France and many more locations. The Fenugreek leaves are used as herbs, its seeds are for spices the the leaves and sprouts as vegetables. The most well known use of fenugreek is in some Indian curries.

I can hear you now – Ok, ok Tara… but what about my MILK?!

Well, fenugreek is believed to be a galactagogue. (It’s ok to say “galacti-go-go wha?!” I did too!) It is really just a fancy way to say “I get the milk flowing!”

You have a lot of options when bringing fenugreek into your diet. Below are just a few..

Fenugreek, klabatImage Source


You could go totally hard core and get straight up fenugreek. Then add it into your food or steep it in some hot water. I’ve heard the flavor can be QUITE overwhelming… so you may want to proceed with caution with this idea!

Note: Some of my mommy friends reminded me that there are fenugreek capsules you can take! If you want it pure – give those a whirl!



This is the route I took when I was expecting. I grabbed a box at my local Whole Foods and threw it into my bag. The Lactation Consultants at the hospital brought me tea bags as well. I thought it tasted a bit like black licorice, which I am *not* a fan of. I found it easier to drink over ice, and would chug it. Amazon offers a variety of Milk Teas. I went with Organic Mother’s Milk personally – each tea bag made two cups of tea.

mothersmilkImage Source


Image Source


I have not tried this myself, mostly just because I haven’t come across it in stores. But I would love to give it a try – perhaps a review soon? And not just because I am a child of the 80s/90s. Milky! is a product created by Tia and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister!). It’s made with fenugreek, but created to mask the taste for those who REALLY don’t like the flavor. You won’t find it on Amazon, but you can find it in Destination Maternity stores, on their website or over at Need Brands.

Next up – baking and breastmilk? Mmmmmm!

❤ Tara

Additional Information:

A list of other galactagoues

All Amazon links do have my associate’s code included.

Milking It: Drying Up

Milking It: Drying Up |
Image source

After last week (World Breastfeeding Week), my brain is still stuck on the topic. So I wanted to discuss a topic many mommies have questions about – how to encourage milk production. This is a topic I didn’t look much into before having Liam. I wish I had! Thankfully I had read about certain items and did throw them into my bag. Also, we were blessed that the hospital where Liam was born is quite “crunchy”. So the Lactation Consultants brought me some things to increase supply as well!

I am “blessed” with over production and have to pump to get some of the milk off regularly, especially after a few days of cluster feedings or a growth spurt (for Liam.. not me!). But I know plenty of moms who really struggle with production. And not just at the beginning! I was talking to a fellow mommy last week and her supply almost totally dried up after a few days with a low grade fever. Yikes! Other moms have a lot  of difficulty keeping production up when they have to do significant pumping (working moms, poor latch, sick babies, etc). Since Liam has been born, I’ve read and researched a TON. Our breastfeeding relationship is something very important to me. The thought of my milk drying up is heartbreaking!

This will be a series, so I am spreading the posts out of this week. Today I wanted to provide a list of things that COULD dry up your milk. Keep in mind, ever mommy’s body is different. So some things may dry up one mommy’s milk while not affecting someone else’s milk supply at all. But it’s better to be safe than sorry from my point of view!




Peppermint (any form)
High doses of B-6
Prescription pain-killers
Weight-loss supplements
Appetite inhibitors
Estrogen birth control
Vitex (for fertility)
Cabbage Leaves
(helps with engorgement)
Tight bras
Pumping patterns
Supplementing formula
Rapid weight loss
Limited BF length


Anything on this list I have missed? Let me know!

❤ Tara

WBW: For Those Who Couldn’t

WBW: For those who couldn't |

Today is the final day of World Breastfeeding Week. I want to hit on a topic that comes up a LOT …


The mom who WANTED to breastfeed but her life took another path.


I want to say that by celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, I was in no way saying “I’m better than you”. Instead, it was to stand with moms around the world to celebrate those who breastfeed , to raise awareness about breastfeeding and making sure everyone’s rights are protected. I’m the first person to say that what we plan for our children doesn’t always come to fruition. I had grand plans of a natural child birth, but my life took another path when Liam became transverse breech at 36 weeks.

In my opinion, what matters is this:

Did you educate yourself and then do the best you possibly could for your child?

Yes? Then you my friend, are a supermom. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Celebrate motherhood, whether you have reached it yet or not. Because there are those who have!

Celebrate breastfeeding, whether you did or didn’t. Because there are those who did!

Celebrate formula, so that you ARE able to offer your child food. Because there are some who don’t have access to it.

Overall, will you please choose joy for the road traveled, and not judgement (on yourself or others!). We are all doing the best we can.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week – for mom’s everywhere to have the right to try to do it with their blessings.

 ❤ Tara


Link Party Button #milkingit

WBW: My view

My View [while nursing] |

When nursing, your view is sometimes pretty limited. Since learning how to breastfeed Liam in the baby carrier (read: STEEP learning curve) my view has improved. But with a bad back, sometimes I just need to sit and rest myself. Here are some of my views …

My view at home
My view at home

99% of the time, when I nurse at home, I am sitting in my chair. My beloved chair was a gift from my Mother-in-law when we announced our pregnancy. I spent a LOT of time picking it out, and it is my FAVORITE place to sit. Sometimes I have to remember that I can sit OTHER places when I’m not nursing! We set it in the living room at the condo, so we are a part of everything while nursing. This is important to me. No one should have to eat “alone” – including Liam!

The view in Colorado
The view in Colorado

When we move to Colorado, we will spend a couple of months at my parents’ house while we place offers on homes. We went out to visit for Mother’s Day/Memorial Day and this was my view while nursing. Ohemwow – I could get VERY used to this! It is very special early in the morning, when it is just the two of us. I can sit, nurse and praise the Lord for all our blessings … most specifically, Liam. 

This past weekend we took Liam to the aquarium for the first time. To say I got teary eyed watching him in awe is an understatement. But the best part was when he got hungry. Oliver led us to the “Open Ocean” exhibit to grab a bench. I think this is one of the BEST views I’ve ever had while nursing!


❤ Tara


Link Party Button #milkingit

WBW: A Day of Nursing

A Day of Nursing |

Today, for World Breastfeeding Week, I documented my nursing relationship with Liam. I can’t really capture all of the warm fuzzies, but I can show you how *our* day looks. Everyone’s nursing relationship with their child is different. It’s different because you are unique, and your child is/will be unique. I am writing this to give you an example of what it *might* look like to nurse your 6 month old. But please, don’t compare your breastfeeding relationship to mine. Compare it to nothing, because nothing compares. It is your special relationship, love every minute of it! Accept that trials, successes, frustrations and celebrations. Sit back, enjoy and watch your body do something miraculous!

Our Day [today]

4am – swaddled in the dark!
Liam wakes up partially around 4 or 5 every morning. He isn’t fully awake yet, really just hungry. The rule in our home is no eye contact! Scoop him up, place him in bed. He eats for about 10-20 minutes and then falls asleep in bed with us


Once he is in bed, each wake-up is quick and easy. It took some time for me to master breastfeeding without switching sides. Liam always stays on the same side, and I contort to feed him from both sides. This morning we had three of these feeds before he was up and ready to take on the day. IMG_20130803_235910
6:30 am, 7:15 am and 7:45 am


9:45 am
After our morning routine, and some play time, Liam starts to get hungry again. He usually isn’t ready for a nap yet – just thirsty from all the activity!


The morning nap feed is one of his longest all day. During this feed he usually falls asleep for his 2 hour nap. This usually hits 2-3 hours after he is out of bed in the morning. Today he ate for a whopping 45 minutes! (at one point I may have moo’d…. just saying… ) IMG_20130804_101400
10:30 am


3:15 pm
The afternoon he is actually pretty sparse in his “snacks”. He began to show signs of hunger (read: hitting head against boob) while we were out running errands. I didn’t have a cover with me, but I did have him in my Tula. So I just left him in there to snack! In less than 5 minutes he was done and wanted to go back to smiling at the other shoppers!


While walking around the complex, we got hungry again. So I sat on a bench to give him a snack. He popped on and off a few times, mesmerized by the trees above the bench. IMG_20130805_111926


6:30 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 9 pm
The evenings are usually full of short “snacking” around playing and other excitement. Tonight he munched 4x before his bedtime feed – none lasting more than 10 minutes!


His last meal of the night is as he nurses to sleep. This one, much like his morning nap, is a long one. I usually put on a TV show to watch while he eats, since I am stuck sitting for quite some time. His milk coma always makes me giggle! Goodnight sweetheart! See you in 6-8 hours! IMG_20130803_235636


I really enjoyed documenting our day today – I had no idea he nurses THAT much. I mean, I knew it was a lot. But WOW! I guess it takes a lot of calories to keep up those cheeks *smile*

I also didn’t realize how efficient he has gotten at eating. As a newborn he ate at least 30 minutes – 1 hour at each feeding. I thought I was stuck in my chair forever. Now it sometimes feels like he is simply going through the Breastfeeding Drive-Thru! Snack and go. My favorite times are those long feeds now. The ones where I can just smile at him as he drinks and sleeps.

What does your breastfeeding day look like?

❤ Tara


Link Party Button #milkingit

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

World Breastfeeding Week |


This week is World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW). This week is used to raise awareness of breastfeeding and its benefits. The generations before us did a LOT of damage to breastfeeding culture. It has been seen as “offensive”, “unnecessary” and more. Women who were completely capable of breastfeeding were told they could not feed their child. This is different than women deciding breastfeeding isn’t “for them”. This was (and still is) a direct attack on the women who want to choose breastfeeding for their child. I always knew we would choose, Lord willing, breastfeeding for our child. And it’s a decision I haven’t regretted. But it sure wasn’t easy!

Facts [you may not know] about Breastfeeding

  • You burn as many calories while breastfeeding as if you walked 7 miles
  • Most mom’s give up their breastfeeding relationship before their baby is 6 months old
  • By kissing your baby, your body can identify the antibodies it needs and create that in your milk
  • Babies who breastfeed instinctively stop eating when they are no longer hungry. Bottle-fed babies often empty the whole bottle
  • Breastfeeding exposes the baby to many different flavors, based on the mother’s diet. This encourages children to try many foods when they begin solids!
  • Research is beginning to show that children nursed 3+ years get a boost in the IQ department


Things I’ve Learned

  • Someone once told me “It’s the most unnatural natural thing you will ever do”. Gosh were they spot on!
  • You NEED support from those around you. Your spouse, your family, your friends. That is what keeps you going at 3 am when the baby is screaming for food but still can’t figure out that latch
  • Your baby really does know how to get your milk to “let down”. My guy will squeeze, hum, sing, squish his face into me .. whatever it takes! My grandmother noted that calves do it to the mother cows as well. Thanks Gram…
  • You MUST swallow your pride. If you really believe this is the road you want for your child, you need to ask for help when/if you need it.

The picture at the top of this post wasn’t easy. I am very proud that I breastfeed Liam. However, I am an extremely modest person (breastfeeding or not). I’ve worn a bikini once – on my honeymoon. I almost always have a camisole on under my shirts. I don’t even walk around my house in my underwear, much less nude! But I really felt I needed to take this picture. I wanted to give others a gimps into our breastfeeding world. It’s an amazingly complex and colorful daily adventure. I’ll take you on a walk through it in the days to come …

❤ Tara


Link Party Button #milkingit

Happy Hips!

Happy Hips: A Breech Baby Update |

For those of you who missed this post, Liam was born full-transverse breech. The gist of it? He was born with his feet touching his ears. This has caused us all sorts of car seat drama, along with other precautions we’ve had to take to ensure we are careful with his hips in a very key development time. We met with an orthopedic specialist this week to check on their development.

Here is how the appointment went…

I called the office to schedule an appointment. Upon hearing about Liam’s birth, they fit us in for the same day. We arrived about 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. Thank goodness too, because it took me about that long with Liam and his new found mobility (read: thrusting himself headlong in any direction that fits his fancy). By the time I turned in the papers I had to include an apology … as Liam had eaten part of them. Yeah. Moving on.

X-rays were done first, to make sure the doctor had the FULL picture. These were done by a VERY large Samoan man and, much to the gentleman’s surprise, Liam LOVED him. Apparently the poor man scares a lot of children with his sheer size. The wort part of this was having to leave him on the table, unattended, while they did the actual x-ray. I just prayed “please don’t roll, please don’t roll”. The three seconds it took to take the image felt like a year! I raced behind the wall, he snapped it, then I raced back to the bedside. Mama was panicking, Liam was entertained by the light on the machine. Figures, right?


Next we were placed in a small exam room with a table, chair and stool. Nothing safe for baby, so we sat on a blanket on the floor and played with toys.

Note to new mamas: never leave home without at least a swaddling blanket in your diaper bag! They come in handy EVERYWHERE! 


When the doctor came in he was able to REALLY explain what was going on, while showing us the x-ray. Apparently we were looking for a few key features in developing hips.

Image Source: Oregon Health & Science University
Image Source: Oregon Health & Science University
  • Femoral Ossific Nucleus:  This is the little bone that appears on top of the leg. In the image above, it looks like a little rounded pyramid on top of the femur bone. This is supposed to develop between 3 and 6 months of age. It is significantly delayed in babies with dysplasia. 
  • Acetabular Angle: This is the triangular section you see between the hips and femoral ossific nucleus. You have a concern for hip dysplasia when it is ~ 30°

Here are Liam’s hips …



At ~ 23° and with both femoral ossific nuclei developed…

Liam’s hips are NORMAL! *insert happy dance*

And that, my friends, is your A&P class for today. *wink*

❤ Tara

Happy 6 Months!



Dear Baby Liam

You are 6 months old today. I can’t believe it’s been half a year since the day we met you. We waited so very long for you, the whole day was surreal. I still remember the little things about that day. The music playing in the OR. Daddy’s smile. The look on Papa’s face when we told him your name. Mommy’s friends taking turns holding you. Since then there have been so many wonderful firsts for both of us. The first time you latched, smiled, laughed, reached for me, slept through the night… rolled over, sat up, woke daddy up by tapping him.  Just this past week we went to a library lapsit. As I sat on the rug, singing and listening to stories with you, I looked around at the other moms and started to cry. At one time, I had convinced myself I would never be able to attend something like this. But there I was, being a “mommy”. At the end of the song and story time we sat, chatting with other mommies and babies. I was even given my first mommy playdate card.

Each night, as you sleep in your bed, I say a prayer for you. As each of these firsts happen, I find my prayers get longer. I find I have to add a new item. When you were first born I prayed against SIDS. Then I began praying for physical, emotional and mental health. Soon I added your wife, your developmental milestones … all along always praying that daddy and I will be the parents you deserve, and that we can raise you to be an amazing man of God.

I’ve documented so much of your life. I’m sure I’m driving people crazy by filling up their social media feeds. But it’s just too much joy to keep to myself. To keep bottled up. You are such a blessing, and you bring so much joy to so many people. You are loved, prayed for, kissed and snuggled by so many. Daddy used this “snap happiness” to create a very special gift for us.

For the past few weeks, daddy has been working VERY late. Tonight, when I got home, daddy sat me down. I was afraid he was going to tell me some bad news. He turned his computer towards me, and showed me this…. I cried…

(thank you Uncle Ryan for helping daddy!)

Happy half birthday little man. Happy happy birthday. You didn’t get a cake tonight, but instead some water from your new cup and your current favorite – avocado!


❤ Tara

Fear Is A Thought…

Fear is a thought |

A friend liked this on fb today, so it popped up into my feed. And stopped me dead in my tracks. And trust me, that’s impressive. Because I’m moving FAST today trying to get things done! Why did it stop me?

Fear stole so much from me. Joy. Opportunities. Hope. Options. Learning to deal with it has opened so many doors. A private practice. Patience. A big move. Hope. Joy. Liam!

For the longest time, my fear was never having a child… infertility planted the seed of fear for me. Not but I’m not ashamed any longer! And I’m learning every day how to deal with my fearful thoughts! Oh, none of this is EVER easy… my gosh, overcoming fear is harder for me than figuring out how to be a mom has been! It’s an uphill battle against my sinful heart and flesh. What’s hardest is its sneaky…. it gets into your head and heart when you aren’t looking and all of the sudden you are drowning in it!

What do you fear? Sometimes just making it public helps release some of it. I promise not to laugh.

❤ Tara

A Mom’s Body

*This is a (slightly edited) fb status message I posted late last night regarding THIS article – please read it first!*

I love the comment about surrendering your body to motherhood… that is it EXACTLY! Not only in shape and size. You GROW a child. You are at your body’s beck and call while that blessing develops inside of you. Then you BIRTH a baby. No matter how it happens, that child then comes out of you and that leaves behind its mark. Now you have this beautiful being who needs you at their beck and call for comfort, food, development….

Why can’t we see that this surrender makes our bodies BETTER than ever. We waited for so long for Liam, yet there are some days where I hate my “tiger stripes”. But I am happy to say they are few and far between. More often than naught I can look at myself in the mirror and say “I GREW A FREAKIN’ BABY – THAT’S AWESOME!” But men, listen up. A big reason that I am able to do that is because of my husband. He is constantly telling me (and proving to me) that I am hotter now than ever – because I grew, birthed, feed and care for our beautiful baby with this body.

My body is no longer my own. And I am learning to find joy in that.

❤ Tara

[And mamas in waiting, use this time to prepare. Prepare to let go, prepare your mind and heart. Because, although you will never be fully prepared, your future babies need you to be happy with who you are and how you look. It’s how your daughters will learn to take pride in the body God gave them instead of the one the media tells them they should have. And it’s how your sons learn to value a woman’s heart and see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. And adoptive mamas/aunts/etc … your attitude towards your body is just as important. And those littles need your hugs, laps and kisses just as much!]