Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help your baby grow and protect her from illness. Rarely, there are reasons mothers are unable to lactate (breastfeed). In a future installment we will discuss some of the reasons mothers can not breastfeed, but for the vast majority of families this is the most convenient, healthy, and inexpensive way to feed babies.
The time period during the first three weeks of your baby’s life is the easiest time to establish your milk supply. Feeding “on demand”, when ever baby wishes, sets your supply. Mothers need to drink more water than they ever though possible during this time. Water clears your body homes and medications after birth. It helps your body heal from pregnancy and your delivery. Figure out a way to record how much water you drink in each 24 hour period. Below find some suggestions.
RECORD YOUR WATER INTAKE Write it down, have a gallon size container on the counter filled each day and record how much you drink. Use an app on your phone and add a hash tag # each time you drink a liter or quart. Record your food intake and on that form mark the number of ounces you drink each day. Find a system that works for you and follow through with it for at least a month. Any professional with whom you work, if you are having problems, is going to ask how much water you are dinking.
REST UP – LIVE STRESS FREE A pediatrician with whom I work states emphatically, “The most important part of breastfeeding is a relaxed mother!” This is important. Pregnancy is stressful. You are waiting to meet your little human! You want to do everything perfectly for her. Until she arrives you know so little about her. What will your birth be like? There are a million and one questions surrounding this time in your life. Do what ever you need to in order to make it as stress free as possible. Give yourself the time and space to enjoy these precious moments. They can not be replaced.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEACEFUL PEOPLE. The first few weeks after your deliver is a time to heal, relax, establish your milk supply, and get to know you baby. Plan to stay home. Carefully guard your time and energy. Before baby arrives talk extensively with those who will be with you. Talk about whether or not you will receive guests, how meals will be provided, who will be able to hold baby, etc, etc., etc. I encourage you not to receive guests for at least a week. This may sound crazy, but so many new things will be going on in your day to day. Allowing yourself to stabilize before “entertaining” is vital. You will be grateful you did.
ACCEPT HELP WHEN OFFERED. If someone offers to drop by a meal, let them. If someone offers to do your laundry or clean your home, let them. If your older children are invited to visit friends or relatives allow them to enjoy the adventure and you take a nap! This is the time to baby yourself and accept help. Be aware of who you are considering and let them know your need to rest. This isn’t a time to visit, that will come later. Let them know how grateful you are for their kindness and repay them later on. We all need help.
Below find a few of my favorite lactation cookie recipes. These add great nutrients to your diet and help your milk come in. Plus they are tasty!!! Ask a friend to make them for you after baby comes. She will love doing it for you and you will enjoy the treat!!
KATRINA’S NO BAKE LACTATION COOKIES!!!!
Recipe generously shared with us from Katrina Spain.
These cookies are absolutely delicious! They help increase milk supply for the breastfeeding mama & are super easy to make! (No baking required!)
A note from Katrina about these awesome cookies:These no-bake cookies increased my supply SO MUCH! I was engorged! They can be dairy free if you use non-dairy milk for those of you with allergies or preferences.
1/2 cup of milk of choice (Regular, Coconut, Almond, Soy, Etc.)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar (Raw, cane would be the healthiest choice)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract Large pinch of salt
(Some people like to add in flax seeds brewer’s yeast or fenugreek for extra boosting properties.) You can add dried fruit, white or dark chocolate chips, and or your favorite nuts.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (or grease lightly) Bring the sugar, milk, coconut oil and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine. Spoon onto parchment and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP LACTATION COOKIES
Total time. 27mins. Yield: 54. small. cookies/ 41⁄2dozen Prep 15 min Bake 12 min, Preheat oven to 350°.
This recipe is great for mothers who are breastfeeding. It helps to maintain or increase your milk supply. Use more brewers yeast and oatmeal if you want to increase your milk supply. You can add white chocolate chips, shaved coconut, raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, etc. depending upon your preference.
1 cup butter/ butter Crisco
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 -4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
DIRECTIONS Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Beat butter and sugars and well. Add eggs and mix well. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Scoop onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from cookie sheet. Store in airtight container or freeze.