October 10, 2018

..The Best Lactation Cookie Recipe & My Top 6 Supply Tips for Pumping

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Okay so I know this post isn't for everyone but in case you are also a new mama who is breastfeeding or exclusively pumping (like I am)  I want to share this recipe (it's not mine) because I feel like it works really well and they actually taste pretty good. I have been eating a couple a day since my milk came in and feel like they do make a difference. I also wanted to share some other tips I have gleaned so far from my pumping experience. I know the internet is flooded with tips and tricks but these are what truly helped me. I won't suggest an optimal schedule because that really varies from woman to woman (I pump every 4-5 hours during the day but I know a lot of ladies swear by every 3 hours). I produce between 30-33oz each day. The baby eats 24-30 and I freeze anything extra that day. Sometimes I can freeze 6oz sometimes I don't have enough to freeze anything but I always at least make plenty for the baby to eat!

1. If your at home pump doesn't seem to be producing enough milk to keep up with your baby - invest in renting the hospital grade pump. I was having a really hard time getting my milk to fully come in after taking her home from the hospital so we had to supplement with formula for a few days. As soon as I brought home the better pump I immediately saw a difference in volume that very day.

2. Check to make sure the shield size is correct for you (I used this to find out)! I was using the standard size that comes with your pump at first but ended up needing the 27mm size. When I made the switch I immediately saw a second increase in volume that day.

3. Do NOT be afraid to supplement if you need to. Stress is a supply killer and if you are constantly worried about keeping your child fed you will definitely be stressed! We had a pretty scary experience her first couple days home when I wasn't making enough colostrum before my milk came in and she became extremely dehydrated. We didn't know I wasn't making enough since they say all you need are a few drops but thankfully I read this book (can't recommend it enough for new mamas to be) and knew to check the inside of her cheek and lip to see if it was tacky since she was showing all the other normal signs (diapers were still flowing which is normally how you can tell). It was VERY tacky so I made the quick decision to mix up some formula we happened to have in the house that was sent to us as a sample. Her newborn wellness check was the next day and my doctor said we definitely made the right call. She had dropped a little too much weight (all babies lose some at first) and we then needed to give her an ounce of food every hour for 24 hours following the appointment. While we were waiting for my milk to fully come in we mixed 50/50 breastmilk to formula, then as the volume increased 25/75, then 20/80 and so on until I was comfortable giving 100% breastmilk. I noticed that when I wasn't worried about making enough milk for the next feed it flowed MUCH easier.

4. Eat lots of healthy fats! This one is less about supply and more about volume quality. My Dr. let me know that my milk was a bit too lean (kinda like skim milk) unless there is a thick layer of fat on the to when it begins to separate. I incorporated full fat yogurt in the morning and nuts & cheeses for snacks throughout the day. Also put avocado toast on the morning menu when possible (my husband makes a great one with feta).

5. Stay hydrated AF. This one is pretty much a "duh" tip but I wanted to include it because it's so important. I try to drink 8oz of water after every pump session and 8 more in-between. I also load up on coconut water whenever I can to get those natural electrolytes.

6. These lactation cookies! They taste pretty much like oatmeal chocolate chip. I did need to hit whole foods for some of the more obscure ingredients but feel that it was well worth it. I have been able to make like 200 of these guys and still have plenty ingredients to make more. I have a couple for dessert at night and wake up and pump 10-13oz which is a LOT of milk!

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