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Two Moms, Two Perspectives
Ami & Jessica share their musings on everything from breastfeeding nutrition, breastfeeding tips, milk supply issues, returning to work after baby and general life trying to be a Yummy Mummy.
Pumping At Night
Waking throughout the night to feed your baby is just part of the deal being a parent. One of the benefits of these nighttime feeds is that milk production has a tendency to increase while we sleep. Great for baby, but exhausting for someone trying to save extra milk. Pumping at this time though can be well worthwhile to increase your stores. Here are some tips that might help you during this time.
1. Keep your pump next to your bed, bottles attached, along with a cooler that has an ice pack and the bottle lids inside. If you have an electric pump, make sure it's already plugged in with the cord tucked safely away from where you'll crawl out of bed!
2. After nursing baby, attach the pump and lie back on pillows propped up. Don't lie down entirely otherwise you're likely to spill milk. Close your eyes and try to relax.
3. Keep a bottle of water or tea at your bedside so that you can re-hydrate, making it easier to produce even more milk. Keep a Yummy Mummy Cookie or other snack nearby if you get hungry at this time.
4. Seal up the bottles after 10-15 minutes of pumping (or however long you need) and drop them into the cooler. You can clean the pump later on, just leave it there and go back to sleep! The milk will stay fresh with an ice block or two so no need to stumble out to the kitchen to place in the refrigerator.
A Difference You Can Feel
Women have been lucky enough to have access to many options for improving breast milk production and lactation cookies have been coming to the forefront. So what's the difference between Yummy Mummy Lactation Cookies and the rest? Quite a lot.
To start with, we don't use refined white flours or refined sugars and use only organic flour, seeds and oats. This is important because white flour and sugar will give you a boost in energy for a few minutes then drop blood sugar levels so that you feel extra tired, drained and hungry soon thereafter. Women who eat these also have more sugar cravings and a difficult time maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to using whole wheat flour and natural sugars we use less than half the sugar of other cookies.
Additionally, we add a host of natural ingredients to boost vitamin and minerals women desperately need to keep us healthy and also help heal the body postpartum found in no other cookies on the market! Finally, unlike any other lactation cookie, our Lemon Poppy Seed and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies contain fenugreek -- a powerful ingredient to boosting milk production. The bottom line is this: Yummy Mummy Lactation Cookies are not only tasty and wholesome, they're great for mommies (and daddies) too! Your body will thank you for this tasty treat.
What Should I Eat While Breastfeeding? Answer: Healthy Fat
One of the most common questions nursing mothers have is how and what to eat. This is a simple yet complex anwer. I will try to answer this throughout the months to give you the best information without having to read a novel. I'm going to start with the most basic--and feared--of nutrients this month: Fat. And yes, you should definitely eat some.
Fat makes you fat, right? Absolutely not. This is such a difficult concept for us to understand in our body image obsessed culture. Excess of any calories makes one gain weight, not just fat. Moreover, fat is absolutely critical to growing a baby's brain healthfully and is also a key to maintaining your own well-being and helping to ward off postpartum depression.
Fats to avoid. Margarine, shortening, salad oils and most vegetable oils are not the best fats out there. They are known to increase inflammation in the body without giving the health benefits other oils can. Additionally, these fats tend to be less useful and more often stored in the body, i.e. fat cells.
The critical part of this is what types of fat to include. Virgin Coconut Oil is fantastic! I know many people think it is full of cholesterol but there is absolutely zero cholesterol in coconut oil (cholesterol is ONLY found in animals, never in plants). Regardless, it is a great source of lauric acid, a building block for the immune system and has even been known to promote destruction of the AIDS virus. Hilary Jacobson sums this up best in Mother Food: Lauric acid is found in coconut oil, palm oil and breastmilk. It normally makes up 3% of breastfmilk but when eating coconut every day, lauric acid may multiply to 18% in breastmilk. Lauric acid has potent antiviral and antimicrobial properties. This is one of the many reasons your baby's health is protected when you breastfeed.
Still worried? Coconut oil is a type of medium-chain fat used in the body for energy that is easily digested and less likely to be stored as fat in your own body. Use some coconut on your oatmeal, a spoonfull to saute' vegetables, or mix some into a smoothie. Of course, Yummy Mummy Cookies use organic virgin coconut oil instead of butter or shortening so you will get lauric acid and good fats there too!
Beer & Increasing Lactation
Ami found this funny old advertisement for Blatz Beer, I love the line: "obviously baby participates in its benefits." I wonder if they meant that the baby gets a nice light beer buzz and passes out without crying. I remember the days when I might have gotten close to trying that!
Obviously now we know that drinking while nursing isn't a great idea unless you're able to have a gap of around 2 hours between a drink and a nursing session. One common misconception is that you need to pump and dump your milk if you're going to have a tipple. Fortunately this is unnecessary, your body metabolizes the alcohol in one drink within 2 hours so it doesn't reach your baby. I had the hardest time pouring out any of my pumped milk, it was like liquid gold to me because it seemed so hard to get and there was never enough for my hungry boy.
Beer is often recommended for boosting milk supply, which is one of the reasons we've included Brewer's Yeast in all of our cookies. The yeast is the ingredient in the beer attributed with the milk supply increasing properties. I used to drink cases of non-alcoholic beer when my son was really little. It always seemed funny to have him in my arms during another marathon nursing session while I sipped on a can.
Cookies Aim to Help Moms Eat Healthy & Make More Milk
Like most new moms, Ami found it difficult to find time to take care of herself when she had her daughter in 2008. As a whole foods based Certified Nutritionist, she drew upon her years of teaching healthy and healing recipes to clients to do just that. Seeking a quick but healthy snack she could grab anytime, she started baking cookies. Not your typical sugary chocolate chip cookies of course, but her own unique recipe with a base of whole grains, seeds and even vegetables.
“My daughter would wake up almost every hour for weeks throughout the night to nurse so I was exhausted and starving,” explains Karnosh. “The cookies gave me a completely natural snack that I could keep by the bed
and have at 4 a.m. while my daughter nursed. They have around 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber so they kept me going till morning.”
Although they didn’t know each other at the time, Ami’s now business partner Jessica's son was born only hours before Ami’s daughter. Like Ami, Jessica found balancing a new baby with keeping herself fed properly to be a real challenge. On top of all this she felt like she never seemed to make enough milk to satisfy her son. A lactation consultant recognized that her son was tongue-tied, restricting his ability to nurse properly. Unfortunately, after a procedure to rectify the issue, her son still refused to breastfeed. Emotionally and physically exhausted from the struggle, Jessica decided to pump all of her son’s milk. Jessica found it difficult to produce enough milk by pumping but with a combination of diligence and the herb, fenugreek, was able to give him breastmilk for his first year.
Ami and Jessica met through a baby group and decided to do something to help other mothers. Using Ami’s recipes, they developed cookies designed to help nursing moms battle two common and often interrelated challenges: finding time to eat enough calories and nutrients their bodies need and dealing with low milk supply issues.
Each fenugreek and Lemon Poppy Seed Lactation Cookie provides 1200 mg of fenugreek, equivalent to around two fenugreek supplements. It also contains Brewer’s Yeast, a nutritionally dense powder which is attributed with the milk-boosting powers of beer. For woman experiencing issues with milk production, they recommend 2-3 Lactation Cookies per day along with finding and addressing the root cause of the issues.
Their “Relaxation” Cookie contains dark chocolate and green tea for a boost of powerful antioxidants and the relaxing serotonin-releasing effects of 70% dark chocolate. As we know, being relaxed helps with letdown so having a cookie before a nursing or pumping session can be a pleasant way to relax your mind and body while topping up on the calories and nutrients to produce ample milk.
With a base of whole grains, seeds, vegetables and unrefined sugars, a Yummy Mummy Cookie offers a source of calcium, iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber with less sugar than half a glass of orange juice. The cookies aim to tackle sweet cravings without resulting in a cycle of spiking blood sugar followed by feeling exhausted and craving more sugar. This is all accomplished with organic whole foods and no artificial supplementation.
So Over It.....
I get it. Breastfeeding can be less than wonderful at times. And if you pump to feed, it can be even more of a hassle. As a health care provider, I absolutely support full-term breastfeeding. As a very busy mom whose friends had all stopped nursing, I felt emotionally done after about 15 months. Even though my schedule doesn't always sync up with my daughter's I know that I will continue to do what is best for her. As babies transition to getting many nutrients from solid foods, only breastmilk contains immunity for your child. While they develop their own system, children rely on receiving immunoglobulins (or antibodies) to ward off many common childhood illnesses through your own system. And so I will continue to be another 5 minutes late or need to leave a little bit early from meetings for a while longer, my daughter needs me.
Does Organic Really Matter?
When you're pregnant it seems you would do absolutely anything to make sure your baby will have the optimum environment to grow. After birth, little things start creeping back, a glass of wine here and there or your cup of morning coffee. And while you're no longer sharing your body directly with baby, as a nursing mother, certain nutrients still come through your breast milk. Research shows that pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other chemicals used in food production are known to pass through milk. Babies and young children are especially at risk of damage from exposure.
I recommend checking out the Environmental Working Group for help in choosing which foods to focus on if finding and buying organically grown is a challenge for you. http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php. Certain foods like peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, strawberries, grapes, carrots and lettuce are known to have the highest concentration of chemicals. Unfortunately, these cannot be simply washed off either.
Yummy Mummy Cookies are naturally processed and have organic ingredients. Is that really so important? There is no doubt about it.