Friday, February 11, 2011

Milkin' Cookies

For our LLL meetings, I like to bring lactation/milk/milkin' cookies along. They're not just for those who need a milk supply boost; packed full of healthy and delicious goodness, they're a fairly guilt-free snack, and good enough to share with the kiddos!

There are several recipes floating around; most contain flax and oatmeal, which have been shown to increase milk supply. Here's my mash-up of several recipes, which happen to make quite moist, delicious, nicely shaped cookies. Enjoy!

Happy breastfeeding!

Milkin' Cookies

1 cup flax meal

4 tbsp water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup melted butter

2 cups Agave nectar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup crushed cranberries

1 cup crushed nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)

3 cup old-fashioned oats

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350* F.

In a bowl, mix flax and water until thoroughly mixed, set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.

In a large bowl, beat butter, ONE cup of Agave nectar, sugars, vanilla, and eggs together.

Add flax.

Add in flour mixture and combine well.

Mix in cranberries, nuts, and chocolate chips.

Mix in oats.

After everything is blended together well, add

the applesauce and final 1 cup of Agave nectar and stir through.

Scoop onto greased cookie sheets, press down lightly on each with a fork.

Bake 12-14 minutes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Breastfeeding Supply Issues and CCK: Your Supply Is Fine, It's Your Timing That's the Problem!

Here's a post I want to share with you, which I originally wrote for Daily Momtra, and can be found here.

"My baby eats all the time! I think I need to give him formula to satisfy him.”

“When my baby falls asleep with a pacifier, he seems much more satisfied, but I’m always engorged.”

“No matter how often she eats, I feel like she wants to eat again in 10 minutes! I must not have enough milk.”

It’s a very common issue: mommies think that because their breastfed baby just wants to eat and eat (and eat and eat), that they’re either not producing enough milk, or the baby just needs way more than mom can make. I’m here to tell you, in most cases, it’s just not true!

Babies have this neat hormone in their system that tells them when they’re full (high levels) and hungry (low levels). It’s called cholecystokinin (CCK), and it aids in digestion and gives feelings of satiation and well-being in mom and baby. When a baby nurses for a good amount of time, their levels rise and they may get that milk drunk look or just fall asleep. After a nice little nap, their CCK levels drop a bit, so they want to nurse again. They may not actually drink, but just suck until they fall back asleep.

Giving a pacifier can trick this hormone, since it’s created by sucking, but can mess with your supply, and make baby cranky when she wakes up. Breastfeeding your baby when she’s fussy is the best way to restore those full CCK levels and make a happy baby once again. It’s been found that babies with colic have lower levels of CCK in their systems, usually because of an abnormal amount of spitting up. These babies may need a pacifier to help calm them and raise their CCK, when nursing just won’t cut it. The most important thing to remember when using a pacifier is “If you have to, use it, don’t abuse it, quickly lose it.” (Dr. Sears)

CCK is nature’s alarm clock; a very well organized “schedule” to keep your baby well fed and build up your supply. So keep feeding that baby on cue, don’t give that unnecessary bottle or pacifier, and you’ll find yourself in a happy nursing relationship for months (or years) to come.

Happy breastfeeding!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your Birth and Breastfeeding

How your baby comes into the world can have a large effect on your initial success with breastfeeding. More and more information has come out about how birth affects breastfeeding and hospitals are becoming "Baby Friendly," to encourage and support breastfeeding immediately after birth.

Mothers are having out-of-hospital births (in birth centers and at home), because the chance of them having interventions that hinder breastfeeding are slim to none. I'm going to share with you how each part of today's "normal" births can put a roadblock on your path to successful breastfeeding.

Induction: When a mother is induced, there's a chance her baby is not yet to term, which can cause a delay in the mature milk coming in. Inductions can also double the chance of a c-section, which can give a whole new set of problems.

Pain medication (especially the epidural): When a mother gets an epidural, she must remain in bed until well after the baby is born. She also must have a saline IV, which fills her body with extra fluids that can cause pathological engorgement (breasts not overly full of milk, but of saline [which can't pass through to the milk]) and make latching extremely difficult. The saline can also raise the baby's weight, distorting the actual birth weight and causing unnecessary concern over weight gain.

Cesarean- Mothers can successfully breastfeed after a c-section just as they can after a vaginal birth, as long as they remain committed and have the baby near them as soon as possible after delivery. Some may still struggle, and the milk may have a delay in coming in, but it's just as possible, and even more important for a baby born via c-section to breastfeed.

With determination, education, and support, every woman can have a fighting chance at successfully breastfeeding from birth. Check out Breastfeeding 101: Surviving the Hospital and Newborn Days for more tips!

Happy breastfeeding!!