Ebb & Flow of Breastmilk
There are days when I have enough milk to feed my baby and the neighborhood babies, but there are days when I feel a little less “full”. My milk ebbs and flows (pun intended) and even though I know my body will provide enough milk to nourish my baby, trusting my body to solely provide all of her nutrients is still a bit foreign. Before becoming pregnant I had very little faith that my body could take care of itself, let alone another human. I couldn’t beat strep throat without a steroid shot, how can I trust it to keep an additional living being healthy? My body is incredible, to have done something without practice so perfectly, I have gained a whole new respect for it. Although I do have faith that it will continue to nourish her for as long as we choose to breastfeed I do certain things to ensure it has the fuel needed to nourish her and me simultaneously. I wish I could say I choose healthy alternatives but, that hasn’t proven to increase the flow of milk… One of the bonuses of breastfeeding is that you can pretty much eat whatever you want and it will be turned into milk. Living off lettuce and low calorie foods is very hard to be turned into fat, so, indulge Momma!
The following is a list of items that have sprung leaks on many occasions:
I had never had cheesecake before my beastfeeding day. I did not realize what I was missing until I was treated to Oreo Pudding Pie. I no longer wonder how cookies and milk became a thing! One of my friends actually commented that “she could quite literally feel her milk come in just looking at this” over my social media story. Do yourself a favor, make this, eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, without feeling guilty because you’re doing it for your baby!
I thought I had eaten a lifetime supply of burgers while I was pregnant, and I swore I would give up burgers after the cravings had subsided, but, lo and behold, it turns out burgers are good for the soul, and your milk! I always get one, or two Papa Burgers with cheese, especially on road trips, to ensure that I have a weeks worth of milk in case we break down or who knows what could happen, at least I’m prepared, and full.
My favorite night time snack is brie cheese, apples and pretzel chips. It’s quite the treat and you can feel fancy AF sitting in your three day old unwashed hair, milk stained shirt and nursing bra, with your favorite pair of pj’s watching cartoons, on repeat.
I always make sure to have pepperoni sticks, sliced ham or some sort of quick protein snack, like trail mix (with M&M’s) on hand. Kodiak Power Cakes Powder is an awesome, delicious source of protein, check out my recipe! Another trick is to have granola bars or protein bars. Before having a baby there was no way in hell that I would have eaten anything with protein powder. Thankfully, Special K does a good job of masking that nasty protein taste with their peanut butter chocolate bars.
Although I’m ending this article on a boring note, oatmeal is definitely the least exciting food I eat to increase my milk, but it is certainly the most important meal of my day. I started off eating regular quick oats with brown sugar, every morning after my baby was born, when I was traveling I would stop at McDonald’s or Tim Horton's and get their maple oatmeal, because I had/have to have oatmeal every morning, partly to ease my anxiety with my milk supply but also because it is filling. Now, I have Rogers Ancient Grains with some maple syrup to start my day. It is boring, but the maple syrup helps me to pretend I’m indulging in pancakes.
To make oatmeal a little more exciting I use it as flour in a banana nut muffin recipe and have those on days when I have early morning appointments or just too busy to sit down to eat breakfast. [Check out my banana muffin recipe]
When in doubt, have a snack, make it something you love and do not forget to hydrate. Find a cute water bottle and attach it to your hip, almost literally, because water will always help. Try not to worry about the calories, your body will make it into milk and let’s be real, moms have enough to worry about, let’s not make our milk one of them. Eat the damn cake!