At some point during the breast feeding relationship, most moms wonder if they are giving enough milk for their little one. In my early days of nursing Penny, at about 5-6 weeks I noticed that I was no longer "full" and was worried that I was drying up, even though we nursed A LOT. I hurried online to do as much research as I could about the progression of lactation; how my body and milk change over time. Unfortunately a lot of moms take this as a sign that they were not built to breastfeed and they begin to supplement or switch to formula. I believe every mom as a choice in how she wants to feed her baby; however it is my most sincere and fervent hope that they do so in an educated manner. Do some research, talk to your ped, a lactation consultant, LLL and other breastfeeding moms. The point is that you're not alone in this journey!
What I learned following my scare in loss of supply was that according to Kellymom (a WONDERFUL breastfeeding resource!):
"After the first 6 weeks to 3 months (or sometimes later – this varies for different mothers), the high baseline prolactin level that is the norm in the early weeks gradually decreases to the lower baseline that is the norm for later lactation. Around this time, mom’s breasts may feel less full, leaking may decrease or stop, let-down may become less noticeable, and pumping output may decrease. These are all normal changes and, on their own, do not mean that milk supply has decreased."
WHEW! Was I relieved. And even through that early supply scare and a few other nursing issues, we maintained our nursing relationship until Penny was 20 months old and I was 5 months pregnant with Ruby. As a second time mom, nursing hasn't been difficult per se but it definitely had a few 'aha' moments where I learned more about some of the struggles I had with Penny. With the knowledge that your breastmilk supply changes throughout the baby's first year, and my confidence with the amount that my child nurses is good enough, things have been going a whole lot smoother.
With that being said, sometimes I do notice a lull in my supply and I draw from my arsenal of breast milk boosting tools. Luckily there's several very easy ways to safely and effectively increase your milk supply.
- Laying in with your little one and nursing on demand, if you have the opportunity. If you're a working mama, take a break from life for a weekend and just lay in bed and snuggle with your little one. Increased skin-on-skin contact and nursing often will increase your milk supply naturally.
- Ensuring a good latch. if your breasts aren't being emptied efficiently, they won't make more milk. It's a supply and demand thing.
- And finally, galactogogues. No, it's not a planetary voyage. Galactogogues are foods, herbs and supplements that will increase your breast milk. This can include breast milk boosting teas, oatmeal, fenugreek and my favorite - lactation cookies!
Back to cookies. And making milk. What could be more perfect for the breastfeeding mom than a cookie (read: a treat) that helps your supply? I cannot think of a better pairing.
Milk Makers come in 3 flavors and are super fresh when they arrive. I even froze some, thawed later to see how they held up and they were just the same as the day they arrived. As a busy mom with two littles, I often struggle to find a snack for myself that is healthy and can give me a bit of a boost of energy to help me power through our current adventure. The oats give me that much needed energy and the chocolate chips (or raisins, depending on which flavor you choose) give that little extra bit of sweetness that I crave. Best of all - it's a healthy treat that I can share with Penny when I'm on the go too. Don't worry, just because they're lactation cookies doesn't mean that a non-lactating person will suddenly spring a leak ;) So sharing these cookies with your kids and hubby is totally ok - but I'd personally save these just for myself!
Milk Makers cookies are a perfect baby shower gift for a new mama, and they even offer monthly cookie subscriptions so that you can always have some on hand.
Now that you've learned all about safely and naturally boosting your milk supply, are you ready to try some for yourself? Milk Makers has graciously offered Pierogie Mama readers the opportunity to win a flavor combo caddy of cookies! Just check out the entry details below.
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