Lactation Cookies!

Hot on the heels of my Milk obsessed post, I decided to give lactation cookies a try.  I have heard a lot of buzz around the idea of lactation cookies in the past few months but I didn’t really think too much of them.  I learned that there are store-bought varieties, as well as a myriad of recipes to make your own.  Over the past few days I delved into the wide online ocean of lactation cookie recipes to decide which one seemed “best.”

IMG_7413All the recipes seemed to have the same three ingredients, touting these (or a combination of them) to be the “magic” behind increasing lactation: Oats, Flax, and Brewers Yeast.  The recipe I selected also called for Fenugreek – a supplement I relied on when I was breastfeeding the boys years ago.  Buying these ingredients can be expensive and difficult, but I was lucky to find them all (including the fenugreek) in bulk for under $10 at my local bulk-food store!

The recipe I chose is listed below, but I give full and complete credit to this blog, where I used the recipe exactly as listed.

Once I got the baby to sleep (of course I picked a fussy baby day to bake these), I set out getting all the ingredients ready.  Just as I finally got everything organized and mixed the dry ingredients into the wet, baby El started screaming… she wanted more Boobie, of course!  How appropriate was it then, when I picked her up, placed her on my “Breast Friend” nusrsing pillow (AKA the UFO pillow) and continued to make my lactation cookies WHILE breastfeeding the fussy baby?

Luckily, I managed to finish the cookies and they turned out pretty great!  They are delicious, tasting exactly like “regular” oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (maybe with a slight aftertaste).  I froze most of the cookies and then placed about half a dozen into a secret place in my pantry.  I ate 3 cookies yesterday (1 was a taster after they were our of the oven, and then two as a bedtime snack) and then two this morning.

IMG_7414I can’t comment too much on if the cookies actually started “working” because I am not pumping, and I’m feeding on demand.  However, I do feel like the ladies are a more full today than yesterday.  There may have also been more leaking.  El seems much more satisfied with her feeds, despite me feeling like she’s not completely emptying (I guess it’s time to start pumping and working on my back-to-work frozen milk stash).  It’s hard to say, though, if these changes are due to the cookies or the fact that yesterday seemed to be a bit of a fussy baby-cluster feeding kind of day.

I plan to eat only one (maybe two) cookies a day from now on… All things in moderation, and I am starting on a more formal post-partum weight loss adventure (now that the immediate post-birth weight loss has ended).

Lactation Cookie Recipe: (Check out the source for extra tips and ways of modifying the recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup of brewer’s yeast (this is the main ingredient for milk production)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp ground Fenugreek
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large, eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water; set aside.
  3. Stir together the flour, brewer’s yeast, salt, baking soda and fenugreek, set aside.
  4. Blend butter, coconut oil, and sugars well. Blend in eggs. Stir in flaxseed mixture and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Add dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop 2 Tbsp of dough, 1 to 2 inches apart, onto a silicone lined baking sheet. (About 8 cookies per tray.)
  7. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until matte on the top.
  8. Once cooled, individually wrap cookies in plastic wrap and place them in a container the freezer. Eat at least 2 cookies the first day, and one each day afterwards. (I have one every day after lunch. Just unwrap it and nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds.) Enjoy!
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Remembering E’s Birthday

IMG_6961This week my not-so-little E celebrated his 4th birthday.  This little boy is now a bundle of rambunctious, over-the-top, hard to control, 100% boy.  Most times I feel like I was never quite equipped to be this little man’s mommy.  To celebrate his birthday, he requested a Paw Patrol party, complete with a Paw Patrol cake.  Mommy did her best to deliver.

From the very beginning, little E has kept me challenged – including his entrance into the world.  I love this boy dearly and with all my heart (remind me of this when I want to smack him across the head for never listening), yet sometimes I forget how much he has effected change in my life.  When little E came into this world, he was whisked away after about 12 hours to be taken to the NICU.  After he was there for 4 days, I wrote him a letter.  I thought, in “honour” of E’s birthday this week, I would share that letter with all of you here.

Dear E,
Today you are 4 days old.  When I think about how your life should be when you are 4 days old, it is very different from what you are living.  You should be at home, warm and safe with the people who love you.  You should be in my arms and sleeping next to me; be nourished by me and comforted by me.  Instead you tied up in tubes and wires and you spend all day in the bright lights and noisy sounds of the NICU.  I know this is what you need right now but it makes me cry every time I think about how unnatural it is for you to be there.  I hope you know how many hours I spend sitting with you and holding your hand, caressing your beautiful, tiny face.  I only wish I could be with you all the time, to hold you and comfort you when you are in pain.  I try to hard to cherish the one night that I got to hold you and feel your skin next to mine, but it already feels like a distant memory that is slipping away from me – further with every second that passes.  My body misses feeling you inside of me and when I look at my shrinking belly, I see the place you used to live and I wish you could still be there – because it’s better than where you are.
I know there is nothing I could have done to keep you from the pain you are feeling, but I find a way to blame myself for not making someone really listen to my concern for you in the hours after you were born – maybe you would be home right now if I was more persistent, if I didn’t let other people try to convince me that what you were going through was a normal part of a newborn’s adjustment period.  I thought they were wrong, and I was right.  For all of that, I am very sorry.
Before you were born I worried that I would not have enough lough to share with a second child.  I was nervous about bringing you into this world with the thought that I wouldn’t be able to love you and cherish you in the same way I do your brother.  I have learned, however, that it is impossible for me to not love you.  In 4 days I have spent more time longing for you to be in my arms, crying for your pain, and wondering how my life was ever complete without you.  I know it was only 4 days ago that you were not here, but that is already another lifetime ago.  When I look at you, I recognize your face – as if I have known you forever.  When I touch you, I know you were always meant to be my child.   Until I can hold you and care for you like I mother should, I will do my best to be strong for you and I will be by your side, loving you from a short distance, and counting down the minutes until you are healthy and ready to come home and finally join our family.

With lots of love and tears,
Mommy

(March 25, 2012)