For the Supply, I Tell You!

The holidays are finally over, and believe you me, I’m breathing a big ole sigh of relief. While I love the holidays, I get pretty sick of the whole shebang by the time it’s all said and done. So this should mean I’m sick of the sweets that accompany the holidays, no? NO! Never shall I be sick of delicious things, especially those with a big heaping spoonful of sugar.

So tonight I’m making these amazing no bake cookies. They’re for my supply, I tell you! Never mind that my supply is a-okay, therefore not necessarily in need of a boost. I will justify eating too many delicious cookies on the fact that I produce milk. If you’re looking for a delicious fix, I suggest you give these a try too. And if anyone asks, blame it on the supply.

Happy Holidays my lovelies.

My Favorite Breastfeeding Snacks

As a new mom, it’s difficult to find time to feed yourself. Adding ravenous breastfeeding hunger on top of it just complicates things further. So what do we end up doing? We grab things that are quick, easy, and often not-so healthy.

I’m here to tell you there’s a better way! With a little planning, you can have healthy and filling snacks on hand for when that breastfeeding mama hunger strikes. But healthy doesn’t have to mean boring! So I’ve compiled my list of my favorite breastfeeding hungry mama snacks. Let’s get started!

Parfaits. I’ve been in love with parfaits for the last few months ever since I had a delicious one at a get together while I was very pregnant. I’ve been keeping things simple. Start with a fruit (blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries, sliced peaches, etc) and put yogurt on top (I’ve been using Greek God honey yogurt) and a bit of granola (store bought or make your own, which is super easy). A small one can be a quick snack or a big one can be breakfast. And they’re super delicious.

Apples and Peanut Butter. I’m not sure where this idea originated for me (maybe Super Healthy Kids?), but putting peanut butter onto apple slices is seriously amazing. Just cut up an apple (we like to quarter, then quarter, so 16 total slices per apple) and put a little glob of peanut butter on each one. It works with all sorts of different apples (though I’ve never tried it with a green apple). Pro-tip: use the part of the apple slice with the peel to get the peanut butter off since the inside of the apple doesn’t like to stick to the peanut butter.

Hummus and Crackers. Hummus is amazing and full of protein. Not only that, but it’s easy to make at home! I use the Vitamix recipe (I’m sure you can make it in other blenders or even a food processor) and it’s super cheap to make, especially if you compare to store brands. I really like it with triscuit crackers or baby carrots.

Granola Bars. Not the healthiest thing on this list, but store-bought granola bars make a great quick and easy snack, especially for tossing in your bag and forgetting about it. Just make sure you’re buying the healthy-ish ones rather than the practically-a-candy-bar ones.

Cheese. There are all sorts of options for cheese snacks so it’s almost impossible to get bored with them! We really love Tillamook cheeses and Baby Bell.

Nuts. Need I say more? Nuts are tasty, quick, and full of protein. Just make sure you stick them in the freezer if you’re buying bulk so they don’t go rancid.

Granola. That granola I mentioned earlier for the tops of my parfaits? It’s pretty delicious by itself too. Though I try not to do this one too much because I Will. Not. Stop. Eating. It.

Bananas and Peanut Butter. Same idea as the apples and peanut butter. Just break the banana into 4-5 pieces and put a glob on each one. Nom nom nom.

Smoothies. Smoothies aren’t completely effortless, though having a good blender can help. What makes them effortless is saving some for later. Whenever I make smoothies (generally when the babe is napping or playing with daddy), I completely fill my blender. This means not only is there enough for myself, my husband, and two small children, but also for a couple more smoothies for the fridge. I just throw them in there in mason jars and then I can grab and go later.

Salads. Also not completely effortless, but the same idea as the smoothies. When I make salads to go with lunch (something I’ve been trying to do a lot lately) I almost always have a salad or two worth of extra toppings. I throw those into a jar (heaviest on bottom, lightest on top) minus the greens and next time my salad is practically ready to go. Makes eating my greens a lot more convenient.

Muffins. Yes, muffins aren’t the best snack in the world, but they are quick and easy and you can make them relatively healthy. What I love about them too is that they freeze really well, so I can just grab one out of the freezer, nuke it for a few seconds, then it’s good to go!

Fresh Fruit and Veggies. Berries, apples, grapes, cucumbers (slice and store in container with a bit of water), carrots, yam (peel, slice into sticks, and store in a container with a bit of water), bananas, plums, etc.

Well I hope you enjoyed this list of breastfeeding snacks. Happy and healthy snacking! Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too. And please share your favorite breastfeeding snacks in the comments below!

Baby Weight

My small baby.

There’s an obsession in our culture with a baby’s weight gain after birth. Really, there’s an obsession with how much babies eat in general. There’s a whole host of moms who are constantly worried if their babies are getting enough. I’ve heard it go as far as weighing a baby after every nursing session for weeks on end.

Can we blame them for their worry though? If baby drops more than 10% of their birth weight in the first week, doctors immediately start telling the mom to supplement (not taking into account the possibility of inflated birth rates due to IV fluids during birth or the smile effect). At every appointment, we compare babies to other babies to see if they’re gaining on track. What if your baby is different, but completely normal? Why don’t we take things like short parents into account for height percentiles? I’m not saying that these can’t be good indications that something is wrong, but they’re not definitive.

Our culture is used to using bottles. When you’re giving a baby a bottle, it’s easy to see how much they ate. Fill the bottle with 5 ounces and one is left when they’re done? They ate 4 ounces. Nurse for 20, 30, or even 60 minutes and who knows how much they got. Breasts are not see through, nor do they have ounces marked.

One of my big babies.

The most common growth charts compare babies to mostly formula fed babies in Ohio who were given solids around 4 months. Even using the WHO charts doesn’t necessarily make sense. Every baby is different. There’s a whole range of normal. There’s really no good comparison to a baby besides itself. Is baby gaining consistently, even if they’re on the small side? Does baby have an adequate amount of wet and dirty diapers? What does mom think about her baby’s weight gain and overall health? These are the things that tell us if we need to worry. And in the majority of cases, there is nothing to worry about.

So yes, growth charts are a useful tool in determining if there’s a problem with baby’s weight gain, but they are not the end-all be-all. Some babies are naturally big, some are naturally small (and I’ve had both), just as some adults are big and some are small. And that’s okay. So try to take a step back from the growth charts and look at the bigger picture.

Sunday Surf – Latching On

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

In case you missed it, Banana is here! It’s a boy! Yay!

With the arrival of this little man, Lactating Girl is officially lactating again! I’ve been happy to be back at it after a 6 month hiatus, but it hasn’t been that easy this time around. We’re still working on perfecting our latch, so today I’m sharing the links I’m found helpful over the last week.

Nursing at just under 24 hours old.

Nursing while taking a cosleeping nap with Twig (who loves to touch his head).

Breastfeeding your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks from Kellymom.com. Banana, after pooping meconium three times in the first day, did not poop for another two days. It had me a bit worried and this information from Kellymom helped me know what to expect and keep calm. Of course he did finally poop (a lot) and he’s been a pooping champ ever since.

Healing Tips for Nipple Cracks or Abrasions from Kellymom.com. I realized on Sunday that I had a crack on one of my nipples. This info helped me to heal it as well as realize it meant that there was a bigger issue going on (latch in our case). We’ve been working on solving the cause as well as the crack and it’s going much better now.

When Latching from BreastFeeding Inc. The pictures here were super useful for reminding me that baby actually needs to be latched on the lower part of the breast rather than in the center. The things you can forget in 6 months!

Breastfeeding Videos from BreastFeeding Inc. This is a whole host of videos showing all things good and bad about breastfeeding. If you’re having a particular issue or don’t know if something is normal, watching these videos can help.

Deep Latch Technique from The Pump Station and Nurtury. Once I realized latch was an issue, I had to remind myself of what a good latch is. This site has pictures of a wonderful way to get baby to latch on that has been the biggest help for me with getting a correct latch. I’ve found that basically latching onto the bottom half of my areola and flicking in my nipple at the last moment (done easiest if wet) works great.

And last but not least, the winner of the wool diaper cover is Kerresa! Congrats! I’ll be sure to share a photo of the cover she designs before it ships out to her.

Sunday Surf: Preparing for the Babe

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

With this babe’s arrival around a week away (given my prior pregnancies gestational length), I’m hoping to start participating in some more Sunday Surf posts in the near future. From what I remember (and it’s not a lot!), I do a lot of reading and “hmmm…. that’s really interesting” during the first few months after baby is born, but not a whole lot of intelligent, unique thought. Even now at my incredibly pregnant state it’s just hard to get my brain to function in a way that makes sense to others. So I’m going to start keeping track of the interesting things I read throughout the week and posting them as part of the Sunday Surf! Then I can keep in touch with you lovely folks while still being in my post-baby haze.

Most recent pregnancy picture: 38 Weeks 3 Days

Daddy changing the brakes on the van while Twig changes the brakes on her car.

Peanut’s first day of kindergarten!

Race and the Babywearing Community from Manic Pixie Dream Mama. Some interesting thoughts on how mamas of color are viewed when babywearing as opposed to white women. I love all of her suggestions for how we can open the babywearing community to mamas of color.

We’re getting hysterical about child safety from The Daily Mail. I’ve already voiced how much I love Free-range Kids and this is along those same lines. It even has this awesome quote from Lenore.

“There’s been this huge cultural shift,” Ms. Skenazy told Ms. Brooks, who sought her out. “… This shift is not rooted in fact. It’s not rooted in any true change. It’s imaginary. It’s rooted in irrational fear.”

One of our Breastfeeding Cafes stirred up a bit of controversy. I’m honestly pretty happy about the comments from the Police Chief. Smart man upholding the law.

And we can end with a funny. Breastfeeding In Public Should No Longer Be A Taboo For Mothers Who Are Conventionally Attractive from Clickhole.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a handknit wool diaper cover knitted by no other than ME!

Breastfeeding Made Me, Me

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how breastfeeding has changed your life. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

Breastfeeding gave me confidence.

Breastfeeding gave me passion.

Breastfeeding gave me community.

Breastfeeding gave me purpose.

Breastfeeding gave me goals

Breastfeeding gave me compassion.

Breastfeeding gave me knowledge.

Breastfeeding made me, me.

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Finding Support Through a Book

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about non-traditional breastfeeding support. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

I love to read. I read for parenting, of course, but I also read a lot for pleasure. Generally I have to separate these two categories, but with the book Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding, they intermingle quite nicely.

Have Milk, Will Travel is a book full of stories from nursing moms. Moms from all walks of life with all sorts of different nursing experiences. Moms who nursed for just a short period of time and ended switching to formula. Moms who pumped in order to keep their nursing relationships going. All sorts of ups and downs that we’ve all experienced in our years of breastfeeding.

My favorite story from the book is one of a mom who works for ESPN producing basketball games. We’re big NBA fans around this house, so I was immediately enthralled to hear a story from someone on the other side of things. She goes through what it’s like in a normal day working and pumping so that she can bring home milk to her little baby. Through the day she embarrasses former professional basketball players, gets walked in on while pumping by an intern, brings way over the limit of liquids (her breast milk) on an airplane, and a bunch of other funny stuff along the way. All this work to bring home her “liquid gold” to her daughter waiting in daddy’s arms.

We’ve all been in silly situations from nursing. The time when you don’t realize your breast is exposed as you’re greeting the UPS guy at the front door. The time when your toddler starts nursing her barbies in front of someone who may find it quite odd. And we’ve all been through rough times too. The time when you felt embarrassed because your dad wouldn’t stay in the same room while you nursed. The time you spilled a whole brand-new bottle of pumped milk. This book shares it all and it does it in a real and often humorous way.

In our fast-paced society, it’s hard to find time to sit down and connect with people. Of course there’s no substitution for going to a La Leche League meeting or calling up a friend who has been there, but this book makes a good attempt. So when you’re between meetings or up in the middle of the night nursing your teething 6 month old for the umpteenth time, check out this book. You’ll be happy you did.

Rachel, the awesome lady who put this work of art together, has offered a special discount to all of you today also. Of course you can find it at Demeter Press and Amazon. Or you can contact her directly and get at rachel {at} ddtr {dot} net and get $5 off and free shipping (US) in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, through August 7. What a wonderful deal!

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.