One of the most important issues to parents (and moms in particular) focuses on…yep, you guessed it – boobs! Once you have a a baby there will be much focus around those babies. From making milk, feeding, hurt, looking great to looking not so great (as my dear friend says like deflated juice pouches in the nursing aftermath). And by the time your daily life doesn’t revolve around boobs your kids will be old enough to start asking you about them and when they are going to get some (eek!).
For most moms (who choose to breastfeed) milk supply can be a real issue and challenge to keep up. Sure there are those overachievers with a freezer full of milk but many moms would like a boost in their supply. Today I am sharing six recipes to help nursing moms with their supply and why they work. Please note this is not meant to replace help from qualified lactation consultants. Some moms (myself included) have medical and other reasons that influence their supply and they need professional help (never be afraid to ask for help). I remember one kind consultant on the phone who single-handedly kept me going when I was literally two seconds from giving up. Please see below for some local resources for nursing moms. Lastly if you choose to comment please be kind and thoughtful. We are all moms, doing our best and making the best choices for our families.
Homemade Fruit Water
Water is one of the most essential ingredients to producing milk. Most adults do not get enough water on a daily basis and when you are nursing you are even more in need. It’s important you get at least 64 ounces of water total each 24 hours. That can be a real challenge…it’s not like you have anything else to do when you have a new baby?! I love this recipe because it gives a fun twist to water and helps keep you hydrated.
1 cup Fresh Fruit (berries, oranges, melon)
1/4 cup Coconut Water (or filtered water)
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth and thin. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for at least 2 hours. Pop a few of the frozen ice cubes into a glass of filtered water. As the ice cubes melt the drink will get fruity. Store cubes in the freezer in an airtight container.
These cookies have been around for years and after my second daughter was born a friend made them for me and gave me a recipe. I have tweaked them here and there over the years to get just the right flavor and texture combination. They make a great gift for new moms. Brewer’s yeast one of the key ingredients can be found online or at grocery stores. It comes from a byproduct of beer making, though it is also grown as a nutritional supplement. Brewer’s yeast is a good source of iron, chromium, selenium and several B vitamins. It has a history of being used to increase milk supply in nursing mothers. While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support it many lactation consultants report it helps modestly increase supply in many women.
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast
3 cups Oats (uncooked)
1 cup Butter (or Earth Balance)
1/2 cup organic Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Milk (you can substitute non-dairy milk)
2 tsp pure Vanilla
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp chopped Pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f). In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, brewer’s yeast and oats than set aside. Cream together butter, sugars and maple syrup until fluffy (with an electric mixer). Add in milk, eggs and vanilla and blend till well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend just until combined, do not over-mix. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Use a tablespoon and drop scoops unto a parchment lined baking sheets, be sure to place cookies at least 1 inch apart (they spread). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen. If you want to freeze some for later store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Many people swear by a beer a day for nursing mothers. There may be some truth to this as some studies have shown that beer raises the hormone that triggers the production of milk (prolactin levels). The barley and hops are also know to help increase milk production. This recipe is the perfect way to get the benefit of the beer in a tasty bread that will help increase your caloric intake as well.
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups All Purpose Flour
5 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp packed Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 bottle of Beer (12 oz)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (f). Grease a loaf pan with coconut or olive oil (to prevent sticking). Whisk together dry ingredients until combined. Pour in beer slowly and mix just until combined, do not over-mix. Pour in to the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10-20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve warm with butter.
Carrot Cake Smoothie
Carrots while less known, are proven to increase milk supply in nursing mothers. While nursing your body needs a higher intake of certain vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and Vitamin A, both which are abundant in carrots. This smoothie is packed with raw carrot goodness but tastes like a piece of cake, win-win.
1/2 cup shredded/ grated Carrot
3 tsp Tbsp Almond Butter
3 tsp unsweetened Coconut (shredded)
3 Dates, pitted
1/2 Banana, pealed and frozen
1/2 Apple, cored, sliced and frozen
1/4 tsp Cake Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves)
1-2 cups Almond Milk (unsweetened vanilla is my favorite)
Add all of the ingredients to the blender except a little bit of the carrot to top smoothies and almond milk. If you don’t have a cake spice blend you can use part cinnamon and part nutmeg. Whizz until blended and creamy, adding the almond milk to reach the desired consistency. This may take a bit longer than you expect because of the dates but give it a few minutes and it will be perfect. Top with shredded carrot – more carrot goodness! Makes 1 large smoothie.
Mama Trail Mix
When you have an infant to care for it is easy to forget about many things including taking care of yourself. It’s easy to forget to eat (not to mention brushing teeth or showering). One of the biggest challenges for nursing moms is to get enough calories. That is why having snacks high in healthy calories ready to grab is key. Make this snack mix and keep it near where you nurse or pump to remind you to eat. Plus it’s tasty and loaded with nuts that are high in antioxidants and healthy fats known to increase supply.
1 cup raw Almonds
1 cup raw Cashews
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup freeze-dreied Raspberries
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and stir till combined. Store in an airtight container. Makes a great snack or topping for yogurt or oatmeal.
Baked Salmon w/ Fruit Salsa
Salmon is a wonderful source of omega-3 and other essential fatty acids. This can help boost a nursing women’s supply by improving overall nutrition allowing their bodies to produce the hormone necessary for a healthy milk supply. Breast milk is made up of many essential fatty acids so it’s important that nursing women have a diet rich in them.
1 lb Salmon, scaled and filleted
Salt & Pepper
1 RIPE Mango (or 1/4 cup thawed frozen mango)
1 RIPE Peach (or 1/4 cup thawed frozen peaches)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Chives
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees(f). Brush a glass baking with olive oil. Place salmon fillets in the dish and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper. Dice the mango and peach finely and stir together with lime juice, chives and vinegar to make a simple fruit salsa. Top the salmon with the salsa and bake for 10-15 minutes. Salmon should be cooked through and crisping at edges. Makes a wonderful sweet and savory meal.
Resources for nursing women:
Madison Breast Feeding Help is another local resource run by a certified Lactation Consultant and a registered RN.
African American Breastfeeding Alliance a local and free resource run by health care professionals.
La Leche League has a local chapter and a free helpline (608) 827-5530.