I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children, even before I became a mother in 2013. I spent the months leading up to my son’s birth reading articles about breastfeeding and the joys attached to it. I never thought of reading the articles describing the struggles that could take place in those first few months. I assumed my milk would flow like a NY city fire hydrant in the summertime. No care in the world and my house would be clean and all would be glorious.
When my son was born on a Thursday in April at a whopping 9lbs 5oz, I was excited to bring him home and begin our journey together. We got home Friday evening and he cried nonstop all night and most of the day. Come Monday morning, I was excited to get some advice from our doctor as to why he was crying so much. He had lost 2.5lbs since birth. Even being a first time mom, I knew that couldn’t be good. I knew a little weight loss was normal but not 2.5lbs. She recommended supplementing with formula until my milk came in. We got in the car and I cried. I cried the entire way home feeling like the world’s more giant failure for not noticing that my child’s tears were from hunger (Thanks a lot post-partum hormones).
We began supplementing with formula until my milk came in a day later. Even then our journey was not easy. Poor latch and a minor tongue tie contributed to an even bigger struggle and by 3 months, my supply started to drop. He started to become fussy after feedings and I wasn’t able to express any milk after feedings.
I saw lactation consultants read every article I could find on lactation and tried to educate myself to better up my supply but nothing worked and by 4 months he was exclusively formula fed.
He began to gain weight and was much happier than the few weeks prior. I will never regret giving him formula. It helped him grow and now he is a strong happy almost 3 year old little boy. I will never be ashamed to tell anyone he was formula fed. I know there can be so many social pressures to only give a child breast milk but I felt formula was the best choice for us at the moment and for that to even be available , I will be forever grateful.
Fast forward two years to the birth of our daughter. I had educated myself on all things breastfeeding. How to boost my supply, tips on latching, placenta encapsulations, tinctures, essential oils, and all else in between. I had a rock solid support system including one of my dearest friends, and fellow contributor, Andrea who has given more encouraging words and prayers of strength than anyone. I had a husband that read every article along with me and was there to hold my hand in the darkest of hours. I felt I had ever tool I needed to start this journey.
My milk came in faster than it had with my son and everything started smoothly. Only a small weight loss at her first appointment and I had begun pumping to help make a stock pile of milk for what I knew would be a long road. I saved close to 700oz of breast milk. Around 4 months I saw the drop in supply again so I knew I needed to take an even stronger hold on helping boost my supply. A strict pumping schedule, 9 fenugreek, 6 blessed thistle, countless bowls of oatmeal, herbal blend lactation tea, tons of water and about 10 lactation cookies a day and I feel like I have every tool I need to help kick start my supply. I know this will be a long journey for baby and me. I know that this regime is not for everyone, and that’s completely okay. We are all fighting for the same goal and that is to keep our children healthy and fed.
For me this journey is a long one but I would not trade it for anything. This is one of my favorite lactation cookies recipes (and believe me, I’ve tried what feels like a million different kinds). The key ingredient in this recipe is the brewers yeast so DO NOT leave this out! I find the taste to be somewhat bitter so I mask that flavor with dark chocolate chips and a ton of coconut. The flax has essential omega 3s and the brewers yeast is what helps boost lactation. I love to eat a cookie while I breastfeed or even during those late night pumps. I store them in my own container and it feels really good to have something in the house that is just for me.
- 4 tablespoons water, divided in two separate bowls
- 1 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- ½ cup coconut oil, still hardened
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup white flour
- 2 tablespoons brewers yeast
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/4 cups old- fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- In a small bowl mix 2T of water and 1 T of flax and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat coconut oil and both sugars.
- Add flax/water mix, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth
- In a smaller bowl, mix flours, oatmeal, brewers yeast, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon
- Add to mixing bowl and mix until combined
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of water, the chocolate chips and the coconut and mix
- Roll into ping pong ball size portions. The mix will be a bit crumbly so I apply a bit of pressure to combine them.
- Flatten on a cookie tray and bake at 350 for 11 minutes.