Author Archives: Leyla

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe to help Boost your Milk Supply

So there might not be direct scientific evidence that oatmeal increases your milk supply. It is though “traditionally” believed to boost your supply and it really does work for many women. Personally I felt that I had a much better milk supply after I increased my oatmeal consumption. Oatmeal is not only a good source of iron but also a perfect comforting carbohydrate.  It’s great for anybody in any phase, whether pumping breast milk or not. I eat it all the time and feed it to my kids in all different forms and they love it!

How did I come up with this recipe? Well, I needed something that was ready and portable and something that was nutritionally balanced to keep my body happy – physically and mentally. It works perfect for mothers exclusively pumping because they hardly have time to do anything else and it’s just a great snack to munch on when you get stressed out – without the guilt.

The recipe yields around 10 cookies but you can size them the way you want. The best thing about them is not only that they are super moist (because of the banana and mango) and crunchy (because of the walnuts) but they also take an amazingly short time to throw together. You just have to mix up a bunch of ingredients with a spoon (no electric mixer necessary). You just have one spoon to clean and one bowl to wash – that’s it!

Here’s the recipe for 10 cookies:

1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
2 tablespoons dried cranberry
1/4 cup cut up dried mango
1/4 cup walnuts chopped to your liking
2 scoops vanilla whey protein *
pinch of salt
2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
2 tablespoons almond milk or milk

*can substitute half a cup flour and 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or sugar of choice)

Mix up the oats, coconut flakes, whey protein, salt, dried fruits and walnuts in a bowl.  Smash the ugliest and ripest bananas you can find with a fork and add them to the mixture, together with the oil and almond milk. You can add a bit more milk depending on the consistency. Bake about 7 min at 160 C Fan setting (320 F). Take them out when they still look a bit undercooked and are just slightly starting to brown on the edges. Let them sit on the tray for about 10 mintues before you remove them.

Honestly I used to think protein powder is only for bodybuilders. I started taking them when I got on a workout routine and figured out that lifting weights is the only way to tone up and get rid of the flab. Then I realised that protein powder is actually a great meal substitute for any one on the run.

I’ve added protein to these because I’m in the shredding phase – I need to get my waistline back – and refuse to cut out my sweet treats. I’m usually low on protein and high on carbs so this is an attempt to balance things out a bit. You can subsitute the flour and sugar instead if you like. That’s the way I make it for my kids most of the time.

Hope you like the recipe. As for me, I’m addicted!

 

 

 

Exclusively pumping breast milk eBook finally launched!

This is a special week for me as I’ve finally completed and launched my eBook on exclusively pumping!

Yay!takeapeak

It’s actually not just for exclusive pumping mothers but also for any breastfeeding mother who would also like to increase her milk supply through pumping. This book took me actually a few years and two children to put together. It’s basically your one stop guide to pumping and has all the information you’ll need starting from

  • which pump to use
  • what accessories will make your life easier
  • how to get yourself motivated to pump at night
  • what is good pumping schedule to start off with
  • how to drop pumps
  • and much much more….

Click here to find out more and review the table of contents.

 

Preparation for birth: Will I be able to breastfeed?

Yes. That was my answer to this question. After all, my friends who had babies were able to breastfeed without any major issues. It’s a natural act, I thought. I might not know exactly what to do, but the baby will, right?

Wrong! Breastfeeding is not something that comes naturally. It’s a skill that has to be learnt. Don’t get me wrong, I’d done my share of research and all my pregnancy books confirmed this point. I’d studied the pictures, the different positions and tried to imagine how to hold my baby. It was difficult to imagine though. I was uncomfortable with the thought of milk coming out of my nipples. It was just weird.

How to build up your breastfeeding confidence?

people-5908Was I confident about my ability to breastfeed? At first yes. I thought that if my friends had done it, I could do it too. My confidence dropped when I encountered the first problems at breastfeeding. I just couldn’t get my baby to latch on properly and as I watched the other women in the hospital lying down with their baby suckling on their breast I quickly became nervous. Why couldn’t I get it right? With nervousness came my lack of confidence. I felt ashamed every time I called in for the nurse to come to aide me and my baby at breastfeeding. I was upset at myself for not getting it right. At that stage I’d already lost all my confidence.

With my confidence gone, a chance to breastfeed also vanished.

“A woman’s confidence in her ability to breastfeed is crucial to her success”, claim Tine Vinther and Elisabet Helsing from the World Health Organization. They are right. This lack of confidence triggers a process chain:

Lack of confidence = negative feelings = stress = slow/no let-down = screaming baby = lower confidence = ….

How to prevent this from happening?

  • Recognize your struggle. Ok, so it’s just not working. No matter what you do, breastfeeding is just a nightmare. It’s painful and your baby keeps coming off your nipple and screaming. Don’t get mad at yourself or your baby. Give your little one a bottle of pre-pumped milk or formula to satisfy her hunger. Pump your milk in the meanwhile and try again at the next feed. Try to pinpoint the cause or possible reasons for this. Does it seem to be your nipple shape? Are your existing bruises making it difficult for you to relax? Once you pinpoint the cause, it becomes easier to find a solution.

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Freezing and unfreezing breast milk

There are various ways to freeze your milk, some of these are more costly than others. Here is a ranking of different ways to freeze your milk from the costliest method to the least costly

1. Medela freezer bags
2. Lansinoh bags
3. Ice cub trays and then transfer to Ziploc bags

When you want to defrost your milk best is to take it out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge. It generally takes about 12 to 24 hours to defrost. The defrosted milk should be used within 24 hours. You can then warm it in a bottle warmer.

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Tips to reduce chances of mastitis

If you are prone to mastitis, the general concession seems to be that nipples should always be kept wet. At least this is what I was told at the hospital. If they are slightly wounded and you let the milk dry up, you create a trap for bacteria.

1. Use special compresses for the nipples.
There are different brands depending on where you live. Best is to ask your pharmacist for special compresses for wounded nipples. These compresses are wet and they keep bacteria away from the nipple, as well as constantly providing moisture. As these can be quite costly, especially if you have to use them during your entire pumping experience, it’s ok to change them once they dry up that way you don’t have to go through two packs every day.

2. clean your nipples with boiled salted water after each session

3. Use a special nipple cream (Lansilot) after each session

10 things I love about pumping breastmilk

Provide breastmilk to your little one. After all this one point by itself outweighs all the things we hate about pumping. So actually this doesn’t count. Here is a list of 10 highlights of our pumping sessions.

1. Getting out a clog after two days of massaging, hot water and all the treatments you can think of for getting the damned clog out

2. Looking in admiration at your slight increase in milk supply again after the clog is out

3. How the sound of the pump can magically put your baby into sleep

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14 things I hate about pumping breastmilk

Pumping breastmilk for your little one is easier said than done. There is lots of hard work and dedication that goes with that. I thought it would be good to provide a list of the top 10 things I hated about pumping.  It ended up to be 14 and I am sure I could easily extend that further. It would be great if you share your hates as well. Send me your top 10 and I will put together and publish our most common hates.

1. Looking at the clock and knowing that the pumping session is about to start

2. Looking at the clock and knowing that the pumping session is about to start and the little one is in the middle of a crying tantrum.

3. The LO is feeding sooooo slowly from the bottle and you want the clock to stop as it ticks past your pumping schedule. You know that you still have to burp and clam the baby Continue reading