Of Boobs and Bosses: Crosspost from YouBeauty

I wrote an article the other day which was published on the site I run, YouBeauty.com. Thought you guys might enjoy. I have so little time to update here, but wanted to share.

My first foray back to the office after giving birth came just nine days after my son was born. I was still on maternity leave, technically. But I needed to be present for something that couldn’t wait. I hadn’t had the time or energy to figure out how to use the complicated breastfeeding pump I’d ordered on Amazon, so I dragged my bleary-eyed husband and newborn son along with me while I met with the executive team to discuss a coming merger. My husband and son hung out in my office while I went off to a conference room 50 feet away.

As I sat in the meeting, I surreptitiously checked my cell phone. Frantic texts started coming: “he’s hungry,” “now he’s crying,” “you have to come now.” My breasts were already starting to leak; after 10 minutes, I muttered a quick excuse and ran down the hall to feed him. But of course by then…

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MilkIN Cookies! {Recipe} (AKA Lactation Cookies – with Vegan Option)

I made these lactation cookies to promote milk production for breastfeeding. They’re yummy! My supply is actually an oversupply. I ate these in the days leading up to giving birth as well as after Kurt was born. Perhaps they had something to do with the abundance of milk I came into.

milkin lacation cookies vegan

I came up with the recipe based on a few that I looked at online. It seems like the key ingredients for milk production are probably:

  • Brewer’s yeast (can not use any other kind of yeast – not nutritional yeast or other)
  • Ground flaxseed (also helpful for treating PCOS)
  • Oats and wheat germ (fiber is supposed to be good for milk supply)
  • Organic Butter (healthy animal fat)

It’s very easy to veganize this recipe; instructions for both regular and vegan are below.

Ingredients (with vegan option)

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup (whole wheat) flour
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (ceylon) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup organic butter (room temperature) – vegan option: 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (organic) egg – vegan option: additional 1T flaxseed and 1.5T water (add this to the above ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups whole oats (ideally not quick oats)
  • cooking spray / greased pan
  • Optional: 1/2 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1/2 shredded coconut
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1/2 cup nuts
  • Optional: Any other of your favorite cookie add-ins!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In one bowl, mix together: flaxseed and water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, mix together: butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. (If making the vegan version, omit the egg at this point and add coconut oil instead of butter.)
  4. In another bowl, mix together: flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Add the oats and any add-ins to the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the flaxseed mix to the wet ingredients and mix.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. IF dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time and mix.
  8. Shape into cookies and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 12-14 minutes.

I have made both the vegan and regular versions multiple times and they both turn out well.

My add-ins were shredded coconut and raisins.

These can be shared with family members! Husbands and grandmas love them too. I had mine for breakfast, as a snack, and for dessert.

Let me know if you try them and if they work for you.

What are your tips to boost milk supply?

Baby Registry Must-Haves {Part 1}

If you can believe it, my sweet baby boy Kurt turned 3 months old (13 weeks) last Friday!

kurt

We are pretty sure he is over 20 pounds. What a bruiser. And yes, he does always have that smile on his face. He is honestly the perfect baby – never cries and always makes me laugh.

There are a lot of items that people will tell you that you have to have for a baby. Well, turns out – you don’t actually need much. Here are the items from our registry (or that we just bought ourselves) that we actually use.

1) Arm’s Reach Cosleeper: Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Convertible Arc Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet, Cocoa/Natural

cosleeper

 

NOTE: We are not actually using the cosleeper (though we do own it) because we co-sleep (he’s in our bed). HOWEVER, if you are nervous about traditional co-sleeping (aka bed-sharing), this is a great alternative. Baby is right next to you, within “arm’s reach”, and it is easy to pick him up to rock or nurse. I still recommend this; if we weren’t bed-sharing we would be using it. If there is interest maybe I will do a bed-sharing/co-sleeping post.

**Update at 7 months: You can use the cosleeper as a playpen (it’s convertible). This is how we are using it now because Kurt outgrew it for sleeping in. He is 25 pounds at 7 months.**

2) NO CLOTHING – people will buy you clothes anyway. You don’t need to put this on your registry unless you want something very specific.

3) Seventh Generation Baby Wipes. These are great. I haven’t tried any other ones, but these have done the job well so far. Great that they are environmentally friendly.

wipes

4) BumGenius Cloth Diapers. These are awesome! They are AIO (All-In-One) cloth diapers. This means that there is just one piece, unlike the cloth diapers that have a cloth diaper + a diaper cover. It also means they are dad-friendly. They are super absorbent. We like to use them overnight. We only have three of them – the black one below (“Albert”), a blue, and an orange. Kurt is wearing the Albert in the picture at the top of this post. (At $20 each these get expensive – I’ll have another post on our cloth diapering routine with a few other options.)

bumgenius

5) Pampers Swaddlers – with color-changing wetness indicator. When we aren’t in the mood for cloth, these are the disposables we turn to. I’ll admit that I tried the more “natural” brands and they just don’t hold up to Pampers. The wetness indicator line is so helpful. It’s yellow when you put the diaper on, then turns to blue when he’s wet.

pampers

6) BelleFit Postpartum Girdle. I actually only ended up using this for about two weeks after Kurt was born, but I did like it while I used it. I was back down below my pre-pregnancy weight 6 days after the birth, shockingly, but my stomach was still poochy. This really made me feel more supported.

girdle

This was me 3 days postpartum using the girdle:

3 days

And then 5 days later, at one week+1day postpartum (with girdle):

one week

7) Everything California Baby. I love the shampoo & body wash, the diaper rash cream, and the massage oil.

8) Stroller: we got the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller in Navy. This is a running stroller. It’s the hummer of strollers and it’s great for navigating city curbs. It’s a little bit big for everyday use, but I don’t use it everyday anyway (I’m more of a sling person).

BOB

9) Car SeatBritax B-Safe Infant Car Seat in Black (if you have a BOB or another big stroller, don’t forget the adapter: BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter for Britax). We love the car seat – it was fairly easy to install and Kurt enjoys his time in it. He always falls asleep when we’re driving.

car seat

10) Diaper PailDiaper Genie Essentials Diaper Disposal Pail (for the pampers) – and don’t forget the refills (Playtex Diaper Genie Refill).

diaper genie

11) Bottles: We have the Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 5 Ounce, 2-Count. These bottles are fantastic. Kurt has not had any kind of nipple confusion and I started using them early, around 2 weeks. The Comotomo bottles are shaped like the breast and work really well. I work full time so I have to pump and either Bobby or our sitter gives him breastmilk from these bottles. (We tried several other bottles including the Lansinoh Momma and the Adiri, which are also supposedly more like a breast – Kurt liked the Comotomo the best.)

comotomo

12) Breast Pump: I have 3 pumps! I have 2 of the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote (double electric) and just one manual pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. I use the double electric at home in the morning before I go to work and then I have one at the office to use during the day. The manual one is for when I travel or any other random time – it’s super portable and works great.

medela pump in stylemedela harmony

If you do end up getting either of the Medela pumps, I would highly recommend using their “Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags” – the bag hooks right onto the pump (in place of the bottle) which makes storing/freezing/transport a snap. The bag in the picture above (with the Harmony manual pump) is the Pump N Save bag. My only caveat is this: make sure that the zip top is closed securely. I haven’t had any issues but reviewers said that if you don’t close it carefully it’ll leak.

13) Stylish Diaper BagSkip Hop Studio Diaper Bag, Black Dot (I have it in Pewter Dot but I can’t find that color anymore). This has lots of pockets and is cute. It goes with any outfit. Lots of room for diapers, outfits, creams, wallet, phone, etc…

diaper bag

14) High Chairphil&teds Lobster Highchair in Red. We only just started using this recently and Kurt loves it. It lets me have 2 hands free while eating but Kurt can still hang out with us at dinnertime. Very functional. It can attach to any kind of dining room table.

lobster chair

15) Storq leggings. This is not actually something for baby, but something for pregnant and post-partum momma. These are the absolute best leggings I found (and I tried a lot). Storq also has fantastic tank tops. It may be a little pricey for such simple clothing but it is worth it. I got the size 2 (Medium) in leggings and a tank, both black.

That is all I have for now… there is lots more to come!

What are your baby essentials?

How To Eat Like A Child (aka Intuitively)

Today’s post is a guest post from my mom. She did not know her email to me (in response to this story) was going to be a guest post until after she wrote it though. I hope she writes more. Or starts her own blog. She has lots of good stuff to say.

Kids always amaze me. They are sometimes shockingly wise, like when it comes to food. Kids eat intuitively – they just eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. At some point I did lose my food intuition, but I found it again after some time. Without further ado… My very wise mom.

***

So…what was your eating like when you were young? I will start at day one and go forward.

Maggie, Mom, Dad

You were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. Then I tried to get you to start on solid foods but you had no interest whatsoever. I cooked organic oat bran and sweetened it with ground raisins (no refined sugar for my perfect child!). You had little bits but just really weren’t too interested. In fact, you pretty much lived on just breastmilk for about your whole first year of life (and I think it was because you may have had underlying issues with non-human dairy products).

I always tried new things with you but you mostly just wanted to nurse (I mean, it is the perfect food after all!).  At the time I think I would tell people you ate more than you did just because people were so… um… annoyingly judgmental about how I was ruining your health! (There! I said it!) The thing about breastfeeding is that it is supply and demand… babies eat until they are done and learn how to self-regulate. With a bottle, there is always that temptation to make the baby finish the whole thing… or drink a specified number of ounces.

Once you became a toddler you really liked just about anything I would give to you. A favorite was tofu that you would snitch as you sat on the counter “helping” me cook. You liked fruit and veggies. The only flesh you really ever had was probably tuna fish — tuna and peas in a white sauce over toast was a favorite. I did ants on a log (celery) and ants on a bench (apple) a lot. I let you eat as much or as little as you wanted – there was no clean plate club. When we had play dates there were usually PB and J sandwiches or bagels with cheese melted on them. I made a lot of meals from the La Leche League (Maggie’s comment: this is an organization for breastfeeding motherscookbook — these tended to have whole grains. I made chicken fingers or tofu sticks and oven fries a lot.

Dad, Maggie

When we went to dad’s softball games a few times a week, you usually snacked on raw green beans, apples, raisins or trail mix. I was a firm believer in water for drinking and never even suggested that you drink milk with your dinner. Probably in middle school is when I started making a lot of things from Cooking Light.

Maggie @ the zoo (Washington DC?)

You were not a picky eater. I don’t remember if you ate sweets…I sort of doubt it since I don’t like to bake… although I do remember these really yummy cookies I used to make from the LLL cookbook — they were oat, whole wheat and raisin, sweetened with ground up dates, had willow ridge soy margarine and sunflower seeds and just enough chocolate chips to make them yummy. You loved them and I never felt guilty about letting you eat them — sometimes even instead of a regular meal (they just had so many good things in them).

Well I think that might be all I can think of for now.

***

That was perfect, Mom. You got anything for me Dad? Hint hint.

How did you eat as a kid?

Apparently I was this awesome intuitive eater. Maybe I will start making tuna and peas in a white sauce again. I remember absolutely loving that dish.

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for more of this. And if you missed it, honesty was a hot topic earlier this week.