Another steamy August in the city, melting on the subway platforms. Maybe you’ve been able to get away, maybe not. Ten years ago, I was 9 months pregnant with my first, lumbering for my one hour commute to an unhappy job, ankles almost as swollen as my belly. Never knowing if someone would offer me a seat (usually a woman would).
It’s a cliché, but of course those 10 years have flown by and in just 11 days, I’ll be the mother of a 10 year old. To say that becoming a parent completely changes your life is an understatement. And I know there’s much more to come with this adventure!
In honor of a decade of motherhood, surviving summer pregnancies, and the best city on earth, I’m offering this pretty Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow to NYC residents! ($45 retail value) I love the modern navy pattern.
How to enter:
comment below and tell me why you love your NYC neighborhood! (I’ll bring the pillow to you or a friend in NYC if you win! Keepin’ it local!)
leave an additional comment if you signed up for the newsletter!
finally, leave a comment for each time you shared on one of the social media platforms and where!
Guess we’ll see how much time you want to spend clicking around for a free pillow. Comments may be slow to post, don’t worry. Enter by August 14, and I’ll randomly select the winner on August 15, my son’s 10th birthday.
But wait, there’s more!
ADDITIONAL SPECIAL SUMMER OFFER!
Book your placenta encapsulation services before Labor Day (the holiday, not your actual labor day, ha ha), and receive $100 off placenta encapsulation + one belly binding session! $497 value for $397! Fine print— contract signed and deposit received by midnight September 4, 2017; any due date is fine (e.g. book now even if you’re due in December).
Once I heard about “lactation cookies,” I knew that I wanted to try some next time I was lactating. No need to twist my arm on anything involving cookies. Sure, I’m a fan of evidence and all, but I’m willing to take the risk to try some of these babies to help inform my lactating sisters. I also thought that if I really like them and get my act together, perhaps this could be a future postpartum gift when I’m bringing food to new moms or debriefing with doula clients.
These cookies are adapted from this site. Click on over there to read more about what makes them lactastic. I wanted to make them vegan, but if you don’t, you can add in the original 2 eggs and butter for the oil. I was also a dumbass and added white chocolate chips (white! like milk!) which of course are not vegan. You can add any combo of nuts and/or chips that you like, or raisins, cranberries, whatever. Go crazy. These cookies can handle it, and a nursing mama deserves to have her cravings met! I also think you could do any combo of sugars, agave, maple syrup, etc for the sweetener. I thought the molasses would add some interesting flavor and the extra iron would be nice for new mamas, too.
I added cardamom because I love it, and grinding the seeds fresh really brings out the flavor. I had fenugreek in the cupboard, too, and knew it was another traditional milk supply enhancing supplement, although the amount here per cookie is likely negligible but why not go for some placebo effect. I put the cardamom and fenugreek seeds in my little coffee grinder and pulsed away until it was fine, and added the mixture to the dry ingredients. If you aren’t a fan of stronger flavors in your cookies, you can just nix the molasses (but replace with sugar/other) and cardamom and still have a lovely treat.
The verdict? Very yummy cookies! Still great a day later. They are moist, chewy and spicey. Not too sweet, in fact you could probably reduce the sugar a bit further and they’d still be lovely. When I make them again, I’ll probably use about 1/2 cup fewer chips as the batter couldn’t hold them all. I also, only sometimes, get a slight bitter aftertaste. Is it the fenugreek? Let me know if you know. Oh, and do they increase milk supply? Who knows? I did have a good pumping session before bed, so what the hell, let’s say it was the cookies. Yay, lactation cookies!
[P.S. The jar of brewers yeast was like $16 and what the heck should I do with it? Start making micro brews in the tub? It will take a while to use it up on just cookies, I imagine.]
12 oz package white chocolate chips (note: these weren’t vegan, so make sure your chips are if you are vegan!), approx 2 cups (I’d reduce to 1 1/2 cups, see note above.)
1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like, or none)
3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, moistened (I just drizzled some water over and let it sit a few minutes. If you can only find sweetened, just reduce your sugar a skosh. If you hate coconut, just pretend this isn’t here.)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In one bowl, mix flaxseed and water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the applesauce, oil, molasses, sugars, and vanilla with a hand-mixer until well blended.
In a separate large bowl, like the biggest one you have, mix all of the dry ingredients except for the oats.
Add the wet to the dry and mix well by hand.
Add the flax mixture and stir some more.
Add the oats and stir stir stir.
Add the choc chips, nuts, coconut, or whatever additional mix ins you like, and stir until everything seems well distributed.
Spoon or scoop onto cookie sheet, about golf ball sized portions. Press gently with fork.
In the 4+ years between my babies, the smartphone was born. I held out for a while, not needing one of them fancy contraptions, but finally my dinosaur phone (i.e., just over 2-year-old flip phone) was falling apart and I figured, why not? Maybe I will love it as much as everyone else seems to. I got the iPhone last summer, and as predicted, most of the technology is lost on me. I downloaded some apps but never use them. I still use an actual laminated map if I’m going someplace new in the city. I do like the better texting and being able to check email, the odd website, and Facebook. I also occasionally use the camera to snap a photo or video of the kids and send it instantly to the grandparents. I listened to some Hypnobabies tracks while I was pregnant. That’s about it.
And then suddenly I had a baby nursing at all hours and I was busting out my phone A LOT. It helped me wile away the time during those marathon nursing sessions in the wee hours. Specifically, I’d fallen in love with the Dear Sugar column a few months prior to Leo’s birth, and was able to catch up on the backlog of her beautiful posts while nursing. Additionally, I used a breastfeeding appto help track feedings, diaper action, and sleep (ha ha ha) since I couldn’t remember one moment to the next in the newborn fog. With my older son, I have notebooks filled with my OCD scrawling of every nursing and diaper change until whatever time I realized I could let it go already. So, what are the pros and cons? Let’s see:
a toy to keep you company during long nursing sessions, especially if you watched the whole Battlestar Galactica series with your previous baby
a variety of apps to track feedings, changes, and sleep
keep up with friends via text, email, Facebook, and maybe even a good old-fashioned phone call while nursing– helps to feel less isolated and find instant support at any time if you’re in a rough patch
you could follow a suggestion I saw on Best for Babes (probably while nursing) and video your baby nursing, to be viewed later when you’re back at work or otherwise separated to help get your milk a-flowin’ for the pump
you’ll totally jack up your eyeballs from squinting at the tiny screen in the middle of the night
perhaps you could have safely dozed while nursing but now you’re obsessively ‘liking’ stuff on Facebook
the electromagnetic waves are probably melting your baby’s brain
maybe I should be cooing over my baby now and then rather than the pretty phone?
So, that’s been my experience and inner struggle so far with the smartphone in my role as a breastfeeding mother.
What about you? Do you play with a fancy phone while nursing, or something else?
I attended a Breastfeeding Preparation class last week as part of my DONA doula certification requirement. An important part of the doula role is supporting new moms in breastfeeding, and even though I nursed one son for 14 months and am three months into nursing baby #2, I knew I’d pick up some good tips to help other mothers. I was also interested to see how the class was set up and how the information was presented.
Before we started, the instructor had us introduce ourselves and share our most pressing questions about breastfeeding. All of the moms-to-be wondered most: When can I supplement with formula and/or a nighttime bottle? While this was an exceptionally small homogeneous sample size of just four expectant mothers, I thought this was very interesting– both the question itself and that they all shared it as their most burning question on breastfeeding.
Does it mean they’ve heard breastfeeding is really hard and they will have to supplement or resort to Plan B? Have they heard sleep deprivation horror stories and want to be sure their partner can help with feedings? Probably. It also came out later in the conversation that one of the moms was concerned about her partner having a chance to bond with the baby through feedings. A friend of hers feels like he hasn’t been able to connect with his newborn since the mother is exclusively breastfeeding.
I can’t recall now what my most burning breastfeeding question was before that adventure began. I’d like to think it was ‘what can I do to ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship?’ I’d heard the stories from my friends and knew it could be really rough in the beginning. I wanted to be ready to tackle the challenges and make it work (a la Tim Gunn). I think I also assumed it would be mostly fine, as my mother breastfed four children, it’s as natural as can be, I’m committed, so what could go wrong?
Well, that’s a long story for another post– but we did figure it out after a grueling few months and I don’t regret a thing. When I was struggling, a friend told me, “breastfeeding goes from being the worst thing in the world, to the best thing in the world.” This piece of advice helped me to stay committed and see it through until we were on the other side.
So, what about you?
What was your number one question about breastfeeding before you began?
What is your number one tip to mothers-to-be who are planning to nurse?