Monday, October 26, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Galactagogues and a Giveaway!

My biggest hurdle with nursing has always been work.  Or rather, the fact that I work.  Because the fact that I work means my kids are at daycare during the day.  And my kids being at daycare during the day means that I have struggled with both Thatbaby and Thatkid and overfeeding.

Look, it happens.  It is ridiculously easy to overfeed a baby from a bottle.  Bottle feeding is inherently faster than breastfeeding, and their little brains don't get the message they're full.  Add to that it's easy to "shut a baby up"  by popping a bottle in his mouth.  With Thatkid, the biggest problem was that anytime he saw someone else with a bottle, he wanted one too.  (And to an extent, that's still an issue with my hungry monkey.)  Given that Thatbaby would be the only baby at his daycare, I thought we would avoid this issue.  And we have, and yet he still eats 25-50% more than he does at home.

The problem with this is that I really have to struggle to keep up with what he eats at daycare.  At home, he eats about every 3 hours.  At work, I pump about every 3 hours.  And yet I'm always a couple ounces short at the end of the day.

For many, this would lead to supplementing with formula.  And there's nothing wrong with that, except I'm cheap and lazy. And formula is more expensive and more labor intensive than breastfeeding.

Which brings me to the topic of galactagogues.  Say it out loud, it's one of those really fun words.  And it makes me feel like an astronaut.  Or space cowboy.  Or something.  Galactagogues are dietary supplements that help promote milk making.  (Sidenote - I'm pretty sure these only work if you're already lactating, so don't worry about squirting milk if these are in your diet already.)

Oatmeal is a BIG galactagogue!  And easy to work into your diet.  Especially with the colder months rolling in.  Makes the perfect breakfast with an added bonus!

I also start every morning with lactation tea and an herbal supplement,.  There are a couple companies that make lactation teas, but the two I rotate between are Gaia and Traditional Medicinals.

As for herbal supplements, right now I stick with the basic Fenugreek.  But with Thatkid I often used More Milk Plus.  Bonus - Fenugreek makes you smell like maple syrup.  A lot of people think that's a bad thing, but really?  Thatboy loves pancakes, so smelling like one works for me!

So those were the galactagogues I used to keep up my supply when I was nursing Thatkid.  This time around I've added something else.  After Thatbaby's one week appointment, I brought him in to the office to show off visit.  We ran out of diapers while there (rookie mom move!) so went into the store across the street to pick some up.  And they just happened to be sampling lactation cookies that day.

Lactation cookies?  Yes, just what they sound like.  Cookies filled with galactagogues.  (Like oatmeal and fenugreek!)  I'd heard of the concept before, but how do you find a tried and true recipe? 

There are so many things I love about The Bent Elbow.  First and foremost, I love the fact that it's the creation of two Southern California moms (sisters!).  It makes me feel good to support local businesses, especially those run by women.

I also love how easy they make it.  No finding recipes.  No buying weird ingredients (because I do not keep Brewers Yeast in my pantry!).  And for me, I don't have to go far to find it since they sell the mixes so close to my office.  (You know, that place that's causing this whole mess to begin with?)  And if you don't happen to work with me, they make it easy by having an online shop.  THEY SEND THE MIXES TO YOU!  Still sound too hard?  (I know, when you have small children even 20 minutes to make cookies can be hard to find)  You can buy the cookies ready made!

But most importantly, it works.  I'm always a skeptic, and really, I'm already dosing on galactagogues, so how much could these little cookies help?  Welp, I'm excited to say they do!  After 1 week I was able to meet Thatbaby's needs at school.  (Disclosure - since that time period she's upped his ounces at daycare and so I've had to add in an extra pumping session at night, but at least it's only one pumping session!)

And now you can try out these phenomenal cookies.  The sweet ladies at The Bent Elbow are giving me a mix to share with you!  Just enter below.  And happy....milking?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have learned something new today. I had no idea there are all these great products for breastfeeding moms. These days I am focused on products for menopausal women (laugh).

    Take care.


  2. Me too. Didn't know that there are such great products to help breastfeeding mum. All I did was try to eat and rest well and do all that I can :p Great recommendations!

    1. Eating and resting well are pretty important too!

  3. Late to the party - but I DO keep brewers yeast on hand. I actually keep it in the fridge. I make a huge batch of cookies and freeze them. That mother's milk tea is awesome too.

    Cookies are awesome - I love that they sell on line. Will pass this on to friends.

  4. I pumped at work for a while but K wasn't interested in drinking from the bottle. He's more of a "nurse all night long" (or as much as I'll let him get away with) guy. But, it's an entirely different thing since he was 12 months old when he started daycare and eating solids several times/day.