Archive for April, 2010

Cookies for Milk Supply?

April 27, 2010

As a lactation consultant, I have the privilege of talking with hundreds of breastfeeding moms every year. Many of those mothers are concerned with milk production at some point in their nursing career. As you can imagine, (and as many of you know!) it’s very frustrating to do everything “right” and still not have enough milk for your baby. Moms know that breast milk is the best thing for babies, yet when supply problems exist, it can be difficult to give baby 100% breast milk. I have found that moms will do just about anything to help increase their milk production—prescriptions medications, strenuous pumping regimens or drinking bitter herbal concoctions.

Recently I was approached by the founder of Milkmakers. She enthusiastically told me about her product—a cookie—that reportedly helps with milk production in breastfeeding moms. Some of the ingredients in Milkmakers are known to support milk production, but I was skeptical, to say the least.

Since this is a new product and an interesting idea, I decided to do a little research. Seattle moms with concerns about milk supply agreed to eat these delicious, nutrient-dense cookies for a week and let me know how they “worked.” All of the women who tried the cookies had healthy, thriving 3-4 month old babies. Most were back at work and were concerned about being able to pump enough milk. Much to my surprise, every mom who participated in my little experiment noticed a measurable increase in milk production!

I will continue to offer herbs, medications and other proven protocols for my clients with serious milk production issues. I will also offer Milkmakers as part of the solution—particularly for moms who may need a boost when returning to work.

If you are having problems with supply, contact a lactation consultant for help. In addition, give Milkmakers a try. They will give you delicious lift!

Milkmaker cookies can be found at


Breastfeeding and Work–Getting Out the Door!

April 11, 2010

Now that you’ve made the commitment to breastfeed your baby AND you’re going back to work, you may be wondering…how do moms really do this?

Here are some tips from experienced breastfeeding moms who have learned how to make every second count!

The night before:

Label bottles of milk with the date and your baby’s name.

Lay out your baby’s clothes and yours. Better yet, dress your baby in the next day’s clothes and forget about jammies!

Keep the pump bag, diaper bag and your charging phone by your purse or briefcase.

Ask your partner to pack your food for the day—lunch and a couple of snacks. You will probably be surprised and delighted at the quantity of food he thinks you should eat!

Add baby supplies to the diaper bag.

In the morning:

Add ice and pumped milk to daycare bag. A little cooler specifically for baby bottles is great for this purpose.

Breastfeed baby one more time before going out the door. Or leave a little early and breastfeed at the day care. That will mean less milk that you will have to pump!

General tips:

Wear clothes that give you easy access to your breasts. You shouldn’t have to take off your shirt or dress in order to pump or breastfeed. Check out for professional nursing/pumping clothing.

Remember you don’t need to wash the pump parts after each pumping. Just keep them in a cooler (with ice) or a refrigerator and they’ll be ready to go for the next pumping.

Some moms love to pump hands free. There are bras and other devices that hold the pump flanges in place so you can multi-task.

Invest in extra pump parts—including bottles and caps—and keep extra at work just in case.

Take advantage of oxytocin coursing through your bloodstream. It will help you relax and enhance your creativity.

See also:  “Working and Breastfeeding.”

Working and Breastfeeding

April 11, 2010

Women have been combining work with motherhood for thousands of years. Since babies get their nutrition directly from their mothers, society expected moms and babies to be literally joined at the hip for the first year or more. It’s only been in recent history that “going back to work” has been a potential roadblock to continuing to breastfeed. Although it is normal to work while caring for baby, our modern world and societal expectations often requires moms to be separate from baby while working.

So, is it really possible to continue breastfeeding while working away from baby? Absolutely! It takes some planning and commitment, but as a mother,  you’re already committed to your baby and you’re probably a master planner and multi-tasker! Just make sure you have the tools and information you need to be successful.

If you are working more than 20 hours a week, you will need a professional-grade breastpump that is designed to be used every day, several times a day for a year or more. Expect to pay 200 to 300 dollars. Some very good brands include: Medela, Hygeia and Ameda.  (Hygeia is a new company. Check them out at

Talk to you employer and colleagues about your plan to continue breastfeeding while working. Find other mothers in your workplace who have pumped at work.  Remember you only need a small, private space and a chair.  You don’t even need an outlet if your pump has a battery pack!

Before you return to work, make sure your baby knows how to take your milk from a bottle or cup. Give your baby at least 2 weeks to learn this new skill.

Store a few bottles of milk in the freezer just in case! Accidents happen—milk gets spilled, milk gets left at work, etc. You don’t need a whole freezer full of milk! Remember you’ll be replacing what your baby drinks every day!

If possible, visit your baby at lunch. Or arrange for your baby to be brought to you. Mothers who have access to their babies breastfeed longer.  This practice will also do wonders for your milk supply!

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Learn to delegate! Make sure you eat well and sleep whenever you can. Remember, you have two jobs now!

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