This post is sponsored by Milk Mama.
Last week we started the process of weaning our son and transitioning him to solids. Boy is it an interesting ride! Mess, mush and mayhem I like to call it (like in my guest blog post for Play with Food HERE). But an important part of this new phase of his/our lives is the continuation of breastfeeding. In the early days of starting solids, a lot of bub’s nutritional needs are still being met by the breastmilk. However, an issue that might arise once you start solids is that your baby might be feeding less at the breast, which means less stimulation and possibly an issue with milk supply.
Milk supply is a big issue with many new mums – there are ebbs and flows and a lot of mums (myself included) start to stress at any sign of reduced supply. We even had a discussion early on (around when our bubs were 6ish weeks old) in our mother’s group about reduced supply. We all bought lactation bickies, baked lactation cookies, and expressed in order to bump up the supply. So if you are one of these mums – or a mum like me, literally expressing in the dark of night while typing this post – you are most likely looking for something that will help your supply and give you one less thing to worry about (you have a baby, so obviously there is always SOMETHING to worry about!). In those early days especially, there is NO time to research, source and make something. You want a product that you know will work.
Enter: Milk Mama. I met Mansi, the beautiful mind behind Milk Mama, on a biz mum’s Facebook group. We clicked straight away, and her positive attitude and encouragement are an inspiration for all. She is passionate about helping mums build up their supply using natural ingredients, so she has come up with lactation cookie and smoothie mixes that use natural ingredients (flaxseed meal and brewer’s yeast, anyone?) to help. Mansi asked if I would trial two of her products, and I’ve found it has been the perfect time as I try to keep my milk supply up for a weaning boy starting solids (and the concoction of many a puree!).
Lactation Cookie Mix
The first mixture I tried was the “Wholegrain flour, Oats & Almonds with Chocolate Chips” cookie mix. To be honest, there were some pretty high standards set as my previous recipe (found HERE) tasted delicious and worked reasonably well. The issue I found with the previous recipe, though, was the preparation. With a newborn, who has time to research and collect (and BUY) all the ingredients, then spend 30-40 minutes baking? I know that a lot of my mother’s group, and myself too, bought pre-made cookies for the convenience. But with Milk Mama’s mixture, you get the enjoyment of both convenience and a bit of baking (who doesn’t love baking)? The cookie mix includes all of the fiddly ingredients, and all you need to add is butter and an egg. Easy – in fact, I created a quick video to show you how quick and easy it is to make!
Some things to consider
As I mentioned in my video, some people may be wondering if it is ‘worth the money’ to purchase a cookie mix when you could make it yourself. However, Brewer’s yeast and flaxseed meal can be quite pricey ingredients (let alone the other items). For the sake of convenience, I think the price of Milk Mama’s cookie mix is incredibly reasonable. If I was aware of this mix a few months back, I would have been purchasing and recommending this product to my mother’s group.
Another thing I found when I made the cookies, which you will also see in the video, is that they were a bit dry and crumbly. I googled some ways to make cookies more moist, and some suggestions were:
- Use the egg yolk only (remove the egg white)
- Bake them for less time then I did (I might have overbaked them)
- A little bit of (brown) sugar added might help moisten the cookies
Lactation Smoothie Mix
Next I tried the ‘Oats, Coconut Flakes & Pumpkin Kernels’ Lactation Smoothie mix (after I had finished the cookies). This is even easier to put together, and literally only took me about 3 minutes to make, most of which was peeling and chopping the banana! The video for this mix is below.
Personally, I’m not a massive fan of the flavour, but then again I don’t really have smoothies. I think also the choice of fruit you add would make a big difference (next time I’ll try strawberries!), so let me know how you go with it. The first time I tried it, I didn’t add enough milk (my bad – smoothie-newbie) so the second time I added more milk which enhanced the consistency.
This is the part I’m sure everyone is wanting to know about – how did my milk supply go after eating the cookies and the smoothie?
To clarify, I made 11 cookies, and followed the (adjusted) recommendations on the packet: I had 3 cookies each on Day 1 & 2, 2 cookies each on Day 3 & 4, and 1 cookie on Day 5.
So I express each night before going to bed – hubby feeds our son a bottle, I’ll top him up and then express an hour or so afterwards. Lately I’ve only been able to get between 50-100mls of BOTH sides (which isn’t enough for our boy). I’ve then had to express a second time in the morning to get enough for the night feed.
WELL – after baking and eating these cookies, following Milk Mama’s recommended consumption, I was able to express 150mls from Days 4-6. The thing I found was that my supply started to drop again, but I think this was due to:
- Making my cookies slightly too big, and not having the recommended number of cookies on each day (4 cookies Day 1 & 2, 3 cookies Day 3 & 4, etc).
- Not continuing with the cookies after Day 5. We all know that for most things to work, we need to keep plugging away at them. I think that with a second (or multiple) batches, my supply would have continued to increase.
- Stress – I had a lot on my plate (literally and figuratively!) and became quite overwhelmed. Stress can play havoc on our bodies in a variety of ways, including having an impact on our milk supply.
I have been having one medium-sized smoothie for the past 3 days, with my plan to continue having a medium smoothie once a day for a couple of more days following the recommended consumption on the packet. For me, it has shown similar results to the above (I was able to express an extra 50mls per session). Again, these results would vary according to:
- Your current supply;
- The amount of smoothie mix you had per day (small, medium, large);
- The number of days you continued with the smoothie mix.
As I‘ve only had a couple of smoothies, I can only discuss my current supply. However I will keep going with the mixture until I’ve completed the pack and will update with any further changes if they come along.
Overall, I love, love, LOVE the convenience of both mixtures. My personal preference is towards the cookie mixture, which I would definitely buy and use again. I probably wouldn’t get the smoothie mixture again, however that is just my personal preference in terms of enjoying and making smoothies. I think for those mums who like smoothies, and would enjoy a quick and easy boost to their supply, the smoothie mixture is a great choice. I would recommend both to mums wanting a delicious and convenient way to boost their supply – Milk Mama is the way to go!
PLEASE NOTE: Always consult a lactation expert about your health and milk supply. Make sure to drink plenty of water, rest and eat a balanced diet.