Before having Bee, I wasn’t committed to breastfeeding. I’d heard stories of problems and pain. I thought “If it works, then good. If it doesn’t, oh well.”
Yet here I am with a 19-month old nursling, who shows no signs of giving up the boob. Nor do I have a need to stop nursing her for the time being. In fact, I’m happy to continue breastfeeding her for the health benefits to both her and myself until there is a compelling reason or circumstance for me to stop.
I feel lucky that I never had any breastfeeding problems, though the path was a bit rocky sometimes.
Like most new mothers who are feeding on demand, it started with having to get used to being in constant demand, coupled with uncertainty. The nagging question of “Am I doing it right?” despite the fact that Bee was gaining weight regularly. Then it was getting over my hang up of breastfeeding in public. Since I overcame that discomfort, it’s been smooth sailing.
I also feel lucky to live in a neighbourhood, and be part of a community, that is open and supportive of breastfeeding. All of my closest momfriends are still breastfeeding their toddlers.
One of my momfriends decided that this extended breastfeeding was worthy of celebration. Last Sunday I was invited to a “boob celebration” along with another still-nursing mother. Of course, husbands (whose breastfeeding support is invaluable) and toddlers (the raison d’être of our breastfeeding) were invited too!
I’d heard of lactation cookies, but had never made any. This event became the perfect opportunity to bake some to share with these lactating ladies. The recipe is a mash-up of the ones I found on Peaceful Parenting and The Progressive Parent. Both sites do a good job of explaining what the key ingredients oats, flax and Brewer’s yeast do to boost milk production — not that we really need the extra help at this point. Aside from the main benefit, I really just wanted them to taste good.
I’m happy with the results, and think they are nourishing cookies for anyone. David and Bee certainly approve, and so do the lactating ladies!
Recipe: Lactation Cookies
This recipe makes approx. 5 dozen cookies. These cookies are not overly sweet; they taste “nutritious”. The chocolate chips and dried apricots add sweetness, but if you prefer sweeter cookies, increase the brown sugar to 1 cup.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp Brewer’s yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each cinnamon, ground ginger
3/4 cup ground/milled flax seed
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup almond butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds (or cashews or macadamia nuts)
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (or raisins, if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line or grease baking sheets.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, Brewer’s yeast, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a second (small) bowl, combine ground/milled flax seed and water. Mix with a spoon to make a thick paste. As the mixture sits, it will thicken into one lump.
In a third (large) bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add almond butter and beat until combined. Beat in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Mix in flax seed mixture, molasses and vanilla.
Mix in flour mixture, then oats and finally the chocolate chips, chopped almonds and chopped dried apricots.
Make small balls of dough and place on cookie sheet. Press down balls with a spoon or fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.