Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

Oatmeal…Coconut…Chocolate Chip…whew, that’s a mouthful!!  Trust me, you will want a mouth FULL of these cookies…they are that delicious!
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Our big-little guy is all about baking!  A few weeks ago, we had some free time, so I went digging through our pantry for ingredients.  We all love coconut, so when I found a bag I started looking for a recipe.

Originally, we made Coconut Oatmeal cookies.  We used a traditional cookie recipe (sugar, butter, etc) but the breastfeeding Mama in me thought, “Hey, these would make pretty good lactation cookies!”  So the next time around I adjusted the ingredients to make them a little healthier and full of galactagogues!

You have my permission to tell your family that only Mamas can eat them (sadly, my family didn’t buy it…but maybe it’ll work on yours!)

Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

makes approximately 4 dozen (unless your husband steals the dough…I swear I’m not pointing fingers!)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/4 c ground flax seeds
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 2 c quick oats
  • 1 c flaked coconut
  • 1 c dark chocolate chips…oh, who am I kidding, I threw in the whole bag!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In mixer, cream coconut oil, butter, honey & brown sugar
  3. Add eggs and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, ground flax seeds, baking soda & baking powder
  5. Add dry mixture 1/3c at a time
  6. Add oats & flaked coconut
  7. Stir in chocolate chips
  8. Drop by well rounded tablespoon on parchment lined cookie sheets
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Remove from parchment and cool on racks

Enjoy!

 

 

Breastfeeding & Weight Loss

Many new and expecting mothers are REALLY excited when they find out that breastfeeding can aid in post-pregnancy weight loss.

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“Breastfeeding burns 500 calories  a day”, the literature says.  “So & so celebrity lost all of their baby weight by breastfeeding”, shouts the tabloid!

However, when hormones rage and sleep is lacking, it’s not always easy to make the best decisions when it comes to WHAT you’re eating.

Your stomach starts to rumble, you grab a package of cookies and devour the entire thing!  Before you know it, you’re GAINING weight!  You start to cry (because you’re feeling fat & hormonal), you break out your maternity pants and grab another package of cookies because, let’s face it…you’re starving ALL OF THE TIME and, well, those pants ARE pretty stretchy!

STOP! what you’re doing…take a DEEP BREATH…and follow THE Galactagoddess’s GOLDEN RULE (you will hear me say this over & over & over again!)

A Happy, Healthy Mama = A Happy, Health Baby

I know that is is REALLY, REALLY hard when you have a newborn, or an infant, or a toddler, or a teenager or all of the above BUT you MUST take care of yourself if you expect to be able to take care of anyone else.

How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

  • drink LOTS of water
  • much like your doing for your baby…”feed on demand”!  Follow your hunger cues; eat when your body tells you to eat!
  • know what calories looks like; measure if you have to!
  • decrease empty calories; nix sugar and processed foods
  • fill up on super foods and focus on good fats – check out this post I wrote for New Leaf Wellness on How to Make the Perfect Smoothie for a quick, easy way to do both of those things!
  • stress & sleep deprivation can cause you to gain weight…so take time for yourself, get some sleep and ASK FOR HELP!
  • exercise!  There are so many great Mommy & Me classes provided by community colleges, YMCAs, etc.  Also, check out FIT4MOM the masterminds behind Stroller Strides and Body Back; two amazing programs that help Mamas focus on health & well being.

No-Bake Galacta-Bites

After receiving Lactation Cookies for my Birthday, I got to thinking…what other recipes could I come up with that were both yummy AND full of galactagogues?!

I was first introduced to Birds & Bees Teas by Kelly at New Leaf Wellness.  And after my second birth, she sent me a tin of their Our Lady of La Leche Tea, which became the inspiration for this recipe.

I started with a simple no-bake energy bite, because let’s face it, what breastfeeding Mama couldn’t use a little more energy?!  After the first attempt, I quickly realized that the ground tea had a very strong anise/licorice flavor from the fennel seeds and I would need to do some tweaking to blend the flavors.  The almond butter & popcorn (my own personal galactagogue) mellowed out the flavors & added the perfect amount of crunch.

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No-Bake Galacta-Bites

  • 1 C Quick Oats
  • 1 C Almond Butter
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Shredded Coconut
  • 1 C Crushed Popcorn
  • 1/2 C Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 C Honey
  • 1/4 C Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C Birds & Bees Teas – Ground Our Lady of La Leche Tea (I used a coffee grinder to grind the loose leaf tea)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients using a dough hook on an electric mixer (a wooden spoon & some serious “elbow grease” could work too), form into bite-sized balls, refrigerate until you’re ready to eat, enjoy!

Warning: You may need to hide these from your family…they’re THAT good!

 

Davis’s Birth Story

I went into my second pregnancy with a completely open mind; ready to accept whatever happened.   I had to let go of all of my expectations. The first time around I did everything that I thought I was supposed to do and still fell victim to interventions, bad doctors & ultimately a c-section.  I felt defeated, I felt like a failure and I certainly didn’t own it. 

I refused to set myself up again. I wanted a VBAC desperately, but I mentally prepared for another c-section to save my sanity & protect myself.  We switched to a practice that was supportive of VBACs that contained three doctors and three midwives.  But each time we met with one of them they made me feel that my nonchalance was a weakness, rather than my defense.

Tom was my advocate. He too was ready to accept whatever happened, but he was the one person who really saw how tormented I was by my c- section; he knew what a VBAC truly meant to me.  He became my voice when I started to feel like “they” doubted my ability & commitment. I had such a hard time saying, “Yes, I want a VBAC.” because if I said it out loud and it didn’t happen then I would feel like a failure again.

I went into preterm labor at 34 weeks.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.  I was admitted to the Birthing Center that evening; leaving Hudson for the first time ever.  Tom & I discussed the possibility of being transferred to another hospital (one with a NICU), having a repeat c-section and a premature baby.  Thankfully, Davis wasn’t ready to make his grand entrance; I was merely dehydrated, a few IVs of fluid stopped the contractions.  Because of our similar schedules, I saw Nancey, one of the midwives, the most.  I think that she too doubted my intentions at first, but after that night she saw past my fear & realized how dedicated I was to idea of a VBAC.

The thing about VBACS is that you “have” to go into spontaneous labor.  Not many doctors will induce you, nor did I want to be induced.  However, since I did not go into labor myself with Hudson it was a concern that I never would (in compliance to Western medicine’s 42 week gestational calendar). 

The 40 week mark fell on a Sunday.  I had spent six weeks, or at least two, worrying that he would arrive early and here we were starting to worry that he would come too late.

I spent all day Wednesday cleaning our laundry room from top to bottom.  By Thursday evening, contractions began.  We arranged for Hudson to go to our friend’s house.  On the way there I called the Doctor on call…he was the reason that we had switched to this practice, yet I never met him because every time I made an appointment with him, it was canceled for one reason or another.  I don’t remember the conversation word for word, but this is how it went. “You’re not in active labor.” “I just sat down to dinner.” “If you do go into active labor you do not need two caretakers (referring to himself & the midwife) and I have to be there because you are a VBAC candidate.”  I hung up the phone, once again feeling defeated by arrogance.  My contractions stopped.  Tom and I went home and watched a movie.

On Friday morning I felt crummy & disheartened.  I went to our friend’s house, but soon admitted to myself that I just couldn’t be there.  I asked if I could leave Hudson there a little longer, at this point my parents were on their way.

I went home, got in the bathtub, and called Nancey.  I had a huge list of questions for her and she immediately put me at ease.  She said that if I went into labor over the weekend, and I wanted her to be there, to call her directly.  A huge weight was lifted.

As my family slept upstairs, I hung out on the couch trying to sleep and timing contractions.  At around 7AM I got in the shower.  When I was done I decided it was time to go to the Birthing Center.  I called Nancey, she told me that I still sounded excited and that she thought that I had time.  With my parents at our house to watch Hudson, and the birthing center 45 minutes away, I was ready to get the show on the road.  I told her that it was where I wanted to be and she obliged.

We arrived around 9AM.  Because I was a VBAC candidate and had previously gone into preterm labor, they monitored me for about an hour.  At the end of the hour I was told that I could go as far as the front porch and labor however I would like.  I got in the shower.

As lunchtime approached, Nancey asked if it was alright if she ate with her husband.  We said yes and she went on her way.  Suddenly, labor began to progress quite rapidly.  My contractions were stronger and more painful.  Yet, as Tom pushed hard on my low back, I felt like I wanted to sleep.  I needed energy.  You see, as much as I would have loved to have a natural birth, the vaginal part was my goal and in that moment of vulnerability, pain relief was my stepping stone.

Nancey returned and I told her how I was feeling.  Given my past history, she did not want me to stall, so she was apprehensive.  She agreed to check me and to everyone’s surprise I was at about 7cm.  She suggested an intrathecal anesthetic.  I had never even heard of it!  She explained that it would take the edge off for about 2 hours, but would then wear off so that I would have full sensation to push. 

I rested.    

Eventually, I began to feel my contractions again.  I was checked, but unfortunately only at 7.5cm.  I tried laboring in different positions.  For about an hour I leaned over a yoga ball, which was placed on the bed.  Tom kept pressure on my back and Nancey sat, crossed legged* on the floor monitoring me.

I progressed to 9cm.

Davis’s heart rate became erratic.  I began to mentally prepare for a repeat c-section.

Nancey continued to confer with the doctor, yet I never once saw him.  She came back to the room and said that they were both comfortable giving me Pitocin to give me one last push. Although I trusted their judgment, the reason many doctors will not induce VBAC candidates or give Pitocin to speed up labor is that it can cause a uterine rupture.  I told Tom that I would rather have a repeat c-section than an emergency repeat c-section.   At this point I wanted a healthy baby & a healthy mama…

I expressed my concern and voiced my decision.  Nancey left the room again to inform the doctor.

When she returned, she checked me once again (apologizing over & over again for checking me so many times)…took one look at me and said, “I think that you can do this; you are not a full 10cm, but you can do this”.  And so, I pushed.

On August, 17th, 2013, our second Milkie Monster was born via a successful VBAC.

I will never be able to thank Nancey enough.  *Remember the part about her sitting cross legged on the floor for an hour…well, after Davis was born she told us that she would not be available for my 6 week follow-up appointment because she was having hip surgery!!  How’s that for dedication!

Nancey was my advocate, she believed in me, she listened to me and she never gave up. I know that the outcome could have been very different based on a number of variables…and I’m already contemplating how I would go about a third birth (2nd VBAC) IF/when the time comes. But my confidence has been restored. I know that I can have the kind of birth that I want.

I just might have to kidnap Nancey…

Hudson’s Birth Story

The practice of sharing birth stories is common.  So, why am I only deciding to tell Hudson’s now?  Well, I’ve had three years to process it and three years to accept that I cannot change any of it.  I’ve also come to realize that there is a good chance that The Galactagoddess would not exist had this birth gone any other way.  And…now, that Davis is here, I have another story to tell.

We planned for an all-natural birth.  No drugs, no interventions.  We watched documentaries, we read books, and we took a natural childbirth class..  We felt ready, but Hudson felt otherwise (he would have stayed in there forever or maybe, at most, a few more weeks).  His due date came and went.  A few of the doctors in our practice were supportive of our decision to wait and decline an induction.  Another one of the doctors told us we were “not allowed” to go past 42 weeks “because that is when babies die” (yes, those were his exact words).

We went to our appointment on Friday evening (41 weeks & 5 days) for a non-stress test.  It was a little all over the place so the doctor sent us to the hospital to be monitored. While in triage Hudson decided to roll on his cord and his heart rate dropped.  They started to prep me for an emergency c-section without any explanation. Once he repositioned himself his heart rate was fine.

After that incident they would not “let us” go home, they admitted me and began Cervidil (the first of many interventions) that night. It was an awful experience; I was uncomfortable and could not rest.  Saturday morning, after telling two nurses that there was only one doctor in the practice that we REALLY weren’t comfortable with, who walks in the room but Doctor Death!! Tom asked me what I wanted to do.  I said it was fine; that I would give him a second chance…big mistake!

It took him three tries to remove the Cervidil.  He then proceeded to break my water (without my consent).  I was Strep B positive so I questioned him about starting antibiotics; he didn’t respond.  He repeatedly told me to shower, eat, and then they would start Pitocin (despite me saying that I did not want it). I began contracting on my own and the nurse “bought” me a few hours.  Eventually he “ordered” the nurse to start Pitocin. At that point we decided to “relieve him of his duties” and never saw him again.

It was his responsibility to call the other doctors in our practice. Another doctor agreed to come in, but not for another four hours.  By the time she arrived we had been there for 24 hours; I labored for another 10. By 3 o’clock in the morning I was falling asleep in between contractions. I decided that I wanted an epidural.  I was already defeated. I felt that I had to sleep or I would be unable to push when the time came.

We slept and when I woke up I was fully dilated, but my contractions were not very strong. The epidural took away too much of my sensation.  I saw my contractions on the monitor, but could not really feel them. We decided to let them monitor internally. Eventually, the doctor suggested that it was time to push. I pushed for about 3 hours.  He started to crown (she could tell what color his hair was) but I was still not progressing.  After 48 hours in the hospital, I ended up having a c-section.

I went against my birth plan 100%, right down to having students in the operating room.

I know plenty of other Mamas (my own included) that have had c-sections.  Many of them own it, embrace it, and even schedule repeats.  I, by no means look down on them, I AM ONE OF THEM, yet every time I hear the word “c-section” I cringe.  I can’t help but feel that I was sent to the hospital for “additional monitoring” because I was “overdue”.  I can’t help but feel that I was “not progressing” because the second Doctor’s shift was coming to an end.  I can’t help but feel that I’VE BEEN HAD BY A FAILED SYSTEM.

It goes without saying that the outcome, a happy, healthy baby boy is the most important part of this story, but it should also go without saying that he deserved to come into this world when he was ready and that his Mama deserved the birth that she wanted.

Physically, recovery was simple.  But I felt that I had failed.  Suddenly, achieving my personal breastfeeding goal became more important to me than ever before.  And so, on October 17th, 2010, The Milkie Monster AND The Galactagoddess, were born.

A Birthday Fit for a Galactagoddess

What do you get a Galactagoddess who has everything she could ever want…Milkie Cupcakes of course!!!

One of the most thoughtful people I know went above by making these fabulous cupcakes…

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…and beyond when she presented me with these amazing cookies!!!  Full of galactagogues (ingredients that promote lactation), this recipe will help any Mama looking to boost her supply (no promises on what it will do to her waistline…it’s a good thing breastfeeding burns calories!)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies recipe by Noel Trujillo

perfected by Chelsey Freeman

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (homemade by Amanda Garufi)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips (that’s a CF special ingredient)
  • 2-4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast (she used 2T, West Coast Pale Ale to be exact)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
  4. Add eggs and mix well.
  5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
  6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
  8. Stir in oats and chips.
  9. Scoop onto baking sheet. (cover with parchment paper first for quick cleanup)
  10. Bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.
  12. Enjoy!

 

Even Galactagoddesses Deserve Libations

Let’s have a little chat about booze & breastfeeding.  I know, I know…it’s not even 10AM!  But as we prepare to ring in the New Year many of you will be considering having a drink or two this evening…and guess what?  It’s OK!!

It always surprises me when a new Mama seeks “pump & dump” advice; not realizing that she can have a glass of wine or when someone comes up to me at a gathering and asks “is it OK if you drink that since your breastfeeding?”  Having a drink or two while breastfeeding is perfectly fine, in fact, I encourage it.

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Here’s why:

Most mothers abstain from alcohol for the duration of their pregnancy…baby arrives…parenthood +/or breastfeeding can be stressful (big shocker!). The thought of abstaining from alcohol for another (however many months you plan on breastfeeding) is unappealing & so you consider the alternative.  Let’s get one thing straight…It is better to have a drink every now & then, than to give up breastfeeding!!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to drown your stressors away , I’m a huge fan of “everything in moderation”.  Here’s a little rule of thumb from the folks over at KellyMom: “In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom’s blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom’s body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.” Therefore, there is no need to “pump & dump”; except of course as a comfort measure.

If you choose to drink alcohol, please remember first & foremost that you are responsible for a child(ren).  Please drink responsibly.

 

li·ba·tion
noun
plural noun: libations
  1. a drink poured out as an offering to a deity.