Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breastfeeding Month post 3: The yummy way to keep the milk going

The milk I produce is usually just enough for what Alon needs.  Since I am working and there are times I would need to go on field, I prefer to have a couple of days worth of extra milk. There are ways to ensure a steady supply of breastmilk.  Breastfeeding Basics and Kelly Mom give very good tips, some of which I tried.

The basic science, or probably more appropriately, basic economics of breastmilk production is "the higher the demand, the higher the supply."  Your body should produce how much your baby needs according to how he is nursing.  Sometimes I do wonder if this is true because I have some friends whose production can not seem to keep up with how much their babies want to drink.  I'm lucky enough to produce what Alon needs.

There was a time, however, when my milk production dropped dramatically from four ounces to three.  A one ounce difference is quite high for breastmilk.  This was after my trip to Kuala Lumpur when Alon was five months old.  The meeting I had there was quite packed so I was not able to pump milk regularly thus depleting my supply.

I increased my pumping routine from three times to four times to fool my body into thinking more milk is needed, but I also tried malunggay (moringa) capsules.  These helped bit but I was not satisfied with the progress I was making.  I decided to try lactation cookies which contain galactogogues like flaxseed, oatmeal and brewer's yeast which are supposed to help increase breastmilk supply.

During our lamaze classes with Rome Kanapi (again, I reiterate, worth the investment!), her former students Jon and Raquel Chua came to talk about their birthing experience as well as their Ge Lai (Chinese post-partum care) meals and lactation cookies business.  They also brought their wonderful baby boy, Sam, who just made such an impression on me because he was so happy and behaved while his parents were giving their talk.  Raquel gave samples to all the mommies to try.  When I tried mine, it was so gooood! 

I saw Raquel and Sam again when Alon was two months old during a seminar in Medela Moms.  That time we had a chance to chat.  She was so warm and friendly that it felt like she was an old friend instead of a new one. So I thought about her during that moment of "emergency".

I ordered from her facebook page Ginquelrus Pastries/MamaChows.  I got a one month supply of oatmeal lactation cookies.  The minimum recommended amount to be taken were three cookies a day.  It was tough keeping to that since they were so good.  What I was most happy about though was my milk supply went back to four ounces after a few days of taking the cookies.  Not only were they yummy, they were effective!

From then on, I regularly ordered her cookies.  Sometimes I'd go to Mommy Treats who also makes delicious brownies but most of the time I prefer ordering from Mama Chows. There was a time I stopped taking the cookies since I thought my supply was already secure.  I noticed my milk supply dip again.  Not as dramatic as an ounce but it would surely be less than usual.  I went back to having the cookies again.

What I like best about Raquel is her personal relationship with her clients.  She'd throw in a few extra cookies or a head band for the girls.  She would send samples of her baking experiments to get feedback from her clients.  I, for one, am looking forward for the perfection of those promising red velvet lactation cookies.  She even gave Alon free mini-cheese cupcake cookies on his first birthday. :)

So whenever I have friends who had problems with their milk supply, apart from the usual Kellymom tips, I'd point their way to Raquel so they can try for themselves.  I'm proud to say that I have referred three friends who are now regular clients like me. :)

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If you are interested, you can check out the Ginquelrus Pastries FB page for the different kinds of lactation cookies you can order.  She also bakes non-lactation goods.  Her cheese cupcakes are awesome! I haven't tried her other goodies but I want to order her Pistachio Sans Rival someday.

Another tidbit, the husband and wife tandem cooked for Steven Tyler during their concert in the Philippines. San ka pa?! :P


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