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Breastfeeding Health Literacy Survey and Questionnaire

Things are going great in our neck of the woods! How about you?

We are all working hard to get the public supported and educated on birth breastfeeding and more. One of our ladies is part of a food bank that just got started. She will hopefully soon start work on a diaper bank that will include classes on how to use and make cloth diapers!

I’ve been observing birthing classes in preparation to begin some pregnancy and birth classes in the future. That’s something I really want to get started but worry about my adequacy in teaching. I had some pretty quick births and I will have to learn a lot of things that need to be used or may be wanted during longer births.

I do need some help from you all out there, though. I’m trying to do a a quick “Breastfeeding Basics in Less Than 30 minutes” series. We will be starting the class as part of our breastfeeding support group for the Greater Valley area. We will do it once a month for 4-6 weeks. The key to making this work is focusing on the information that is needed most during those quick 30min, or less, lessons. You can help me out by filling out out this survey and then sharing it. Thank you so much for helping!

What To Do About Babies and Peanuts: New Study Finds Early Exposure Can Prevent Allergy

A very interesting read for the Science of Mom. Things to consider if you are introducing foods. I would add though that it is best to wait till after 6 months to add any foods until more research is done. Early intro of food brings risks such as early weaning.

The Science of Mom

You’ve probably already seen headlines about a study showing that feeding children small amounts of peanut products in the first 5 years of life can prevent the development of peanut allergy. The study was conducted in the U.K., led by Gideon Lack of King’s College London, and was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (free full text available here).1Why is this study important?

Photo by Sanja Gjenero Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Food allergies are on the rise in Western countries, and peanut allergy is one of the scariest. In the U.S., more than 2% of children and their families are now living with a peanut allergy, representing a 5-fold increase in prevalence since 1997.2,3 And this allergy isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s now the biggest cause of anaphylaxis and death related to food allergy in the U.S.4 This is a huge concern to parents wondering…

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East Alabama Medical Center Awarded Baby-Friendly Status

East Alabama Medical Center Awarded Baby-Friendly Status

I’m happy to announce that East Alabama Medical Center was awarded Baby-friendly status in March of this year. It has been a long journey for the employees and they have worked very hard. I’m so proud of the changes they have been made and the level of care that they continue to increase. These changes with help create a healthier community.

This is not the end though. EAMC has become partners with another local hospital. That means that in the next 5 years all the work that was done at EAMC will need to be repeated for the other hospital. I’m excited for these changes and ready for the challenge. This hospital is no where close to the level EAMC was at when they started, but I know they can get the 10 steps implemented.

Packing Your Pump Bag – Things to think about.

Things to Think About: Wall Plug: When packing your walk plug be careful not to wrap it tightly this can causing damage to the wires. (speaking personal experience here) Battery pack: If your pump comes with a battery pack cord go ahead and put new batteries in it and toss into your breast pump bag. I put […]

Pumping In Preparation of Returning to Work or School

Full 20 min pumping… and I still made it!

Getting Started

During the first 2 weeks, pump to relieve engorgement. Practice hand expression often, you never know when you might need to use the skill. Save the milk by storing these small amounts in closed containers in the refrigerator throughout the day. After you have pumped and refrigerated that last bit for about an hour you can then combine all the milk for that 24 hour period and freeze. Try to store the milk in 1-3 ounce portions for easier defrosting. Be careful not to overfill containers and bags, leave at least a one inch space at the top to allow the milk to expand during freezing, seal tightly, and lay bags flat in the freezer.

After about 2 weeks you can add pumping to your daily routine to begin building a stash. Think about the times your baby doesn’t need to nurse. During naps, sleeping a 3-5 hour stretch, or after an early morning feeding are good choices. Try to choose a time to pump that will be good for you every day. Once a day is fine to build a stash, if you are looking to increase your supply you may want to add 2 times.

Supply and Demand

Remember your body has been making what your baby has been demanding over the last couple of weeks. When you first add pumping to your daily routine you may get just a little, .25 ounces – 1 ounce, that’s normal. Again, just combine that milk with the above recommendations. After 3-5 days you will begin to see an increase from the extra demand of milk. You are tricking your body into increasing supply just a small amount.


By starting a couple of weeks postpartum or at least two weeks before you return to work you will give yourself time to learn how your pump works and how your body reacts to the pump. The pump is not your baby and you may be uncomfortable and/or feel clumsy handling it, its ok that’s normal. If you feel pain that is not normal and indicates that you may need a different size breast shield or that you are using a setting that is too high on the pump. Start gently slowly increasing to the highest setting that is comfortable. Practice putting everything together. Getting comfortable can decrease the stress during that first day back.

Duration and Frequency

Don’t time yourself while pumping read a book or watch TV. For best results keep an eye out on your milk and after that last drop of milk pump for a couple more minutes. When you have gotten into your pumping routine then time how long it takes to fully express your baby’s milk, requesting breaks that are about 5 minutes more that it took to express may be a good idea. Try not to pump less than 15 minutes or longer than 30, pumping a short time may not remove much milk or too long may cause breast soreness.

After you have returned to work you will need to keep up with your milk demand. Think about how often your baby is nursing. If your baby nurses every 2 hours ask to for frequent breaks, For example 15-30 minute breaks every 2 hours (one of these breaks could be your lunch time).

*If you are not covered by the ACA pumping break laws, or you are a student you may want to think about getting creative. Try keeping those extra pumping times that you started during your maternity leave, especially ones in the early mornings when prolactin hormones are highest. Pump as often as you can even if it is for just 5 minutes just to relieve any engorgement. You will probably want to look into co-sleeping and reverse cycling so that you are meeting more of your babies needs when you are at home rather than when you are away.

Lisa Horstkamp ©2014

Progress It’s Like That First Newborn Growth Spurt

I had this epiphany the other day. “Progress it’s like that first newborn growth spurt”. It is hard. It feels like the difficulties will never end. You get little sleep. You worry, “I’m I doing this right”. You start thinking of the alternatives, and they are enticing. You think how easy it would be to just quit, and give up. You think “well I tried”.

Please remember everyday you have to awake to the mindset I’m doing the right thing. It may be hard now with little gratification, but in the end it is best. When I look back at this I will remember I gave it my all.

Go out and change the world today. Embrace your life.

The Story: Giving birth to Me

**On this day, the 3rd anniversary of leaving the hospital with my son, I give you my story. Not the story of his birth but the story of my birth. _

I wish I would have studied natural birth before my last child. He was born within 20 minutes of hitting the hospital doors, while I screamed “somebody help me” (aka GIVE ME DRUGS). The sack never burst, the doctor walked in, sat down, broke my water, I felt better for half a second then the contraction and tada! baby boy. I never planned on a “natural” or “drug free birth”, I had planned quite the opposite.

Earlier that morning at 3:33 am (exact time) I had my first contraction I had refused to believe I was in labor and ignored it. How did I ignore it? My previous 2 births were induced and it didn’t hurt enough or last long enough to be real labor, so I thought. A little over an hour later the pain slowly subsided, what I now know is a very normal part of labor, and I went to sleep.

I was awoken in eminence pain about an hour later. I moved as quickly as I could, I thought I had to go to the bathroom, I thought. I couldn’t go… I tried to call for My husband, but there was no voice, I didn’t want to scream and wake my older child, so I kicked the wall. Then I was sick. John was quickly on the phone with the hospital and they asked to speak with me when he said “she can’t speak” they told him to come in quickly. My sister got there during the longest 10 minutes of my life, and we left her standing in the front yard holding a car seat crying. Apparently it is really hard as a sister to see your little sister in pain, poor thing.

If I had the confidence I have now. If I had read everything I have read about natural birth. If I had spoken to the many proponents of natural birth I have met since then. I think that I wouldn’t have panicked when I realized I was in labor, I would have gather my strength and reminded myself “you were made for this”. Every part of my body and soul wanted to push standing there leaning against the bathroom wall unable to speak. I would have crawled into the garden tub and birthed my baby.

IF I hadn’t heard all my life I had to have a hospital. If I had gone to the Hospital at 4:03 am after 30 min of 30 second contractions at 5 minutes apart I would have had an epidural and a medicated birth. I would have had my mother by my side with my husband. After my birth experience with my son and my journey since I realized that my body was not and is not broken. Thank you God.

Ladies we can change the world one birth at a time. One birth changed my whole life. I’m thankful for each of my births. They each gave birth to me. They have given me the insight to be a better person, mother, and with my sons birth the confidence that has always been missing.

It is so powerful to know I slept through part of my labor with no medication or pain, the mind is a crazy amazing place.


How Breastfeeding Taught Me to be Me

How Breastfeeding Taught Me to be Me

mayjunejuly 039This is my story and our family’s journey to and though breastfeeding. The good, the bad, the ugly.

In 2008 I was pregnant with our first child, a son. At 18 weeks we found out that there was a problem. The baby had intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). At 23 weeks 3 days when they found our son had not grown at all in the last month. I was admitted into the hospital, and placed on bed rest.

During our stay a NICU doctor came to speak with us. He asked if I was planning on breastfeeding. I said yes I wanted to try, my mother breastfed my sisters and I for a few months each, and that I knew it was best. He then said that breastfeeding was going to be the biggest deciding factor in my baby’s life that I had control over, because he was going to be very tiny and his entire system was immature and needing every chance for survival. He explained the condition NEC, something I had never heard of, and how breast milk could prevent it. By breastfeeding I could save my baby’s life. Sadly, only a few days later we found that my Son was no longer with us. Part of me died with him. I was induced and 14 hours later on Aug 15th 2008 at 25 weeks gestation my son Joel Robert-Lee was born at 11.5 ounces and 10.5 inches. His cord had become tied.

That NICU’s  Doctors comments on breastfeeding has stayed with me, and will forever.

A very short time later (to short). We found that I was again pregnant. I lived in fear every single day, but thankfully, my pregnancy was mostly normal. When I was 38 weeks pregnant I asked to be induced as soon as possible, because of the fear she would die inside me. At 38 weeks 6 days I was induced. First off, the hospital couldn’t find my test results showing I didn’t have strep B so I had to have antibiotics, then they started my pitocin, broke my water, I had a epidural at 7cm, and gave birth in 4 hours at 11:05 am. She was tiny, the doctor had made a guesstimate that her weight was around 7 pounds, he was wrong. I remember him saying “she’s small”. She was only 5 pounds 9 ounces and 18 1/4 inches.

I was an emotional mess, talk about post traumatic stress. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so sad, so happy, and filled with so much fear. I could hardly hold her, all I saw was my Joel, but I didn’t want to let her go. My husband held her for most of the time before she was taken to the nursery. I didn’t nurse her when she was born, and I wouldn’t be able to for 5 hours, because the nursery nurses took so long to bring her to us. She latched fine, but ended up with jaundice (a “pit.” birth and delayed breastfeeding I’m sure had a lot to do with it).

I had no information, no Lactation consultant, and no one who knew anything about breastfeeding exclusivity. At 2 1/2 weeks we added formula per the pediatrician, because I felt like she wasn’t getting enough food. The pediatrician did nothing to sooth my fears. I returned to work early, because of many things, but I pumped 3 times during work for 15 minutes each. I would breastfeed her and give her bottles. For the first 2 1/2 months I slept in her room in a bed with her and breastfed through the night. Eventually by 2 1/2 months she slept through the night and I could no longer have that time with her. The pediatrician had advised us to use Enfimil AR and that I was to only pump and add rice cereal to each bottle. At that point I stopped the actual act of breastfeeding, and at 4 months we added food per that pediatrician. At 5 1/2 months I threw in the towel. I felt like my body had failed me again.

Then in January of 2011 I found out that I was pregnant again. This time I had to use another Doctor and hospital. I educated myself about breastfeeding. I read and read on low supply and what to do. Then 13 days before our son was due I went into labor suddenly at 3:33 am. I didn’t think it was real labor because it didn’t hurt enough. I had two previous induced births and the natural contractions in my mind weren’t hard enough to be real labor. I went to sleep and awoke again after 6am. We went to the hospital, we arrived at 7:00 (on the dot according to the clock in the car. At 7:19am naturally, unmediated, and very quickly I gave birth to my 2nd son. He was 6 pounds 8 ounces and 20.5 inches long. The nurses cleaned him and took his vitals. Suddenly, they realized and asked “Are you breastfeeding” I answered an ecstatic “yes!”. She apologized and brought my son to me. I held and fed him for the first time, and we connected. He and I laid there I’m not sure how long. I healed during that time. He and I looked at each other and I thought of my other two children. I talked to God. I knew what had happened with my daughter at that point and I remembered how long it took for us to “connect”. I regretted her birth. I had taken it away from her. I didn’t trust Her, my body, or God. Her birth was the first mistake I made in our breastfeeding journey and as her mother. I felt so sorry I could not give her what was best nor had I been able to give her all of me. I made a promise that I was new. I had lost part of me but I found a new part and a much stronger person.

My son was Exclusively breastfed from 3 weeks until 6 months. I and my husband gave some formula around 3 weeks for fear he was hungry. At that point I sought out help, and started to attend weekly support group meetings. I was educated about “The Virgin Gut” of a newborn, and I threw out all the samples that we I had been “gifted”. I met many moms and learned so much. I, also, got a few friends. They were and are blessings.

For my whole pregnancy I had prepared a long maturity leave. I enjoyed both my children during that time. At 11 weeks postpartum I returned to work on the Thursday before thanksgiving. I took pumping breaks every 2 hours for 20 minutes each. the next week of course was only a 3 day week (perfect planning). Things went well and mostly as planned for a couple months.

Then my son and I got sick when he was a few months old with RSV. My daughter had cought it and so lovingly brought it home to share. He quickly wasn’t able to nurse properly and that effected my supply. I started supplementing with my own stored milk with a syringe at my breast. First, I tried fenugreek, then goats roe with the fenugreek, finally I got a prescription for Domperidone. I had enough milk to supplement 3 days while I was at work. By the next Thursday if  it didn’t work quickly I would have to find donor milk, or use formula. I started friday morning, Saturday woke up and nursed and pumped like a crazy woman the whole weekend. By Monday I woke up with the “full feeling” and i knew it had worked like a charm. I used Domperidone from about 5 months till my son was 10 months when his food intake was enough for me to risk slowly stepping down off of Domperidone. Finally, at 10 months I was starting to collect 4-6 ounces of extra milk a week so I began extending the time between my pumping breaks to every 2.5 hours, as well as weaning off domperidone.

I was eventually given the opportunity to donate that extra milk to a beautiful adopted baby girl of a woman in our support group. The mom was inducing lactation and wanted her baby exclusively breastfed, if possible. Later I donated to one other child. I ended up pump at work for 22 months to help provide milk for those other children. I’m still amazed I went from perceived Low supply to real low supply all the way to milk donor. I never thought I would get there.

Our pediatrician, Bless her heart. I think I will call her Dr. “breastfeeding is never complete nutrition”, the same one who recommended formula at 2 weeks for My daughter continued to be our pediatrician. Dr. “BF NcN” tried pushing me to add baby cereal at 4 months. I flat refused stating that the AAP, CDC, and WHO said to wait till 6 months. At around 6 months I would not add baby cereal, but I would add “real” foods. He didn’t need the cereal according to the research I had read. Dr. “BF NcN”s response? “hummph”, yeah cocked her head to the side and poked her lips out and everything. She then stated that if the mothers Iron is low then so is the babies. That the cereal was needed to add that iron that the mother was lacking, and told me I was going to give him rickets that will cause bone defects and anemia that would cause him to be learning disabled. In my head i was thinking “So you are telling me  Human milk isn’t enough for a human? nor is it full nutrition? That I’m a bad mother? or both? I informed her that I had given blood only a week before and that amazingly enough my iron level was great! That when we went to WIC for his 3 month check-in his iron was great, too. She had nothing else to say. Needless to say we didn’t go to the next visit and we scheduled the 12 month appoint with a new doctor. I did make it to magical 12 months. I then set a new goal of 24 months. After pasting that goal the last goal was till he was done. My son nursed 33 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day.

My son is beautiful, strong, has straight legs, and has no learning disabilities. Contrary to what poor Dr. “BF NcN” warned I would cause by exclusively breastfeeding past 4 months.

More than nourishing my children breastfeeding made me a better parent in the end. It set me out on a journey that has given me strength that I never knew existed in me. It changed me forever. I know now that I did not fail at breastfeeding my daughter, I did breastfeed her. What happened is I didn’t meet my goal. I’ve learned to set reachable goals for myself and my children. I’ve been taught that not reaching a goal isn’t failure, but not reaching a goal is a learning opportunity in itself. Life doesn’t always go our way. You have to learn from your mistakes, and those of others, to find a new way.

Bad Breastfeeding Advice we have all been a victim

We have all been a victim of bad breastfeeding advice. Some of us knew we were given bad advice and ignored it politely and others fell into the traps. Remember all your baby needs is you! The warmth of your body, the milk from your breast, and love from your heart. Don’t be pushed or bullied into anything. ALWAYS question anyone dr., nurse, family, or whom ever why they are suggesting that you give your baby anything but your milk for the first 6 months. Dr.’s arn’t always trained in breastfeeding and they are NOT experts in the subject. Same goes for nurses and family members. The experts in breastfeeding are Lactation Specialists(IBCLC). If supplementation is ever suggested you should contact your Lactation consultant pronto!

CLICK SOME OF THE MOST COMMON Bad Breastfeeding advice.

great job with putting this list together!

NICHQ Launches Unprecedented National Effort to Increase Breastfeeding Rates in US Hospitals

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m so happy about our local hospital getting a grant to help them work on becoming baby friendly. The first link here is the press release and the second is the list of 90 hospitals across the nation getting the grants.

I have spoken once before about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. A hospital taking the BFHI steps will help so many more Momma’s and babies get to have the wonderful bond and relationship of breastfeeding.

No breastfeeding is not always easy or beautiful and some times it does down right hurt (thanks to new teeth). I have never heard a woman say “I wish I had formula fed” but I have heard many say “I wish I would have”… “tried”…”not stopped”….”had milk” (don’t get me started on that one)….”know more and had more help”. When a hospital takes these steps to becoming a BFHI many of these statements and pit falls could be avoided by many.

My hope and wish is for every mother to at least try to breastfeed. I would love to see that the U.S. not only meet the goal of have 75% of babies born in the U.S. to start out breast feeding But to exceed that and have 90% of babies start out breastfeeding and 75% still exclusivity breastfed at 3 months. Now that is a goal to have!

Support Mommas

For some reason we as women have been bashing each other for the choices we make as mothers. Why? Do you think that it is truly going to help another momma to bash certain choices she has made for her family. We may not always agree with other Mommas, but we should support them and educate them IF they are looking for input. Sometimes we must agree to disagree.

Yes, I am sad every time I hear of a momma that quits breastfeeding and I’m honestly slightly angered by one that makes a choice to never nurse her child. That was her choice though, and one that I CAN NOT MAKE FOR HER no matter what her reasoning is.

Yes, I believe breastfeeding is a health choice and not JUST a life style choice. Many people believe it is only a life style or parenting choice, but I feel it is much deeper.

Yes, I personally quit/failed breastfeeding my oldest child. My oldest was born at a hospital with very little breastfeeding support. I had no lactation Consultants available and they didn’t even bring her to me for 5 hours after her birth. No support was offered to me after I left. We only made it 2 weeks before we added formula and by 5 months I was producing around 5 ounces a day. I didn’t feel like it was enough for the “trouble” and stopped. I regret that choice and many others starting with choosing an early induction, but that is another post altogether.

Yes, I plan on nursing my son as long as he wants to.

No, I don’t see my self nursing a 5 year old. I honestly think that I will have no milk to offer at that point, but who knows.

If a woman with a 3 week old says she isn’t breastfeeding, fine. She has already made her choice. Do not condemn her. If you see a woman who is 3 weeks from giving birth and she says she is not going to breastfeeding, ask her why? See if maybe she has never known anyone who breastfed and is uncomfortable or she feels like formula babies are fatter and there for “healthier”. Maybe all she needed was for someone to say to her to try. Why not just try? You CAN do it! If we can’t get women to at least try then we will not be able to change the numbers of baby’s given a chance to breastfeed and create that wonderful relationship with their mothers.

We all want people to support breastfeeding, but what if we are asking them to support something that they didn’t choice for their family. What we should ask is for them to support our choices as Mommas and not to hinder us. You can always switch to a bottle, but you can’t just “switch” back to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, formula, exclusive pumping, mixed feeding, donor milk, and/or long-term or “toddler feeding”. Just support her as a Momma ladies. You ARE Mom enough!

Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior

This is a great read for any soon to be or new mommy. If you ask yourself  is there something wrong with your new baby or is this normal newborn behavior? Here the answer comes for the babies point of view. Keep going Mamma you are doing great in your little ones eyes!

from the A letter from a new baby, whats normal.

via Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior.

Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative

Breastfeeding symbolHave you heard of the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative (BFHI)? BFHI was started by The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1991 following the adoption of the Innocenti Declaration on breastfeeding promotion in 1990. The initiative’s goal is to improve the role of maternity services to enable mothers to breastfeed babies for the best start in life. It aims at improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns at health facilities that provide maternity services for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

With all that said here’s what I have been getting to…

It is a rare exception when a woman cannot breastfeed her baby for physical or medical reasons. The biggest problem in our society is that  most woman do not feel confident andor secure with the decision to breastfeed or to continue to breastfeed. Many times being challenged by her family and friends, the media, and health care providers. This is so evident in the south. Take Alabama only 56.7% of babies were ever breastfed and only 8% of babies in Alabama are still breastfed at 12 months. Compare this with California where 86.6% of babies were breastfed and 25.7% were still breastfeeding at 12 month. 

In the past few years support for  breastfeeding has grown in the south and across the nation, but here in the south most still think that it is something for only the first few weeks, or worse not important. They don’t understand that letting others give bottles lowers their milk supplies and end up formula feeding not sure why their milk “dried up”. I have worked hard to breastfed my Son after failing breastfeeding my daughter by 5 months. I believe I failed because I didn’t have the knowledge or support I needed at the time. I made a pact with myself when I found that I was expecting again that this time I would succeed. I believe the only reason I have is because I visit a support group weekly hosted by our local hospital, I visit many online support groups for local and national veiws, and I read books and articles on breastfeeding. 

The hospital is not the only place a mother should receive support for breastfeeding but the hospital provides the bridge between support and education provided prior to and after delivery. We should add our support by first getting out there and telling our hospitals that it is time to stop the “gift bags” that ALL woman get when leaving the hospital.  It is ours and our babies RIGHT to breastfed. We need to get our hospitals to start working to become certified as Baby-friendly. This will give more of our moms the support and confidance to say “breastfeeding is what is best for my baby and me.”

Are you with me?

The criteria for a hospital’s Baby Friendly accreditation include:

1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth.

5. how mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.

6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, not even sips of water, unless medically indicated.

7. Practice rooming in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Brewer’s Yeast Recipes

Use Brewer Yeast to Add protein, iron, B vitamins, trace minerals, and also to help women boost milk supply
Make sure to get the debittered kind!
On popcorn. After popping your popcorn, sprinkle on powdered brewer’s yeast for a great flavor. Many prefer to add some salt and granulated garlic as well. Also, try some curry powder or chili powder for other spice themes. Two tablespoons of brewer’s yeast on your popcorn adds significant nutrition to your daily diet.
In your soups. One of the major ingredients in store bought soup mixes is “hydrolyzed protein” or “hydrolyzed yeast”. They’re talking brewer’s yeast here. Add two tablespoons to your pot of soup, a touch of curry or turmeric, some parsley flakes, and optional salt. Your kids will think you bought soup mix, but you’ll know there is no MSG, no artificial coloring, and no poly hydrogenated fats to clog your veins.
In shakes/smoothies. If you’re looking for a homemade protein shake, add brewer’s yeast to your mix. Keep some frozen bananas in the freezer, and you’ll always have shake fixings. For smoothies, skip the freezing
In mashed potatoes. Make fresh mashed potatoes, and who can resist? For about 4 servings, boil 4-5 medium potatoes until soft. Mash well, adding 2 Tablespoons Brewer’s yeast, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, parsley flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.
In sauces. Add to any savory sauce you make: gravy and any pasta sauce. Adds depth of flavor as well as nutrition.
Mix in sweetened vanilla yogurt, about 1 tsp to 1 cup, add some honey and oatmeal for extra flavor.
Peanut butter sandwiches: mix it to and 2tb or peanut or Almond butter for extra nutrition on your sandwich.
Peanut butter balls: Mix about 2 parts peanut butter to one part honey, add enough yeast to make a stiff dough. Roll in balls. You can also use it as a sandwich spread, use a little more honey or a little less yeast, and add honey crunch wheat germ. This is very high protein and satisfying.
*Almond butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter, or tahini(sesame seed butter) can replace peanut butter
*To add extra Omega add about a Tb-4 table spoons of flax seed powder/meal, or ground flax seed before the Yeast.
“Lactation” Cookies
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup black strap molasses
  • 10 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons flax seed meal (or flaxseed ground up to a “powder” in a Magic Bullet)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon Almond extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 almond flour (or ¼ cup almonds crushed and then ground into “powder” in a magic bullet)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups Steel cut oats (soaked in water over night in the fridge then drained through a cheese cloth)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or the whole bag what eva’)
  • 4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast (or nutritional yeast, not as good but easier to find)
  • ½ cup Old fashion rolled oat meal.
  • Extra chocolate chips and peanut butter chips to add top of cookies
1.Preheat oven to 350
2.Mix the flaxseed meal and water with whisk and set aside. let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3.Cream butter and sugar.
4.Add Molasses and vanilla mix
5.Add flaxseed mix, beat well.
Set to side
6.In different bowl Sift together flour, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7.Add dry ingredients to butter mix in 3 equal portions. Mix well.
8.Stir in steel cut oats and chips.
9.*Optional Refrigerate minimum 24 hours. Make dough easier to work with.
10.Scoop onto baking sheet.
11.Bake for 12 minutes.
12.Add extra chocolate chips and peanut butter chips . Then sprinkle with dry oatmeal
11.Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

Meal Shake

This smoothie is a powerhouse of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
2 tablespoons raw almonds or cashews
1 tablespoon raw sunflower
1 cup milk(dairy or nondairy)
1/4 cup juice(apple, pineapple, etc.)
1 banana frozen
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
3 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1/2 teaspoon Black strap Molasses
Place nuts and seeds in blender and grind to powder.Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
Makes 2 servings
Breastfeeding Mom Smoothie
Here’s approximately what I use for one TALL glass full:
Put into blender:
1/2 cup milk(4oz)
1/3 cup oats
1/2 TBSP brewer’s yeast
1/2 TBSP flaxseed
1/2 banana(sometimes partially freeze hour beforehand)
Blend very well while assembling other ingredients.
1/2 cup (4oz)yogurt of choice (I freeze in ice cube trays
Brewer’s Yeast  Smoothie
  • 1 frozen banana (slice before freezing)
  • 1 apple (optional)
  • 2 or so tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1or so tablespoons ground flax ground seed
  • 2 tablespoons whey powder (optional)
  • Dash of cinnamon,and/or vanilla
  • 3/4 cup almond, cow, rice, or soy milk. Or yogurt.
  • Ice cubes Blend  and Enjoy!

Lactogenic and Galactogogues Wa…wa…what?

Lactogenic and Galactogogues Foods and Herbs
This is info that I have amassed in the last 7 months mostly from (great site). Remember I’m not a Dr. and I don’t play one on t.v. So read for your entertainment and if you like it or parts of the info talk with with your lactation consultant. Thanks Pumpmasterkamp 
Fluids– 2-3 Quarts, 100-120 oz, 4-7 bottles of water, ginger ale, lactation teas, milk, almond “milk”.
Healthy Galactogogue Foods:
Oats: Steal or think cut oats have been used has a galactagogue for centuries
Brewer’s Yeast- also a Lactogenic, and Extremely healthy it is listed as a super food.

Ginger (and Ginger ale)– Is said to help with the let down reflex. Please note that if you lost a lot of blood during birth, avoid taking ginger for several weeks.

Garlic – is helpful for the letdown and milk flow as well. I have read that eating diets rich in garlic will make a baby nurse More/harder.

Nuts – eat raw nuts like almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts.

Sesame seed-“butter” known as Tahini  is high in calcium

Carrotseed has been used as a galactagogue for thousands of years
Legumes –  chickpea and lentils. Make a big batch of beans when you have time and freeze them in small containers.
CoconutOil/Butter: good fats for milk
Flaxseed oil: good fats for milk, and is a galactagogue.
One way to balance the fats is to dribble a quarter teaspoon of olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, and a thin slab of butter over meals. Be sure to eliminate unhealthy fats such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fatty acids from your diet, as these will also enter your milk.
 Fennel -Fennel can be eaten raw or cooked, for instance, steamed, or sauteed in butter and then simmered in a bit of water. Fennel seed is well-known as an herb to increase milk production. The vegetable, containing the same pharmacological active volatile oils, acts as a gentler support
Black Strap molasses- (High in iron) Black strap molasses contains high amounts of calcium and iron, plusmagnesium, potassium, copper, and chromium. Buy organic, unsulphured molasses and use it to sweeten porridge, smoothies, and baked goods
Yogurt – or lactobacilli supplements to protect your intestinal flora and to help prevent colic and allergy in your baby
*Yogurt serves as a great substitute for high-fat ingredients in baking. Low-fat or fat-free yogurt can be used to reduce or replace shortening, oil, butter or sour cream in baked goods.  Plus, it’s packed with protein and calcium.
Here are some easy guidelines for using yogurt in baking:
  • When a recipe calls for butter, replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For instance, instead of 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup yogurt.
  • When a recipe calls for shortening or oil, replace half the oil with 3/4 the amount of yogurt. For example, instead of 1 cup oil, use 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt.
  • Substitute yogurt cup for cup for sour cream in recipes.
  • Yogurt can even replace some of the water or milk in a recipe. Start by substituting 1/4 of the liquid with yogurt. The result will be creamier and more flavorful.
 A normal herbal regiment is listed here with all the herbs listed bellow.
Fenugreek capsules: Up to 3capsules, 3 times per day.

Alfalfa leaf capsules: Up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day.

Blessed thistle capsules: Up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day.

Marshmallow capsules: Up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day.

Red Clover: Up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day.

Goat’s Rue: Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoonful of the herb,steep 5 -10 minutes 2 – 3 cups a day.

Red Raspberry Leaf: up to a quart

Brewers Yeast: As often as you can add to your diet. 2 tb in 8 ounces of orange juice once in the morning and evening.


Dosage and Preparation:

*   Capsules: Try one capsule the first day to see if you have an allergic reaction. If you do not have a reaction, then take 3 capsules, and then 6 capsules a day, divided into three dosages, taken before meals. Add one additional capsule per day and build up to 9 per day. This is considered standard dosage, though some mothers take larger dosages. Gauge your reaction carefully, and ask your lactation expert and doctor for guidance if you are unsure about your optimal dosage. n some sensitive women, a very low dosage of fenugreek does increase milk production. One woman reported seeing significant improvement with only 2 capsules per day.
*   Tincture: Fenugreek is frequently a main ingredient in lactation tinctures. Follow the dosage directions on the package.
*   Tea: Fenugreek seed can be steeped, infused, or decocted, and can be adjusted to be mild and delicate or potent and bitter. Add a natural sweetener to taste.
*   Sheila Humphrey in “The Nursing Mother’s Herbal”recommends steeping 1 – 3 teaspoons of whole seed in 8 oz. of boiling water for5 – 10 minutes, or longer.
*   Infusion, cold: Set fenugreek seeds in cold water and soak for several hours or over night. Strain off the liquid, refrigerate, and if desired, warm each cup gently before drinking.
*   David Hoffmann in “Holistic Herbal” suggests that mothers decoct (gently simmer) 1 1/2 teaspoons of slightly crushed fenugreek seeds in one cup of water for ten minutes, and, for a more flavorful taste, add1 teaspoonful of aniseed to the decoction. Drink three times a day.

Alfalfa leaf – Do not over-eat alfalfa sprouts or seeds

Dosage and Preparation:

*   Tea: 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water. Drink up tothree cups per day. (To kick-start milk supply, double this dosage a few days.Increase is seen within two to four days.)
*   Infuse 1-2 handfuls in a quart of water, steep overnight.
*   Alfalfa Supplements: Up to 8 capsules per day.
*   Dried juice powder: 1 tablespoon, two times per day.
*   Homeopathy: X30 is used in combination with Lactuca virosa X30for exhausted, nervous, stressed mothers.

Blessed Thistle

Capsules: Up to 3 capsules, 3 times a day in combination with other herbs such as fenugreek

Marshmallow Root and Leaf

Dosage and Preparation:

*   Tea: Pour 1 cup of cold water over 1 tablespoon of root powder,and stir frequently while soaking for thirty minutes. Strain, and warm gentlybefore drinking.
*   Decoction: Per cup of water, add 1 teaspoonful of the chopped root,and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Take three cups a day. Sheila Humphrey recommends that if you are starting an herbal program, you may take higher dosages for a few days to kick-start your milk supply, i.e., take up to one handful of chopped root per cup of water.
*   Capsules: Take 3 capsules, 3 times a day, in combination with other herbs such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, and red clover.

Red Clover

Dosage and Preparation:

*   Capsules: 2 – 3 capsules, 3 times a day, in combination with other herbs.
*   Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1 – 3 teaspoons of thedried flowers, and steep for 10 – 15 minutes.
*   Infusion: Add the herb to a mixture of other lactogenic herbs and infuse for several hours or over night.

Goat’s Rue

*   Dosage and Preparation:

*   Tincture: Take 1 – 2 ml of tincture, or 10 – 15 drops, 3times a day.
*   Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoonful ofthe herb, steep 5 -10 minutes. Drink 2 – 3 cups a day.


Dosage and Preparation:

*   Tea: Pour a cup of boiled water onto 1 – 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Take 3 cups a day. To kick-start milk production, double this dosage, and take up to 6 cups a day.
*   A mild tea is made by steeping one teaspoon of the dried herb for only 1/2 minute in a cup of boiling water. Take three cups a day. (Even the mild tea has a dark-green color and a rich taste.)
*   Infusion: In a quart jar, add boiling water, cover, and infuse overnight. Use a large handful of nettle. Combine with other lactogenic herbs,such as alfalfa, goat’s rue, dandelion leaf, red clover, vervain, and the umbel seeds.
*   Tincture: Nettle is frequently an ingredient of in lactation tinctures. Follow the dosage directions on the package.

Red Raspberry Leaf

*   Mothers take up to a quart of red raspberry leaf tea per day during pregnancy. See above. Red-raspberry tea is said to promote milk production the first week postpartum, though stinging nettle or alfalfa may be the better herb if there is risk of low milk supply-see above .
*   Medicinal tea: Pour 1 cup of just-boiled water over 2 teaspoons of the dried leaf and steep for 5 minutes. Sweeten with a natural sweetener to taste. Build up slowly to 4 cups a day during pregnancy
*   Red raspberry leaf as a mild beverage: Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dried leaves in 1 cup of just-boiled water for 1 – 3 minutes. Sweeten with a natural sweetener to taste.

Umbel Seeds


*   Anise tea: Gently crush 1 -2 teaspoons of anise seeds, and cover with one cup of boiling water. Cover and steep between 5 – 20 minutes. Sweeten to taste. Take 3 cups a day.

*   To kick start milk production, take up to 6 cups of anise teafor two to four days, carefully observing your and your baby’s reaction.
*   Infusion: In Eastern Europe, umbel seeds such as anise arecovered with boiling water and steeped for four hours before drinking.




 *   Umbel seeds can betaken individually, together, or combined with other herbs to make a lactationtea. They can be infused overnight in cold or hot water. Traditionally, they can be decocted, or steeped as tea.
*   Umbel seed tea: Gently crush 1-2 teaspoons of the seeds, and add one cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for between 5 – 20 minutes. Longer steeping produces a more potent tea. Sweeten to taste.
*   Umbel seeds as a beverage: Steep 1 – 3 minutes for a milder taste and effect.
*   Infusion: In Eastern Europe, umbel seeds such as anise, given to breastfeeding mothers to promote milk production, are covered with boiling water and infused for four hours.
*   In India, umbel seeds are placed in cold water and soaked overnight. The liquid is strained and gently warmed before drinking. This way,none of the volatile, medicinal oil is lost to steam.
*   The usual recommended dosage is 3 cups a day. To increase milk production, take up to 6 cups a day initially, as necessary, observing your reaction, and your baby’s reaction. If you or your baby get loose stools or become gassy, reduce the dosage or try other galactagogues.
*   To treat flatulence, drink umbel seed tea slowly before meals,or take it in sips throughout the day.


Valerian root is not a galactagogue, but it is listed in the MOBI Herbal because it can be useful to mothers suffering from sleep deprivation.

Dosage and Preparation:

*   Discover your individual dosage. Taking too large a dosage can lead to a drug-like sleep with the mother feeling as though she has a hang-over next day.
*   With herbal tinctures, the dosage can be fine-tuned. Although 30- 40 drops of valerian before sleep is the recommended dosage, 3 – 10 drops maybe sufficient for mothers who respond more sensitively to herbal medicinal.
*   Take valerian before going to bed if you are taking it specifically to help you sleep more deeply. Take it in small dosages during the day if you are using it to help calm your nerves. Do not overdose.
*   It may take up to four weeks for the herb to unfold its full effect.

Brewer’s Yeast- Add to all baked goods (2-4TB), to soups 1Tsp for every Cup or about 2TB-4TB for a full pot, and to popcorn (1 TB).
Glactofuge: Bad for lactation

Aloe vera
Borage (contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids which may cause liver damage)
Cascara sagrada
Comfrey (contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids which may cause liver damage)
Parsley (galactofuge reduces milk flow)
Sage (galactofuge reduces milk flow)

from website

#WBW2015: PAID Maternity Leave: A Cornerstone in Supporting Women’s Rights

PAID Maternity Leave: A Cornerstone in Supporting Women’s Rights

“It is clear that mothers and babies benefit from maternity leave and that legislating paid maternity leave would make access more readily available to the families that most need it. But it isn’t just mothers that benefit. Everyone benefits from measures protecting maternity at the workplace!”

That’s right we all benefit.

please follow this link for the full blog post from the IBCLE’s Blog.

#WBW2015: PAID Maternity Leave: A Cornerstone in Supporting Women’s Rights.

Sensory Processing and Breastfeeding

The world of Sensory Processing and Breastfeeding. The link will take you to a well written and easy to understand article written by a to z breastfeeding. I think this is a must read!

ABM updates protocol on contraception and breastfeeding

Important updates on birth control about birth control please see below

Breastfeeding Medicine

The long awaited protocol revision on Contraception and Breastfeeding by Drs. Pamela Berens and Miriam Labbok is out. This revision on a crucial topic has useful information for those counseling mothers regarding contraceptive choices. One to two times a month I encounter a mother in my consultative breastfeeding practice who has been placed on some type of hormonal contraceptive and now she is struggling to make milk. In this revision there are a few new tables and a section describing in depth the individual contraceptives choices, summarizing the evidence and the associated studies. The bottom line remains: “Until more extensive well designed research exists , it would be prudent to consider hormonal contraceptive methods as potentially having some risk of decreasing the mother’s milk supply.” Options such as Lactational Amenorrhea Methods (LAM) and Natural Family Planning (NFP) and emergency contraception are discussed and associated management issues are also addressed. As…

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Taking milk from strangers (link to original post from research author)

This this this this is a must read. Taking milk from strangers.

Does Breastfeeding Hurt Anyone?

One of my favorite pictures of bubba made it in to this one 🙂 he’s the one with the cammo hat.
I ask this question to myself quite a bit when people start asking about why families choose to full term breastfed, or try to discourage families. Who does it hurt? No one it is only a benefit.