breastfeeding, Recipes

Recipe: Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies

So I’m seven weeks postpartum today and I thought I’d share a little recipe I’ve developed over the past weeks. See, when I first had Elliot, it took four days for my milk to come in (it came in the first day we were back at home from the hospital). While we were in the hospital, El was losing weight and we had to supplement with formula. So I was a little worried about milk supply.

Plus lactation treats just seem like one of those things pregnant ladies and new mothers are supposed to research, right? Well, I no longer worry about supply, but I’ve found that a healthy-ish, hearty cookie is the perfect snack to bring upstairs with me when we go to bed so that I have something shelf-stable, tasty, filling, and easy to eat with one hand when the inevitable hunger strikes in the middle of the night while I’m feeding him.

So I developed this recipe. It’s very, very loosely based on this recipe (kind of like culinary jazz). I added peanut butter because it’s higher in protein (and delicious), and a used brown rice flour instead of wheat flour because brown rice is one of those supposedly-milk-increasing foods. Oh, and I use nutritional yeast instead of brewer’s yeast because I accidentally bought the wrong thing, but supposedly brewer’s yeast is better for milk supply, because it has chromium, I guess? I take a multivitamin with chromium in it, so I’m not too fussed about the difference.

Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sucanat (unrefined cane sugar)

1 egg

2 Tbsp nutritional (or brewer’s) yeast

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix together the melted butter, peanut butter, salt, and sucanat in a bowl. Add the egg and beat well. Add in the vanilla, yeast, oats, flour, flax seed, baking powder, and baking soda, and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Roll into walnut-sized balls (I use a heaped tablespoon of dough) and store in the fridge or freezer until needed.

To cook from frozen: Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put frozen dough balls on the cookie sheet 2″ apart. Bake for ten minutes, then flatten to about 1/2″ thick with a spatula and bake five minutes more. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack, cooling completely, and packing in an airtight container.

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childbirth, pregnancy

Seemingly-Simple Wisdom from our Doula

I’ve made references to our doulas in the past. We’re having a doula from Silver Spring Doula attend our birth. Since both of them share duties, either Jenny or Rose will attend the birth, but our “primary contact doula” is Rose. She’s a certified Hypnobabies instructor and has been really helpful as I’ve gone through my self-study, and has been working as a doula for over a decade. Plus she has two kids of her own. So she’s learned a thing or two. And I thought I’d share some of her little wisdom gems.

  1. Freezer meals: I’ve mentioned this one before, but rather than carving out separate time to prepare “freezer meals,” simply make a double-batch of whatever you’re making for dinner that night. And then freeze half. It’s so simple, and yet I hadn’t thought of it. I was dreading figuring out when I was going to have time to make casseroles, not to mention buying spare dishes to freeze them in and figure out the freezer space. But since I’m only freezing two servings at a time and cooking when I would already be cooking anyway, it works out with much less headache.
  2. Shelf-stable high-protein snacks: She suggests having some shelf-stable snacks that are high in protein stashed around the house for eating while breastfeeding. Energy bars and peanut butter are good ideas. I imagine beef jerky would also work (although I’ve heard you get incredibly thirsty while breastfeeding, so that might be counter-productive).
  3. Hospital bags: Rather than packing a “his” and “hers” bag, pack a bag for during labor and after labor. That way, you only need to bring one bag in with you when you get to the hospital, and your partner can run out to the car to grab the other one after the baby’s come out. We actually re-packed our bags after hearing this and I feel much more confident about our packing because it also gave us a better way to organize things to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything.

I know, I know. This all seems so simple and obvious, right? Well, I hadn’t thought of it. And I’ve mentioned it to other pregnant women I know and they were surprised not to have thought about it. But it’s helped me feel so much more prepared for birthing and the postpartum period to have these little ways to get things done. That way, my mental energy can go where it’s really needed: washing so many things for the baby.