Understanding the magic of breastfeeding and how to support your journey through nourishment and galactagogues. And a delicious Creamy Cashew Caramel Lactation Slice Recipe.
There is no denying the magic of breastmilk and its unequalled ability to provide our babies with the ideal components for proper development and growth.
Despite breastfeeding going beyond nourishment (it plays a central role in promoting and protecting a child’s physical, emotional and neurological development), nourishing the mother is deeply essential for both mother and baby.
Breast milk composition varies feed by feed and even minute to minute to meet the nutritional requirements of the newborn. It is incredible what our bodies are capable of creating, however, our bodies require targeted and wholesome support throughout this unique journey into motherhood.
A mothers diet can significantly impact breast milk and nutritional stores, so much so, mindful eating during a mothers breastfeeding season is incredibly important. Focusing on balanced meals with carbohydrates to build milk supply, healthy fats to nourish breastmilk and balance hormones are essential to supporting mother and baby through diet. Protein is also crucial for breastfeeding mothers because without adequate intake, the body will have to mobilise lean tissue to support milk production.
If certain micronutrients aren’t being met through a mothers diet, her body will mobilise her own stores to ensure her breast milk is nutritionally complete. This can lead to postpartum depletion which may present as a whole range of symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue and in some cases postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding can be overwhelming for a lot of new mums with milk supply being one of the leading causes of stress around breastfeeding once an effective latch is established. Beyond nourishing breastmilk, a mother’s diet can also help support her milk supply and even increase supply!
‘Galactagogues’ are specific whole foods, herbs (and medications) that help to increase milk supply. Galactagogues work by increasing prolactin levels in a mother’s body and prolactin is the vital hormone that’s responsible for breast milk production.
It is also worth mentioning that some mums are faced with an oversupply of breastmilk, which may seem like a blessing for those struggling with supply, however oversupply can be equally stressful. When managing oversupply, it is worth considering these galactagogues and potentially reducing intake.
Targeted whole food galactagogues to incorporate into your diet for supporting milk supply:
- Brown rice
- Papaya (green)
- Sesame seeds (Tahini)
- Sweet potato
Herbs (and superfoods) that support milk supply:
- Barley grass*
- Blessed thistle
- Brewers yeast*
- Goats rue
- Red raspberry leaf
*Also known to increase the nutrient density of breast milk.
These selected ingredients are some of my personal pantry essentials and can easily be incorporated through cooking and herbal tea rituals to nourish and increase milk supply.
Local Gold Coast Mother and Founder of Mammae The Embodied Mother, Erin, has curated a breakthrough collection of targeted galactagogue infused breastfeeding products and I am so thrilled to introduce these luxurious products into my postpartum journey ahead.
In particular, the Bosom Ritual Infusion Nursing Tea is prepared with a balanced and therapeutic blend of certified organic loose leaf herbs, incorporating the ‘holy grail’ ingredient list of galactagogues; fennel, fenugreek, milk thistle, goats rue, nettle, caraway, aniseed, lemon balm with refreshing lemongrass to taste.
In good company with the Nursing Tea, Mammae has also developed a revolutionary galactagogue infused breast massage oil, purposefully formulated to support the emerging and established breastfeeding mama.
Far more than just an ‘everyday oil’, this golden Elixir is a targeted formulation designed to support healthy milk flow, promote lymphatic drainage, increase blood circulation, alleviate breast tenderness, soften fibrous breast tissue, soothe the senses, and protect the skin’s elasticity without any harmful or unnecessary ingredients.
Enriched with a natural herbaceous essence, this milk-nourishing oil is vegan, gluten & nut free, formulated without harmful ingredients, synthetic fragrance and essential oil, offering mama a safe, comforting and compassionate breast-care ritual.
Let this be your gentle reminder; breastfeeding is a learned skill and it takes time, patience and practice to master. Seeking guidance from a professional lactation consultant can help to set the foundation in the early days and weeks postpartum and then ongoing love and support from those around you will help to facilitate a positive and joyful breastfeeding experience.
So, as much as we would love for lactation cookies to fix everything (and sometimes we feel as though they do) support from our village can be the most important part of a positive breastfeeding journey.
It is important to note that when it comes to breastfeeding and milk supply, it’s vital to look at the whole picture. No amount of galactagogues alone will replace a proper latch and balanced diet.
Please be sure to contact your lactation consultant or healthcare provider prior to adding any herbal preparations to your supplementary routine.
Creamy Cashew Caramel Lactation Slice
This creamy cashew caramel lactation slice is a heavenly treat to support you through your breastfeeding journey, combining ingredients that nourish breast milk, support milk supply, balance hormones and provide you with much needed energy. This delicious slice is quick and easy to prepare for yourself or to deliver a breastfeeding mama who needs a little extra love and support.
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw cashews
5 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup tahini
1 tsp maca
1 tbsp coconut oil
150g dark chocolate
- Grease and line a small baking tin or glass container.
- Add raw cashews and medjool dates into a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Add all base later ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until well combined.Transfer mixture to the tray and use your hands to press firmly until the mixture reaches the corners. Place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
- Add all middle layer ingredients, including the soaked cashews and dates, to the blender. Blitz for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread until smooth. Return to the freezer.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Pour over the middle layer until completely covered. Set aside to set.
- Once chocolate has set, use a warm knife to cut the slice into pieces. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
You can find more delicious, nourishing recipes to support postpartum recovery and milk supply in the Village for Mama book. You can also learn more about the incredible work Mammae is doing over on their website.
Love Leila x