So I know I’m not the only Mama who returned to work and then was super stressed about being able to keep up a milk supply while I’m gone. Heck, I know I’m not the only one who was already super stressed about this even before I got back to work.
While I’ve been back, I’ve spent my time perfecting my recipes for snacks/breakfast and lunch that have really helped me keep my milk plentiful, and my tummy happy. Not to mention these have helped me steadily lose that darn baby weight (alongside some moderate exercise). I do want to mention that before you start any supplementing, you should always talk to a doctor to make sure it’s the right thing for you to do.
Below is the regimen I’ve been following (some days more strictly than others).
Not so Horrible Milk Maker Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup oats
- Shhh…don’t tell, but I’ve used instant even though every site and it’s mother says it won’t help as much. I’m a busy lady, and I happen to think overnight oats are completely foul, so I prefer this quick morning version.
- 1 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips
- These are of course not mandatory, as they are really just an extra sweet. I personally do not like the flavor of the next two ingredients, so I use the chocolate chips to help hide them. I feel like this oatmeal is a ton healthier than the lactation cookies I had tried before, because it has way less sugar, so I use the chocolate chips. Crazy health nuts be damned!
- 1 tbsp of milled ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp of Brewer’s Yeast
- Double Ugh
- 1 generous tbsp of almond butter/peanut butter/whatever nut butter alternative floats your milky boat
This oatmeal I make at work pretty easily, we have a coffee machine that dispels hot water. I put that water in the bowl that I bring my oatmeal in, and let it cook for a few minutes before eating. I’m not sure about cooking in the microwave. I’m sure you could, but I’ve never tried so you’ll have to experiment with times.
A couple hours after I eat my oatmeal, I eat a quarter cup of almonds (just plain almonds, no salt or flavors) and some cranberries. I don’t normally measure the cranberries. I just bring enough to help with the dryness of the almonds.
Each day I eat a salad for lunch. There are a few different recipes that I use depending on the day. Some are definitely healthier that others, but for the most part they are all pretty good.
- Spinach, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, feta cheese, and a little raspberry vinaigrette.
- Spinach, hard boiled egg, sliced almonds, dijon dressing.
- Spinach, grapes, apples, chicken, vinaigrette,
I think that just finding something that works for you is the most important. But I would just want to remind anyone who is trying to avoid dairy that these mostly have some sort. So keep that in mind when packing any ingredients. And the salads are so easy to mix it up with, you can always find something that works for you.
I cannot stand iceberg lettuce because it is just leaf water, but any dark leafy greens are great.
Most days for my afternoon snack I have a second serving of oatmeal (see recipe above). Before I switched to having to servings of the oatmeal a day, I was eating two lactation cookies for my afternoon snack. I don’t eat these anymore because I don’t feel the need for all the sugar in my daily food. But I will say the cookies were super good. If you especially don’t like the flavor of the oatmeal, but would still like the boost of whats in it, I would give this cookie recipe a try. I like this recipe because it is healthier than some other ones I found. There are a ton of recipes online though, so I would say to find one that works for you, and then tweak it to make it perfect.
For dinner, I am not so strict that my husband won’t eat what I do. So what we normally do to keep dinner rich in vitamins for my milk, and healthy is keep it pretty simple.
Normally we have chicken breast, jasmine rice, and a vegetable. The vegetables we choose are typically asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow straight squash, or anything that is in season.
For the veggies, I would definitely say keep an eye on what affects your baby. Some might be more prone to cause gas/discomfort in your little ones.
And for the protein, we do commonly rotate the chicken out for pork, salmon, or sometimes steak. Just as long as it is cooked pretty simply to avoid oversaturaing it in butter or other fats.
We also find that this general meal is really helpful for keeping my sodium intake lower. I did end up needing to be induced for preeclampsia, so we have been very mindful of my sodium ever since.
Other than these foods, I do also make sure to drink a ton of water throughout the day. I avoid anything caffeinated on most days (sometimes we have rougher nights and I o indulge in a cup of coffee or tea in the morning).
When I first went back to work, I also dipped my toes into the world of Mother’s Milk tea, and fenugreek pills
I personally think that the tea tastes super gross, but it is bearable if you let it cool a little bit and then gulp it down. The fenugreek had some weird side effects. It made me smell like a mix of curry/maple syrup. And I noticed that my son was much more gassy when I took it.
Because I have noticed such a good supply from the diet and water, I have not felt that I needed these extra helpers, so don’t use them myself. And after everything, I normally end up pumping at the very least, 21oz a day. On heavier days I pump anywhere from 25-28oz.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out! And most importantly, always ask yours or your child’s pediatrician with any health concerns.