I was already struggling with supply before I went back to work, so when I had to switch from regular nursing to occasional pumping, my supply took a hit. I’ve been trying different methods to help boost my supply (taking Fenugreek supplements, taking Mother Love More Milk Plus supplements, eating oatmeal, drinking Gatorade, drinking Milkmaid tea, applying heat) but I either wasn’t eating/drinking enough of that to count, or it simply want working. I decided to give lactation cookies a try so hubby helped me make a batch after I procured all the magical ingredients (brewers yeast and milled flax isn’t easy to find).
The girls in my breastfeeding support group recommended the recipe from Peaceful Parenting: Major Milk Makin’ Lactation Cookies. It only calls for a 1/3 cup of water, but we found it turns very dry very fast, and we even broke a stirrer! So we added some more water to allow the batch to mix. We also had to cook a little longer since they came out too soft at first. Then I refrigerated overnight to harden the chocolate chips (because they were a melty gooey delicious mess). The rest of the cookie remained very soft and they were pretty good I guess. The chocolate chips really made them edible, but they did taste very “healthy” with all the oats and such. I made them pretty large so I could take one big cookie to work with me to eat with my lunch. I ended up with 20 large cookies.
I ate a cookie a day for a couple of days without any changes and I asked the ladies how quickly they noticed an increase. The replies I received were that people noticed an increase the same day. One girl did say that she eats multiple cookies a day, so I went ahead and started bringing two with me to work. I mean, twist my arm, right? Still I didn’t notice any changes in the amount of breast milk I pumped. So I tried 3. Still no change.
I’m starting to think I may have a genetic issue (my Mom had problems with supply with me, and so did her Mom with her) that cannot be resolved with special magical foods. I’m disappointed that I can’t seem to increase my milk production, and yes it is frustrating to put in so much effort for a little result (I only pump 5 oz from both sessions combined). But, I still want to keep with it, at least until Baby H is 6 months old. After that I suppose I will re-evaluate this whole breastfeeding thing and see if I am able/willing to continue. I hate to say willing, especially since my current workplace has an amazing space for pumping mothers, but this is continuing to take a toll on me – body and mind. Stopping will be a difficult decision, though, whenever I end up making it.