Breast milk is generally accepted to be the best milk for infants, and mothers are encouraged to keep breastfeeding as long as they can. With all the advice one gets, though, most first-time moms are worried about their milk production and appreciate products that make their breastfeeding journey easier.
Lactation pastries are such products and are now a staple in a breastfeeding mom’s diet. These are pastries that contain galactagogues or ingredients that promote milk production. Here are 5 important things to know about lactation goodies:
1. How do lactation pastries help moms produce more milk? One of the most popular brands of home-baked lactation goodies is aptly called Mama Chows. The brainchild of Chef Raquel Borja-Chua, these baked pastries are filled with four nutrient-rich galactagogues: oatmeal, flaxseed, fenugreek, and brewer’s yeast.
• Oatmeal - A whole grain that is rich with fiber and iron and is considered a healthy breakfast fare that lowers bad cholesterol. • Flaxseed – Comes from the fiber crop flax, which is high in Omega-3 • Fenugreek – Known to lower cholesterol and blood sugar, Fenugreek comes from the pea family. • Brewer’s Yeast – Originally used to ferment beer, this is also a common nutritional supplement containing iron, protein, and B vitamins.
Chef Raquel says that breastfeeding moms can eat lactation goodies without the guilt not only because the ingredients are healthy by themselves, but also because they actually help with milk production.
2. What do they taste like? Lactation goodies are really just your regular yummy sweets packed with galactagogues. They do not have a bitter aftertaste and they taste just like their original counterparts.
3. Do they really help produce more milk? There are many ways to help a mom produce more milk, and eating food with galactagogues is just one of them. According to Kelly Bonyata, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and author of the breastfeeding website Kellymom.com, “Any galactagogue will be most effective in increasing milk supply when combined with increased breastfeeding frequency and milk removal.” This means that in order to achieve success, one must frequently breastfeed (or pump) and must not rely on lactation treats alone.
This is evident in the stories of two of Chef Raquel’s clients, Donna and Lan. Both moms tried to re-lactate as their babies were already on formula. “With the help of their lactation consultant and the aid of our pastries, they are now back to breastfeeding and are formula-free,” says Chef Raquel.
Her own story is also actually inspirational. Rushed to the hospital for post-partum eclampsia after giving birth to her twins, Chef Raquel needed to increase her milk supply. “Eating my goodies helped me. I was able to pump 4 oz per session and was able to send 12 oz of milk a day to them,” she says.
4. Do lactation pastries have any side effects? Though the four key galactagogues used in lactation pastries are generally deemed safe, moderation is key. Here are some of the side effects of each one:
Oatmeal – Oatmeal consumption has no major side effects for the breastfeeding mom. However, it might not be advisable for those with problems with their bowel movement.
Brewer’s yeast – Some infants develop colic-like symptoms, diarrhea, and other digestive issues when brewer’s yeast is passed to them through breast milk. It is advisable, then, to decrease or stop intake as soon as possible.
Fenugreek – Fenugreek may not be advisable for women with asthma, as it has been found to make asthma worse in some women.
Flaxseed – Flaxseed is generally considered safe for the breastfeeding mom. However, it can also trigger allergic reactions. Among the galactagogues mentioned in this article, flaxseed is the one that should be taken with care the most and consulted about with a medical practitioner.
Kelly advises intake of galactagogues only until one’s milk supply increases, after which milk production is maintained through frequent feeding or pumping.
5. Who can benefit the most from lactation pastries? Galactagogues, including in pastry form, are recommended for those who really have low milk supply. Partnered with frequent feedings or breast pumping sessions and other natural methods, moms can really experience a significant increase in milk production.
Moms who do not suffer from low milk supply, on the other hand, feel more confident when they take galactagogue-filled food products. Ice Cristobal, a breastfeeding mom of 5 month old, was not suffering from low milk supply when she began eating lactation cookies. Nevertheless, eating the treats made her happy, which in turn made her relax and produce more milk.
Moms need all the help and support that they can get in breastfeeding. Aside from finding the right information and receiving tips from fellow moms, they can benefit from products like lactation goodies to actually help them increase their milk supply.