breastfeeding/losing your milk

This is one of the stories from my website that has the most comments and I have had mothers come to me crying that they were so happy to find this information, and it really works!

Breastfeeding Difficulties: Losing Your Milk
There are so many surprises and frustrations that go along with breastfeeding that losing your milk can send you off the deep end. It did for me. My son Sander was only six months old when our little family took a trip to New Mexico. Sander had a cold, so I was not sleeping well, and traveling threw off my schedule enough that I forgot to eat and to drink enough fluids. New Mexico’s dry climate and the fact that I caught Sander’s cold made things so much worse. By the time we got back from that trip, my milk was all but gone. Back home in New York, when Sander woke up one night for his regular feeding, I could tell there was nothing there. I got very upset, woke my husband and started crying (the worst thing I could do…loose even more fluid). Once I had recovered from my panic, we made rice cream at home (see recipe below) instead of opting for formula, and Sander loved it. In the meantime I was still frantic to get my milk back. I called friends in Italy to help (it was 3:00 a.m. in New York and 9:00 a.m. in Italy). They suggested that I too eat the rice cream, to eat as much Mochi as I could, to make my dinners with millet, and above all, to stop crying and relax. In the morning I got up and went directly to a La Leche League meeting with Sander. It just felt good to be around other breastfeeding mothers and their compassion made me feel stronger. I told them about my problem and they were so helpful. I became confident that my milk would return, and it did, on the second day. I had to continue to use the rice cream for a while and to pump to stimulate milk production, but my milk was back full flow within no time.

Recipes and Tips:

Mochi – Pounded sweet rice is one of the best things to eat during breastfeeding. You can buy Mochi in any health food store, in the refrigerated section. Cut Mochi into 1x1 inch squares and put them in the oven on a cookie sheet; When they “pop” they’re ready to eat. My son loves mochi as well; it was one of the first things that he ate when he started solids.

Amasake – A grain sweetener that is a delicious drink on its own, amasake can also help breastmilk production. Available in health food stores.

Rice Cream – In a large pot combine 3/4 cup organic brown rice, 3/4 cup organic barley, an umeboshi plum and a small piece of Kombu. Fill pot with water and cook for five hours on lowest possible flame. After five hours skim off top (rice cream), put through strainer, and combine with warm spring water for baby’s milk. The bottom (we call it rice mush) can be eaten with vegetables (savory) or with a purée of adzuki beans (sweet). Don’t be surprised if it grows on you!

Millet - you can buy this in any health food store, just cook like brown rice or I like to add yellow onion, kobacha squash, and carrots (this is also a recipe to help to loose cravings for sweets!--eat every day for a week or so and you will find your cravings lessened)...delicious with a bit of olive oil or toasted sesame oil on top.
To find a La Leche League meeting near you click here.


emilyjane said...

I have a nine month old son that still nurses a lot through out the day and night. I want to use something other than formula for when I'm out. Would you suggest using rice cream? How thick is the cream after cooking it for five hours? I wasn't able to get Umeboshi plum or Kombu is that ok if it's left out? Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

nonchalant mom said...

rice cream is great but it's best to use from home because it's so fresh I think it should be refrigerated. honestly, when you are out and about this is the easiest time to breastfeed because you don't need to lug a bunch of bottles with you...you have them attached!

when you cook the rice cream for five hours it will separate (you don't stir it) the rice will stay at the bottom and you can eat this with steamed veggies and a few grains of salt, but the rice cream for your baby is what you will skim off the top, it only yields about 2-3 cups and then you will mix it with water to make the milk able to go through the nipple. you need to use the Umeboshi plum and kombu, these are important vitamins and minerals--they are available at whole foods or any health food store, they are both not too exotic.

I hope that this is helpful! let me know how it works out!
best of luck!-carina