Nursing Necessities: Milky Mama Lactation Treats
Arya and I are 3 months into our breastfeeding journey, and with plenty of obstacles under my belt, I wanted to launch a new series focusing on all things milk! Today I'm sharing a hidden gem for nursing moms looking to maintain a healthy supply -- Milky Mama Lactation Treats. Welcome to The Bloggerella Nursing Necessities! After the early days of engorgement subsided, I felt like I was finding my groove. My letdown was still uncomfortable but latching became a breeze. And THEN... I heard that your monthly cycle typically stayed at bay while nursing, but of course my period returned at just 8 weeks postpartum. I was disappointed to have ANOTHER thing to worry about, but even more upset when I started to notice a dip in my supply throughout the duration! Lower production and a growing baby quickly turned nursing into a stressful situation. After a few failed attempts at taking supplements (and not yet having mastered one-handed baking), I found an answer with Krystal Nicole Duhaney -- a fellow breastfeeding mom, a registered nurse, and founder of Milky Mama! Her lactation cookies and brownies are helping me immensely because they're all natural, easily individually wrapped, seriously yummy, and did I mention they work?! After having just a couple treats, I'm now able to hand express a full 4 ounces in the late afternoons (when my supply is typically at its lowest)!
I sat down with Krystal to pick her brain about all things nursing, and she was an absolute wealth of knowledge. Check out our chat below, learn more about healthy lactation treats here, and get a special 20% off reader discount with promo code "Bloggerella"!
Bloggerella: Milky Mama is such an invaluable resource for the nursing mom! How did you first recognize that other moms needed support while breastfeeding their little ones?Krystal (Milky Mama): Very few women in my family chose to breastfeed or gave up because they didn't feel as though they had the support they needed. This bothered me when starting my own journey breastfeeding, and I realized how valuable and important it was for me to have "my own little tribe" to continue. That confidence and support is key and I wanted to be that for other moms!Bloggerella: Looking back to your memories as a first time mom, what were some of the challenges that you faced when you started your own breastfeeding journey?Krystal: In the beginning, I thought breastfeeding was this easy, magical thing as they show it on TV. That was a fantasy! In reality I was sore and I was SO engorged! My expectations from society were the hardest thing because I was disappointed that it didn't look like how I envisioned!
Bloggerella: What do you see as the biggest obstacles or challenges for breastfeeding moms?Krystal: Breastfeeding moms are always concerned about making enough milk! But that's not always accurate. Overall, your body makes enough milk for your baby but sometimes you need a boost. So just hearing that reassurance can be great. When moms reach out to Milky Mama for support, I do a quick assessment for each mom to advise them on what's going to be the best product for them.Bloggerella: There's so much information out there; some good and some bad. Where would you advise new nursing moms to look for breastfeeding resources, education and support?Krystal: Being an RN, I believe that Dr. Google is never the way to go! Check with your local La Leche League who can refer you to a certified LC (lactation consultant). Speaking with other nursing moms is great too! It's really about getting information from the correct people - skilled, trained and breastfeeding (or who have done so before). I think we all know what to do based on instinct but it's about finding support for the moments when things don't go as planned.
Bloggerella: After taking charge of your lactation with Milky Mama treats, what were some of the immediate changes you experienced in your own supply?Krystal: Honestly, I started making the treats because I had an insane sweet tooth! My grandma shared a family recipe with me, but then I tweaked it a little to make it even healthier. I immediately noticed I would get more engorged and my milk quality also went from clear-ish to more opaque. I kept up with it for a few days, and they really helped me transition from being at home with baby to being a working mom who needed to keep up with pumping.Bloggerella: What are some of your best tips for nursing moms, especially when it comes to establishing and maintaining a healthy supply?Krystal: When you're with your baby, always nurse but don't focus on a schedule! Breastfed babies empty your breast much better than a pump so try to relax. And when you're away from baby: 1) Don't stare at the milk dropping out of your breast! Instead, look at babies picture to increase the flow. 2) Make sure to use a hands free system, and also hand express / massage while you're pumping. It's maximizes the session! 3) Don't worry about washing the pump parts when you're done. Just refrigerate them and clean up later.
Bloggerella: Many moms have to navigate pumping to maintain supply while at work and it can seem daunting, especially when coupled with the growing pains of rejoining the workforce! How did you set yourself up for success?Krystal: The weeks leading up to returning to work are probably the hardest! But that's the time to enjoy your baby and pump after nursing, so you can also build a stash. In reality, most moms don't really need a huge freezer stash! Just enough to rotate through: 4 bottles in the fridge, then pump 4-6 more while at work. And know your rights. You are allowed by law to take time as you need to for pumping in a clean, private room (that is not a bathroom and not a warehouse!)!Bloggerella: What's one piece of advice that you would give your pre-breastfeeding self?Krystal: Relax! I was so stressed out because I didn't know if I was doing it right. I over researched and it was really unnecessary. I would tell myself that I was doing a great job and to trust my instincts. I didn't need a doctor to diagnose or tell me -- you got this!
Bloggerella: Aside from delicious treats, what other tools does Milky Mama provide to help support all moms?Krystal: I host a Milky Mama Weekly live chat! Moms can ask live questions, we joke about the ups an downs and have fun. We also have a support group on Facebook where moms ask questions in private and I can answer, all in a safe place!Bloggerella: What's your absolute favorite treat from the Milky Mama collection?!Krystal: The cookies! That's really where we started and it's got a special place in my heart. I remember tasting that first lactation cookie and how excited I was. They've helped so any moms and it really warms my heart!