by Carrie Saum
When I pumped exclusively for
eternity 21 months, I felt hungry pretty much all the time. Rarely would a two hour window window pass without food needing to make it’s way into my mouth. I often forgot to grab a snack before I sat down to pump because pumping and babies/toddlers just don’t mix. Add the lactation fog that overtakes the mommy brain, and you have a recipe for a one hangry lactating lady.
I tried to get in the routine of filling my water and grabbing a snack. But I was forgetful and typically remembered exactly 30 seconds after hooking myself up to a pump for the next
lifetime 20 minutes. After only 8 months, I realized I could do something about this particular problem. All I had to do was think ahead for a few days at a time and put some snacks at my pump spot and in my pump bag.
But that also meant I had to actually prepare a snack. Because as much as I love trailmix and coffee, I needed a little more sustenance. And to be honest, I needed something to look forward to because pumping exclusively is EFFING HARD. That’s another post, though.
I tried a few different options to get a decent ratio of carbs:protein. I also needed every single milk booster I could get because my body wanted to quit making milk right around month eight, but my son’s unique health required me to keep going.
I started tinkering with foods that would fit the bill, and could also be stored at my Lactation Station. (Yep, I named the place where I stored my extra water, snacks, nipple cream, coconut oil, homeopathic stress relief remedy, and positive thoughts.) The snack also had to be allergen-friendly because TED was my constant companion for over a year. It wasn’t ideal. It was pretty awful actually. But it helped my baby begin his long healing process to severe food allergies, and I discovered I’m gluten-intolerant in the process. (Damnit.)
One of my favorite foods to munch while pumping were these tasty biscuits. One was totally satisfying and helped me lose the pumping hanger I fell prey to all too often. They were easy to transport, share, and eat on the go. Plus, they tasted phenomenal with some strawberries and whipped cream. I’M JUST SAYING.
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 eggs*
- 3/4 cup butter, cold and cubed, or melted coconut or avocado oil
- 1 scant cup tapioca or cassava flour (wheat flour can be substituted)
- 2 Tbsp raw honey, or other sweetener
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (omit if using egg replacer)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
*If you want to make this egg-free, go for it! This can also boost your milk supply. To replace two eggs, I used 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds, 3 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar.
- Combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add butter to the flour mixture and cut into flour until the butter is in tiny pieces. Or go easy on yourself and whisk in oil.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs (or egg replacement), vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
- Spoon mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and smush with your hand, or bake in lined muffin tins.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and dust with a *tiny* bit of raw cane sugar. (optional)
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating, and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Pile with strawberries and whipped topping of your choice for an extra special treat. Dip them in chocolate or your hopes and dreams. Or you can just eat them and keep the lactation hangries at bay. Your choice. Either way, you lactating mamas are my heroes. Keep on pumping!
Happy Milk Making,
*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.