Make Ahead Lactation Breakfast Mini-Frittatas

by Jessica Martin-Weber

I love it when my day goes exactly according to plan!

I also love it when unicorns prance in my yard and fairies tend to my garden.

If I had a nickel for time I set out with a plan, well thought out and provided for with necessary preparations and is somehow looks as though I had no plan at all, I would be a very wealthy woman and able to afford to give prancing unicorns and gardening fairies a livable wage.

Sadly, I earn no income from failed mornings, no livable wage there. So I just keep trying to find that one magic button that will make my day unfold perfectly. (I’m starting to think there is no button.) Since it all tends to fall apart before 10am at the latest, I focus on problem solving mornings. (See what our plan is mornings vs the reality here.)

The biggest problem in mornings?

Me.

I am not a morning person. Unfortunately, several of my children have followed in my footsteps. We really aren’t trying to make mornings difficult, we’re just trying to survive them. Having breakfast made head at least means we’re getting fed. Hopefully.

In our home we make a week’s worth of these mini-frittatas most Sunday evenings to get us through the week. It simplifies our morning routine and can be the difference in a tardy slip or not. Having breakfast made ahead and easy to heat up without sacrificing my need for a high protein start to my day and not dosing my children with exorbitant amounts of sugar first thing in the morning gives me something in my day that makes me feel like I’ve got at least one mothering win in the day. And because I let my kids dunk their mini frittatas in ketchup, they are usually willing to eat them. Or at least to lick the ketchup off of them and I’m convinced that they get some healthy stuff that way. It counts, trust me.

Protein packed breakfast

To turn that simple recipe into a milk boosting one for my friends who need a little something extra we made just a few simple modifications. (You probably don’t need to eat anything specific to make more milk, check here to see.)  The way milk production works is amazing, usually baby asks of the boob and the boob makes sure the baby receives. Skin-to-skin and being responsive to baby’s hunger cues are enough for most moms to make plenty of milk. But sometimes, a little boost can help. One of my good friends produces plenty of milk when her baby is able to feed directly from the breast but when she’s pumping away from her baby at work her supply starts going down. So she eats some food that her body responds well to by producing even more milk and that helps her let down to her pump. We are a fan of whatever helps

To take this make ahead mini-frittata recipe and make it a make-ahead-milk-boosting-mini-frittata recipe, add these modifications options (one or all) for the large batch:

Add any of the following:

1 large fennel bulb, diced thinly (I like to sauté this slightly to make them tender)

2 TBS flax seed meal

4 TBS brewer’s yeast

Follow the rest of the directions as provided in the original recipe. If you make a smaller batch, adjust your portions accordingly. They freeze well so high five yourself for having breakfast made before you even get out of bed tomorrow.

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*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 Carrie, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that Carrie ended up on medication solely to increase her milk production, she knows what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help your body make even just a little more milk to help feed your baby. With the support of her health care providers, she 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 you feel like you’re doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

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Jessica Martin-Weber

 

Drawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com,co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, and co-creator of OurStableTable.com, supporter of A Girl With A View, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 19 years and is currently writing her first creative non-fiction book and a children’s book.

 

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Nurture the Nurturer: A Multi-Sensory Approach

by Monette Chilson

Nurture the nurturer

Every time we fly, we are reminded to put our own oxygen mask on before we help our children with theirs. But how often do we heed that advice in our earthbound lives? At some point, we’ve all fallen into the trap of doing for others (usually our children) until we collapse exhausted, like a fish gasping for breath on the beach. How did we end up beached, and more importantly, how can we unbeach ourselves?

Parenting is inexorably intertwined with acts of nurturing, but what kind of example are we setting for our children if we neglect ourselves in the process? With Mother’s Day fast approaching, there is no better time to reflect on your own presence in the world and seek out way to be more fully engaged in the life-giving opportunities that fill our days.

One goal of mindful self-care is to fully connect with our inner life, so that our outer life can be enriched. Nurturing implies a sustenance that is sensory in nature, one that feeds our souls on many levels. With that in mind, let’s take it one sense at a time.

Seeing… We take in more visual stimuli in one day than people a hundred years ago did in a year. Unfortunately, much of this stimuli is in the form a digitized reality. To counterbalance this virtual reality of ours, we must intentionally notice the simple profundity of the actual world we live in. We can do this by stopping to cultivate just one moment each day to acknowledge the beauty we encounter in our everyday ramblings. How much easier could this first exercise be? No need to do anything but open your eyes and appreciate what’s already there.

Your vision of simple beauty can be related to your parenting life, nature or anything that strikes your fancy. You can meld your online world with your real one by snapping a photo of your moment and sharing it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #simplethings. If you have so lost touch with what constitutes a moment of simple beauty for you that you find yourself at a loss for where to start, take a peek at what other people have hashtagged as their simple things. You’ll find everything from children’s feet to a single exquisite orchid blossom, the perfect cup of coffee and plenty of sunsets.

As Glennon Melton so eloquently conveyed in her blog post Quit Pointing Your Avocado At Me that captured the attention of moms everywhere, your day doesn’t need to be chock-full of these moments. No one’s life is like that—contrary to the sugar-coated lives spun on social media. And please do not feel guilty about that! One moment of simple beauty a day will suffice. The rest of your hours may be complete and utter chaos. Find your one moment and see it. Really see it.

Hearing… We have experienced a proliferation of sounds that rivals that of visual stimuli. We can plug in and tune out so easily—maybe too easily. Earbuds, Beats and Skullcandy are all super-hip, cool ways of insulating with a self-selected soundtrack. A little like living in our own little individual juke boxes. No more communal, “What station do you want to listen to?” “What’s on the radio now?” Try this little retro activity on for size. When you’re in the car with the kids, play your own version of Name That Tune, humming a ditty while the others try to guess what it is. Or if you want to tune in together, play the bumper sticker game where you tune into whatever station you spot first on a nearby bumper sticker. We listened to some awesome classical music that we would have otherwise missed while playing this one recently! In those non-carpool moments when you’re out in nature, solo or with kids in tow, play the quiet game for five minutes, bringing your awareness to all the sounds you hear that you wouldn’t have noticed in the midst of life’s usual chatter.

Tasting… We will take a page from the Slow Food movement for this assignment. Pick a food, any food. Do not eating it standing up. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t eat it while chasing after a toddler, dog or other wayward creature. Don’t multi-task while you do it. That’s right. No scanning your emails. No swiping of counters between bites. No throwing a load of laundry in halfway through. What’s the point in this lavish gift of dedicated nourishment? It’s to learn how to nourish yourself. To make the time. And to remember that you’re worth it.

Smelling… Seasonally, you just hit the jackpot on this sense. The fragrance of nature is at its strongest right about now. Just walk outside and inhale. The smell of new beginnings is intoxicating. Do this regularly and you’ll begin to discover olfactory nuances that will plant you firmly in the here and now. You’ll reacquaint yourself with the summery smell of fresh cut grass, fall’s slight pungentness and winter’s invigorating crispness, so clean in its absence of aroma.

Touching/Feeling… Though the fifth sense is usually interpreted as touch—as in the sensation we experience when we touch something—I interpret it as a kinesiological experience. Nurturing ourselves via this sense means doing things that feel good to our physical bodies—going for a walk, doing yoga, sitting still, dancing around your living room or turning a cartwheel. My kids have an agreement with my mom that they will never consider her old as long as she can turn a cartwheel. She still can, much to their delight. So, keeping turning cartwheels, metaphorical or literal. Keep doing whatever it is that makes your body sing like no one is listening.

Use this Mother’s Day as a starting point for a new sense of self-nourishment rather than an isolated day in which nurturing the nurturer is allowed. Go out into the world ready to see it in new ways that go beyond what your eyes typically take in. Listen to it. Smell it. Taste it. Feel it in your bones. Your will feel more alive, and so will your children. They are learning from your actions so much more than they are from your words. Teach them well.

 

Monette ChilsonMonette Chilson is the author of the award-winning book Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom Through Yoga (Bright Sky Press, 2013). She is a contributor toYoga Journal, elephant journal, Integral Yoga Magazine and Christian Yoga Magazine. You can find out more about her melding of yoga and faith at www.SophiaRisingYoga.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every day is breastfeeding day

World Breastfeeding Month/Week is great, a time to raise awareness, share information, celebrate, do crazy huge giveaways, encourage, and share stories.  But I have to be honest here, I’m only a tiny bit into it.  Why?  Because as a breastfeeding mom and a supporter of breastfeeding moms, it’s world breastfeeding DAY every day and everywhere.  It’s just a part of what I do, a part of my life.  Breastfeeding is more than the biologically normal way for me to feed and care for my babies and toddlers, it has actually become one of the most important tools in my parenting tool box.  It tops the list.

Breastfeeding and babywearing, parenting power tools each in their own right, together strategically efficient.  It’s not they have to go together but when they do it’s a win win for all involved.  Ring sling, wrap, soft structure carrier, whatever your favorite carrier is, it can be one of the most supportive tools to your breastfeeding.  And like breastfeeding, as a mother of 6 active little girls, babywearing is a tool I use every day, everywhere.  As World Breastfeeding Month draws to a close, I want to share how babywearing can be a useful tool not only for your parenting in general but specifically related to helping you reach your breastfeeding goals.

#bfbw365

How Babywearing can help you reach your breastfeeding goals:

Babywearing makes for easy skin-to-skin care.  If the wearer is topless or wears a low cut top with lots of skin available and baby is naked or close to naked, babywearing can easily facilitate the important skin-to-skin access that all babies benefit from specially in the early days but even Zrejnuk,.aching far beyond.  Why is skin-to-skin contact so great?  Helps baby regulate breathing and body temperature, better blood sugar levels,  maintains baby’s heart rate and blood pressure, encourages breastfeeding, promotes emotional bonding, reduces infant and maternal/paternal stress, can help prevent or lessen postpartum depression, is comforting to baby, reduces crying, helps developmental process, lowers anxiety, and so much more.

Babywearing keeps baby close for ease in picking up hunger cues.  Even if it isn’t the breastfeeding mother always wearing the baby, any caregiver can easily and quickly pick up onp] baby’s cues that it’s time to eat, allowing for a quick response which will help the mother’s supply and baby’s stress levels.

Babywearing enables mom to be active while being close.  Whether she’s working, doing chores, or caring for other children, babywearing keeps baby close and let’s her multitask her responsibilities.  Moms that feel like they can keep up with their other responsibilities while caring for their infant are more likely to reach their breastfeeding goals because they won’t feel trapped in their home.  Having a happy baby safe and secure and being able to be productive in other areas is a huge confident boost that will go a long way not only in her overall parenting but can directly impact her breastfeeding goals.

Babywearing encourages breastfeeding in public.  Have baby, will go out.  Since babywearing can help moms be on the go it can also help them breastfeed in public.  Moms isolated and stuck inside their house often struggle with anxiety and postpartum depression.  Both babywearing and breastfeeding can simplify getting out and being active in social settings, reducing the risk of isolating mothers and developing postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety.  Once she works out how to breastfeed in a carrier (tip: practice in front of a mirror to see what it looks like- you’ll be surprised how incognito breastfeeding in a carrier can be if you are concerned about that.), breastfeeding in a carrier can be much easier than using a cover if mom feels she should, easier than taking baby out of the carrier and feeding even if she feels she doesn’t need to cover, and easier than a bottle of expressed milk or formula.  And it takes us back to the previous point, mom can be active not only while being close but actually while breastfeeding.  Because when you have a 3 year old and a new baby, sitting down in a quite setting with a pillow and staring into your baby’s eyes while they feed for the 67th time that day (I exaggerate… 24th time that day) isn’t always possible.  Being able to feed your baby and keep up with the 3 year old is priceless!

Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding.  You read that right and no, it’s not a stretch.  Since breastfeeding is encouraged and supported by babywearing the more families that utilize it the more breastfeeding will increase in both numbers and visibility.  As more and more women begin to confidently feed their babies with their breasts, breastfeeding will become more and more normal.  Like walking, when breastfeeding is normal there will be better support available for those that may encounter difficulties because it simply won’t be acceptable to ignore breastfeeding problems any more than it would be acceptable to ignore problems walking.  Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding by encouraging breastfeeding, helping more moms breastfeed while out, and supporting moms in reaching their breastfeeding goals.

Even for moms that aren’t comfortable feeding in their carrier (but don’t despair if you struggle with feeding in the carrier, it may get easier with time, in a different carrier, or with practice and help from someone) babywearing can be a useful part of your breastfeeding journey and even help you reach your breastfeeding goals for many of the reasons listed above.

World Breastfeeding Month?  Just a month?  It’s great but that’s just a drop in the bucket.  I breastfeed. I babywear. Every day. Everywhere. 365. Way beyond World Breastfeeding Month.

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Do you breastfeed every day?  Everywhere?  Does babywearing help you? 

If it’s always breastfeeding day for you or has been, share the breastfeeding and/or babywearing love by posting a photo of you breastfeeding and/or babywearing (or the badge or banner below) and let others know!  Use the hashtag #BFBW365 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and help normalize breastfeeding and babywearing for all parents.

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BFBW365

#BFBW365

 

This week The Leaky Boob is teaming up with Beco Baby Carriers to encourage breastfeeding every day, everywhere.  In showing their support they are also sponsoring a chat on The Leaky [email protected]@b Facebook page on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 8pm Central for an hour about breastfeeding 365 and what’s in your parenting toolkit.  We will be giving away 4 Beco Soleils with accessory packs as part of the chat.  RSVP for the chat using the chat below and participate on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 for a chance to win a carrier to help you breastfeed and babywear every day, everywhere. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Better than bling

This post is recycled from my old family blog, edited and updated a bit to share here.
(Squiggle Bug babywearing her giraffe lovey when she was 2 years old) 

I wear my baby. And my toddler. I’m a babywearing mama. No matter my outfit, they match. The perfect accessory, they go with blue jeans, silk skirts, maxi-dresses, t-shirts and vintage jackets. Better than bling, they boldly proclaim my status to the world: I AM A MOM!

(Smunchie- 4 weeks in the Mei Tais and Squiggle Bug- 2 years in the Beco, on me, iPhone pic by The Storyteller)

Because people couldn’t already tell I’m a mom. Ok, so I don’t babywear to look cool or make sure my status as MOM is known. I’m pretty sure that could be made clear with the constant spit-up decoration on my shoulder, the massive diaper bag and the fact that I have 5 small people and 1 teen running around regularly calling me “Mommy!” apparently just so they can declare who I am to the entire world. Not because they actually have anything to say. Make that 4 small people, Sugarbaby isn’t talking yet. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when she does, children have an amazing ability to increase volume exponentially.

 

(Lolie wears her new baby in a kid tai by Sweet Slings)

 No, I wear my babies for other reasons than making a fashion statement. Though babywearing does kind of save me from having to worry about fashion, nobody can tell what I’m wearing when there is a super sweet jelly kid on my back or front. In fact, people almost don’t notice me, just the tiny people that seemed to sprout extra long legs and a head. I put my babies in slings, wraps, Mei Tais, and soft structured carriers for far greater reasons than fashion. I didn’t have a kid (or 6) so I could look cool, even though I do.

I wear them for convenience. I mean, gosh, I need my arms, I can’t stand around holding a kid all day. Sheesh.

 

(Multi-tasking, building an art piece while wearing and nursing a 6 week old Smunchie)
Sugarbaby as a newborn breastfeeding in the Moby Wrap

 Alright, that’s actually true but that isn’t the only reason any more. It started out that way, to be sure. I have times when I wrap a little one on me so I can actually get the dishes done, vacuum the carpet (mom, stop laughing, I do vacuum… sometimes), or have a phone conversation but I keep my babies tied to my body with strips of fabric so I can be close to them and they can be close to me. There was a time when I bought the idea that we needed to make our little people as independent as possible from the get-go but over time and over the course of my parenting experiences, I don’t feel that way any more. I actually think it is a good thing if my baby is attached to me and I am attached to them.

babywearing, baby carrier, woven wrap, girasol

Sugarbaby at 5 months in a Girasol light rainbow wrap while we shop the Farmer's Market.

However, I don’t call myself an Attachment Parent-er. Or whatever. I don’t like labels. I have a a label phobia. I’m label-phobic. Oh crap, now I’m labeled again! Gah. Anyway, there are principles of Attachment Parenting I love, The Piano Man and I do a lot of them instinctively but still don’t consider ourselves AP. It probably really does just go back to the label thing. We choose to wear our babies because though we started doing it for convenience reasons we noticed a few things about babywearing. For starters, we just like having them close, it feels good to them and to us. The stroller started to seem like a pain in the rear compared to the sling. Our babies were way happier on us than anywhere else. The easiest way to sooth an upset baby that didn’t need to nurse was to wrap her close to us. On cold days it was so cozy and we could know she was ok. We felt like we didn’t miss anything, smiles, talking, observing, all of it was right there. When we started thinking about it, it just seemed more pleasant for our baby to be up close to us being able to see what was going on around them clearly. I noticed that I talk to my babies more, interact with them more when they are on me and yes, talk to, not at. And the big one was just the contact, it seemed like an easier transition to go from the womb, to being snuggled up in a wrap, to hanging out on mommy or daddy’s back, and then exploring the world, knowing they can come back when they need to.

babywearing, baby carrier, woven wrap, girasol, ring sling

The Piano Man with Sugarbaby in a Girasol conversion ring sling

So we are big time babywearers now, it kind of just happened. Babywearing makes many aspects of my parenting life easier including breastfeeding, chasing after toddlers, and even my career.  I get a lot of work done with a small person on me supported by one of our trusty carriers.  All while feeling confident that it’s good for them and for me.  I love PaxBaby.com for what they carry and Jillian’s one-on-one support, their Facebook page is also a wealth of information whether you’re brand new to babywearing or an experienced wrapper. Be sure to also check out Babywearing International and babywearer.com.  My top 2 picks for getting started babywearing with a little one is a ring sling (please no plastic rings) and a Moby Wrap (another great source of support and information is the Moby Facebook page).  For older babies and toddlers, I suggest starting with a ring sling or a soft structure carrier such as Beco, Ergo, or Boba.  Woven wraps are my personal favorite for frequent carrying though they take some practice to get comfortably skilled at wrapping.  I highly recommend talking with Jillian at PaxBaby to help you figure out which carrier would be right for you.

There has been some concern about babywearing safety, this post isn’t about that but check out some of these hyperlinks. We don’t use the types of carriers that were recalled, we prefer wraps, ring slings, soft structure carriers, woven and stretchy wraps, and Mai Teis and make sure we babywear safely. If you are a babywearing mama or daddy, check out my friend Shanna’s blog for ideas on how to respond to the inevitable “you know those things kills babies, right?” concern you’ll get now. I’m not in a hurry for my babies to grow up and not need me any more, most parents aren’t. Ok, sometimes I am but those come from a place of feeling overwhelmed and tired. But most of the time, I’m trying to savor the moments because I know they go by all too quickly. What better way to do that than to have my baby on me for as long as we can?

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