Weaning my LO off breast milk

Weaning my LO off breast milk

My baby girl is almost 11 months old, my milk supply is dwindiling and I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on what milk to give her next.  For my own personal reasons, I’ve never wanted to give her formula so I am extremely thankful and grateful that I’ve been able to produce my own milk for her this long.

I’ve read time and time again about all the different milks.  Oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, goats milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, flax milk, etc.  The biggest thing for me is that I don’t want to make my own milk.  I want to be able to buy something clean for me to just give her, but not create it from scratch.

I’ve been cows-milk-free for nearly 9 years.  I still eat cheese from time to time (usually just feta and goat) but not really.  I myself drink coconut milk and almond milk and I make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar, I make sure it doesn’t say “natural flavors” on the ingredients list (yuck to beaver secretions) and definitley, definitley make sure it’s carrageenan-free.

My mom used to make me my own almond milk (and bone broth) throughout my entire pregnancy.  She would blend measured overnight-soaked almonds, water, sea salt, vanilla extract and dates.  It was the most delicious almond milk I ever tasted but I know you aren’t supposed to be giving babies almond milk prior to 12 months (and it spoils extremely fast.)

Recently, I gave my daughter some coconut milk (in her chia seed pudding) and she loved it. Right away, she loved it.  So I had to compare my favorite brands which are Trader Joe’s, Vita Coco and Califia Farms.

These are the ingredients from Vita Coco:  Coconut Water from Concentrate (Water, Coconut Water Concentrate), Water, Coconut Cream. Contains less than 2% of natural flavor and Stabilizers (Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum). Fortified Vitamins and Minerals: Tricalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin A, Zinc Sulphate

These are the ingredients from Califia Farms:  Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut Cream), Coconut Water, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum

These are the ingrediends from Trader Joes: Organic Coconut Base (Water, Organic Coconut Cream), Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Guar Gum,  Xanthan Gum, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D2, L-Selenomethionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.

At first glance it may look like Califia Farms is the winner, but it has 2 types of gums without telling you how much, they add salt to their milk and it has Potassium Citrate which isn’t great for you at all.

Trader Joe’s brand has one ingredient I can’t even pronounce, it has guar gum and xanthan gum and folic acid?

Vita coco is the one I went with. It explains it has less than 2% of the gel/gum and everything else is pretty healthy for us.

I’m leaning towards coconut milk because she loves it already! I am not looking at this to be a source of calcium, protein, or Vitamin D, for her… more of just a treat because she’ll still be missing a creamy milk.  So far, I’ve been mixing one date per 12 oz of Vita Coco coconut milk and she’s been guzzling down 1 bottle every day for about 4 days now.

She still drinks about 24oz of breast milk, 9oz of water and other foods daily. She has a super clean, super nutritious diet consisting of sweet potatoes, pineapple, beets, blueberries, A LOT of brocolli, leeks, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, mango, peaches, A LOT of spinach, pears, peas, apples, oats, rice cakes, dates, blackberries, strawberries, A LOT of avocados, prunes, zucchini, and chickpeas.

With that said, I’m not really worried about her lacking any nutrients. I just want to transition her easily from breast milk to another milk (as a treat) and plenty of water (which I’ve successfully done.)

How did you wean your baby?  What age were they?  What milk did you change to?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Increasing breast milk supply with two products you probably already have at home

Increasing breast milk supply with two products you probably already have at home

I recently started taking pilates and I take my 6 month old daughter with me.  One day she got so fussy and I had to stay a bit after my workout session to feed her at my instructors house before I got back into my car.  My instructor asked me if I only use breastmilk or if I use formula too.  I told her I strictly use breast milk and she told me that she had to supplement with formula for all three of her daughters while she was still in the hospital!  Now, I’ve heard about mothers supplementing with formula more often than not, but never that early.  And I’m not passing judgement, but it got me thinking…

I need to start writing a blog to share my experiences with other people about information I wish I could have found online — just information that I find to be super helpful.

This blog, as my title says, will be a little bit about everything.  Not just a mommy blog, but also tips on health, fitness, the best deals and where to get them, recipes, pregnancy tips, first time mom tips, etc.  Any information that I feel could help someone out there.

So back to my very first topic on my very first blog:  Increasing your breast milk supply naturally.

Cumin with milk right before bed.  The original recipe is (overnight soaked) cumin seeds with the raw cumin spice mixed into warm milk before bed… but I found without the cumin seed and without warming the milk works just fine.  Also, I don’t drink milk so any milk should do, I typically use almond or oat milk. 
**I still remember telling my mom what I was drinking and she pretty much gagged.  She knows how much I dislike the spice cumin… out of all spices it’s one of my least favorite – but anything for my LO.**

I was willing to try anything when my milk supply was getting low.. eating cloves of garlic, drinking red raspberry and mothers milk tea, nursing often, staying on a regular pumping/nursing schedule, drinking plenty of fluids, eating fennel, fenugreek, using a lactation massager, eating everything under the sun that research claims will increase your supply — and nothing worked.  I was getting tired of reading the same suggestions, the same advice over and over again on blog after article after study.

My pilates instructor informed me that at the hospital they tried to put her on medication and pills to increase her supply but she had no luck. 
Well my dear reader, when I drank the cumin spice mixed with almond milk, I woke up engorged.. I really could not believe it.  But nothing like the second day which I compare to the day I delivered. My milk supply was so high, my breasts were back to that porn star size you have when you first give birth and since then (2 months later) my milk production has kept constant. 

Whenever I feel it might be getting low, or I can’t pump or nurse when I feel my milk coming in, I just take back a couple swigs of cumin almond milk before bed and sleep at peace knowing I’ll wake up with plenty of milk for my little one.  I’m currently pumping 4-5 oz of milk per breast 6 months postpartum.

If you’re having a hard time keeping your supply up, give this a try.  I know everyone is different and it may not work for every person.. but either way I’d love to hear about your experience!