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Oats + Milk Supply/breastfeeding.

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  • Oats + Milk Supply/breastfeeding.


    Well I'm back on the primal blueprint plan after a few months off (naughty me but it was hard with a newborn and a husband that just bought and cooked whatever he felt like).

    I have quite a delicate milk supply, I nurse on demand but sometimes I don't quite have as much as she needs, so I have to break into a little pumped stock I have in the fridge that I pump while she is napping. I had a really hard time starting with breastfeeding, it definitely didnt come naturally for us! She has a weak and disorganized suck that didnt resolve until she was 12 weeks old and I had to supplement. It is quite frustrating, but I can deal with it and now finally I can exclusively supply her breast milk. The issue is that I can keep my supply up if I eat a good size bowl of oatmeal twice a day (I buy organic steel thick cut oats, and eat with heavy cream and a small amount of real maple syrup drizzled - like a half teaspoon).
    I know that oats arent really a primal type of thing to eat, and I'm wondering if this is going to be a really bad thing if I am now upping my fat intake and basically following every meal as primal - no bread, pasta or anything. Basically I'm eating on meat and veggies, heavy cream and butter, and two cups of oats a day.

    Any nursing mamas or experienced mamas out there that know of any other food type galactagogues that work as well as oats? I tried brewer's yeast but it made her and I very gassy Fenugreek same issue. Oats are really the only thing I've had success with and I don't want really want to jeopardize my supply.

  • #2
    Can you ferment the oats?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by gojirama View Post
      Can you ferment the oats?
      Ya know I never thought of fermenting them. Will soaking be ok? Like if I soak enough overnight for two bowls worth? Do I have to change out the water or? Sorry I used to never eat the stuff, and now I'm all new to this fermenting and soaking of grains.
      Great point though, thank you so much!
      I'll try dig around on the internet see what I can find.


      • #4
        Make sure you are drinking enough. I had a big cup of water before/during/after breastfeeding.
        Had no idea I was so weak till I started walking in October. Could barely make it around the block!
        Now can walk on the beach for hours.


        • #5
          I'm a certified breastfeeding educator (ie similar coursework as an IBCLC, far fewer practicum hours and fewer hardcore exams) and a postpartum doula, and I also suffered from low milk supply.

          Blessed Thistle is a very good galactagogue and I've never known it to cause gas. It's best in tincture form - usually two droppersful (not drops, the whole dropper, full) three or four times a day is good. Take it in juice or black coffee or something, it tastes vile. It works best in tandem with fenugreek, but it's effective on its own.

          How old is your baby now? You might find fenugreek to be ok now. Often they grow out of things like that as their guts mature. You could try a little fenugreek and work up to a therapeutic dose.

          Oatmeal is good for milk supply though, no question. Soak it overnight (add 1/4 cup rye flakes, they have more phytase, oats have relatively little) in whey if you remember, but don't stress if you don't. If you don't react badly to oatmeal then I don't think eating it medicinally is bad. Screw it if it's not "fully primal". Call it your 20% and high-five your precious little baby for an awesome milk supply!

          Oh and yes, hydration is important - but so is relaxation. I'm gonna guess that late afternoon is when it seems you don't have enough milk, too... that's the most common pattern, and to some extent it's illusory because it's the normal "fussy" time for babies. Your supply does dip a little at that point, but that's largely due to the pattern our daily lives follow - we tend to try to "get stuff done" before dinner. If you can make some adjustments and adopt a more tropical time-management pattern, you will probably find that your late-afternoon supply is better. That is, take a later lunch, and have a long siesta afterwards. Have someone else cook dinner or go for the crock-pot, don't plan to eat until 7 or so, and spend the afternoon from about 2 to 6 lunching, napping, and watching tv with your feet up and baby firmly attached to the boob. You will feel more rested, you can do stuff in the evening (because baby will probably be happier then, or better yet, asleep) and your supply will improve.


          • #6
            Have you tried More Milk Plus?
            Breastfeeding | Motherlove Herbal Company

            Also Mother's Milk:
            Mothers Milk

            And goat's rue, fennel, flaxseed oil?

            When I was pregnant with my Grace, my milk came in in March & she was born in July. By then, I had almost all but dried up (can ya tell my body was confused?), and by October 1, I was supplementing her. I tried everything, but felt like it was too late.

            Look for an eats on feet group near you-- a group of lactating women who donate their supply to help others in need.
            --Trish (Bork)
            FOOD PORN BLOG!


            • #7
              I too am suffering with a low supply due to being underweight and completely stressed out. I take More Milk Plus by Motherlove Herbal Company
              and *try* to avoid caffeine. I also drink a lot of fluid throughout the day. Have you tried pumping to increase supply?

              I have been on quite a few times looking for ways to increase my supply and I have never heard of the oats thing. I do eat rice, potatoes, quinoa, fruit, sprouted buckwheat and amaranth flour to keep my carbs high so I am not fully primal right now. I would try oatmeal if it really does work but I want to be sure as I know oats are not the best thing for blood sugar. As for soaking I would just make sure you do it overnight and if you can add some whey or kefir to the soaking water than that is even better. I think I might try the oats....thanks for this post.
              Jaime, wife to Phaedrus and primal mama to A (4) and X (1).


              • #8
                ty ladies!
                she actually didnt gain weight for 2 weeks when I was EBF Also I do a feed and weigh every now and again with my IBCLC to keep an eye on it and shes getting 1-2oz from both breasts now plus 1-2 oz of bm in a bottle afterwards. when before we did a weigh and she only took 18cc from both.
                I'm totally fine with oats. Actually I'm totally fine with any wheat and glutens and such if you dont count the weight i compound eating them :P. I just enjoy the side effects of the primal diet - lots of energy and a nicely defined waist!
                I always try to remember to drink plenty of water but sometimes I forget- i used to be terrible with it but i definitely notice an increase when I keep hydrated. mum pointed that out to me when she stayed to help for 2 weeks, that i only drank maybe 3 mouthfuls of water all day. she constantly handed me 16oz of water and told me to finish it all day long
                Ive done a few "nurse-ins" with skin to skin contact and lying in bed all day with her, its hard because nothing will get done and it kinda drives me nuts! i will have no clean clothes and piles of dirty dishes. all i have here is my husband, my whole family are in australia and my husbands family - dont get me started. he doesnt even talk to them.
                I tried the mothers milk tea but not much of a difference. I did make some lactation cookies and those were really amazing and worked wonders i saw great increases but totally not primal lol! Maybe ill try the fenugreek again, she was about 7 weeks old when I tried it and she did a nursing strike because she could taste and smell the maple syrup smell from it. I have a big ol' container of it still. I hope it she wont do it again.
                The eats of feet looks great, but id rather not take breastmilk that other mothers might need much more, like mums with babies that are sick and really need it.
                Ah the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
                Last edited by earthspirit; 06-24-2011, 04:53 PM.


                • #9
                  have you gotten her cranial sacral therapy and/or gotten her tongue clipped?
                  and ignore the messy house, it's not going to be that way forever.
                  also are you actively trying to lose weight? you need a caloric surplus right now.
                  good luck!!


                  • #10
                    Mama, just wanted to send out some (((HUGS))) and high-fives! for doing whatever you need to do to get your babe that good milk! It took my son and I three months to get him exclusively bfing (instead of using supplemental donor milk and formula--I had severe milk supply issues). I KNOW how hard this can be mentally and emotionally. I did a combo of herbs, supplements (alfalfa is one I don't think I've seen on the above lists...) along w/ a drug called domperidome to increase supply. I found the yahoo group pumpmoms very very helpful in gaining knowledge on all this stuff. Sounds like you are in a great place and have found what works for you--I'd just keep it up and think about dumping the oats once babe is starting other solids, or when you feel really comfortable with your supply.

                    Good for you for working so hard for this!! It will be worth it!!! (My son nursed until he turned 4--those first very tough 3 months seem like a distant memory now... )
                    My Before/After Pics
                    Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                    "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                    • #11
                      i havent done the cranial sacral therapy, her tongue was fine no tongue tie. she was just really disorganized. she couldnt suck and breath at the same time so she always popped off or couldnt get her latch right. bleed and cracked nipples for 10 weeks straight - ouch. but she got her act together and now does very well. i gotta make up for the lost time.
                      i was trying to lose weight a bit - i feel all flabby i know i just had a baby but its totally embarrassing me to go to the lake to swim especially because i was pretty fit with nice abs before the baby. something to get used to i hear that when you are breastfeeding you hold on to those last 10 or so lbs until u wean then they melt off. i also have a vacation cruise around the hawaiian islands at the end of november. i figured i could get back into better shape and not lose out on the calories if i went with the primal blueprint style of eating since dairy and grains like to make a spare tire on my midsection.

                      thank you for the encouragement fairyrae and all you other wonderful ladies!!! I hope to breastfeed at least through the first year, and into the second. after that we'll see how our journey goes.
                      Last edited by earthspirit; 06-24-2011, 06:20 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by earthspirit View Post
                        ty ladies!
                        she actually didnt gain weight for 2 weeks when I was EBF Also I do a feed and weigh every now and again with my IBCLC to keep an eye on it and shes getting 1-2oz from both breasts now plus 1-2 oz of bm in a bottle afterwards.
                        IME, the very BEST bottle for improving sucking skills is the haberman feeder, or special needs feeder, by medela. I swear that's what got my son (who for approx. a month completely refused the breast) back on it, and hugley improved his suck. I was able to find mine at a local walgreen's. I'd recommend it to ANY nursing mom, esp. those with a babe who has a weak suck...

                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                        • #13
                          so i am a tandem nursing mama and when i am feeling like i am not making enough milk here is what i do: in the morning before i eat anything i drink a dark beer like guiness. it's fermented and it makes milk! for me the drinking it first thing in the morning seems to help because it has quick access to my system. and not only do you make milk, you feel pretty good to
                          Home birthing legal mama. Unschooler. Jewish Intactivist (step away from the foreskin!). Full-term breastfeeder. Kettlebell padawan.


                          • #14
                            Two things I'm reasonably sure are primal and can help: Brewer's yeast and flax seeds. I had a lactation cookie recipe pre-primal that was delicious, definitely worked, and contained brewers yeast, flax seed meal, and oats, among other things. I had milk oversupply issues at first, and if I ate these cookies I got seriously engorged, so they really did work!


                            • #15
                              I can't remember where I read this, but adequate protein is important for a good supply. Can you eat a steak every night. I'd say, steak and a root veggie with lots of fat every night. This is just my personal experience, and I know we are all different, but with my first, I ate too many grains (even during a gluten free trial) and my supply was zilch. He was failure to thrive. Second baby, no grains but plenty of protein and root veggies and a fantastic supply. Even more protein with baby #3, and now I think I could sufficiently feed a small village in Africa. Move over Salma Hayak.

                              Try more meat, fat and roots and less grains and see what happens.

                              Good luck! You have one lucky baby.