World Breastfeeding Week: gStories on Breastmilk
Breastfeeding is a very personal experience, and it varies so much between each mother and each baby. Here at gDiapers, we celebrate the uniqueness of each story, how we are all so very different, and yet we can all relate to each other in a universal way. Here are just a few stories to share in that celebration:
How Breastfeeding Affects Your Body, Emotionally
Learning to nurse can be a big challenge, for both mom and baby. gMum Nilam Nalamwar describes those first few weeks of breastfeeding, when everything is so new and your milk supply has yet to balance out. Not to mention how newborns tend to fall asleep in the middle of a meal! She says:
“I was dripping (literally) with milk all the time. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. But we stumbled our way through it, my husband sitting on the floor, keeping us company, while I sat in our rocking chair, holding and feeding our baby. He would tickle her feet and put a wet washcloth on her toes to keep her awake so she could eat. Babies are sleepy little buggers. It was hard. And I soaked my clothes and felt like I was going to pop because I was so full of milk. I was this awkward funny cow. But it was beautiful and I hope I never forget those little moments that were shared just between us. I gave her what I had when she was inside of me, and here was one last physical way that I could share what I had with her.”
Breastmilk Sharing For Dairy Free Diets
When gMum Leah’s son was born premature and received breastmilk donations in the hospital, she was inspired to pay it forward. She’s now pumped milk for two other babies besides her own. One was for a friend of hers, who was struggling to meet her breastfeeding goals. Another mom, whose son couldn’t have dairy, was having trouble finding dairy free breastmilk donors. She writes:
“A mom I met through a mom group needed dairy free milk for her daughter, so I began pumping to help her meet her goal of breastmilk to the one-year mark. I had to go dairy free for my son, so when she needed it too, I wanted to help her out. I did two or three months of pumping for her.”
How to Add Breastmilk to Baby Food
One great thing about breastmilk is that you can go beyond the breast and add it to your baby’s food when she’s ready for solids. When making your own baby food, you can add a small amount to anything you’d normally add liquid to. And it doesn’t have to be a big kitchen chore. gMum Carrie reminded us, along with her gBaby Hobbes and his big sis Hattie, that you can go simple:
“Initial trials of real food for Hobbes have gone quite well. Tried avocados tonight, and Hattie got a kick out of helping to make guacamole for us and eating the ‘same’ food as her brother (his had no other ingredients other than breastmilk for softening).”
Here’s a babyfood recipe we like that you can use breastmilk as your thinner:
Edamame, Apricot, & Yogurt Puree
- 1 cup frozen edamame
- 3 tablespoons whole milk yogurt, formula, or breast milk
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (yes, you may offer your older infant a dash of curry powder in her foods. You do need to watch for any reactions as some components of curry or even chili powder may give baby a rash)
- 2 tablespoons apricot puree*
- 1 tablespoon water
- Heat water over a steamer pot with the edamame and heat beans for 3-4 minutes.
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed.
- Cool and eat!
*To make puree, put a bag of dried apricots in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Puree in a food processor.
Feeding our babies, no matter how we do it, is full of challenges and beauty and love. And breastfeeding is such an emotional topic for many moms. By celebrating different breastfeeding stories, we can learn about each other and, in turn, understand (and support) each other more.