Well, a lot has happened since my last post! On Wednesday January 9th, exactly a month prior to my due date, my waters broke in the middle of the night giving us a massive shock! As I was only 35 and a half weeks along, I was admitted to hospital and put on an IV antibiotic drip, and told to wait to see if I went into labour naturally. B was sent home for some rest, and I unsuccessfully tried to do the same in the loud, bright hospital where I was being checked on every few hours. B came back early the next morning and we spent the day waiting and trying to entertain ourselves in the tiny shared hospital room, not knowing what was going to happen.
And then at around 4pm that afternoon, I started getting mild contractions. One of the things I was most concerned about in getting pregnant was giving birth. Even though it’s a relatively short period of time compared with the total time of being a mother, it was something I was really nervous about. I won’t go into all the details, but – as I’m sure many others would attest to – it is both an intense, traumatic and amazing experience like nothing else. As I went into labour early, we hadn’t yet written our birth plan with our midwife, and in hindsight I think this was a good thing, as I didn’t really have any expectations, and didn’t feel as though I was going against anything I had originally planned or expected. Instead, in the moment I had to put all of my trust in the hospital staff – particularly my midwife who was brilliant, B who was so supportive and who I could not have done this without, and in myself.
One thing that really prepared me for labour and helped put my mind at ease was the realisation while I was pregnant of how amazing our bodies are, and their ability to know exactly what they need to do to grow and deliver a baby (obviously there are exceptions to this, but I was incredibly fortunate to have a straight-forward pregnancy which gave me so much confidence in my ability to then birth my baby when the time came).
So at just over four weeks early, our little girl Lou made her entrance to the world.
The weeks since have been a wonderful blur of newborn snuggles, sore boobs, and getting to know our beautiful daughter. I waver between getting excited when she does something new or puts on weight (yay for a healthy bub!) to getting upset that she is growing up and won’t be our perfect little newborn for ever.
There is so much emphasis on pregnancy on the birth, that there often isn’t much thought about what happens after. But one thing I knew I wanted to was breastfeed my baby, and after hearing a lot of stories about issues with supply, fussy babies, sore boobs, cracked nipples, incorrect latching and so on it was something that I was quite nervous about.
Breastfeeding is not easy. Nor is it something that just happens (or at least, not easily). While I was able to breastfeed Lou from the start – which I think was made easier by the fact that we had an extended hospital stay due to Lou’s early arrival, and thus I had nurses, midwives and lactation consultants on hand – we did have a few challenges, and I can completely understand how stressful it can be for new mothers, and why some women can’t or decide not to breastfeed.
A few weeks in though and things are going much better, and one thing that I believe has helped is eating foods which are thought to support the production of breast milk, such as oats, flaxseed, almonds, green leafy vegetables and brewers yeast. While there are conflicting thoughts as to whether or not certain foods do actually impact on milk production, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in supply the days I eat these foods as opposed to the days I don’t. And they were especially useful in the early days when I was breastfeeding Lou and then expressing every time to give her a top up to get her birth weight up.
Even if you’re not breastfeeding, these cookies are delicious and can be enjoyed by anyone, not just breastfeeding mamas! But if you are in the latter camp, these are a great healthy snack for when those breastfeeding hunger pains hit!
These cookies are an adaptation of Nikki’s Health Cookie recipe from 101 Cookbooks, which are delicious in their own right, but I’ve tweaked them a little. They are packed with healthy fats and foods that are great for breastfeeding – oats, flaxseeds, nut butter (I use almond) and brewers yeast – but they are delicious cookies regardless, just omit the brewers yeast if you are not breastfeeding.
The texture is quite a soft cookie, almost a little cake-y, rather than that of a traditional choc chip cookie. But they make a deliciously wholesome snack if you want something that doesn’t compromise on taste while providing a healthier alternative.
– MAKE IT YOUR OWN –
- Try using another grain like rolled barley or spelt
- Stir through some chopped nuts with the chocolate for some extra texture
- Use dried fruit instead of chocolate – try sultanas, dried apricots or apple
- Add some spices, such as cinnamon or a touch of nutmeg
- Swap the brewers yeast for raw cacao powder to make a double chocolate version of these
- Instead of shaping these into cookies, press the mixture into a tine before mixing in the chocolate, and then melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top of the baked slice
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp nut butter (eg peanut, almond)
- 1 heaped Tbsp honey
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup flaxseed or linseed
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1-2 Tbsp brewer's yeast (optional)
- 60g dark and/or milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180C (165C fan forced).
- Add bananas, coconut oil, nut butter and honey to a large bowl and mix well.
- Add coconut and flaxseed to a blender and process until finely ground. Add the oats, and pulse a few times to break the oats up a bit.
- Add the dry ingredients, including the baking powder and brewer's yeast if using, to the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Stir through the chocolate.
- Use a teaspoon to scoop up some of the mixture, roll into a ball and flatten slightly with your palm. Note that depending on the size of your bananas, your cookie mix might be quite wet - if it is place in the fridge for half an hour before shaping.
- Place cookies on a lined baking tray and bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.