Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nursing Mother News Flash

Perhaps its my own blind spot, since as a midwife my care of women concluded at 6 weeks. My knowledge of the terrain after that time is limited to my own experiences and those of my friends- I do not have the benefit of many women's stories experiences after 6 weeks, in the same way I do before. It's a weird thing- seeing a woman every week for so long, then not seeing them much after 6 weeks...Of course our birth center had groups and classes that regularly gathered, but still.

It seems I forgot a really, really important thing about being a nursing mother.

You are really, really, really hungry.

Maybe that sounds dumb, that that is a news flash. But I just realized I have been kind of spacey, kind of grumpy, kinda of ineffective for a few weeks. I do not think it's hormones, it's hunger. I just virtually kicked my four year old out of the way while on a rampage to get to the blender to make a smoothie. I NEED PROTEIN. Do not get in my way!

Meanwhile, I noticed I was losing lots of hair in the shower (a mysterious and commonly reported occurrence around three months postpartum, the main thing I did get calls about postpartum as a matter of fact. Now, I am sure it is lack of protein). My nails are thin, my hair is falling out, and I am starving. And I have not been that into chicken or any meat, and have been paying a lot less attention to my protein intake than when pregnant.

Well, the baby took the whole pregnancy to reach 8 pounds. She now weighs 15 1/2 pounds, having almost doubled her weight in the last three months. I am still building her body, but with my milk alone. No wonder I am starving. Moo.

My insta- smoothie I just whipped up was a variation of a smoothie recommended in Robin Lim's "After The Baby's Birth" book.

A scoop of egg white protein powder, A handful of almonds blended in a coffee grinder with a date, to a paste, a cup plus of Milk, a half cup or so of Coconut Milk, and a big pinch of cardamom. I figure that smoothie has about 40-50 grams of protein. I made two.

Robin's book also recommends keeping a pot of Chichiri on the stove- basically quionoa and lentils with Indian spices, so you have a quick good carb/ high protein snack on hand. I may have to start doing this. She has fairly recently published a cookbook for nursing moms. I am really thinking I may need to enlist Amazon-dot-UK to deliver it to my door, and remind me what it is I can prepare and eat while my four year old and baby seem to be commanding most of my attention.

So, new moms, don't forget to plan what to eat after the dust settles, life has moved on past the birthing time, but you are still growing a person with your very body.

Time for me to recommit to taking multi vitamins, calcium, omega-3's, and having good protein meals and snacks around. Off to make a pot of nursing tea, I guess.


Liquid Pen said...

Yes....I remember the grand old days of eating toast with lots of butter and honey and a glass of tall milk . Followed by a good ole' jay rob and bannana and peanut butter smoothie...oh, and some eggs with cheese you know a nice morning snack. Go on sister feed yourself well.

Erin said...

Sounds like a great book! I remember being more hungry at the beginning of nursing, but the extreme thirst at each nursing session was what got me!

Toolie said...

I remember feeling starved when I was pumping for the boy, but this time around--I can practically miss meals and not notice...weird. But I force the nutrition b/c, well....I like to eat, especially post gestional diabetes diet!