My Little Duke

Breastfeeding

'Boobbix' Lactation Cookies Review

Breastfeeding, MotherhoodSteph DukeComment

I am particularly excited to share this review with you on International Women’s Day! It is so important that as women, we encourage and empower other women who we are connected to. So when Katie, the founder of ‘Boobbix’ contacted me about her brilliant breastfeeding cookies, I was excited to be able to support her!

The lovely Katie bakes ‘lactation cookies’ for breastfeeding mums. Her cookies are a tasty way of helping to maintain or increase milk supply for nursing mums and are also safe for the whole family to enjoy! The idea behind Boobbix came when Katie’s daughter was 10 months old. This is her story…

“Boobbix was born from my worries about not having enough milk for my 10 month old daughter. Since she was 2 days old my breasts had been huge and I had leaked just being near her, so I never had any worries about supply. But with her sleeping for longer periods and eating solid foods, I started to notice my cup size decreasing and her fussing more when feeding. I also noticed that any time I got stressed she fussed even more.  So I set out to find natural ways of boosting my supply to make sure that we both got the most of out breastfeeding whilst we could.

I found out about lactation cookies online and tried to buy them but found that they were really only available in the U.S. Importing them was expensive, so I tried my hand at baking them myself. I have loved baking for years and so being able to bake something that I knew would benefit me and my daughter was great. I saw results really quickly which made me wonder why they weren't better known or available in the UK. None of my family had heard of them, and neither had any of the mums I spoke to and so I saw an opportunity to combine two of my loves in a way that would hopefully benefit others.

Together with my brother who comes from a Michelin Starred catering background, we have developed recipes that can not only increase your milk supply, but that are good for you too, as well as being tasty for you and your family!  Most of our ingredients are organic and our recipes are developed to ensure that they include nutrient packed ingredients such as cranberries, coconut oil, raisins, almonds and peanut butter.  We also only use unrefined sugars and flours! 

I want to be able to help other mums feel more confident about their milk supply, and Boobbix is a tasty, healthy and convenient way of doing this. The lactation cookies provide breastfeeding mothers, and babies, with plenty of nutrients and energy, and yet unlike some healthy food and lactation recipes they taste delicious.” - KATIE

How wonderful to have Michelin Star talent in the family!? And I can totally empathize with Katie too. When Phoebe was about 9 months old, I was going back to work full-time. She was weaning well onto solids and her want for my milk was gradually decreasing. I became convinced that I didn’t have enough milk and began to search through blogs I had previously read that mentioned ‘lactation cookies.’ Katie found that they were more of an American thing and I too, really struggled to try and source the ingredients here in Northern Ireland to make a batch myself. In the end, I just gave up. It wasn’t long after that, that my breastfeeding journey with Phoebe sadly ended. Looking back, I wish I had fought harder to keep going with breastfeeding. I was immensely proud that I’d managed 9 months, but the stress of returning to full-time work, worry over a decreasing supply and my little miss thinking it was fun to bite me (!) was all too much. If I had been able to get my hands on some Boobbix cookies at the time, I would have devoured the lot!! I just know they would have given me more confidence and the nutrition needed to keep going…

So, you want to know more about Boobbix Lactation Cookies?

Katie has carefully developed a range of flavours for her yummy cookies:

Chocolate Chip & Oat

Cranberry & Almond

Date & Ginger

Oatmeal & Raisin

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

I taste-tested both the Cranberry and Peanut Butter ones and if I’m totally honest, I wasn’t too keen on the Cranberry, but boy, I LOVED the Peanut Butter! Although (unfortunately) I wasn’t feeding Phoebe when trying these cookies, they were a delicious and healthy snack for a busy mum! I so looked forward to getting a moment of quiet to sit and enjoy my Boobbix cookie with a cuppa, after a long day at work. In fact, it became my regular treat for a while – until they ran out!

Katie’s cookies really are super scrummy! They are good and thick, chunky cookies and are packed full of goodness. They actually taste like they are good for you! It helps with the not feeling guilty for eating a GIANT COOKIE!! Hooray!! Plus, the Peanut Butter ones are just the right amount of chocolate-y-ness and peanut-y-ness! For more nutritional info see below:

  • Although our products are intended to boost milk supply, they are also completely safe to be eaten by anyone else, including as happens in my family, a hungry husband or grandmother!  They also make brilliant gifts for mothers-to-be and new mums, especially from one experienced mother to another!
  • Oats contain plenty of fibre, vitamins, whole grains, antioxidants, iron and vitamins and are used worldwide as traditional remedies for boosting breast milk production.  They provide a slow release of energy and are also dense in calories, which is important for breastfeeding mothers whose daily calorie intake is recommended to be between 2500 – 2700. 
  • Flaxseed is extremely beneficial for both mother and baby as it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital in brain development for babies.  As babies take omega-3 from their mothers through breastfeeding, the mother’s levels tend to reduce and so topping up on this is great for both of you. It also contains a healthy amount of fibre.    
  • The third ingredient is Brewer’s Yeast, which is known for stimulating and increasing milk supply, and used because of the high levels of iron, amino acids, protein and B-vitamins. It is also extremely good for breastfeeding mothers as it fights fatigue and is believed to have positive effects on mood, including the baby-blues.

As I wasn’t feeding my daughter at the time of taste-testing for Katie, I did send some cookies to another local mum to try. Unfortunately she didn’t see an increase in her own milk supply but suggested that perhaps it was because she only had one cookie per day. If you want use these cookies to increase your supply, Katie recommends at least one cookie each day to give you a boost. Personally, if I have another baby and am fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed again, I’ll definitely be buying Boobbix Cookies! For now, I’m recommending all breastfeeding mamas to give them a go! Even if they don’t increase your supply – you’ll get to enjoy a scrumptious, ‘healthy’ cookie, guilt free! You can buy Katie’s lovely cookies from her website www.boobbix.co.uk. They come individually wrapped (handy for popping in your changing bag) and in boxes of 10 for £10.50.

How exciting to be able to support a UK mum in her Boobbix Breastfeeding Quest!

My Breastfeeding Journey

Steph DukeComment
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My daughter Phoebe is 19 weeks old today and is exclusively breastfed. This is a statement I never thought I'd make, let alone be proud of making it! 

If I'm honest, I was completely open to either breastfeeding or formula feeding my baby during my pregnancy. However, as I neared my due date, I began to feel a strong motherly urge to try and nurture my little one in the most natural way. To me, and many other mums, this is breastfeeding. So I made the conscious decision to 'try' and breastfeed Phoebe as long as she and I were both happy and healthy. I never put a targeted time frame on this decision because I was beginning this journey with no expectations and little knowledge about breastfeeding. I am one of the first in my family and friend group to have a baby, so have had little to compare myself to - and I like it like that! I found this was especially beneficial to me as I embarked on my breastfeeding journey.

Nothing really prepares you for just how hard breastfeeding can be. There is so much emphasis on how 'natural' it is, and although this may be true, it definitely doesn't inform mothers of what struggles they may face. I chose not to read too much information on breastfeeding as I wanted to just take each day as it came and 'see how we got on.' I decided that if it got to the stage were I was too distressed or Phoebe wasn't gaining enough weight; we would stop. Thankfully, this was never the case. Though, it certainly was close at times!

In those precious first few days, Phoebe was more interested in sleeping, rather than feeding! So often she would fall asleep at the breast and I just knew she wasn't getting enough food. She was a hefty girl (9lbs,11) when she emerged via c-section, (a whole other blog post!) so I knew she would want plenty of milk. I will never forget that 'dreaded' day 5 (postpartum). Phoebe was crying for food, yet would not settle at the breast, so I tried to express. I had one little bottle and no pump, so I stood over the sink in the bathroom, hand expressing into this bottle as quickly as I could. It was midnight. After each 20 minutes, when my back could take it no longer, I would rush into my husband who would feed Phoebe, then I would frantically rush back to the bathroom and pump like crazy again. For almost two hours I pumped, for almost two hours I bent over that sink feeling like a cow being milked! By the way, all that bending and pumping was not good for a very sore c-section wound!! Yet, we made it ... we made it to day 6 and things began to get easier and feel more natural. 

Don't get me wrong, from that day on, things have not been smooth sailing with regard to breastfeeding. Yet, I am so thankful that we are continuing in our breastfeeding journey today, despite the ups and downs. Yes, there have been tears. My right breast at times has been excruciatingly painful while Phoebe has been feeding. So much so, that for 2 weeks I had to express milk and feed Phoebe from a bottle and the other breast solely. I remember tentatively trying to get Phoebe to latch on again after those 2 weeks and tensing up, toes curling, ready to wince at the pain ... and nothing! I remember my utter delight at another breastfeeding hurdle jumped! Another challenge conquered! 

It is most definitely not easy choosing to breastfeed. Feeding on demand is not convenient and it usually means being late somewhere or not going at all sometimes. You have got to stick at it, even when you feel like giving up, and push on and through because once you get to the other side ... breastfeeding your baby can be totally beautiful. The closeness and bond between mama and baby is like nothing I can describe. I feel wholly connected to Phoebe and enjoy nursing more than I ever imagined I could. It forces me to stop and take time. Time I otherwise wouldn't take for myself and my daughter. Time to rest and reflect on all that it means to be a mother. Time to wish that this time would go more slowly. I already feel the very real fear of when that time comes to wean my girl off the breast. The end of my maternity leave is looming ever closer and I worry about my ability to express enough milk and whether it would just be easier to have Phoebe on the bottle by then. That very thought makes my heart sad. Yet when all is said and done I hold my head high and be proud that we have come this far. At present, Phoebe loves to nurse, and so do I. For now, we will enjoy the moment. 

In our boutique, we stock a selection of stylish necklaces handmade by Rachel at Chewable Charm. Primarily they are teething necklaces; you gorgeous mamas wear them and your sweet littles can safely chew away to soothe their wee gums. But I have found that they are also great for nursing mums too! They serve as a super distraction from hair pulling and baby checking out the surroundings while nursing. They are a fab tactile and visual stimulus. Phoebe loves twiddling away on mine while happily nursing! We do have limited stock of these necklaces so if they take your fancy, order one today! I absolutely adore mine ... they are totally practical and right on trend for all you fashion conscious mamas out there! 

Love

Steph xo