Motherhood has made a new chapter in my life. During my pregnancy I was both excited about the joys and terrified about the challenges of looking after MY OWN CHILD. Every time I look at her face, my heart is filled with contentment, love and wonder.
For the past three weeks she has taught me more about myself and life than I ever thought it possible. I have learnt how much more I need to look after myself, so I can be in the best of my ability to look after her. I have been paying even more attention to my nutrition now. Since I am breastfeeding, I have been hungrier than I was during my entire pregnancy. To be honest I do not remember being this hungry so frequently in my life before.
Breastfeeding increases demands for energy and nutrient intake. Livia was born 3 weeks and 2 days early and has been cluster feeding every few days. She has put on a whooping 300 grams this week. To keep breast milk supply up, I make good use of foods and herbs known as galactagogues. Galactagogues stimulate production of prolactin which is the hormone responsible for breastmilk production in nursing mothers. Foods such as flaxseeds, oatmeal, sesame and tahini, coconut and coconut milk, quinoa, brewer’s yeast are easy to incorporate into porridges, baking, dips, smoothies. Herbs like fennel and fenugreek seeds, nettle, ginger, turmeric can be enjoyed as teas and added to cooking.
I like to have a smoothie for lunch because it is easy to make and drink and easy to boost nutritional content by:
– adding a good quality protein powder or grass fed organic beef collagen;
– handful of nuts and seeds or nut butters as good sources of minerals, vitamins and monounsaturated fats.
– probiotic yoghurt to boost immunity and support a healthy gut flora for us and our little ones.
– prebiotic fibre such as psyllium husks and partially hydrolyzed guar gum as good sources of food to feed our gut flora.
Nourishing banana & avocado smoothie
- Half a banana
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1 cup long life coconut milk (or milk of preference)
- 80 g yogurt (I use Vaalia yoghurt as it contains LGG strain of probiotic. Leftovers can be frozen)
- 1/2 scoop of grass fed beef collagen or a good quality protein powder (or 1/4 cup soaked almonds)
- 1 tbsp flaxseeds or flaxmeal (optional - for extra milk boosting properties))
- 1 tsp tahini (or a tablespoon sesame seeds)
- 1/2 tsp psyllium husks (for extra fibre, but it is optional)
- A handful pumpkin seeds
- Blend all ingredients together for 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour in a glass and enjoy!