Before I start…I know “breastfeeding” is one of the most loaded words when it comes to parenting choices. Know this: I don’t do the mommy war thing. There is absolutely no agenda or judgement on anyone else’s parenting attached to my choice to breastfeed; I simply breastfeed my babies because it works for us. I also know that calling them “oatmeal lactation pancakes” makes it sound like this recipe is exclusively for breastfeeding mamas. Not so! Don’t let the lactation bit bother you. David and the kids eat these happily, and none of them have had issues with unwanted excess milk production. 😉
As of right now I’ve spent over three years of my life breastfeeding one baby or another. The girls each nursed for over a year, and I don’t see baby boy weaning for a while yet. However, things have been a little different this time around.
Once I figure out what I was doing, Mila was a nursing champ. She LOVED it. In fact, she called me “nah nah” for ages. That was her word for food. I was her food source. I actually breastfed her a few months into my pregnancy with Margot before finally weaning her completely. For the most part, it was easy and convenient and happy for both of us.
Margot was also a big fan of the boob. You want to know why I called her “fat baby?” It’s because she would literally eat until her stomach was so full that she threw up. And then she would eat more. She loved the snuggles, the comfort, the food. I had started cutting out feedings in preparation for weaning her when one day she quit cold turkey. I was a little shocked and hurt at being rejected so suddenly, but the timing was good so I didn’t fight it. As with Mila, it was mostly easy and convenient and happy for both of us.
Ryan? Ryan has been a different beast.
For one, he has a lip tie. It’s not really a big deal, but it did affect his latch for a while. He’d suck in a lot of air while eating, which gave him gas, which made him cranky. Fortunately he still got plenty of milk, though, and I was eventually able to correct it without too much trouble.
However, nursing is not as enjoyable for him as it was for the girls. Maybe it has to do with the latch issues, maybe it’s his personality, but for him, breastfeeding is strictly business. He eats what he needs and then he’s done. If he’s not hungry, he won’t nurse at all, even for comfort. He’ll snuggle me, sure, but if I offer a breast he either bites or blows raspberries.
It is not my favorite.
When we offered him baby oatmeal when he was a little over four months old, he was REALLY into it. The girls both took quite a while to warm up to solids and were happy to breastfeed exclusively as long as I let them. Homeboy, on the other hand, is a big fan of the big people foods.
And so I find myself worrying for the first time that my baby isn’t getting enough fluids. I don’t know if I’m making enough milk for him and I don’t know if I’m nursing him often enough and I don’t know if I should just wean him and let him drink formula or water or something else entirely. I’ve never done this! I don’t know how it works!
Ergo: oatmeal lactation pancakes.
Some days Ryan wants to nurse a lot and I feel like there’s nothing left in there. Other days he only wants to nurse before naps and eats three solid meals. Demand changes daily so my supply is all over the place…except when I eat plenty of foods that help with milk production. Then it seems steadier and he seems more satisfied after feedings. These oatmeal lactation pancakes are helping to keep our breastfeeding relationship alive.
The magic is (obviously) less about the product than the ingredients in it. Oats, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, coconut oil…all good stuff for the milk making. Most people put them in cookies, but pancakes work just as well, and I feel less guilty about eating half a dozen in one sitting. Plus they taste really good, so half a dozen at once is not out of the question.
Oatmeal Lactation Pancakes
adapted from Orangette
Note: If you are making these oatmeal lactation pancakes because you are breastfeeding (as opposed to just because you’re hungry and they’re yummy) and your baby is sensitive to dairy, you could substitute the butter for more coconut oil. I like having both, but that’s just me. Also: I use unrefined coconut oil, which gives the pancakes a very slight coconutty flavor. Refined is almost entirely tasteless, so use that if you’re not a big coconut fan. I get my flax seed and brewer’s yeast from Sprouts; I’m sure you could find it at Whole Foods or other fancy-ish grocery stores.
2 cups oats
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp brewer’s yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
At least 8 hours before you want to make your pancakes (first thing in the morning, if you’re having them for dinner, or before bed if you’re making them for breakfast):
Stir together oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
When you’re ready for pancakes:
Get oat mixture out of the fridge. In another medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Add eggs to oat mixture and stir until combined. Mix in butter and coconut oil. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Your batter will be VERY thick.
Heat a nonstick griddle or pan to medium-high. Spray with cooking spray. Leaving space for batter to spread, scoop scant 1/4 cups of batter onto hot surface. Cook until the edges look set; flip carefully with a spatula and cook until the second side is well browned. Serve hot with desired toppings. (My kids like butter and syrup best, but I also enjoy them with raspberry jam, biscoff, lemon curd, fresh fruit and whipped cream, peanut butter and bananas…your options are unlimited, really!)
Top photo of me + Ryan: Let Me See You Sparkle Photography.
Bottom photo of me + Ryan: Kylie Pond Photography.
Pancake shots are all mine…and I’m pretty sure I need a new camera because getting sharp images is a struggle and a half these days. Blerg.