How Coconut Oil Enhances Breast Milk
Today while scrolling through Facebook I got that little pop up to "See My Memories" which (not gonna lie) sometimes makes my cringe because let's face it, 5-7 years ago I should not have had access to Facebook lol! The things we used to put as our statuses are ridiculous and I'm sure I'll think the same thing in another 5 years haha!
This memory though, this was a good one. It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I shared it. I clearly remember taking this picture and being in complete aww at the change in my breast milk.
My post read:
"I wanted to share something with you guys that I thought was pretty cool! I recently started adding more coconut oil to my diet (organic unrefined cold pressed)- eating about 2 Tbsp a day and after a few days I started noticing a difference in my breast milk! Five months into nursing and my milk resembled the early, extra rich colostrum.... a little thicker and richer in color. So I started researching and sure enough coconut oil is GREAT for pregnant and nursing mothers! 🙌
"Coconut oil is high in saturated fat (but not cholesterol since it is from a plant) containing about 50% lauric acid. Other components of coconut oil include capric acid, caprylic acid, tocopherols and tocotrienols. (Vitamin E lipids that act as potent anti-oxidants that can help maintain healthy cell structure and function). A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and other coconut products, have significantly increased levels of lauric acid and capric acid in their breast milk, creating milk rich in health promoting nutrients. Coconut oil is easy for an infant’s immature digestive system to absorb and utilize. It also provides energy in the form of medium chain fatty acids to help the baby grow and develop properly."
Here's the article I found with more info. How amazing the things our bodies can do! Just more proof how important it is to fuel our bodies with healthy foods!
Another benefit of coconut oil? It's extremely great for skin healing so I used it my entire year of pumping as a nipple cream. If you're breastfeeding it's also safe for babies to consume so no need to wipe it off before feeding. I tried lanolin and all sorts of different balms that were 10x the price and none of them worked as good as coconut oil did for healing dry cracked nipples or acting as lubrication for the pump flange. It also doubles as a diaper rash ointment...basically it can do everything ;)
Every breastfeeding or pumping mama knows that that early colostrum is like gold, so when my milk started getting richer from adding in those healthy fats it was a no brainer that I needed to share this! It was easy for me to notice this since I exclusively pumped, you may not notice if you strictly breastfeed since you're not exactly seeing that milk right in front of you. It's hard to believe in just 6 short months I will be back into this milky mama routine! It seems like just yesterday that I stopped pumping. A decision that was so incredibly hard for me, but necessary at the time because I felt it weighing me down and stripping me of my energy, which was already basically non existent lol
We had a rough start with breastfeeding....my son was never able to latch and I kept asking different doctors and lactation consultants if he was tongue tied and possibly unable to latch for that reason, they all told me "No, he's not tied" so me being a naive new mom I believed them even though I knew deep down in my gut that they were wrong. And they were. I went on thinking "This is just how it is" and I was stripped of the opportunity to ever breastfeed my son. I chose to exclusively pump for one year because that had always been my goal - one year of breast milk for him - and I did it but that doesn't mean I wasn't ready to pull my hair it by the end of that one year. Pumping is hard work. Pumping while working a full time job with a daily commute, plus working my Coaching business, was even harder. We do what we have to do to make things work and I wouldn't change a thing.
So come to find out months and months later when my son was around 14 months old, he was severely tied. It was still something that bothered me all those months later and we took him to a pediatric dentist only to be told yes, he most definitely has a posterior and anterior tongue tie along with a lip tie. There's no way he could've ever latched! So now we're just waiting for him to get a bit older so we can do the revision, something that should've been done in his first week of life and we could have had a normal breastfeeding relationship. I still get sad thinking about that "bond" that I missed out on with him. It's just not quite the same to be stuck to a loud uncomfortable machine feeling isolated from everything.
Now that baby #2 is on the way (Due this September!) I feel much more comfortable that we can make it work this time. I know what signs to look for and if this baby is also tongue tied we can address it immediately. It's so important for us parents to trust our instincts. We really do know what's best for our kids and if something doesn't feel right, speak up because doctors do not always know everything and most of the time they're trying to rush out of the room to get on to the next patient. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be your own advocate especially when it involves our children who can't speak up for themselves.
I'll be continuing to implement my Shakeology and lots of healthy fats as I start the next round of nursing. This time will be a bit different because we actually follow a low carb high fat diet which we didn't when I first had Ezra. It wasn't until months later (around the time I took this picture) that we started transitioning to that lifestyle. I'm curious to see just how rich my milk will be this time around :) Any other nursing/pumping mamas out there gonna give this a shot? Or maybe you already have? I'd love to hear your experience!