justinefl

Breastfeeding, help with morning schedule!

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I'm just under 4 months postpartum, and am 15 days into my first W30 in a couple of years. It's been wonderful so far, because all of the PP joint pain I had been experiencing is gone. My sugar dragon is back under control (let's just say gluten free vegan cupcakes were taking an inappropriately central role in my diet!) and I am loving the food I am eating. I have a feeling I know what the suggestions might be for my struggle, but here's my problem:

I wake up in the morning with baby around 7. I'm usually hungry when I wake up, and certainly by the time I've finished BFing him, I am somewhere between hungry and panicked. By this time it's 8 or 8:30 (diaper change, clothes on, etc.) At this point, the dog is begging to go for a walk, so we get dog and baby ready to go, and go for a walk. I get back home maybe around 9:30 or 10, depending. This is part of my day that I relish, because it might be the only real exercise I get all day. By the time we get home, diaper needs to be changed, and then baby is either in a playing mood, or needs to go down for a nap. So by the time I get to even thinking about food for myself, it's probably around 11am, maybe even later. There are days where I don't get anything in me until 2pm.

Recently, I've been grabbing an RX bar (an epic bar, a leftover meatball, a couple of glugs of coconut milk from the can...) before going out on my walk, but I know this pattern isn't any good for my caloric intake and therefore my milk supply.

Does anyone have any tips on how I could get some real nutrition in me without actually having to spend time on a meal? Suggestions for W30 "meals on the go"? I know that's antithetical to the entire concept of the W30, but given that I'm hungry all the time AND busy all the time with baby/dog/finishing my PhD, I am trying to be a bit more efficient in all of this. Without resorting to aforementioned GF vegan cupcakes. ;-)

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Can you eat while you're breastfeeding?  What about making some egg muffins or fritatta that you can eat one handed while feeding?  Honestly, putting yourself last behind your baby and the dog is not going to be sustainable.  Maybe if you can't eat while breastfeeding, you could eat before putting clothes on the baby... jammies until mom is done eating isn't the end of the world.  When you're back from your walk and if the baby is in a playing mood, is this not something that can be participated in with one hand free to eat? 

Can you let the dog out in the backyard or something for a quick pee before you go for the walk so dog is not panicked?  Can your husband, older child, neighbor help with the dog?  If you don't prioritize eating in the morning, it won't become a priority and therefore will fall to the bottom of the list of 'things that need doing'.  I don't have kids or a dog but I know that being a breastfeeding mother, even one working on your PHD, is not a sentence to starve all day...

Can you husband help you batch cook or prep food? Your ability to properly nourish yourself (and therefore the baby) should 100% be his priority as much as it is yours.

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Ugh, I knew I was going to know the answer when I wrote this. :P Self care is crucial, I know. And yes - batch cooking is totally the goal. Egg muffins and frittatas are excellent ideas. (As a random question, do you have any tips for how to bake egg muffins without having a nightmare of a baked-on egg mess to clean up? Last time I made them, I used plenty of bacon lard to grease up the muffin tins, but still had about 30 minutes of scrubbing to do to get everything clean..) 

Delaying the dog walk is not impossible either. Sometimes it just feels like I have to get the day going, and so my own needs get pushed to the bottom of the list. Eating while BFing isn't impossible, but the problem is the prep time. I could totally sit and eat a bag of nuts while feeding the nugget, but that's problematic for many other reasons! So I don't. And then I don't end up eating. My standard W30 fare is usually a big plate of cooked and/or raw veggies with some sort of meat on the side and either avocado, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, or some other fat somehow integrated into it, so it's not the easiest food to eat over a baby's head. Egg muffins would be totally perfect (IF I can figure out how to make them without creating so much clean-up work for myself!) 

Thanks so much for your quick response!

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I’ve honestly never had a problem with egg baking on to the pan or muffin tin when making egg muffins or frittata.  For the egg muffins, you could try lining the muffin cups with procuitto or compliant bacon or a muffin tin liner… You could try putting some oil into the egg mixture before it goes into the pan too… never a harm to have a bit of extra fat anyway when you’re breastfeeding.  If the egg mess is too much to try and figure out, what about meatballs dipped in guacamole or mayo and some raw veggies dipped in same? Or cold chicken thighs cut up into chunks… I get that some stuff would be weird and potentially messy eating over a baby’s head but if you can get something chunky like roughly chopped chicken and roasted veggies, those are pretty easy to stab with a fork and go direct from plate to mouth without much spillage.
It’s definitely harder I’m sure to try and work yourself and your needs into the day when baby and even dog are more demanding but you’re the one keeping all of you alive so you should probably put your own name at the top of the list or everyone else eventually is going to suffer too.
 

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1 hour ago, justinefl said:

(As a random question, do you have any tips for how to bake egg muffins without having a nightmare of a baked-on egg mess to clean up? Last time I made them, I used plenty of bacon lard to grease up the muffin tins, but still had about 30 minutes of scrubbing to do to get everything clean..) 

I have never managed to make egg muffins that don't stick, even with silicon cupcake cups greased with lots of ghee or oil. 

However, I can bake a big egg casserole in a 10x13 glass pan, it comes out way easier, and I can pick up slices of it and eat it with my hands -- I've eaten it in the car on the way to work before. I usually put a layer of shredded sweet potato in the greased pan with salt and pepper, put sausage if I have some and some broccoli or zucchini on top, pour over about 10 beaten eggs (sometimes I blend the eggs with a handful or two of spinach in the blender), bake it until it's done in the middle. It really does hold together, and it's even good cold if you don't have time to reheat. You can add different seasonings and different vegetables too.

 

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I agree with the muffin tin issue.  PIA!  Like @ShannonM816 we've been making our casseroles in glass casserole dishes for years with minimal sticking.  Pan fried sausage always goes on the bottom - I'm not sure if that helps or not :) 

I'm also a BF mom (of a toddler at this point) and I *still* have trouble with mornings getting away from me - its amazing!  Even just some HB eggs with mayo as a mini meal before the walk and then sit down when you can.  Or how about a batch of waldorf salad or something so you get some carbs in?  

And I'll make one plug for parenting tips :) Janet Lansbury.  She'll teach you that *your* needs matter too - not always the baby's or the dog's or your spouse's... you get to come first sometimes too!  I've eaten quite a few (quick) meals while saying "I hear you bud, you want X right now, I'm eating, I'll help you in a few minutes".  Sometimes I say it to the baby too ;)

 

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