Thanksgiving with an infant is a totally new experience. Before the baby, all you thought about on turkey day was what you were going to eat and the weirdly personal questions your Great-Aunt Ethel would ask you. Now, there are all kinds of other concerns: when your infant will need to be changed or fed, the baby being in total meltdown mode during dinner, how you can protect them from the germs your nieces and nephews will definitely bring, etc. To simplify at least one potential problem, here's a Thanksgiving dessert that will help increase your milk supply, because baby should get to feast, too.
Constantly having an ample milk supply is a challenge many breastfeeding moms know, and if you're struggling, it can kind of be all you can think about. I mean, it's how your baby gets nutrients, so coming up empty can make new moms feel anxious or even like they're failing (which you are definitely not) — these added stressors, you are told, make the problem worse. For many, galactagogues, defined by Breastfeeding Support as foods, herbs, or drugs that increase milk supply, can help, and there are some common foods that fall into this category. Almonds, fennel, and oats are all known galactagogues, as well as a myriad of others. These lactation helpers are surprisingly easy to add into your diet in your day to day, as are other habits that can help with milk flow. You shouldn't have to be worrying about your milk supply on top of everything else at Thanksgiving dinner, so adding a lactation-friendly dish to your holiday can make your night a little easier.
There are tons of dessert recipes that can help with lactation out there, but I like this Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars recipe, created by Jaclyn at Cooking Classy, for this holiday season. It's a delicious and festive addition to Thanksgiving, with all the flavors of fall in the mix, like pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Plus the adorable decorative pumpkin (if you choose to partake) makes it extra cute.
The secret ingredient that will help you in this recipe is oats. Oats are another well-known galactagogue, and they work by increasing the milk-making hormones in your pituitary glands, Belly Belly explained. Jaclyn uses oats for the crust of these yummy treats, so it's the perfect dessert for any mom looking for a subtle way to increase milk supply.
Bonus, pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple, and these goodies are basically an upgraded version of the classic treat. They've got the pumpkin flavor people expect, but it's different enough that it won't taste boring. You can serve the bars chilled or warm depending on how you like them, she advises, and they go great with whipped cream. They can also be cut in advance for easier serving to make dessert time way less complicated, so I can't think of many reasons why you wouldn't want to make them. These babies are as tasty as they are helpful, and no one will even realize why you're eating so many of them. Wins all around.
There will probably be a bunch of reasons you're stressed on Thanksgiving, but hopefully your milk supply isn't one of them.