Tag Archives: milk

On being done with nursing the second time

I’ve figured out that my milk supply is all dried up. Sprout is not a happy camper.

I had suspected as much the last week or so. I stopped feeling letdown and I have a strong one. Many times he would latch on, try for a few seconds and then get frustrated. Sometimes he didn’t even want to try. He definitely wasn’t getting full or satisfied.

My plan had been to get him through cold and flu season and then gradually wean him, more as he led than me, before the new baby arrived. I definitely wanted to get him through the current cold he and his sister are sharing.

I feel torn about introducing cow milk right now. It seems like good timing since he can’t get it from me. I have been so afraid of food allergies this go round. A few weeks ago I tried to give him some yogurt and he wasn’t a fan. I also made him a smoothie with some raw milk around the same time, the same smoothie I usually make with almond or hemp milk, and he didn’t like it either.

I stopped getting our raw milk from our CSA because dairy doesn’t seem to agree with me at all this pregnancy and Stephen doesn’t drink enough to justify the additional weekly expense. It just kept getting sour anyway.

Plus, cow dairy products increase mucus production in humans which he doesn’t need considering his nose is already a dripping faucet and he has a junky cough going on.

Then our most recent pediatrician wasn’t a fan at all of milk or dairy products, even the alternative ones. She said after weaning they were completely unnecessary and more of an American cultural diet than anything.

I mean he could definitely use the extra calories. Much like Bean did around this time he has basically dropped to the bottom of the growth chart. Though I don’t even know if I believe in or trust the growth charts anyway.

I wish there were an easy answer. Meanwhile poor little guy is frustrated and very upset about this sudden loss.

I am sure this all sounds very melodramatic to some of you and you are saying, “He was over a year, time to pack those girls up and move on,” but maybe that isn’t the case either. I think those of you that have stuck with me this long already know how these things go with me.

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My milk is fattier than a cow’s


Bean at 5 months


Sprout at 5 months

People comment and ask about the rolls and cheeks on these two all the time. Want to know where they come from? Check it:

On the left we have the raw, unhomogenized milk that comes from grass fed cows and on the right we have my milk. The cream lines are denoted with permanent marker lines on the bottles for extra clarity since the contrast in the photos isn’t super evident. I suppose for more scientific accuracy I should have put some of the cow milk in a¬†Madela¬†bottle.

Most pumped breastmilk I have seen from other moms (which I haven’t seen a huge amount) has a cream line much thinner than what you see in the above picture, we’re talking maybe half a centimeter at the most, usually much less than that.

So there you have it. That is why my kids have so many rolls, pudge and those puffy, soft, munchable cheeks.

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Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Ramblings

Milk

I just finished reading Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages and thought I’d share my review here in addition to those of you that are already connected to me on Goodreads because I know there are some of you that aren’t on Goodreads, but would be interested in my thoughts on this book especially in light of the recent food conversations we’ve been having all over blogland.

This book is a good read, but I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 because I was hoping it would cover the topic in more depth. The recipes take up a majority of this book, the history part does not which when you consider the subtitle, “The surprising story of milk through the ages,” I think you would be surprised too. However, even though the majority of the history/background lesson ends on page 72, she talks more in depth about the various dairy products individually like milk, buttermilk, butter, yogurt, etc in the recipe section. The recipe section is really awesome and I want to own this book now just for that (I borrowed it from the library). Even though she didn’t get into the history of milk as much as I wanted her to, I feel that I still learned quite a bit more than I have already researching the topic on the Internet.

Some of the things I learned:
-What she deems the Northwestern Cow Belt (Northern Germany, the Low Countries, northern France, British Isles, southern Scandinavia), is home to the only people that retain the ability to digest lactose into adulthood. However, this small region of fresh milk usage exported their ideas about drinking fresh rather than sour milk all over the world. Later on science figured out that wasn’t such a great idea and that most other people in the world can’t digest fresh milk.
-“Small though they look today, the East Coast operations begun during this era were on a scale that allowed tens of thousands of city dwellers to take up milk drinking as a relatively safe and affordable daily habit–perceived, however, as necessity, not habit. Medical opinion now unanimously held that drinkable unsoured milk was indispensable for children and healthful for everyone else. Doctors did notice that milk seemed to disagree with more people than any other food of equal importance.” (p. 34)
-We’ve bred our cows to be able to produce more milk, but it is lower quality as far as cream and nutrients are concerned. In 1865 a top cow produced 7 gallons of milk a day. In 1975 the record was set at 19 gallons a day. In 1997 that record was broken at 23 gallons a day.
-“The designation “whole,” though legally sanctioned, is misleading inasmuch as the milk has been separated by centrifuge and recombined to an arbitrary standard. In most states it means a mixture of nonfat milk and cream homogenized to a 3.25 percent milkfat content.” (p. 79)
-“Zero was easily attainable through centrifuging, but centrifuged skim milk lacked the flavor-saving smidging of cream that remained in the milk after hand skimming… For a long time the hardest sell remained skim milk, and for good reason: The usual commercial versions are a singularly thin, vapid travesty of decent hand-skimmed milk. But eventually processors hit on the strategem of using dried skim milk solids to add body and selling the result under names like “Skim Milk Plus.” (Despite any promotional malarkey on the label, the real difference between this and plain skim milk is not extra “creaminess” or “richness” but more lactose and casein.)” (p.47)
-“The ogranic dairying business is tremendously concentrated, with the great preponderance of milk coming from three or four very large producers owned by vast agribusiness conglomerates. The biggest facilities are in the Rocky Mountain and West Coast states, and milk regularly travels thousands of miles from there to reach retail shelves throughout the country. As with conventional milk, gigantic farm operations with several thousand cows now dominate the business. The largest farms depend on the same breeding-and-feeding methods as their conventional counterparts, including high-energy rations to increase volume; thrice-daily milking; and as much confinement with as much restriction of access to grazing as the managers can get away with. (The NOSB regulations mention “access to pasture” and to the outdoors generally, without spelling out how much or little.) Milk entering the pool at large organic dairies is separated and homogenized by the same arbitrary numbers games as conventional milk. The milk is also usually ultrapasteurized, the better to transport it across vast distances and permit weeks rather than days between time of milking and time of use. So far, the major organic-dairy producers have managed to cash in on the widespread popular view of pure, simple, pastoral, animal-friendly organic food without acknowledging how little their wares justify the image. In fact, milk is one of the fastest-growing segements of the organic market… But this is one gift horse that really should be looked in the mouth. Why should we support new-style versions of factory farming clad in the airs of moral superiority to factory farming?” (p.59)
-“If you could see and taste the milk of one cow’s, doe’s, ewe’s, or woman’s milking cycle, from the time she stops producing colostrum to the time when the young animal says farewell to nursing, it would be shot through with huge variations. Milk shifts in makeup not only throughout one lactation, but from the beginning to the end of one day. Indeed, the first and last mouthfuls that an infant swallows at a single nursing ordinarily differ in composition (the final dribs and drabs being the highest in fat). And this is to ignore the question of how one individual cow’s, doe’s, ewe’s, or woman’s milk differs from that of others in her species, herd or bridge club.” (p. 62)
-Through the “white magic” experiments she has you do to show the various phases of milk I found out that skim milk has the most lactose and least casein while cream and butter have the most casein and least lactose. I found this extremely interesting! My husband has always said that he thinks he is slightly lactose intolerant, but when one considers that he usually has trouble with cream and butter rather than lower fat percentage milks/yogurts it seems to point to a problem with casein and not lactose. And so I think I may now know where our daughter got her casein allergy issues.

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Almond Yogurt Apple Dippers

Remember in preschool when you would get peanut butter on apples? Well, I guess I must be doing something wrong because I can never get the nut butter to stick to the apples when I try to recreate this at home. Anyway yogurt, almond butter and honey happen to be some of my most favorite things right now and I combined them into this yummy treat that can be had as breakfast or a snack. Unlike a thick nut butter, the apple slices can scoop and dip into this easily. And unlike the apple dippers you see in fast food restaurants and grocery stores with carmel (pure sugar) as an attempted healthy alternative to things like chips or fries, these actually are healthy. *Bean loves it.

Ingredients
-1/2 cup homemade crockpot yogurt (I like to use 1/2 gallon raw milk + 1 quart raw cream + yogurt starter and then I strain about half of it using a seive lined with muslin then I mix it back with the unstrained half for optimum consistency)
-2 tbsp almond butter with sea salt
-1/2 tsp raw unfiltered wildflower honey
-1 tsp flax meal
-1 apple, sliced

Mix all ingredients together except apple. Use apples to dip in yogurt mixture.

*But Bean is allergic to dairy, right? Well, I’ve been doing some reading and researching about casein allergies. I’ve found a few places that talk about raw milk and yogurt helping to cure them. A few places also said that it made them worse. So we’re trying it out and watching carefully for any problems or reactions. I also read that there are different kinds of casein. Humans and certain breeds of cows (Frisians, Guernseys), sheep and goats produce milk that has type A2 casein and most other breeds of cows produce milk with either type A1 only or a mixture of A1 and A2. So, she may just be allergic to type A1 casein. I think it’s all very facinating. Facination is good, it keeps me from being frustrated with food allergies.

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Filed under Gourmet Lisa