Breastfeeding is HARD work. Well, being the mom of a baby is hard period, whether you feed your baby breastmilk or formula. But as a mom who struggled with a lot of breastfeeding pain with my first child, and is currently tandem nursing a one month old and a two year old, I know the exhaustion that can come with breastfeeding and the importance of keeping up a good milk supply.
That’s why I love these cookies. They are full of ingredients that boost milk production, and they’re a delicious treat for hard working breastfeeding mamas.
What you’ll learn in this lactation cookies recipe:
- Galactagogues to help boost milk supply
- How to make lactation cookies
- Who can eat lactation cookies
What is a galactagogue?
A galactagogue is a substance that promotes lactation. According to Traditional Medicinal’s Mother’s Milk tea, the term galactagogue comes from the Greek word “galactos,” meaning “milk” and “agogue,” which means “bringer of.” Galactagogues can be artificially produced medications, but also occur naturally in herbs and foods. For moms with low milk supply, a lactation consultant can help you get a prescription galactagogue. This great article on Kelly Mom can help you determine if you actually have a low milk supply.
If you do discover you have low milk supply, give this tea a try, it has worked wonders for several of my friends:
I haven’t had supply issues, but I do like to use edible galactagogues to help give my supply a little boost for pumping some extra milk to store. They also helped me keep my supply up when my milk production started to slow down as Corban got older and I got pregnant.
There is currently no scientific evidence for foods as galactagogues, but there is PLENTY of anecdotal evidence. In fact, I once ate too many of these cookies and ended up getting horribly engorged!
Not all foods considered to be galactagogues will work for every mom, but they’re whole ingredients that are good for your body, and can provide important health benefits beyond milk production. In the photo above you see almonds, oats, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, and chickpeas, just a few great foods to eat while breastfeeding. You can read more about those ingredients in my breastfeeding foods post on SheKnows.
Now, let’s talk lactation cookies!
How to make lactation cookies:
I’ve seen a lot of lactation cookie recipes made with white flour and sugar. Unfortunately, those processed ingredients have no health benefits and can cause major energy crashes once the refined sugars wear off. You’re already tired enough with a nursing baby, you do NOT need a sugar crash, am I right?
So here are the healthy ingredients in these cookies, along with their benefits to breastfeeding moms.
Whole grains are super nutritious and are believed to support the hormones responsible for producing breastmilk. I use white whole wheat flour, which is great for baking, but the main ingredient in these cookies is rolled oats.
Oatmeal has been recommended around the world for increasing breastmilk supply. Some theories on why it may work are that it contains iron to help combat anemia (a serious milk supply killer), and that oat bran (contained in oats) lowers cholesterol. Several herbs that are proven to increase milk supply also lower cholesterol.
Regardless of how it works, oats are the most common food to increase milk supply for breastfeeding.
Flaxseed contains phytoestrogens, a plant-based compound that can mildly mimic estrogen. Phytoestrogens are believed to have potential in helping to protect against a variety of health disorders, so they’re good for you whether you’re breastfeeding or not. In addition to flaxseed’s potential lactogenic properties, they are great source of fiber, another important need for nursing mothers.
You can get the most nutritional benefit by buying whole flax seed and grinding it yourself. I use a blender or coffee grinder. But you can definitely save yourself some time by buying flax seed meal.
Brewer’s yeast is a super healthy nutritional supplement that contains B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, selenium, and a ton of other minerals. We should all be eating this stuff by the spoonful!
Brewer’s yeast has been used by nursing mothers to help increase energy, get rid of the baby blues, and make more breast milk. While brewer’s yeast is the most commonly recommended for increased milk supply, nutritional yeast can be substituted in a pinch.
The yeast does taste like cheese (mmm!), so you definitely don’t want to increase the amount in this recipe unless you like cheesey cookies!
This isn’t a galactagogue, but it is a new ingredient for some of you so I wanted to explain it. Sucanat is a trademarked name for dehydrated cane juice, from SUgar CAne NATural.
It’s not a processed food like brown sugar or sugar in raw, which have the molasses stripped out and then added back in minus all the beneficial nutrients. Sucanat keeps the molasses so contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A and B vitamins. It’s also believed to be processed more slowly by your body, which means it doesn’t cause a sugar crash.
Dairy free options:
I ended up having to give up dairy with my son because he couldn’t digest the dairy protein in my breast milk. This is different than lactose intolerance, so I could have butter and other dairy products that are very low in protein. If you or your nursling can’t do dairy, just substitute coconut oil for the butter, and use dairy free dark chocolate chips.
Ingredients on Amazon:
If you’re having trouble finding any of these locally, you can get them on Amazon. You can also buy all the ingredients through Azure Standard, which is where I get mine in bulk to save some money.
Now that you know about all the ingredients, making them is no more difficult than making any regular drop cookie. In fact, they’re so easy, our two year old Corban can make them!
Who can eat lactation cookies?
You would not believe how many of Eric’s guy friends have thought they the would start lactating if they ate lactation cookies. This is quite possibly something their wives told them in order to protect their cookie stash.
Don’t worry guys. You will not grow breasts and start producing milk from eating these cookies. They’re perfectly safe for men and children. You can see Corban enjoying a cookie after a nursing session in the video above. A whole new meaning to cookies and milk!
Keep in mind, these are still cookies, and mega high in carbohydrates, so don’t use their milk boosting benefits as an excuse to eat ten in one day. Umm, yes. I have done that. Not a good idea!
These cookies do contain gluten, but I am working on a gluten free lacatation cookie recipe so don’t despair.
I’ve had several friends share with me what a difference these lacatation cookies made in their milk supply, and I’d love to hear your story too! Please share your experience in the comments below, or shoot us an email.
- 3 cups rolled oats 320g
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 230g or soft white whole wheat flour
- 3 Tablespoons brewer’s or nutritional yeast 15g
- 1 teaspoon baking soda 5g
- 1 cup butter softened 226g (Can sub coconut oil for dairy free), 2 4 ounce sticks
- 1 cup ½ sucanat 250g dehydrated cane juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 5g
- 2 eggs 116g
- cup ¼ ground flax meal 30g
- 1 cup chocolate chips 215g Can use dairy free dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, yeast, and baking soda. Set them aside.
- Using a stand mixer, or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sucunat.
- Mix in the vanilla, eggs, and flax.
- Stir in the dry ingredients, about ½ cup at a time. You can use a stand mixer on low, or just stir them in by hand with a large spoon. This is a good job for daddy if your arms are tired from holding your little one.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and drop one and half inch balls onto it, about an inch apart. I do three rows of four.
- I also like to pat my cookies down a bit so they spread nicely.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just turning golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
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