Looking for the best lactation cookies recipe for breastfeeding moms? These lactation cookies are full of whole ingredients that can aid in breastmilk production, and they’re soy and dairy free!
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 lactation 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
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 Mother’s Milk 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.
In addition to eating lactation cookies, I would eat of steel cut oats, black and blueberry baked oatmeal, Vegetarian Pita Sandwiches stuffed with hummus, and drink homemade almond milk and a daily dairy free green protein smoothie with some ground flax meal added in.
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 cookies 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.
LACTATION COOKIES-WHOLE GRAINS:
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.
LACTATION COOKIES-FLAX SEEDS:
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.
LACTATION COOKIES-BREWER’S YEAST:
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 cheesy 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.
I’ve done quite a bit of research but haven’t found scientific proof of that. Still, I love the flavor and have chosen to use it in place of white sugar in all our baking and cooking.
LACTATION COOKIES-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. The same thing happened with my daughter Larkin. 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.
BUY LACTATION COOKIES 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. If you buy ANYTHING on Amazon from one of these links, we get a little commission without it costing you any extra. Thanks for supporting our family business!
Now that you know about all the ingredients, making lactation cookies 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 lactation cookies do contain gluten, but I am working on a gluten free lactation cookies 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.
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The Best Lactation Cookies Recipe
These lactation cookies contain several galactagogue foods believed to help increase breastmilk supply for breastfeeding moms. Plus they taste REALLY good!
- 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.
Serving Size:36 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Saturated Fat: 4.81gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 53.33mgCarbohydrates: 28.18gFiber: 8gSugar: 11.11gProtein: 3.52g
20 thoughts on “Lactation Cookies Recipe and How Do Lactation Cookies Work?”
Never heard of lactation cookies, but these sounds pretty interesting! Cookies to help with lactation – cool!
It’s amazing what food can do! Thanks for stopping by Mandie.
Could Coconut sugar be substituted for the sucanat?
I haven’t tried it Becky, but I would think you should be able to. I read that coconut sugar can be subbed 1:1 for white sugar, which is the same for sucanat, so it should work. If you like coconut, you should also try adding a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut. I love the addition and it makes a denser cookie as well.
I was so excited to see this recipe. I followed it exactly as printed and…. these cookies were so bitter I couldn’t eat them without big gulps of milk. All of my ingredients were fresh and organic. I made no substitutions (although I did add sweet dried cherries to complement my dark chocolate chips).
Oh Monica, I’m so sorry! I know from experience how frustrating it is to feel like you wasted time and money on a recipe that didn’t work. Here’s a few thoughts to troubleshoot with you. What kind of dark chocolate chips did you use? These aren’t sweet like regular cookies (they’re a LOT healthier!), but my dark chocolate chips are still semi-sweet, so you get bites of sweetness in with the oaty, nutty flavor of the cookie. If you can do dairy at all, I’d suggest trying regular semisweet chocolate chips in the recipe, and no cherries, to see what you think. You can also add a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut. It changes the texture to be a little more of a cakey cookie, and gives some more natural sweetness without adding more sugar.
I’m so sorry they were bitter for you. I hadn’t heard that from anyone else who has tried the recipe. The only other thought I have is that sometimes fresh organic flours can go rancid (I keep mine in the freezer to prevent that), but it sounds like yours were fresh so that shouldn’t be the issue. Please let me know if you have any more questions and I’ll try to help!
Hi, just wondering if you could use blackstrap molasses instead of sucanet? Would it make it too runny? Have that on hand….
Hi Liz, that would definitely change the texture and make it runny. You could try using molasses and then increasing the flour until you get a consistency that seems right. I don’t know how it would turn out but I would love to hear back from you!
Is it really 74 carbs per cookie?!
Whew! Good catch Bianca! Oats and whole wheat flour are very high in complex carbs, but not that high. My nutritional calculator had an error for the carb count for sucanat. It’s actually 28 carbs per cookie, and those are whole grain complex carbs that won’t cause a blood sugar spike and crash. Thanks for catching that for me!
Do you have to use flaxseed, I feel like my little ones belly gets upset. Unless it’s because I’m not producing much milk.
You don’t have to Heather, though it is one of the galactogogues that can help with milk production. Has your baby had wet diapers? That is the best way to tell if they’re getting milk. I’m actually dealing with this right now as my supply dropped a bunch while we all had the stomach flu. Thought my baby’s tummy was still upset but when she had a dry diaper all day realized what was happening. Baking a batch of these now to help get it back up!
my dough came out really really dense the cookies never spread. any thoughts?
I also think they could benefit from some salt.
These turned out great! I omitted the flax seeds because baby girl’s tummy can’t handle those and I used coconut oil instead of butter as I am dairy free. The only issue I had was that the batter was very dry. I had to mold each cookie by hand to get it to stick together enough to bake properly. That being said, they actually baked up great! I also didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour so I used white whole wheat flour instead…maybe that contributed to the dryness/lack of sticking together? Anyway, still a great recipe! Thanks for sharing.
You’re so welcome Abigail! Yes the flour difference could definitely have made it dryer, as well as the coconut oil being more firm than softened butter. Did you use the cup measurements or weight? I included weights because the soft white wheat flour I grind is very fluffy and light, so two cups of store bought flour will likely be more dense than 2 cups of the whole wheat pastry flour. But I’m so glad they baked up well. And congrats on your baby girl!
I used the cup measurements instead of weight. Maybe I’ll try weight next time. Thanks again! Like another reviewer said, my husband couldn’t keep his hands off of these either!
I made a batch of these last week as my supply dropped after having the flu. I am mommy to 9 week old twins and went back to work this week, after eating these all week last week (like 5-6 a day!) I am now back up to pumping enough to feed the kiddos all day and have a little stash in the freezer! I am going to make another batch tonight because the hubby couldn’t keep his paws off them and ate the rest of the bag. Highly recommend to nursing mamas!
I got in trouble for that too!
Oh Katie that makes me SO happy to hear! Well done momma, I know it must be heard work breastfeeding twins. And yes, husbands have a hard time resisting these cookies!