Lactation Cookies


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Breast feeding your baby is a full time job. It requires you to nourish yourself and to make time to nourish your baby. This is not a time to skip meals or cut calories, but often mom’s have a hard time finding an opportunity to feed themselves well, and many of these moms may struggle with maintaining or building a milk supply. There are many foods which support the production of milk, and the inclusion or increasing of these foods (called galactogogues) in your diet has been shown to help.

Some of the most commonly recommended galactogogues are oatmeal, fennel, fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, anise, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and red raspberry leaf.

Lactation promoting herbal teas are available at most herbalists and commercially at health food stores. In the NH Seacoast you can buy loose leaf (the most economical way) mother’s milk tea at Misty Meadows Herb Farm in Lee and The Mustard Seed in Nottingham.

DSC_0009Lactation Cookies are a popular and delicious way to add several galactogogues to your diet and keep your energy and morale up as well. Still pregnant? Start preparing early; these cookies freeze well. If you break down and eat a few now we won’t tell.

This recipe includes key milk-producing agents brewer’s yeast (which increases and stimulates the production and flow of breast milk); as well as Oatmeal and chocolate – two common recommendations for better milk supply in many cultures.

With the recent popularity of flaxseed, please be sure you are not consuming more than the recommended amount while pregnant or breastfeeding. Flaxseed is a great addition to a healthy diet, but plant based estrogens like those found in flax seed may actually decrease milk supply if eaten in large amounts.

These cookies taste great and really work. I would eat 4 or more small ones a day (Or 2 big ones!!) to increase production, less to maintain… but do be careful – this is not the best way to get healthy calories in your body on a regular basis.

Be sure you tell the rest of the family that these are LACTATION cookies – although they will not make milk in non lactating women – or men or kids, the fear of milk induction will keep those other hands out of YOUR cookie jar!

Galactogogues can be a great help to moms who want to maintain or increase their milk supply, but believe it or not some moms are faced with over supply which can lead to engorgement, clogged ducts and milk that lets downs so quickly that baby has trouble feeding. If you are dealing with an over supply, look at your diet and consider reducing your intake in some of these foods – at least as long as it takes to get your supply and demand rhythm back.

Happy nursing!

Makes 2 dozen great big cookies

shapeimage_71 C butter

1 C white sugar

1 C brown sugar

2 Lg eggs

2 Tbsp flax seed (meal softened in 4 Tbsp warm water)

1 t vanilla

2 C flour – ( I use half white half whole wheat – you can use whatever you prefer)

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 t ground fenugreek (methi powder)

3 C Thick cut rolled oats (not quick oats)

1 C Chocolate chips

2 T Brewers Yeast  – (sometimes called nutritional yeast )

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs, moistened flax seed meal, and vanilla.

Beat until well blended.

Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips, and stir into to butter mixture.

shapeimage_8Stir in the oats and then the chocolate chips.

Drop on parchment paper on baking sheet. I like to use a cookie scoop to make uniform cookies, but I’m anal like that.

Bake 10 min for small cookies, 15 for large.