Eating your way to increased milk supply? Sounds too good to be true!
Although there are no published research articles which look at this topic (there is not much money to be made through cookie making apparently) there are many anecdotal reports from women around the world who SWEAR by lactation cookies and are convinced that they help keep up their milk supply. Is it the brewer’s yeast? Oats? Or just the simple fact that you are eating a high carb and fat snack which leads to more energy and increased thirst where you drink more water? It’s important to remember though that if you notice an increase in supply from cookies then you already had a good supply…you just needed a bit of a boost. If you have true, chronic low supply then cookies will do NOTHING to increase it! It’s important to eat cookies while also getting help from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or volunteer breastfeeding counsellor.
The following is a step by step guide to making these cookies. Although they are for lactation, my three boys and husband loved them. They are currently not lactating because of it so clearly they do not INDUCE lactation! And yes, as fun and cheerful as these photos look do not be mistaken. Baking with children is ridiculously hard work and annoying. Admit it!! Within the half an hour of making these, one of my three boys cried, one said that the cookies (when in raw form before going into the oven) “looked disgusting and I’m not eating them”, Mini The Milk peed all over the floor when I was nearing the end of my cookie making and also cried on and off (because it was 4pm when every baby is cranky) and then I poked my middle boy by accident in the eyeball…fun times were had by all! Ha!
Before you make these I must stress the following.
YOU CAN EAT ONE HUNDRED OF THESE PER DAY BUT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BABY (or awesome pump) WHO IS EFFECTIVELY REMOVING THE MILK FROM YOUR BREAST OR YOU HAVE A PHYSIOLOGICAL REASON YOU CANNOT PRODUCE ENOUGH, YOU WILL NOT SEE AN INCREASE IN SUPPLY! Before you turn to any sort of herb, prescription or cookie first fix whatever issue is there! Is your baby not latching properly? Is there a structural issue with their jaw or mouth (palate, tongue etc.). Are you breastfeeding on demand and following the lead of your baby? (which is a great way to increase supply)! Are you limiting feeds or the length of time they are breastfeeding (this is a sure fire way to create supply problems)! FIRST get some help from an IBCLC or volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and THEN eat your cookies! Click here for my article on building your supply and relactating…
OK, now for the baking…
Step One: Strap your baby to you. The more direct contact you have with your baby the more likely they are to breastfeed and therefor the more likely your supply will increase! Yes I know this is not related to the cookies but it is very important!
Step Two: Set Oven to 180 (350)
Step Three: Get your ingredients out
1 cup coconut oil (extra virgin cold pressed) This is SOOOO good for you! A very healthy fat. Fat is extremely important to have in your diet. You can also use butter but find one that comes from GRASS FED COWS.
1cup of sugar (the original recipe I found said 1 1/2 but I cut it to 1 and you could even do 1/2 a cup) You can also use maple syrup or agave.
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (or linseed depending on where you live)
2 cups flour (I used wholemeal. Even better is a sprouted flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats (any kind but stay away from instant)
1 cup of nuts/chocolate chips/dried fruit…whatever you want to add! Get creative!
4 tablespoons of brewers yeast (no, you cannot use a different kind of yeast. It MUST be brewers yeast!)
(I looked at lactation cookie recipes from many different website and made changes here and there to my liking).
You can also add cinnamon and/or vanilla extract (the real kind, not imitation) for extra flavour.
Are you now asking, “Where can I get coconut oil (or grass fed butter), flaxseed, sprouted flour and brewers years from?” This is when you head to your local health food store. If you do not have one near you then just head to Google and you can have them shipped to you. Yes it MUST be brewer’s yeast and it MUST be flaxseed!
Step Three, I mean four! Wait, what am I doing right now? I get so distracted when in the kitchen! Children everywhere, husband talking to me…where am I?! What is happening?! Soak the linseed in water. Yes, you MUST do this to soften it.
Step Five: Cream oil and sugar (or maple syrup of agave, whatever you are using). Now just so you know, I NEVER do this step. I totally skipped it and threw in all the “wet” ingredients together. Why? Because I am too impatient and I have a baby strapped to me.
Step Six: Throw wet ingredients into a small bowl. So this includes the oil, sugar, eggs and the linseed/water mixture. Mix until you are sick of mixing. For me this is about ten seconds.
Step Seven: In a largish bowl sift (nope, I skipped this too but my husband insists that sifting is imperative!) the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt (oats, nuts or dried fruit and brewer’s yeast can be added after the sifting if you are a sifter).
Step Eight: Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until you are sick of mixing (again, for me this is about ten seconds). I am guessing Martha Stewart would say not over mix at this stage? Not sure but I always avoid over mixing in fear that something horrible will happen. Now this is important! I ended up having to add about 1/2 cup of yoghurt because I felt as though it was too dry…go by feel and how it looks. Add if you think necessary!
Step Nine: Spoon out chunks of the mixture onto a baking sheet. About two tablespoons or so? Size (as in all cases) does not matter here.
Step Ten: Put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on size…
Voila! Lactation cookies!
Now sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy your cookies while you breastfeed your little one. Or do what I did and give a cookie to your toddler or older child…Mini The Milk LOVED them!
Are you concerned about your milk supply? Contact me to schedule a breastfeeding consultation via Skype. I can help form a plan with you to increase your supply and reach your breastfeeding goals. All while you enjoy eating your lactation cookies in the comfort of your living room!