Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lactation Cookies: Increasing Milk Supply

By Danelle Frisbie © 2010

I am frequently asked to pass along lactation cookie recipes. My own momma has been baking these up since she was a nursing mother and RN, striving to help other new moms with their babies, 35 years ago -- so I've consumed my fair share over the decades. While there are many variations out there, they are all essentially the same and boast three main ingredients commonly believed (in North America) to impact milk supply: oatmeal, brewer's yeast, and flax.

Some home bakers will throw in fenugreek as well, and because this is known to increase milk supply (in both humans and cows!), but hard on the stomach, it isn't a bad idea to add it to foods you'll already be eating (you can open a couple capsules of fenugreek and toss them to the cookie batter). Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal herbs used for increasing milk supply, but to do so you will need to consume 1500mg of fenugreek, three times each day. (1) This is more than the recommended amount on the bottle, but the dosing printed on fenugreek labels is not intended to be for boosting milk supply. One study found that when enough fenugreek was consumed, milk supply doubled. (2) Note that while mother's milk teas (with fenugreek) may be a great supplement, and mood-enhancing to sip, you'd have to drink a lot of it to really see an impact. Capsules are a better way to go if you are planning to add fenugreek to your regimen.

So why are these three ingredients the core foundation in lactation cookies?

Oats (or oatmeal) are key in boosting milk supply because of the iron they contain that nursing moms are frequently in need of. Oats are also filling, dense with healthy calories - and nursing moms need calories! Oats are extremely nutritious and easy to work into the diet in a number of ways: cereals, granola, breads, casseroles, meatloaf, cookies - you can add oats to just about anything.Oats are also a great source of fiber. What does fiber have to do with milk supply? My 97 year old grandmother recently discussed the diets of her father's award winning, fatty-milk producing cows back in the 1920s. And guess what they did to increase milk supply? That's right -- boosted the fiber the cows had access to. Farmers have long known this trick, so I suppose milkin' moms can pick up on it too.

Brewer's yeast is an ingredient that has also long been touted to increase milk supply (although contested by some). Brewer's yeast is one of the best natural sources of B vitamins, which are essential to overall health of a nursing mom (and any woman). Even if milk supply were not impacted by brewer's yeast, the boost of energy (and increased sugar metabolism) that comes from brewer's yeast consumption is worth including it in lactation cookies (or other things you bake). Once again, looking back on decades past, women have long passed on the knowledge that sipping a deep, hearty beer (sister to brewer's yeast) has a positive effect on milk supply.

The oil from flax seed is considered by many to be a galactagogue (substance that improves lactation). It is also a great form of fiber. And, while it is again debated among those who believe in flax's galactagogue properties or not, one thing is certain: flax is power packed with omega-3 (essential fatty acids) that are absolutely crucial to a nursing mom's diet (as well as baby's diet, and all human health in general). Human milk is super charged with heavy amounts of omega-3 because the brain (rapidly growing in our babies) is dependent on these fatty acids. It is important that a mother not be deficient in omega-3 (something that many are) and risk her baby not getting enough for optimal health, development, and wellbeing. [Note: artificial forms of omega-3 in manufactured formulas do not respond in a baby's body in the same way that natural omega-3 from mother's milk does. Do not buy into the hype that formulas 'fortified with DHA' are good for your baby. Rather, these artificial baby formulas with DHA have been linked with diarrhea, dehydration, seizures.] That said, omega-3 from fish and flax for mom are wonderful! They not only improve milk quality (and possibly quantity) but also boost brain function, memory, joint lubrication, and help to regulate hormones and decrease postpartum depression. It is unlikely that you could get too much omega-3 today, so when it comes to flax (and low-mercury fish if you like) - eat up!

Before you jump on the lactation cookie making machine and fret about your milk supply, however, know that if you are exclusively breastfeeding (i.e. your baby is consuming nothing but your milk) around the clock (day and night), and your baby is gaining weight (no matter if s/he is in the 99th percentile for weight, or the 1st percentile compared to other babies) then you have a full milk supply suited perfectly for your little one. (3)

It is, of course, good to eat healthy, whole foods to ensure your baby is getting all s/he needs from your milk (and taking a prenatal vitamin while nursing is a good idea too), but studies have shown that even when mother's diet is not the best, her body will compensate (for the sake of her baby) by putting all nutrients into her milk. (4, 5) Therefore, your baby will not suffer as much as you will suffer from poor eating habits. Only in cases of severe malnourishment is milk quality impacted.

That being said, most nursing mothers need to consume a bare minimum of 1800 calories per day to maintain a full milk supply for their growing baby (some will need to eat more to not see a drop in milk), and consuming 2500-2700 calories per day is recommended by most. (6, 7) This is an energy need of 50-125% more than women had in their pre-pregnancy days. So no matter what you eat, do not forget to eat!

Below are two recipes. The first is a recipe for Major Milk Makin' galactagogue cookies ("lactation cookies") that share some similarities with the many generic cookie recipes commonly passed around and posted in a variety of recipe books. This one has just a touch more omega-3, protein, and iron than other "lactation cookies." It was created by Kathleen Major, PNP, RN, in conjunction with a local lactation specialist and LLL leader in the Cedar Valley (IA) hospitals in the early 1990s when Major was focusing her practice on pediatric health. She has granted permission for DrMomma.org to share her recipe. Please do not reproduce without crediting her and linking back to this page. The second recipe is my own, and while it is not as sweet (no sugar), it is all the more healthy and packed with beneficial ingredients. My cookies are slightly more like granola in cookie form -- you can be sure they are good for you, if this is your goal.

While no lactation cookie will miraculously boost your milk supply if there are other hormone related factors weighing on you, (for example, you are going to have to nurse and/or pump - increase demand - to increase supply, and be physically close to your baby - holding/wearing/rocking/sleeping, as much as possible), they certainly won't hurt -- may help a smidge -- and will ensure you are getting some good, wholesome (much needed!) calories packed with omega-3, nutrients, and goodness along the way.

If you enjoy baking and try out these recipes (or any other you find online or create yourself), please let me know your favorites. I'll admit I rarely stick straight to the recipe. I inherited my parents tendency to throw things into the batch (or leave things out if they aren't in my cupboard at the time). Some sesame seeds here, pumpkin seeds there...a bit of Fenugreek or a handful of sunflower seeds. I often substitute extra milled flax or applesauce for the butter, and toss in extra oats, or a scoop of almond butter if it looks like the batter can handle it. So if you are like me, and have additional special tips that make your homemade lactation cookie creations stand out among the milkin' moms - please, share!

A few notes on the recipes:

1) Flax seed is prepped many ways. The version most useful for baking is the milled flax seed that you will find in your local store. It typically comes in a bag or a box (depending on the brand you select). You may have to go to a health food, whole foods store, or large supermarket to find the brewer's yeast which typically comes in a can.

2) Whole oats should always be used - not 'quick' oats (the type that cook in a few minutes in the microwave). Be sure when you buy your oats ('oatmeal') that you are purchasing whole, natural oats.

3) I'd suggest purchasing eggs from a local farm or buying free range "happy chicken" eggs at your grocery store - especially with all the recalls on salmonella tainted eggs lately. And who wants to support the massive hen house operations? Not us. Be informed on where your food comes from, and teach your kids too.


Major Milk Makin' Cookies
Recipe by Kathleen Major
Detailed recipe with photos found here


1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c. oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. flax
3 T brewer's yeast
1/3 c. water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 c. (12oz) chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer's yeast, flax and water until creamy.
Mix in eggs.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.

Place balls of dough onto greased baking sheets or baking stones.
Press down each ball lightly with a fork.
Bake 12 minutes.



Momma's Milk Cookies
recipe by Danelle Frisbie

2 eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. flax
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. melted butter
2 c. Agave nectar
3/4 c. walnuts (crushed)
2 c. chocolate chips
3/4 c. raisins
4 T water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 T brewer's yeast
3 c. oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

I have found greased cookie sheets work best, but you can also use parchment lined sheets or a baking stone.

In a bowl mix flax and water until thoroughly mixed.
In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and brewer's yeast.
In another bowl mix together butter and ONE cup Agave nectar (the other cup will be used later). Stir well until the butter and nectar are completely mixed.
Add eggs to the nectar mix, stirring well after each one.
Add vanilla, stir.
Add the nectar blend to the flax and mix well. (A hand mixer or mixing bowl works best)
Pour the nectar/flax blend into the large bowl of flour and mix well.
Mix in walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins.
Mix in oats.
After everything is blended together well, add the applesauce and final 1 cup of Agave nectar and stir through well.

Scoop onto sheets, and press down each ball of dough lightly with a fork.
Bake 13-14 minutes.


Vegan options for both recipes:

In place of eggs - 3 tsp of egg replacer mixed with 4 T water OR 4 tsp of milled flax with 4 T water.

In place of butter - butter substitute like Earth Balance OR 3/4 the amount worth of Canola oil or Crisco (although Crisco is not a healthy option) OR 1/2 c. milled flax and 1/2 c. applesauce



Have the need for special lactation cookies, but no time to cook? You can order: 

(100% dairy free!)




Ordered cookies stay good for 6 months in the freezer (and taste good frozen too)! Several of these cookies have some added bonuses - pumpkin seeds, kelp, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, nettles, clover, peppermint, poppyseeds and Fenugreek. Making Mama's Milk & More Cookies are specially created by a mom herself, are organic and 100% dairy free. In addition, she recently started making a vegan lactation cookie for special order.

You can always add these extras into YOUR homemade lactation cookies (or muffins!) as well, but these are great shops for cookie purchasing if that's up your alley.


For more information on boosting milk supply, see:


The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk (book)

Breastfeeding Made Simple (book)

Nursing Mother, Working Mother (book)

Milk Supply in the First 6 Weeks by Paula Yount

Balancing Breastfeeding: When Moms Must Work by Danelle Frisbie, Ph.D, M.A. [includes suggestions that impact milk supply due to women's powerful hormones whether working away from baby or not]

Increasing the Milk Supply [pdf] by Dr. Carolyn Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC, FRACGP and Dr. Laureen Lawlor-Smith, BMBS, IBCLC

How Can I Increase My Milk Supply? by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Increasing Milk Supply
by Janet Talmadge, IBCLC

Increasing Your Milk Supply by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Increasing Low Milk Supply on KellyMom.com

Human Milk Donors and Donations Resource Page (for those who find they must supplement their own supply)

Additional information for nursing mothers (books, websites, articles) can be found on the Breastfeeding Resources page.


Notes:

1) Breastfeeding Made Simple, p.219

2) Swafford S, Berens P. Effect of fenugreek on breast milk volume. ABM News & Views. 6(3):21

Abo El-Nor S. Influence of fenugreek seeds as a galactagogue on milk yield. Egypt J Dairy Sci. 27:231-8.

3) Breastfeeding Made Simple, p.130

4) Lunn P, Prentice A, Austin S, Whitehead, R. Influence of maternal diet on plasma-prolactin levels during lactation. Lancet. 1(8169):623-5

5) Smith C. Effects of maternal undernutrition upon the newborn infant in Holland (1944-1945). Journal of Pediatrics. 30(3):229-43.

6) Strode M, Dewey K, Lonnerdal B. Effects of short-term caloric restriction on lactational performance of well-nourished women. Acta Paediatr Scand. 75(2):222-9.

7) Making More Milk, p.84


~~~~


Danelle Frisbie specialized in lactation science and human health and development during her graduate training. After teaching and conducting research at the collegiate level, she left academia to pursue another passion - mothering. She is currently completing credentials to serve others as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and helps run the non-profit organization, peaceful parenting, and DrMomma.org.

116 comments:

  1. I loved the book Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson. It was all about your health and milk supply. It included some recipes as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How timely! I was looking today for a recipe to make for a new mom. I think she's at risk of being discouraged in her breastfeeding venture, and I would like to give her a treat that's good for milk suppy, too.

    Thanks for posting these!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hubby made me the most amazing oatmeal cookies when I was pumping for a friend. That's when you know you married the right man. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just ate 2 of these! I made recipe #1 vegan style for the eggs and cut the butter in 1/2 while adding a 1/2 cup applesauce to compensate. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have never heard of such a thing! Could have really used this w/ my first one and will definitely keep it tagged in case I need it w/ #2 (due in Oct!) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I make these. They actually do help :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a hard time with getting started breastfeeding with #1 and 2! about two weeks before #3 I made a double batch froze most of them! and ate some they were so good my daughter loved them too! We called them the healthier cookies!! They worked wonders i had my husband bring me some in the hospital!! I would eat several cookies with mother milk tea several times a day!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have always made these cookies, even before I was pregnant and after I stopped nursing :) They are still so very good for you, especially if you do different variations with pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, dried cranberries, changing out half the white flour with wheat flour etc. Everyone should eat them all the time!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always make these for my family too, my husband looks at me funny when i call them lactation cookies, like hes going to start producing milk any minute lol

    ReplyDelete
  10. Damnit!! I just spent like 2 hours searching for the perfect cookie recipe and I just made a batch. I wish I would've seen this post about an hour ago lmao! Although....my husband will be eating them too....wouldn't want him to start lactating. He might never forgive me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd love to know which recipe people like more and where you can get Brewer's Yeast. I would like to make these for a friend and have recommended a recipe to some others - but those that I passed the recipe to weren't able to find the right kind of yeast, even at a place like Whole Foods. I haven't needed these for myself, but I wouldn't mind trying them anyway! :) Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got my brewer's yeast at GNC, most vitamin or health food shops will have it, although i would check online or call first to make sure.

      Delete
  12. I found Brewer's Yeast at Whole Foods to make them...it is in the supplements area. I had to ask and be shown :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those look so good I might just make some and pretend that they're to increase my supply :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The gluten and phytic acid in the oats will not let you absorb the minerals and vitamins out of the oats. You should always soak your grains for 24 hours in whey or water with AVC to break down the gluten and phytic acid.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Megan, I just soak mine in water and plain yogurt..that works too, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello I am a first time mother and I and very happy to be breastfeeding my son. I just wanted to know did you soak the oats before you cooked them for the cookies. You can email me at awandmo@yahoo.com I also was wondering what else can be used to boosted milk supply. Thank you for your time amber

      Delete
  16. I breastfed 2 kids for a total of 4.5 years and during that time, my body craved oatmeal. I'd eat bowls of it as well as oatmeal cookies several times a day and I always had a bountiful milk supply. I always recommend oats to breastfeeding mommas. These cookies sound fabulous :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. COOKIES!! *Laughing* I'm absolutely going to try these.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sara - yes that would work too. You just need some sort of acidic environment in your liquid to break down the gluten and phytic acid. I used homemade buttermilk to soak my whole wheat flour for waffles, YUM!! Also, when you soak your whole wheat flours they lend a white flour texture to whatever you are baking.

    The Nourishing Gourmet and The Healthy Home Economist are great websites/blogs.

    I love these cookies b/c I can't not physically eat a bowl of oatmeal, it makes me gag.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just made these last night. Excellent cookies! We're giving away 2/3 of the batch, otherwise those would be long gone in my kids' bellies.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for this! I always have trouble keeping my supply up and what better way to increase it. Cookies!

    ~Julie

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've got some of these cookies in the oven right now! I'm having a hard time staying out of the batter though. I put in several fenugreek capsules. Is it ok for kids to eat that? Mine are sniffing around the kitchen already!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Are you supposed to use ground or whole flaxseeds?

    I just made these for the first time, and they didn't turn out like I expected. They don't look like the picture at all!!! The batter was very, very thick and dry. My first guess is that I was supposed to use whole flaxseeds instead of the ground that I used.

    Can someone help me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used whole flax seeds. Are you sure you didn't forget a wet ingredient? 1/3 cup water?

      Delete
    2. *Milled flaxseed* is what is to be used for effectiveness in this recipe. Whole flaxseed does not break apart in human digestion, so you do not get the galactogogue properties. Flax must be *MILLED*. It is fine and is also able to be used as a substitute for butter. :)

      Delete
  23. This was WAY more appetizing than the placenta pills... will have to remember this for baby #2 someday.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Christina: Placenta pills help prevent postpartum depression too, so maybe a bit of both?

    ReplyDelete
  25. My son (20 months) has been getting upset recently because while he's nursing before going to bed, the milk runs out (or comes too slowly)! Thinking I might need to try these.

    ReplyDelete
  26. AnnaC - The flax should be *milled* flax seed (very fine, powder like, and mixes easily with water).

    There was a photo included in this article initially that was given to the author by a lactation consultant with a recipe she had at her office. She did not know where the recipe originated. Upon searching, we found it here:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/LACTATION-COOKIES-1252680

    We decided to remove this recipe because of the high sugar and white flour content, and very low flax and brewer's yeast content (quantities need to be higher than the Epicurious recipe for results).

    This is the reason the photo you saw looked more like your everyday chocolate chip cookie - white flour, lots of sugar, lots of butter, make them appear fluffy, chewy, and light colored.

    There are many recipes for "lactation cookies" out there. In fact, when we had the Epicurious recipe included, we received several emails from people stating that this was "their recipe" and asking us to link back to their site. We were also informed that it was the same recipe created by Noel Trujillo that can be found here: http://www.design.noelove.com/cook/?p=136

    Galactagogue cookies have been baked for many generations, and called several names along the way.

    But those that may actually make a difference in mother's milk supply have a hearty amount of galactagogue ingredients. To be healthy for mom (or kids) to eat regularly, they will also be low in sugar and white flour, and high in fiber and nutrient dense ingredients - much like chewy granola. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. The book that Amanda (first comment) mentions above can be found here (it is a great book!)

    http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0979599504

    "Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Foods and Herbs - Build Milk Supply, Boost Immunity, Lift Depression, Detox, Lose Weight, Optimize a Baby's IQ, and Reduce Colic and Allergies" by Hilary Jacobson

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ashley - a little bit of fenugreek baked into cookies isn't going to matter much to children - as long as they don't eat ALL the cookies at once. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Is Brewer's yeast the same as nutritional yeast, or would they be interchangeable in this recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering the same thing? Can nutritional yeast be substituted for brewers yeast and still be effective in the recipe?

      Delete
    2. I would think no, they are completely different.

      Delete
    3. I ended up using nutritional yeast because when I went to the health food store and asked them for brewer's yeast, they asked me what I wanted to use it for. They suggested nutritional yeast plus I guess it's what they had. Tasted fine, but I don't know if it's the same. Some sites said it was similar and others said they were different. The health food store person said brewer's yeast was had a bitter taste. I suppose you wouldn't taste it with all the other flavours and sugar.

      Delete
    4. The reason they are drastically different for this particular purpose/recipe is because Brewer's Yeast is a galactogogue and nutritional yeast is not. They are not compositionally the same - they don't act in the body the same way. So either will work for baking - but one specifically is for helping to boost/support milk production. (The cookies do not taste bitter at all with Brewer's - I've made them many times and love them). ;)

      Delete
  30. I made some of these cookies and I think they're great! I posted some additional information on how I changed the recipe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just to be accurate, the second recipe does have sugar -- and lots of it! Agave nectar is a sugar source, and a very highly chemically processed one at that. In fact, after a lot of research, I've given up agave nectar altogether based on the concerns that it is as bad as if not worse than high fructose corn syrup because it has much more fructose than cane sugar or even high fructose corn syrup.

    I think it's a mistake to use agave nectar -- I think cookies sweetened with cane sugar are probably a lot healthier and a lot less likely to trigger insulin resistance than cookies sweetened with agave nectar.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wonderful article! I look forward to making these cookies and reading more of your blog! It's fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm wanting to try these in an effort to prevent my milk from drying up during pregnancy. Instant Oatmeal (daily) helped during a low-supply time when I was pumping at work, but I'm looking for healthier ways to add oats to my meals / snacks.

    I wondered, though, are any of these ingredients contraindicated for pregnant women? (I know fenugreek is.)

    ReplyDelete
  34. These cookies are wonderful & have helped tremendously!! I'm baking my second batch now... for all those having difficulty finding brewer's yeast, I just discovered that GNC carries it!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. How many cookies should you eat a day? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am wondering one thing.

    It says only use whole oats, not quick oats. But quick oats are just whole oats cut, they are not the microwavable ones, those are "instant oats". Quick oats are rolled oats that are cut thinner to reduce cooking time and are 100% oat still, no added sugar or anything.

    At least in canada thats what quick oats are. Typically the quick oats are used in baking because they wont be so tough after only 20 minutes of cooking. So are quick oats okay with this definition??

    ReplyDelete
  37. I wonder what would work for a mom sensitive/allergic to yeast, dairy, most nuts, and gluten...Seems like this valuable recipe is a non-starter. Sadly--what of the gluten in oats? Soaking? More info please...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The health food store here sells a gluten free variety of oats. can she have sunflower seeds? My midwife uses a sunflower seed/raisin mixture for breast milk. and the yest, perhaps leaving it out while adding in some other herbal galactogogs like hops, fenugreek, fennel HTH

      Delete
    2. You may try a local health food store, a friend of mine gets gluten free oats there, and for the nuts, can she have sunflower seeds? my midwife uses a sunflower seed/ raisin mixture for milk. And for the yeast, leave it out and use some other herbal galactogogs in place, like fenugreek, hops, and fennel seed. HTH

      Delete
  38. for those with questions about oats: old fashioned oats, quick oats, instant oats, are all steamed and processed and cut to different sizes. the faster cooking they are,the more they have been processed and the less nutritious they are. I buy whole oats (also called groats). they look a lot like a wheat. then I pulse them a bit in a food processor to break them into smaller pieces (still raw, so no loss in nutrients) and soak with some whey and whole wheat flour for about 24hrs

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yes rolled oats are steamed also along with quick oats. Nutritionally speaking those two are the same, just cut for quick (and when you say processing, cutting them doesnt make them less nutritious) But most baking recipes call for rolled oats, so quick should also work?. AND the recipe above shows, rolled oats, not groats.

    ReplyDelete
  40. How long after beginning to consume these cookies do you notice a difference in your supply?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am also curious about how many to eat, and when you should expect to see results?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no 'correct' amount to eat each day. Some women will notice a difference with just a few, others do not see a difference because their hormonal make up is different. You'll have to try out different amounts for you and see what is best for your particular body and hormonal composition. :)

      One note is that if you get loose stools, you may be getting too much because over-doing flax will loosen your bowel movements. This regulates when your body gets used to eating more fiber.

      There is not a specific answer, but each woman and her milk-making hormones are so different. We still have a LOT left to learn in this area of lactation science (and women's health).

      As far as results - if your body is impacted by the ingredients in these cookies (as many are) it should be within 24-72 hours.

      Delete
  42. interesting. i just read that one of the cookies for sale contains peppermint? in germany, the midwifes advise women who are eager not to lose their milk supply to avoid peppermint at all cost, as it's believed (in germany) to decrease supply.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @JoonToons - there is something about peppermint in this article as well about drying up milk supply - http://www.drmomma.org/2011/01/drying-up-milk-supply.html

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anon and Megan - eating cookies alone is not going to boost milk supply significantly for most people (although your baby may notice, but you won't...) Doing some of the other things in addition that are suggested in some of the other articles linked above may help a lot. The one that was written for nursing/working mothers "Balancing Breastfeeding" has good tips in it that help even if you aren't working away from your baby.

    ReplyDelete
  45. malted barley sweetener subbed for half sugar in any baking works WONDERS for low milk supply-No foods and Bob's red mill both make a powdered one, or you can use Eden organic (syrup-a little stronger tasting though). I also like to use a small amount of millet flour in my recipes, as that helps as well. Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson is a great book if looking to boost supply. Allowed me to keep breastfeeding my second child to a year after having to stop at 5 months with my first cause he just wasn't getting enough (after trying everything I could for 2 months-nothing worked).

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thank you so much for the recipe.
    I made it once before, and now to make it again, I copied it to a text editor and 1) cut all the ingredients in half and 2) changed the order of the listed ingredients to align with the order they are used.

    Last time, I did not notice an increase in milk supply, but they do taste delicious. What I noticed an increase in was my baby's diaper output.

    I'm making it again because I have so much brewer's yeast and flax seeds that I want to use them in SOMETHING, and your notes above mention how healthy these ingredients are.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you for these recipes and information! So far I've made the "Major Milk Makin' Cookies" and they were great! I shared the recipe on my blog (natural-beginnings.blogspot.com) and mentioned I got it here and added a link.

    ReplyDelete
  48. As a healthy foods blogger who loves nursing my kiddos, I have to pop in with a comment: all that sugar isn't so great for the mom or baby, particularly agave nectar, which, although touted as "natural," is also often pegged as equally as nasty as high fructose corn syrup. Better to use honey in recipe 2 (and likely cut it by 25-50%) and try honey in recipe 1 as well. Adding pumpkin, vanilla, unrefined coconut oil in place of the butter or additional cinnamon can all increase the sweetness factor without increasing the carbs or sugar buzz.

    You do so much good for women and babies here; I am not trying to pick on you, just share what I feel is important information. A local comapany (to me) actually make lactation cookies without refined sugar (uses honey) and they're wonderful. http://www.milkeez.com/

    :) Katie

    ReplyDelete
  49. Do you have to soak your whole grains, or would it be ok to just use and bake as directed?

    ReplyDelete
  50. To the last Anon - If you are referring to the ingredients in the recipes above, we do not soak before baking.

    ReplyDelete
  51. You may want to look into an herb called 'Ixbut' from south America, it is supposed to make even men lactate (from "The Milk Book" by Dr. William Campbell Douglass III). Also, with the book I have called "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, they talk about how in Ye Olde Days, that oatmeal was soaked beforehand to neutralize the phytates that are in all grains, nuts and seeds. Phytates leach minerals out of the intestines so they actually take them out of your body. The author speculates that this may be part of the reason why so many people have so called 'gluten intolerances' these days. In the old old days, grains were put into 'shocks' in the field (stacks) and left there for a few weeks. The rain and dew would deactivate the phytates and partially sprout the grain, which would make it easier to digest. This is not so anymore due to mechanized harvesting of grains. Nuts also are the same way, if you soak them overnight in warm water (add some sea salt to the water), and then dry them in a slow oven, the bitterness of the nuts is eliminated. I never could stand nuts before I started doing this. Recently my hubby soaked some nuts, but he didn't do it right, he left them on the counter overnight (it was cold out too) and didn't add some sea salt). After I dried them out, they still tasted bitter to me. The 'bitter' is the phytates that are still in the nuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, ixbut is great. I had no milk at all, but with ixbut I could exclusively breastfeed my kid for a year

      Delete
  52. I made these for a client last week and her whole family LOVED them :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Just made recipe #1. Yum! Hope they work for my supply a little. I am coming back from stomach flu and my supply had dipped quite a bit. I added fenugreek too. My son loves them too :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks for sharing these. What a great idea. One thing, though I'm questioning. I have heard that walnuts can dry up milk supply. I know they have a lot of omega-3, but I've heard something in the skins is astringent. Was surprised to see them in this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Nursing my 7m old but losing my supply. Down to nursing once a day. Hoping these help us. Pumping too but still not enough milk!.

    ReplyDelete
  56. These taste awesome! (first recipe) I almost don't even care if they boost my supply with how good they taste,

    ReplyDelete
  57. So.... I may offend some people when i say this, but please know i don't mean to. Just trying to be honest ;) I made the 1st recipe hoping it would boost my milk supply, but with them being so healthy.... i didn't exactly think they'd taste good. I have eaten three within the past 3 minutes then decided i'd leave a review. They are delicious! Even if they don't boost my supply i would make these again in a heart beat. I did add about 1/4 tsp more cinnamon, used coconut oil instead of butter, and added walnuts, slivered almonds, about 1/2 c. of rasins, and opened about 6 capsuled of fenugreek and sprinkled in. LOOOOOOVE these cookies. Glad i didn't 1/2 the recipe. Will definitely be making again. THANK YOU! =)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi all! After my doctor putting me on the mini pill, my supply completely dropped. I made these last night and ate 2 and a lot of batter and then one in the middle of the night. It's amazing how much more milk I have that quickly! My question is how many do I eat/day? I want to take enough but not eat a ton of cookies because it's obviously a lot of sugar, butter, etc. I mean, it's still a cookie! Other people have asked how many to eat and there still isn't a clear answer. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  59. The Brewers Yeast I found contains phenylalanine (all three brands.) Is this a concern? I thought this was a cancer-causing compound. I really want to make these cookies for my friend whose supply went down after her baby got sick. Any thoughts on this?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi, I also would lie to know how much is enough? I've eaten 5 today! Lol I think tat is too much?

    ReplyDelete
  61. These sounds yummy! I liked the fact that you mentioned "commonly believed (in North America) to impact milk supply" because I'm Indian and we have a whole other set of lactaters that we use. We take them right after labor for 1-2 months and then whenever you need a boost in milk supply. My mom (and as her mother and her mother before that did) whipped these Fenugreek Bars up the day after I came back from the hospital with both of my children.

    I just started making them myself and getting the word out to other mamas in need. I call them Mrs. Patel's Milk Makers and you can find us at: http://www.mrsmilk.com.

    I would love to be included in the list above!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Wondering how many I should eat in a day? I just made my first batch and they are so tasty! I could eat them all day long!!

    ReplyDelete
  63. WOW! I just made these last night. I had an immediate response. I had 2 cookies last night before bed. My 2 month old slept 6 1/2 hours. After she fed this morning, I was able to pump 5 oz!!! I think I should eat 1 of these in the morning. Hopefully, I won't get so overfilled that way. ;) They are very good. Reminds me of Cliff Bars.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Just a note about the "vegan options" - Chocolate chips aren't vegan, usually. Those of us who are (temporarily, at least) dairy free or who are vegan need to seek out special chocolate chips. :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Just made these and I'm currently devouring one right now...They are WONDERFUL! I added extra chocolate chips to mine simply because I love chocolate, but I will say I will do without the cinnamon next time. I think it overpowers the taste of the oats and the chocolate. Let's see how these puppies affect my milk! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Love these! I made recipe #1 without sugar and without brewer's yeast. They were tasty but, admittedly, they were a little dry and there were too many chocolate chips. I think the brewer's yeast is probably very important.

    I made recipe #2 yesterday, subbing homemade unsweetened blueberry freezer jam for the agave nectar, adding about 2 Tbls. of powdered fenugreek, and adding 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil to increase the moisture. They are absolutely fabulous! So tasty! I think I'm going to cut the chocolate chips and triple the golden raisins next time because I'm sticking to the pancreatic code starting today.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Noted. I will be baking these for my best friend who is having a few breast feeding problems. What a neat way to help things along!

    Thanks, C

    ReplyDelete
  68. My 10 yr old LOVES these cookies! I'm not going to tell him what they are made in purpose for!

    ReplyDelete
  69. LOVE the major milk makin' cookies! They not only helped by increasing my milk supply, but they improved the quality of my milk. (It was pretty watery before) They are however a little on the dry side. I added about a half of a cup of pumpkin puree to my last batch and that did the trick. They were very moist!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I just got through making these and didn't think it was a big deal to sub dry active yeat for brewers yeast. I just read that you shouldn't eat dry active yeast! Great!

    ReplyDelete
  71. whole flax or flax meal?

    ReplyDelete
  72. May I link to this on my blog? I've been making these for months and they are AMAZING! I'd like to share my experiences with them and such, if you don't mind! (my blog is www.prettyaspeacocks.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may certainly link to this article. Please do not copy/paste unless you'd like to obtain copyright permission from the author. Will check out your sight and look forward to reading of your experiences and sharing this with others as well. :)

      Delete
  73. I found the second recipe to be FAR too sweet! I didn't even add the last cup of agave nectar or the applesauce because I could not believe how sweet the batter was. Without those additions the cookies came out well, but still too sweet for my taste. So for people looking to make a less sweet version, you will need to modify quite a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I used the Major Milk Makin' Cookies recipe and have had so much success with them :) They have helped my milk supply immensely, and I always have a stash nearby! They are delicious and made my c-section recovery so much easier - not only did they help my milk supply, they curbed my appetite during the day! And I feel good about the ingredients as well.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I wanted to add that instead of butter, you can use coconut oil. It's a solid most of the time (below 76 degrees it's a solid) and can be used to replace any shortening or butter in a recipe. I just made a batch of these cookies with coconut oil and it turned out great! I'd much rather use coconut oil than shortening - blech.

    http://www.nowfoods.com/M013397.htm
    http://sortacrunchy.typepad.com/sortacrunchy/2010/02/coconut-oil-and-the-real-food-movement.html

    Not sure if the cookies have helped my milk or not, but they have helped my guts. I think I'll be eating these long after the baby is done nursing just for the happy potty affects!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I never usually comment on recipes, but these cookies have helped my supply SO much that I have to thank you! I will be making these for all of my expecting friends :)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Can u eat these while preg ? Someone asked but wasn't answered. I'm 4 1/2mths and seem to be losing weight not putting it on I've got low iron bladder infection and my baby has a sml head. (all these things are exhausting lol) everyone says they're yummy I'm just itching to try but not sure if I can have them while pregnant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Some mothers consume these cookies while pregnant and nursing an older toddler at the same time. :)

      Delete
  78. The first time I made these (the first recipe), I accidentally forgot the 1/3 c. of water. The dough was of course then pretty dry and crumbly, and my first batch out of the oven kind of fell apart and had the consistency of a "granola cookie." So- I just dumped the rest of the dough onto a cookie sheet, spread it out and patted it down very lightly, baked for about 10 min & it made SUPER yummy granola! It's awesome in parfaits, on top of ice cream, or my fave- in a bowl with a splash of almond or coconut milk and eaten like cereal! (Also, I did deviate from the recipe: I cut the sugar in half, used about 1/4c of mini choc chips, and used almonds & peanut butter because that's what I had on hand ;)) thanks so much for sharing these!

    ReplyDelete
  79. i must be on my fourth or fifth batch of these awesome cookies. a few batches ago i started using almond meal, oat flour and spelt in place of the flour. i also use almond butter and either peanut butter or tahini, toss in some millet, chia seed, pecans and apricots (which are both said to be milk makin' too) and ah yes, honey instead of the sugar. i love these healthy, no too sweet little snacks!

    ReplyDelete
  80. I doubled the recipe last night (a lil dry, but I can fix that next time). I have eaten probably about a dozen of them since last night(yeah, I know!)...but I have not seen a difference in my milk supply yet. I have tried EVERYTHING else. Fennugreek, Mothers Milk tea (upset baby's belly), More Milk Plus drops, combination of all three...nothing. Now, I nurse at home, and pump at work. I am only getting 1oz each side. I increased my pump times from 4 to 6 a day...still no more. I tried double pumping. Went off the pill... If Lil Man has to be supplemented with formula (he is 4 months now, and not a drop as of yet!), it surely won't be from a lack of trying. This seems to be the very last avenue I can try...Any similar experiences? Any additional suggestions? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie - your question was reposted to the pp wall on Facebook so you can hear from others on this as well:

      http://www.facebook.com/peacefulparenting/posts/10151239730642671

      The "Nursing Mother, Working Mother" book and the article above "Balancing Breastfeeding" may have some helpful tips too. Some babies do nurse a LOT when mom is by them (especially if they sleep by mom and can nurse all night) and get all their calories this way, and then don't eat much in the day when they are not by mom.

      Delete
    2. Thanks :) The problem is that dad feeds him during the day. Dad gives him 4oz per feeding so we are running out of milk. I talked to dad and he claims that when he cuts back, Lil Man screams and is not full enough. We are using the smallest size nipples. We are currently day by day and I have nothing left in extra supply. So, if he eats everything by 2pm, I'm having to go home from work early to feed him again. 4oz vs. the 2 I get every time I pump (which sometimes I get a lil less) is a problem.

      Delete
  81. Can you freeze the dough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I froze dough balls while pregnant. Then I had fresh cookies anytime during the first few weeks!

      Delete
  82. Hi, I'd like to try these recipes but I have Celiac disease and am limited to a gluten-free diet. I would have to substitute the whole wheat flour with an all-purpose gluten-free flour and the oats with gluten-free uncontaminated oats. Brewer's yeast contains barley, which contains gluten so I'd have to substitute that as well. I'm not sure if regular yeast would work instead. I'm not much of a baker so I don't know a lot about baking at all. Is there not really a point in trying these recipes, since I'd have to substitute so many major ingredients? I don't know what would work...

    ReplyDelete
  83. are steel cut oats okay to use? that is all I can find at my grocery store other than instant oats.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Where can I put the extra cookies?

    ReplyDelete
  85. I can't eat chocolate because it upsets my little girls tummy. So I substituted the chocolate chips for carob chips. I think I like them better then normal chocolate chip cookies. They were incredible! Just an idea to cut out the caffeine from chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Couple questions, first how many of these should I eat per day? Second if I ground whole flax seeds myself would that work?

    ReplyDelete
  87. My favorite lactation cookies are Chubby Babies from Good Natured Gourmet. They have the standard brewer's yeast, flax seed and oats. But they also have barley flour and extra calcium. They increased my milk supply so much that I could breastfeed and pump extra to save in my freezer! I love all of their flavors but peanut butter oatmeal and double chocolate oatmeal are my favorites. :) http://gngourmet.com/breastfeeding/

    ReplyDelete
  88. I've been looking for something like this! My friend has been having issues with her milk supply the last few months, I'm going to show these recipes to her.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I've found at least a couple recipes like this online, but wonder if 1C of flax will really upset my stomach. The other recipe I found only called for 2 tablespoons of it.

    ReplyDelete
  90. How many cookies is it recommended you eat a day in order to see an improvement in supply? TIA!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I used recipe number 1! Instead of chocolate I added dried cranberries, raisins, and coconut flakes.
    Next time I will for sure try some pumpkin seeds.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I made the major milkin cookies on Saturday. It's now Monday & I noticed as I was eating one something inside was green. There is green dispersed through the inside of them. No green on the outside. What ingredient would cause that? And is it ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be the inside of whatever nuts or seeds you used, or the flax (also depending on what type of flax was used).

      Delete
    2. It is not the nuts/seeds because I didn't put any nuts/seeds in them. Could it be the brewer's yeast?

      Delete
  93. I've seen where some have said that the oats have to be soaked before making the recipe. Is this true? What do you soak them in and for how long? Is there anything else in Recipe #1 that needs to be "soaked"? Can I substitute white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to soak oats before using.

      We use whatever subs for chocolate chips we feel like using (that is not one of the galactogogue items in the recipe). :)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails