When my son was born, I made a commitment to myself to try my best to breastfeed him for a year. In the beginning, it was easy (well, relatively speaking). We had a few latching issues, along with super sore nipples, but I persevered through until we found our stride … even if it did involve
a few a lot of tears.
Fast-forward five months. I was still exclusively breastfeeding my son and back at work full time. I had settled into a comfortable routine of pumping during the day and feeding my son at the breast while home. Baby was happy. Life was good. My supply was plentiful.
Then I hit a snag. A snag in the form of a “monthly visitor.”
All of a sudden, my supply plummeted and I wondered if it was the end of our nursing relationship. I frantically searched the Internet for ways to increase breastmilk production and ran across the all-so-mighty lactation cookie. Why had I never heard of this little lifesaver before?
I have to admit, at first glance it looked a little daunting. Brewer’s yeast? Flaxseed meal? Making cookies from scratch and not a box? I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. But I was desperate and willing to give it a try. I printed off the recipe and headed to Whole Foods to collect all the not-so-common ingredients. I rushed home, put the baby to bed, pulled out my mixing bowl and cookie sheets, and was ready to go!
The recipe was surprisingly easy … the clean-up, not so much. But as I watched the cookies rise from the heat in the oven, so did my expectations of what they could do.
And you know what? They did not disappoint!
I went from pumping 2 oz per breast to 5 oz per breast in LESS THAN 48 HOURS. It was amazing, my fears were calmed, and this little recipe became a regular part of my kitchen routine every 3-4 weeks.
And the great thing is, they are actually REALLY GOOD. As in, I couldn’t wait to eat them, had a hard time limiting myself to a reasonable amount, and even my husband thought they were delicious (when he unexpectedly thought I was just “baking cookies” and not a concoction to increase breastmilk supply … although rest assured, they are safe for people who are not lactating. No worries about engorged breasts or sudden leaking boobs from anyone partaking. But you do want to make it clear to anyone in your household their purpose. And trust me, once you mention the words “increase breastmilk production, supply, etc.,” no one will want to get within 10 feet of them in fear of what they could possibly do to them!).
Super Milk Boosting Lactation Cookies
There are LOTS of recipes you can find out there on the Internet for lactation cookies (aka Mother’s Milk Cookies) but this is my personal favorite, mainly because it includes a larger quantity of the three milk boosting ingredients — flaxseed, thick cut oaks and brewer’s yeast — than any of the others I came across. (Go big, or go home … right?) And you can add in some fenugreek, an herb used for increasing milk supply (found in capsule form at places like Vitamin Shoppe), for even more of a powerful punch.
I have to admit, I didn’t have a lot of these ingredients freely on hand (except raisins and fenugreek). All ingredients (excluding fenugreek) I was able to find at Whole Foods, but it did cost me upwards of $50+. But rest assured, this is a hefty initial investment and making cookies moving forward will not be as costly since brewer’s yeast, flaxseed meal, baking soda and other ingredients will not have to be purchased again (I made cookies for 2 years and did not have to purchase these ingredients but one time). So prepare for your visit, and keep in mind the investment you are making to boost your supply that will feed your baby for many days, months, years to come.
1 cup butter (preferably with olive oil or flaxseed oil), softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup organic brown sugar
4 tbsp of water
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 large, omega 3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups of thick cut oats
1 cup of raisins
4 tbsp of brewer’s yeast (this is the main ingredient for milk production)
9 fenugreek capsules (empty capsules and discard)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix flaxseed meal and water, set aside. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, brewer’s yeast, salt, soda and fenugreek), set aside. Blend butter and sugars well. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flaxseed mix and vanilla, mix well. Add dry mixture in three equal parts. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Once cooled, package 5 cookies into a Ziploc bag as an easy way to keep track of your daily intact. Try to space out eating cookies throughout the day (one for breakfast, one for mid-morning snack, one at lunch, one for mid-afternoon snack, one at dinner). Enjoy!
Words of Encouragement:
I hope you find this recipe as beneficial as I have. Fast forward 3 years later and my son is still breastfeeding at 3 1/2 years. Controversial? Maybe to some people. But to me, I am providing my son with important nutrients only mama can provide (even if it’s for a few minutes before bedtime and upon waking up at this point). For you? Make the best decision that works well for you and your family. And equip yourself with information and tools to maximize your breastfeeding experience.
You got this mama!