Many mothers all over the world believe in the power of lactation cookies. These little treats are believed to be a time-tested formula to increase a mother’s milk supply.
There might be some detractors who say that these cookies’ effectiveness is just a placebo effect, but many breastfeeding moms attest that special ingredients like brewer’s yeast, coconut oil, oats, and flaxseed help boost their ability to make more milk for their babies.
It doesn’t hurt that these cookies taste good and come in many shapes and forms. Don’t you like chocolate? Fine. There’s a different flavored cookie just for you.
During those sleep-deprived days of breastfeeding, lactation cookies are total lifesavers. No wonder moms always recommend these cookies to their friends and loved ones.
What are lactation cookies?
Lactation cookies are among a group of special foods known as galactagogues. These are substances that are believed to increase the milk supply of mothers. Galactagogues are found in natural herbs and foods as well as in prescription drugs.
Certain ingredients like Brewer’s yeast are added to these cookies to aid breastfeeding. Despite their awesome milk-boosting qualities, lactation cookies are safe to eat for everyone! People who are not lactating will not suddenly produce milk by eating them, so they’re safe for the whole family.
Do lactation cookies really work?
It’s important to know that there is no definitive study on galactagogues yet. What we have is compelling anecdotal evidence from many generations of mothers who swear by the power of lactation cookies.
Nonetheless, they are not a foolproof way to produce milk where there is an inherent problem beyond milk supply. They’re also not guaranteed to work for every mother. For problems with latch and other breastfeeding issues, it’s best to consult with a certified lactation consultant to find the underlying cause of the issue.
What are the common ingredients in lactation cookies?
1. Brewer’s yeast
An ingredient in beer, Brewer’s yeast is rich in iron, B vitamins, chromium, selenium, protein, and other trace minerals. Its presence in lactation cookies helps promote milk production and cure mood swings and fatigue in new mothers. You just add about 2 tablespoons of this yeast to a batch of cookies and, voila, they’re no ordinary cookies but lactation cookies.
It may leave a slightly bitter flavor, so it’s best enjoyed with sweeter ingredients like chocolate and coconut. Although it’s is less common than ordinary yeast, you shouldn’t replace it with any other type of yeast as they do not have the same lactation benefits. Try finding Brewer’s yeast in organic grocery stores, natural food markets, and even online through Amazon’s.
2. Wheat germ
Wheat germ contains zinc, a much-needed mineral for breastfeeding moms. It boosts her immunity and helps prevent nipple damage like a cracked nipple. Similar to Brewer’s yeast, it helps with women who are having ‘baby blues.
3. Coconut oil
Another milk-producing ingredient is coconut oil, which has the healthy fats necessary for making breast milk. In the absence of coconut oil, mothers can use butter to make their cookies.
Oats are the most common ingredients in lactation cookies. They are high in fiber, iron, carbohydrates and protein. They help make up for low levels of iron in lactating women. They are also gluten-free so they’re safe for mothers and babies who have gluten allergies.
Flaxseed is a source of good fat and healthy enzymes, which both enrich breast milk and protect the mother’s heart health.
Fenugreek is a well-known galactagogue. This herb is an excellent source of fiber and minerals like iron and magnesium. A lot of mothers notice an improvement in their milk supply as early as 24 hours after taking fenugreek.
Fennel has long been used to treat health problems. It has properties comparable to estrogen, which is why it’s widely used as a galactagogue, and it is a common element in the Mediterranean diet.
What are the benefits of lactation cookies?
1. Lactation cookies promote an increase in mothers’ milk
They are specially made for breastfeeding mothers. Ingredients like Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, fenugreek, oats, and flaxseed have been helping mothers solve their problems with milk supply for centuries.
2. Lactation cookies are generally considered safe
There are no known serious side effects of eating lactation cookies. Most of the ingredients in lactation cookies are all-natural and safe to eat. Some women report that they get gassy from eating oat cookies, while there is some warning against using too much fenugreek.
3. Lactation cookies are nutritious
Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy out of mothers, and they often find themselves hungry and craving some comfort food. Instead of reaching out for high-calorie junk foods like ice cream and hamburgers, why not make yourself a batch of healthy cookies that only help with your milk supply but gives you a much-needed energy boost too? That’s exactly what lactation cookies do for you.
4. Ingredients in lactation cookies like Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ may help combat depression.
The nutrients you get from Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ are believed to improve your mood and guard against postpartum depression.
5. Oats help with your bowel movement.
A staple ingredient in lactation cookies is oatmeal, which is high in fiber. This aids in having healthy bowel movements and helps remove the extra weight from pregnancy.
How many lactation cookies should I eat in a day?
The number of cookies to eat really depends on your goals for your milk supply. Eating 2 to 3 cookies a day is generally enough to increase your milk supply, but if you want a really noticeable boost, having up to 5 cookies should do it. Note, however, that eating more than 5 cookies may lead to weight gain so count your calories.
For mothers with low milk supply, taking herbal supplements such as blessed thistle and fenugreek may help.
How long should I wait until the lactation cookies work?
The waiting time varies, but some moms report getting a boost within 24 hours. Others say it takes more time with 2-3 days being the typical number of days. Generally, it’s advised to give it at least a week to see a boost in milk supply.
How should I store lactation cookies?
To keep your cookies fresh, store them in a refrigerator or freezer. If you plan to eat them within two weeks, it’s okay to put them in a sealed cookie jar. If you mix applesauce or any type of sauce in the cookies, you need to freeze them to prevent fungus from growing in them.
When you’re ready to eat your homemade cookies, removing them from the freezer and placing them on the counter should defrost them right away.
Different lactation cookies
1. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
A classic lactation cookie recipe is oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies, made of oats and chocolate. To make it the perfect snack for a nursing mother, we add Brewer’s yeast, linseed, sunflower, and almonds. Take note that chocolate is a source of caffeine much like coffee so moderate the amount you put in your cookie. Don’t worry too much, however, as only a very small portion enters your breast milk. View one recipe here. And another here.
2. M&M’s lactation cookies
It’s not uncommon for cookie-loving mothers to experiment with different flavors and ingredients in making lactation cookies. One yummy recipe is M&M’s lactation cookies, which are mixed with milk-making ingredients like Brewer’s yeast, ground flaxseed, oats, and of course multi-colored M&M’s. If you want to make a whole bunch for your kids to enjoy too (yes, it’s safe for them), you can freeze the cookies so they’ll last longer. Here’s a quick recipe for you.
3. Double chocolate lactation cookies
For moms who don’t want the slightly bitter taste brought on by Brewer’s yeast, adding some chocolate usually does the trick and nothing’s tastier than double chocolate lactation cookies. This is a rich, chewy recipe that has all the important lactation ingredients like flaxseeds and Brewer’s yeast. You can also use healthier alternatives like sunflower seeds to replace oily almond butter as these seeds are a good source of lecithin. This helps with common breastfeeding problems like plugged milk ducts. View the recipe here.
4. Peanut butter chocolate chip lactation cookies
This recipe sounds delicious because they are! This is something you can share with the whole family. It has the milk-boosting qualities of lactation cookies and the goodness of peanut butter, but if your child is allergic to nuts, make sure to replace the peanut butter with sunflower butter like SunButter. Don’t worry as it will taste the same. Here’s a recipe.
5. Oatmeal raisin lactation cookies
Something to remind you of the holidays. It has the amazing tastes of toasty oats, spices like cinnamon, and chewy raisins. This is a healthy holiday snack for every nursing mother out there. Indulge with this recipe.
6. Gluten-free lactation cookies
For mothers who want to watch their gluten intake, there’s a gluten-free recipe too. Breastfeeding moms need a lot of calories every day, and it’s difficult sometimes to prepare foods that give you lots of energy without the gluten.
This is especially true for mothers who have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that rejects gluten. This should in no way stop a mother from breastfeeding but following a strict gluten-free diet is key. For moms who want to go gluten-free, here’s a recipe.
7. Low-sugar lactation cookies
This is a healthy lactation cookie recipe that has active lactation ingredients but with no refined sugar added. You can make use of coconut sugar and other natural sugar alternatives. It tastes just as good without worrying about your sugar intake. Check out this recipe.
8. Sugar-free lactation cookies
If you’re watching your weight, it’s important to cut back on the sugar. Alternatives that are helpful to find are flour-like sources like pumpkin, garbanzo beans, almonds, and butternut squash. As you know flour breaks down into sugar so finding a replacement is important in going sugar-free.
Remember also that what you eat gets to your baby, so be careful not to give them an appetite for sweets. Here’s a recipe from the 21-Day Sugar Detox.
9. Diabetic lactation cookies
A lot of the recipes for lactation cookies are high in sugar, so some parents think that they cannot eat these cookies. However, insulin-dependent mothers can still enjoy lactation cookies by replacing regular sugar with a sugar substitute like Splenda or natural sweeteners like Natvia. Here’s another sugar-free recipe from Sugar Free Kids.
10. Vegan lactation cookies
Moms with special diets can still enjoy a fresh batch of lactation cookies. A vegan lactation cookie recipe gives you all the milk-making benefits in a healthy way. Vegan moms can definitely have her cookies. Here’s a recipe at Abbey’s Kitchen.
11. Lemon lactation cookies
Lemon lactation cookies are delicious and nutritious snacks with a twist of zest in them. You can add any of the natural galactagogues like flaxseeds and Brewer’s yeast. Don’t forget the lemon! Recipe from Franjos Kitchen.
12. Low-carb lactation cookies
Your lactation cookies can still have the good fats and fiber even while you keep them low sugar and low carb. You can just add maple syrup or coconut sugar if you prefer it a little sweeter. But this is a Paleo-ish recipe for moms looking to reduce their carbs. Here’s a recipe for you.
13. Banana lactation cookies
There are moms who make a lot of milk for their babies while there are those who struggle a little bit. Luckily for these moms, there are cookies that are not just yummy but milk-producing as well.
Go ahead and combine the basic lactation trio of oats, Brewer’s yeast, and flaxseed with mouth-watering ingredients like dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. No mother would be able to resist. Check out this banana-based recipe from Colorful Foodie.
14. Dairy free lactation cookies
There’s a whole lot of ways you can enjoy your lactation cookies, and one of them is by going dairy-free. These cookies are usually low in calories and high in nutrition. Not to mention that they have the benefit of boosting your milk supply while breastfeeding. Don’t be afraid to grab your dairy-free lactation cookies with this recipe from Tastes Lovely.
15. Coconut lactation cookies
These are healthy and delicious cookies that are made up of the necessary ingredients to increase breast milk supply. You can make this with no butter or no refined sugar if you like, but do not forget the coconut oil, which has natural vitamin E and antioxidants. Special recipe from Country Cleaver.
16. Nutella lactation cookies
Who doesn’t love Nutella? Everyone loves them, including mommies. If you’re looking into making lactation cookies that you’d really be excited to eat, try adding Nutella into the mix. Any recipe can actually be modified to include this special ingredient. For example, you can replace the peanut butter in a peanut butter lactation cookie recipe with half a cup of Nutella. Here’s a delightful recipe from Sweet Plus Savory.
17. Paleo lactation cookies
Paleo lactation cookies are for breastfeeding moms who follow the Paleo or Paleolithic diet. This diet emulates the eating habits of ancient people in the Stone Age where people mostly eat meat, fruits, and vegetables and do not have access to milk or rice. It’s said to avoid modern-day diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and cancer. For moms who follow this diet, they will need to remove grains and dairy from their lactation cookie mix. See this Paleo lactation balls.
18. No bake lactation cookies
No-bake lactation cookies are great if you don’t want any hassles in preparing your lactation snack. New mothers are naturally always hungry so it’s a good idea to pack snacks that don’t require baking.
You can even make them before giving birth so you can start munching on an energy bite and getting the milk going for your first feed. Many moms recommend bringing energy-giving snacks like lactation cookies on your way to the hospital. No-bake recipe from The Baker Mama.
19. Eggless lactation cookies (Egg-free lactation cookies)
This lactation cookie recipe has wholesome ingredients that help provide the energy you need to breastfeed your baby. It’s healthy and the materials aren’t hard to find.
For breastfeeding moms with an egg allergy, it’s definitely possible to make lactation cookies without the egg but still get the nutrients you truly need during this time. Here’s an egg-free recipe for you.
20. Peanut butter lactation cookies
This is for peanut butter lovers like us! Peanut butter is the main ingredient together with lactation ingredients like Brewer’s yeast and flaxseed meal. See this no-bake recipe that’s good for moms and for everyone else.
21. Thermomix lactation cookies
Thermomix owners can definitely make lactation cookies in their all-in-one machine with a little tweaking. This saves them time and energy. Here’s a recipe featured by Thermomix maker, Vorwerk.
22. Low-calorie lactation cookies
Admittedly, a lot of the recipes found online have loads of sugar, butter, and flour in them. As such, some moms worry that along with the lactation are uncontrolled calories that will add to the weight rather than shed it.
Breastfeeding moms who are following a weight loss plan may be interested to explore low-calorie recipes that boost their milk supply without putting on the pounds. It doesn’t hurt that these are tasty too. Check out this recipe from Lose Baby Weight.
23. Grain free lactation cookies
If you want to ditch the oats and refined flour, you can have grain-free lactation cookies. These are simple, healthy cookies for Paleo moms and every mom who wants to go grain-free.
You can use either Brewer’s yeast or flax meal to boost your milk. You can also use coconut oil or flaxseed oil. Coconut oil is good for the immune system and assists in the absorption of nutrients. View this recipe from Fast Paleo.
24. Milo lactation cookies
These cookies are just like any other cookie except they help you produce more milk and they are made of Milo! This gives you the benefit of using a familiar ingredient that’s easy to find and affordable to buy. Make lots of cookies with this recipe from Missy Qiqi.
25. Chewy lactation cookies
Most lactation cookies have three ingredients in common: Brewer’s yeast, ground flaxseed, and rolled oats. One other ingredient that should get as much love as these three is the herb fenugreek. It has a pleasant maple-like smell and it cures various ailments. Any cookie recipe can become a ‘lactation’ recipe just by adding one of these.
For chewy lactation cookies, you need butter, eggs, and walnuts. Alternately, you can use pecans. You can also add cherries, dried dates, or raisins if you want. Check this recipe from All Recipes.
26. Pumpkin lactation cookies
If you love pumpkin pie, this recipe is for you. Just like other lactation cookie recipes, this may include flax meal, Brewer’s yeast, or oats to give you the lactating effect you need. Not to mention the pumpkin pie spice that gives you the flavor you crave. View this recipe from The Pumping Mommy.
27. Fenugreek lactation cookies
Fenugreek has been proven to improve lactation in nursing mothers by up to 30%. Lactation cookies that contain fenugreek and Brewer’s yeast do have the tendency to taste different. Some report that they have a yeasty aftertaste or, in the case of fenugreek, they may taste like maple syrup.
These non-conventional tastes aside, fenugreek lactation cookies are possibly one of the best lactation cookies you’ll ever make. You can even out the taste by adding more traditional cookie ingredients like chocolate chips, peanut butter, cinnamon, and/or vanilla. The possibilities are endless, but increased lactation is almost guaranteed with this particular brand of cookies. Don’t forget to visit this recipe.
28. Brewer’ yeast lactation cookies
Brewer’s yeast is full of iron, protein, and B vitamins. It also has minerals like chromium, selenium, among others. Brewers use it to make beer and wine, but it has always been used by breastfeeding mothers to increase their milk supply.
While there is no scientific study to absolutely prove why or if this type of yeast works, many women report that they notice an improvement in their milk production from eating foods with Brewer’s yeast. Here’s a recipe for you.
29. Flaxseed lactation cookies
Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s been widely lauded for its ‘estrogen-like’ properties, most likely because flaxseed oil has phytoestrogens that help in milk production.
When combined with rolled oats and Brewer’s yeast, nothing can stop the lactating benefits of flaxseeds. See this recipe from Joyous Health.
30. Flourless lactation cookies
Some mothers may feel weighed down by too much flour in some recipes. This can be a problem if they’re planning to eat a whole bunch of these cookies. This is why it’s perfectly okay to remove the flour and just use main ingredients like oats. Here’s a flourless monster cookie recipe to check out.
31. Low-fat lactation cookies
It’s important to eat healthy fats like coconut oil, eggs, and grass-fed butter to keep your energy going without the unwanted side effects of high fat. Healthy lactation cookies replace refined flour with almond meal, a blend of whole wheat and white flour, and even oat flour. The use of butter is reduced by using coconut oil.
This helps mothers feel fuller for much longer and promotes stable blood sugar levels. Visit this recipe for more information.
32. Milkies lactation cookies
Milkies is a short name for milk and cookies. They are packed with important galactagogues like Brewer’s yeast and flaxseeds to support a mother’s breastfeeding goals. Here again is the milkies recipe from Sweet Plus Savory.
33. High protein lactation cookies
It’s no secret that moms need all the energy they could get. Breastfeeding moms need good sources of protein, and lactation cookies can be one of them. They’re easy to make and convenient to munch on whenever you’re feeling hungry. Just make sure you use oats and protein foods like eggs. Check out this recipe from Growing Weisser.
34. Apple lactation cookies
Combine the milk-boosters flax meal, whole oats, and Brewer’s yeast with apples and you’ve got yourself a delectable batch of lactation cookies. You can even add cinnamon or pecans for more flavor. You can gift these cookies to yourself or to a nursing mom you know. See this excellent apple and pecan recipe.
35. Toasted wheat germ lactation cookies
Never skip milk-boosting ingredients like Brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, and wheat germ. Lactation cookies that contain wheat germ are rich in zinc, which heals cracked nipples. It can also help boost the mother’s immunity and help her deal with postpartum depression. Here’s a recipe from Minty Banana.
36. Fennel seed lactation cookies
Fennel is an herb used for cooking and healing different ailments. Many breastfeeding women use it to stimulate breast milk production. Fennel is safe to use while breastfeeding because only a very small portion gets into breast milk. You can even try chewing on whole raw seeds or roasting them to maximize its lactating effect. Here’s a recipe to visit.
37. Protein lactation cookies
Many new moms ask about the right diet while breastfeeding. In general, it’s important to keep your fat and protein levels high. Healthy fats and amino acids help your baby’s body to develop as well as produce serotonin that keeps you balanced and feeling happy. Protein lactation cookies give you the necessary energy boost while managing your milk supply. View this recipe for more.
38. Oatmeal coconut lactation cookies
Oatmeal is an excellent source of iron. Eating foods high in iron may help increase the milk supply of women suffering from anemia. It’s also a popular comfort food that relaxes breastfeeding women and encourages let-down.
Coconut, particularly coconut oil, holds an abundant dose of lauric acid, which is an essential fatty acid for making milk. It’s a healthy source of fat and even promotes optimum brain development in your baby. Taking 3 to 4 tbsp of coconut oil also increases your metabolic rate so the fats don’t stay in your body. Here’s a recipe from Jessica Gavin.
39. Almond flour lactation cookies
Eating almonds while breastfeeding will benefit you in many ways. Almonds are rich in protein and calcium, which could aid with your baby’s development. They also contain essential nutrients like vitamins B1, B2, and B3, and vitamin E, along with minerals like copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. They, in turn, help you with your physical recovery from childbirth. Here’s a recipe.
40. Hemp seed lactation cookies
Hemp seeds give cookies extra texture and a dose of healthy fats. They are part protein, part essential fatty acid (e.g hemp oil and omega 3, 6, and GLA), and part carbohydrates. They help increase your energy intake and speed up your metabolism.
Hemp seed is a complete food source and should be consumed every day. Check out this recipe.
41. Banana strawberry lactation cookies
For fruit lovers, there’s nothing yummier than lactation cookies that pack oats, honey, banana, and strawberry in one healthy mix. The sweet and sour taste of strawberries makes them the perfect choice for a satisfying cookie. See this recipe at Cooking with Ruthie.
42. Molasses lactation cookies
Molasses is an excellent source of calcium and iron. The usual ingredients flaxseeds, oats, hemp, and Brewer’s yeast provide the milk-making capacities of lactation cookies. You can even add sinful pleasures like dark chocolate. Here’s a recipe to guide you.
43. Chia seeds lactation cookies
Some ingredients you shouldn’t miss out on are chia seeds. They contain antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids which brings down inflammation in parts of the body and promotes your brain development. Learn this recipe from Budget Pantry.
44. High fiber lactation cookies
The usual ingredients of lactation cookies such as Brewer’s yeast and flaxseeds are naturally rich in fiber. Brewer’s yeast, which is available from health food stores, is packed with so much fiber that it aids digestion. Check this recipe out.
45. Wheat germ lactation cookies
Wheat germ is found at the center of the grain. It’s a good source of zinc, vitamin B folate, and vitamin E. Here’s an easy-to-print recipe for you.
46. Banana Nutella lactation cookies
What a way to satisfy your sweet craving by indulging in banana Nutella lactation cookies. It has the normal mix of oats, flax meal, and Brewer’s yeast to produce more breast milk but it also has the mouth-watering combination of banana and Nutella. We’re sure you’ll never want to share your fresh batch of cookies after learning this recipe: banana Nutella lactation cookies.
47. Lactation cookies with agave
If you want substitutes for refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, then agave nectar is what you’re looking for. It’s a natural alternative that comes from the Mexican plant blue agave. It’s used as a topping for pancakes, ice cream, and salads.
It can also be used to replace sugar when baking cookies. It’s still high-calorie, so make sure to watch the amount you consume to avoid weight gain. Here’s an agave-based lactation cookie recipe.
48. Allergen-free lactation cookies
These cookies have the natural galactagogues you need to boost your milk supply. What it doesn’t have are common allergens like eggs, soy, nuts, dairy, and gluten. This is something vegan and gluten-free breastfeeding mothers can enjoy. Visit this allergy-friendly lactation cookie recipe.
49. Cinnamon lactation cookies
Cinnamon is good for increasing a mother’s milk let-down as well as for delaying menstruation while breastfeeding. Adding a touch of cinnamon to a teaspoon of honey or to a glass of warm milk should be enough to get your daily cinnamon dose. For the lactation-friendly recipe, click this link.
50. White chocolate lactation cookies
Dark chocolate contains more caffeine than white chocolate, which also has zero levels of theobromine or cocoa solids. If you’re obsessed with chocolate, you can calmly exchange dark for white chocolate, which has fewer side effects. Check out this cranberry white chocolate recipe.
51. Lemon poppy seed lactation cookies
Crisp on the outside, lemon poppy seed cookies are light and soft inside. With this, you can enjoy a dairy-free sweet treat plus the zesty taste of lemon.
Poppy seeds are some of the lesser known milk-boosters. They help breastfeeding moms relax and improve their milk let-down, probably because of their natural sedative effect. It’s important, however, to consume them in moderation if you don’t want yourself to be unnecessarily drowsy when doing important tasks. Also, don’t forget adding milk-boosting ingredients like Brewer’s yeast, flaxseeds, or oats. Here’s a recipe for you.
Eat a Cookie, Increase Your Milk
Breastfeeding mothers worry about a lot of things. With lactation cookies, you can remove at least one major concern—that is, your milk supply. A mother shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not she’s making enough milk for her baby.
Lactation cookies are among the best-kept secrets of mothers everywhere. New moms will benefit from this age-old wisdom that may be hard to prove scientifically but is something attested to by many generations of milky mamas. Being a picky eater is also no excuse not to make these cookies. Even mothers who have special diets like Paleo and gluten-free diets can indulge in a cookie or two by exchanging some ingredients.
Also, do not hesitate to mix and match different flavors of lactation cookies. Do not be afraid to try other methods of making cookies such as the no-bake technique. They make your breastfeeding journey all the more colorful and not to mention flavorful. It’s important to never lose sight of the benefits these cookies bring to your milk supply. This is your best excuse to indulge in something we all love to do—munching on cookies without feeling guilty.