Eating lactation cookies while pregnant is not recommended without consulting a lactation specialist first. Lactation cookies are meant for mothers who are already breastfeeding and need to increase their milk production.
At some point, all mothers-to-be will be concerned about whether they will be able to produce enough breastmilk for their little one.
Prematurely addressing this concern by over-preparing can lead to negative effects on normal milk supply.
The idea of using special natural ingredients to boost breastmilk supply is not a new concept but, in recent years, has become highly commercialized for apparent reasons.
The somewhat limited clinical research conducted supports the anecdotal evidence that lactation supplements actually work for breastfeeding mothers.
Anecdotal results have been recorded over decades from different cultures across the globe, and there is a high degree of consistency in favor of lactation cookies.
We will take a closer look at lactation cookie ingredients that may answer some of your burning questions on this trending topic.
The main purpose of eating lactation cookies while pregnant
Mothers are forever thinking ahead and multitasking to make sure everything and everyone is catered for.
This includes making sure that their new arrival will have enough breastmilk at every single feed from the get-go. I’m sure all mothers will agree.
The worry about not producing enough milk for your little one is one of the many reasons for low milk production among new mothers.
Although low milk supply is a common concern, it is rare that a mother, even a first-time mom, will not have enough milk for her baby.
On the contrary, most women produce about a third more milk than their baby typically needs.
Medical issues and a poor breastfeeding routine may result in low milk production
Nature has ensured that every mother will provide for their baby, but like everything else in life, there are exceptions to the rule.
Besides psychologically induced interference or stress related to poor milk production, other factors may contribute to low milk supply, which includes:
- Waiting too long to start breastfeeding
- Not breastfeeding often enough and not breastfeeding at night
- Supplementing breastfeeding with formula feeds
- Your baby not latching on properly
- Certain types of medication may cause a low milk supply
- Previous breast surgery
- Using hormonal birth control
- Premature birth
- Mother has a poor diet and is eating or drinking too little
- Maternal obesity
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Diabetics not following a strict insulin administering routine
Eating a few lactation cookies while pregnant may boost some women’s confidence while reducing stress levels and normalizing the readiness to produce milk.
Confidence plays an important role in the ability to breastfeed successfully.
What is so uniquely special about lactation cookies?
Lactation cookies are said to increase breastmilk production because they contain foods called galactagogues which include ingredients like oats, milk thistle, and fenugreek.
Here are some of the common cookie ingredients and supplements:
A good source of vitamin B but does not contain B12. It helps with digestion but may also cause gas and diarrhea.
If you are prone to yeast infections like thrush, it’s best to avoid this ingredient. It may also have side effects or interact with diabetic medication, among other medicines.
This is one of the better-known cookie ingredients and has been used for centuries to treat liver and gallbladder health problems.
It also helps to increase breastmilk production. Taken in excess, it may cause stomach upsets but is generally considered safe.
A source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
It contains vitamin E, B, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Flaxseed helps keep the digestive system regular and may lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin tolerance.
A soluble fiber that helps to limit spikes in blood sugar levels and slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream.
Oats contain magnesium and other important vitamins and minerals and are recommended as part of a healthy diet.
A very popular herb that contains phytoestrogens which are similar to estrogen and increase breast milk production.
This ingredient should be avoided while still pregnant as it can cause uterine stimulation.
People with diabetes should also be cautious as it reduces blood glucose levels.
Fenugreek is the same food family as chickpeas and peanuts and may trigger an allergic reaction if you suffer from allergies to this food group.
A plant native to the Middle East. It helps with lactation, digestion, the adrenal gland, and the liver.
According to the National Health Institute, it may cause hypoglycemia.
Some prefer to substitute fenugreek with moringa as it has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Usually used as a supplement on its own or added to smoothies.
Soy or sunflower-based, this supplement is safe during and after pregnancy.
CBD and Essential Oils
Although trendy at the moment, it is best to avoid these supplements as not enough research is available.
Essential oils are concentrated and may have adverse effects on your milk supply.
There are many more ingredients that are said to help with lactation.
The list is ever-growing, and because supplements are not controlled as strictly as prescription medication, there is a need to be cautious.
Lactation cookies being commercialized raises concerns
Pregnant women across different cultures are encouraged to eat special foods to support them during lactation, and this has been the foundation for lactation cookies in western countries.
Yet scientific research to confirm that lactation cookies and other special foods help to increase milk production is lacking.
On the bright side, these cookies contain a range of vitamins and minerals that promote good health; however, this does not mean you can “wing it” on your own.
The ingredients in lactation cookies may cause problems if eaten in excess.
Relying on lactation cookies is not sensible. If you are stressed because you feel you may not produce enough milk then the wise option is to speak with a lactation specialist.
Every mother is different and will require an individual assessment to determine what support is needed to optimize breastfeeding.
The commercialization of lactation cookies means well for mothers, but it is not a properly regulated industry.
Without proper diagnosis by a lactation specialist, eating lactation cookies remains a shot in the dark that you believe will solve a problem you may not even have.
As stated earlier, most women produce more milk than their babies need, and it is simply the idea of not knowing that drives the industry.
Pregnant women eating lactation cookies defies logic
I know this may sound harsh but stop and think for a moment.
You will only begin breastfeeding after your baby is born, so having breasts overflowing with milk beforehand serves no purpose.
In the few months before childbirth, you will notice periodic leaking from your breasts. This is a sign that you are lactating and almost guarantee that your supply will be normal.
Lactation cookies are not meant for pregnant women but rather for mothers who have developed problems with their milk production.
There are a number of reasons why milk production diminishes and at times your lifestyle is not conducive to regular breastfeeding. This is a dilemma that many working moms face.
We know that breastfeeding is essential for nutrition, building a healthy immune system, and bonding with your baby to facilitate normal cognitive development.
We also know that milk supply must meet demand; otherwise, production will be affected.
If your baby is sick and not feeding as usual, then a breast pump will ensure your milk production remains constant.
The importance of seeking professional advice from a lactation specialist cannot be stressed enough.
Speak to your lactation specialist about using lactation cookies to boost your supply and find out about the ingredients to use if you intend to make your own cookies.
The right advice from the right source will give you the confidence you need.
Can anyone eat lactation cookies?
Yes, the ingredients ingested in moderate amounts are safe and healthy.
Having one now and then when you are pregnant may not have any adverse effect on you, but because you are already starting to lactate while pregnant, it is not recommended.
How many lactation cookies should I eat?
This depends greatly on your body type and your current milk supply; however, the general rule of thumb is to eat two or three a day until your milk supply has normalized, then eat as required.
Is sage a good ingredient to use?
No. Sage is one of the herbs that actually reduce milk supply.
Sage tea is used, among other things, to dry up milk production in mothers who can’t breastfeed for medical reasons, who don’t want to breastfeed, or who are giving their child up for adoption.
The last few words about lactation cookies
As long as you live a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet, you need not be concerned about producing enough milk for your little one.
But in the rare case where you are unable to meet demand from the onset, trying lactation cookies may seem like a good idea; however, the best advice is to see a lactation specialist so you can identify the cause.
Lactation cookies are for breastfeeding mothers and not pregnant women.
Let nature take its course during your pregnancy and use your regular check-ups to discuss any issues with your doctor that worry you, including breastfeeding.
Lactation cookies will help promote increased milk production but be sure about your breastfeeding methods and other issues that may mislead you into thinking you don’t have enough milk.
When using lactation cookies, always remember “moderation.”