Lactation cookies can work depending on the ingredients used to make them. These cookies should contain galactagogues compounds to help. These compounds are herbs or food ingredients known to help increase breastmilk production, such as fenugreek, flaxseeds, oatmeal, and brewer’s yeast. Some other ingredients that can be added to homemade cookies include black sesame seeds, coconut, chia seeds, and turmeric. These cookies are rich in calories, so they’re great as mid-meal snacks, even if they don’t necessarily boost breastmilk production.
The first six months of your infant’s life are crucial for breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months, and so does the World Health Organization (WHO).
It benefits your infant in many ways and benefits you as a mother.
Even though it’s natural for a mother’s body to start producing milk, many face issues resulting in low production.
For this purpose, there are many lactation-increasing practices women adopt.
Lactation cookies are one such option that is increasingly becoming popular amongst mothers. But is it that helpful?
And how can mere cookies help you lactate? Let’s take a look!
The famous lactation cookies
Ingredients in lactation cookies can help facilitate milk production.
You can buy them in various forms, such as small bites or cookies, of which there can be different varieties like eggless, raisin, pumpkin, and other forms of cookies.
The ingredients of these cookies make them great and can influence your milk production. There are wide varieties of these available in the market.
You need to be careful when buying them, for there are many that are just plain sugar and filled with artificial flavors claiming to be helpful in lactation but lack high-quality ingredients.
Lactation cookies aren’t only supposed to help you lactate but help mothers fuel their energy.
Let’s look at the list of ingredients that make that possible.
Ingredients in lactation cookies
Breastfeeding cookies or lactation cookies can be helpful depending on the ingredients it’s made up of, and help nourish the new mothers, giving them more energy to go through this challenging phase after giving birth.
These cookies are also popularly known as galactagogues cookies because of the crucial role this ingredient plays.
This word comes from the Greek “galacta,” meaning milk.
There are two forms of it available in the market, including pharmaceutical (domperidone and metoclopramide) and herbal forms.
The herbal form combines different ingredients such as Shatavari, fenugreek, silymarin, garlic, and malunggay.
These ingredients used in making cookies can help stimulate mammary growth and provide hormonal support.
Fenugreek is a middle eastern spice found to increase breast milk supply.
A 2018 review of studies of 122 mothers who took fenugreek showed that the herb significantly increased the amount of milk they produced.
Though researchers aren’t sure what makes this ingredient work, it has something to do with the fenugreek’s phytoestrogens.
It buffers the estrogen in the body, which helps control prolactin and increase milk production.
It might also increase perspiration, which activates the letdown reflex, leading to milk release.
Though some women might face adverse effects of consuming fenugreek while pregnant as it can affect uterine contractions.
There’s not much research on how good it is for women to take during breastfeeding.
Flaxseed contains a good amount of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and several essential vitamins and minerals.
It’s exceptionally high in thiamine, a B vitamin that plays a vital role in boosting metabolism and cell function.
It’s also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids essential for heart health. It contains phytoestrogens, a plant compound that influences milk supply.
It’s also a great source of DHA and EPA, which is passed through human milk to your baby and supports growth, development, and sustainment.
Oats are packed with nutrients and iron, which is a must for breastfeeding mothers and helps promote milk supply.
It’s a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc, and it can increase the hormone prolactin, which supports increased milk volume and production.
It’s mainly used in producing beer and bread, but some people consume it because it acts as a great probiotic and encourages gut health.
Yeast is a good source of protein, Vitamin B, iron, and trace minerals.
It’s supposed to boost energy and support the nervous system in new mothers. It’s safe to consume for breastfeeding mothers and can help facilitate increased milk production.
These are only some of the ingredients used in making these cookies ready to be purchased from the market.
But many moms prefer making it themselves at home too, and this way, they can add more healthy ingredients which are helpful for milk production.
- Black sesame seeds are loaded with nutrients including proteins, unsaturated fats, Vitamin B, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and antioxidants.
- Chia seeds help raise good cholesterol and increases energy levels in breastfeeding mothers.
- Coconut has fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s rich in zinc which helps in post-birth healing.
- Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice and helps reduce the risk of mastitis during lactation. It’s a famous Indian spice that is also helpful in healing which can be quite beneficial for healing post-birth and increases brain function and dopamine levels when consumed.
Need for lactation cookies
Women’s bodies can produce enough milk for their babies, but sometimes, the body cannot do so due to some factors.
In such cases, you might need the help of a lactation professional who can help you find ways to increase your milk production, which also includes the food you eat.
These cookies are nothing but a compilation of those ingredients that can help produce milk.
The vitamins, minerals, brain-boosting fatty acids, and many beneficial antioxidants increase breast milk production.
There’s no scientific evidence backing the claim that lactation cookies help increase lactation.
But many women who have tried them say that it indeed help them and if it’s because of extra calories or a due blend of these healthy ingredients.
New mothers especially need 2000 to 2,800 calories per day compared to an average non-pregnant woman who needs 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day.
If there’s a lack of calories, it can also hinder your milk supply.
Foods to boost milk supply
Having lactation cookies isn’t the only way to increase lactation, but there’re other kinds of foods that you can make part of your routine and increase your milk production.
- Fennel seeds
- Protein-rich foods
- Leafy green vegetables
- Alfafa sprouts
When included in day-to-day meals, these ingredients can help boost breastmilk production.
But some foods or beverages could affect your milk supply, and cutting them out or reducing their quantity can help.
- Any beverage containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks or energy drinks, and even some chocolates
- Dairy products can influence your hormones and disturb them
- Herbs such as parsley, peppermint, and thyme
- Spices, such as cinnamon and chili
- Fruits such as kiwi, prunes, and pineapple
- Vegetables causing gas such as onions, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower
Though it might differ depending on your current health condition.
Other tips to increase lactation
These cookies are one way to help with your lactation, but they’re not a magical solution.
You have to pay attention to other things that can help boost your milk production:
- Nursing frequently
- Expressing milk after breastfeeding to keep the supply coming
- Staying hydrated with water and fresh juice
- Getting plenty of rest
- Working in a calm environment and reducing stress factors
- Doing some light exercises
- Wearing a well fitted nursing bra
- Avoiding alcohol and nicotine
- Paying attention to baby’s latch
Referring to a lactation consultant is nothing to be ashamed about.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, so asking them for help to better feed your infant is something you shouldn’t hesitate from.
How many lactation cookies should I eat in a day?
One or two cookies a day is good enough for breastfeeding mothers, and they can take up to 2-3 days to show effect in boosting breastmilk production.
You should start eating them by the end of the pregnancy so it can also help produce good quality colostrum and subsequent breastmilk.
Will lactation cookies make me fat?
These cookies contain ingredients that can be high in calories.
Although these are all healthy ingredients, eating in moderation is always something to consider.
They can be pretty tasty, so eating more than two in a day can increase your weight.
Although breastfeeding mothers need more calories than non-pregnant women as they also tend to burn more calories during breastfeeding, the calories are needed.
But keep it in moderation.
Do lactation cookies give baby gas?
These cookies can contain an ingredient known as brewer’s yeast which can cause gas or bloating in babies.
But not every cookie or bite needs to have brewer’s yeast, and different homemade lactation cookie recipes don’t include this ingredient responsible for causing gas.
Many women suffer from insufficient breast milk supply issues, due to which they look for ways to increase this supply.
Lactation cookies are a great way to get those extra calories in between meals and help you keep energized.
Since it’s made up of healthy ingredients, it’s a sure healthy snack.
The galactagogues compounds make it possible to increase milk production. These are herbs or food ingredients known throughout different cultures to stimulate breastmilk and help produce more milk.
If you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients, even if they don’t help as much in milk production, they can be good for a snack and keep you energized as they fill up for the calories mothers need during this time.