Let's talk lactation cookies! You can make them or you can buy them! Some moms say they are tasty, other moms ... not so much! What is it about these goodies that can motivate your mammaries to make more milk? (Say THAT 5 times in a row!) For the most part, the ingredients that can affect your milk supply are oatmeal, flaxseed meal and brewer's yeast. Anything that has the ability to increase milk supply, whether that's a food, an herb or a medication, is called a galactogogue.
Now, let's not forget that everyone is different! For some crazy reason, we like to throw around "rules and regulations" about breastfeeding as though all moms and their babies were made from the same cookie cutter!! This couldn't be any further from the truth, and the effect that various galactogogues have on breast milk production will differ among moms.
If you do feel that your milk supply is decreasing, scarfing down those cookies should not be your first go-to! Consider this .... the number one reason that leads to a mom stopping breastfeeding early is the perception that her milk supply is low when it often isn't. Contacting a lactation consultant can sometimes reassure you with just a short conversation. However, if your supply really is decreasing, you need to find out WHY this is happening so that it can be corrected. Lactation cookies may not be able to override the problem that caused the low supply in the first place.
However, after identifying the problem, a plan should be made to correct it. Part of that plan may very well be those lactation cookies that you hear so much about!! Here's an important fact that you need to know, and this fact applies to everyone ... using lactation cookies alone, or any other supplement that is supposed to increase breast milk production, without frequently demanding milk through breastfeeding and/or pumping, won't affect supply. Breast milk needs to be removed so that the breasts will get the signal to make more. Likewise, stimulating the breasts will increase prolactin levels, which is the hormone needed to make milk. Taking diet pills without exercising or changing your diet won't help you lose weight. Same goes for lactation cookies!
Here's my favorite lactation cookie recipe that I often share with moms! Notice that this is just a good old-fashioned oatmeal cookie with the addition of flaxseed meal and brewer's yeast. Add nuts or chocolate chips .... or nothing at all! Enjoy!
The Breastfeeding Guru