Lactation Cookies

When I was pregnant I kept seeing something called “lactation cookies” everywhere. I didn’t really know what they were and I didn’t really know much about breastfeeding in general–most of my reading was about pregnancy and birth and raising kids and somehow I skipped the feeding part. I did save this recipe to try later because I was curious and of course, I love cookies. 🙂

When Logan was born my mom came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days to help out. She was amazing and did so much! One of the things she did was bake these cookies. It was hard to find the brewer’s yeast–it wasn’t something in a regular grocery store apparently. My mom went to a few different stores and couldn’t find the yeast. Then I thought, maybe it’s at a beer store! Which Portland has an abundance of! Sure enough, a local brew your own place near our house had the brewer’s yeast so Michael picked some up and my mom baked the cookies for me.

Here is the recipe she used:

Lactation Cookies

From: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons brewers yeast
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks (I like ghirardelli)
  • feel free to add: unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped almonds, 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
  4. Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
  5. You can easily freeze this dough - scoop the rounds on a baking sheet, place the sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, then place the dough rounds in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Bake at the same temp - they may or may not need an extra minute or 2 - your preference!
  6. You can use all butter if you don't have/can't find coconut oil. If you swap any butter amount for more coconut oil, the cookies will spread a bit more. If you decrease the fat (butter/oil) amount in total, these cookies will be drier. It's up to you!
  7. You can use 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour with similar results - any more and the cookies with be drier and grittier.
  8. You can probably decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup without issue.
  9. I do not have experience in making these vegan, so I can't say what it would be like without the eggs or with vegan butter. I also am not sure how the consistency would be with gluten free flour.
  10. I personally think you can increase the brewers yeast amount by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=49820

Supposedly these cookies help milk supply. Apparently the oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast are what is key to increasing your supply.

“Lactation cookies may be the best-kept secret among breastfeeding mothers. The ingredients in these yummy cookies work in a number of different ways to help moms boost and maintain their milk supply. What makes these cookies so special is that they contain galactagogues, which are substances that promote lactation in humans and animals. Galactagogues can be found in various herbs and foods. The brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, flaxseed meal and whole oats in lactation cookies are what specifically help with a lactating mother’s milk supply.” (source)

I think the recipe said it made like 24 cookies but my mom got 34 out of the recipe.

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They are super delicious! They are a bit drier than your normal chocolate chip oatmeal cookies but not in a bad way. I found them really tasty and kind of addicting! I’d have a cookie or two a few times a day (usually when I was pumping). They tasted great.

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I can’t really attest to whether or not they improved my milk supply but I did see an increase each day–was that because I was getting a regular routine of pumping and that just made the production increase? Or was it the cookies? No way to tell. But the cookies are yummy so it was worth giving it a try!
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Something else I got (thank you Amazon prime) was this super amazing breast pump bra:

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Damn has it been a lifesaver! Pumping was such a pain in the ass. Having to do it so frequently and basically having to hold the bottles to keep the suction going was a major hassle. I could not do anything else while pumping. It was frustrating. Finally at 2am one morning I decided to see if Amazon had something to make this easier and they did. The bra works great for pumping and has made my life a lot easier. I can have my hands free to do other things–eat, drink, read, play with Logan…

Learning little things like the bra, having easy snacks you can eat with one hand,  and having two changing table covers instead of just one (because he’s going to pee on everything the second you finish doing laundry), has been kind of a “duh” thing. But it’s the little things you learn along the way that make life easier with a newborn.

Anyways, the cookies tasted great and I would most definitely make them again–even if I wasn’t breastfeeding. So don’t feel like you can’t make them just because. My mom and my husband both ate some and liked them as well.

Do you have experience with these cookies? Do you think they helped you?

9 Responses

  1. I did teas and herbal supplements. I also ate junk food. I really wish I had NOT eaten cookies when I was nursing. Wheat, dairy and sugar all combined to add to my daughter’s colic because I had food sensitivities to them.. Between that and teething, I swear she learned to talk so she could ask for tylenol.

    I’m a food addict (now in recovery) and have lactose intolerance. Eating that stuff was devastating to me, and didn’t make for a great childhood for my daughter, either. Better late than never, but I never dreamed that my food template then could cause us both so much pain.

    Good luck and hoping for a better outcome for you and the baby.
    Karen P recently posted..Acting as if you have type 2 diabetes my favorite quotes from Barbara Berkeley, MD From Refuse to Regain, (part 1 in a series)

    1. It’s definitely interesting to see what effects the baby when nursing. I drank 1 cup of coffee a day when I was pregnant (which was my norm pre-pregnancy) and then that first week and a half home from the hospital I was so sleep deprived I didn’t drink any coffee at all because I was trying to get sleep whenever I could. That second week I was feeling a bit better and thought, maybe I’ll have my coffee again! Big mistake. I think it contributed to a few sleepless nights with my little guy deciding to be wide awake! Back to no coffee right now…

  2. Best wishes on your wonderful baby. He looks adorable.

    FYI Brewers yeast is found in health food stores. It is a dried non-live yeast that is a by product of brewing, not live yeast. Brewers yeast was considered a very healthful supplement back in the 70’s and often recommended to nursing mothers. I do not believe that you should be using active live yeast which is a very different thing.

  3. I think I’ve found brewer’s yeast in the bulk section at New Seasons (so likely also at Whole Foods and Fred Meyer) – sometimes it’s called nutritional yeast and I don’t know if there is any important difference. I love it on popcorn and it’s also a big ingredient in fake-cheese vegan cooking, so it’s definitely around!

    That bra both amazes and amuses me – I have a vague notion about what is involved with pumping, but clearly some smart mom was like, that’s it, we need a PRODUCT for this! I’m adding that to my list of tips to give pregnant friends!
    bethh recently posted..March: money AND home-life stuff!

    1. The bra is amazing and I will definitely be getting it as a gift for any friends that get pregnant because it was such a life saver. I wish someone had told me about it!

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