What are lactation cookies and how are they made?

Can lactation cookies effectively increase breast milk production? Scientific studies do not support them, but the personal experiences of many women do. We find out how they work.

Written and verified by the nutritionist Anna Vilarrasa on June 10, 2021.

Last update: June 10, 2021

One of the most common concerns in many nursing mothers is the lack of enough milk. For this reason, it is not surprising that some home remedies, such as lactation cookies, are trending on social networks.

Although it is now that his presence resonates loudest, Before, they were small gifts that family and friends offered to new mothers. Nothing better than a small snack to try to help them and make life a little easier during these days.

Nobody is aware that in the first months of a baby's life there may be little time left for the mother to take care of herself or other tasks. So have a snack a point can be of great help.

How do lactation cookies work?

Throughout history and in many diverse cultures, breastfeeding women have used foods and plants to increase milk production and successfully feed children.

However, there is very little scientific evidence on this topic and on the galactagogue properties of certain foods or herbal remedies. For this reason, the effectiveness of some, such as lactation cookies, is usually evaluated based on personal experiences.

The latter are a phenomenon in maternity and breastfeeding blogs. Most recipes incorporate the usual cookie ingredients (sugar, butter, eggs) along with other products believed to increase or benefit milk supply.

In any case, these are natural and healthy foods that can be part of the diet of any person. But neither a miracle nor an immediate effect should be expected from them. And it is not mandatory to add them either.

Also, do not forget that, despite being healthy ingredients, cookies they come with a good amount of added sugar. It is not advisable to consume them daily.

Breastfeeding raises doubts and questions among mothers, especially if it is considered that there is a low milk production.

Fenugreek

Of all these remedies to increase breast milk production, fenugreek is one of the most widely used and known. This is demonstrated by a survey conducted among American women. It works by increasing the secretion of oxytocin and insulin. In a review of studies, it has been shown to be effective against the use of placebo.

Discover: 7 remedies with fenugreek that you should know

Oatmeal

Next we find the oats. It is another food that has enjoyed great popularity in recent years, although in this case due to the positive effects on general health. Nursing mothers are interested in its protein, iron and saponin content.

Flax seeds and yeast

On the other hand, flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic, which the body can convert into EPA and DHA. At the same time, Brewer's yeast provides B vitamins.

How to prepare lactation cookies?

As we have commented, there are 3 or 4 interesting ingredients when preparing cookies for lactation. So the possibilities for making them are numerous. Here we share one of the most popular recipes.

Ingredients needed for 12 units

  • 1 egg.
  • 4 tablespoons of water.
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed.
  • 1/2 cup of butter.
  • A little vanilla essence.
  • 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  • 4 teaspoons of brewer's yeast.
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 of brown sugar.
  • Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup that can be substituted for chopped 70% cocoa chocolate.

Step by step in the preparation of lactation cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. To get started, soak the flaxseed and brewer's yeast with the water and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. On the other hand, beat the butter together with the two types of sugar (white and brown) and the egg. It can be worked either by hand or with the help of a mixer. Once well integrated, add the vanilla essence and the flax and yeast mixture.
  4. Then, keep adding the rest of the ingredients: chocolate chips, flour, rolled oats and baking powder. Mix everything so that it is well integrated.
  5. Once the dough is obtained, form balls of the same size. Place them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  6. Cook for 12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. After this time remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before removing from the tray.

General recommendations during breastfeeding

Oatmeal is not only recommended for breastfeeding, but it has specific contributions to the general health of all people.

Feeding and hydration are two of the pillars to guarantee the success of breastfeeding. Some tricks, such as lactation cookies, can help at specific times, but they are not necessary at all.

Broadly speaking, these are some important nutritional considerations for breastfeeding women:

  • During this time energy demand grows considerably. For this reason, it is necessary to increase the intake and do it through foods with a high nutritional density.
  • Whole-grain carbohydrates and healthy fat sources provide energy and essential fatty acids. Thus It is advisable to introduce foods such as oatmeal, rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread daily, potatoes, nuts, eggs, olive oil and blue fish (in this case, 2 times a week).
  • Also it is necessary to ensure an adequate supply of protein. These are found in lean meats, eggs, and fish, as well as tofu and legumes. Combining sources of animal origin with those of plant origin is recommended.
  • Fruits and vegetables are healthy and they help meet the requirements of some vitamins and minerals. It is enough to respect the recommendation of 5 a day, with great variety.
  • The most suitable snacks to satisfy energy and nutrient demand are among nuts, dried fruits (dates, dried apricots or plums), rolled oats, whole wheat bread and Greek yogurts.
  • Dairy products (cheese, yogurt or smoothies based on milk and fruits) are also recommended for breakfast or between meals. These help meet the needs of vitamin D, B12, calcium and phosphorus.

Read more: 11 recommended things to eat while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding cookies can be helpful, but not necessary

The truth is that the vast majority of breastfeeding women are able to feed their children without the need for food or galactagogue supplements. If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and your baby is growing and developing normally, there is no need to worry at first.

In those cases where there are milk supply problems, it is always advisable to consult an advisor or an expert for professional advice.

Nursing mothers can continue with their usual diet, adapted to the new energy and nutritional needs. Interestingly, fresh foods abound.

Some snacks, such as lactation cookies, may be present sporadically. And if it is very useful to have them always on hand, you can experiment and try recipes for cookies or bars based on oats, nuts, seeds and dehydrated fruits.

If you like brewer's yeast, flax, fenugreek or oat flakes, they can be added to other dishes and take advantage of all the properties they provide. Whether or not they help in the production of milk, their nutrients will be a good complement during this new stage.

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