Milk and Cookies (aka Lactation Cookies, recipe included)

by Kimberly Bepler, ICPE, IAT (ICEA), PCD (DONA), CPD (CAPPA)

Milk and cookies?

Are those Girl Scout cookies going down a little too easy this winter? Did you know about milk-making cookies? A recipe for Lactation Cookies has long circled the internet, giving moms the hope that they can still eat delicious baked goods while building their milk supply.
I just discovered a new option for those who don’t have a grandma who bakes for them, or time to bake cookies themselves. Milk Makers is a new company that sells lactation cookies that you can keep in your freezer and enjoy as a daily treat to help you build or maintain your milk supply. The cookies were introduced to me by a new client who found them on her doorstep after welcoming her new baby home – she told me it was a guilt-free treat she looked forward to every day and she has had a great milk supply so far.
So that exactly are they? Chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal, flax, and brewers yeast to increase milk supply.  Do they work? The mamas say yes. (And even if they don’t, they are pretty yummy going down!) Eating a cookie that benefits your milk supply sounds like an amazing win-win to mothers who are working desperately to keep providing milk for their babies, especially if moms have gone back to work and are relying on limited pumping times to drive their milk supply.
We have celebrated and welcomed “Lactation Cookies” for a couple years at the moms’ groups I facilitate at Providence. Moms who are ‘graduating’ from the group bring them as a snack to share with everyone and then other moms get hooked. Then we send the recipe around, and the cycle continues.  And even though I have been out of the nursing-mom arena for a couple years I have been known to enjoy them too, with no spontaneous lactation reported!
I have also made lactation cookies while caring for new moms as a postpartum doula (and milk-making cheerleader!) and they are both well received and effective at bringing up milk supply (though it has yet to be proven how much of it is due to the support and how much is due to the cookies…)
I am thankful that now there is a good source for lactation cookies that don’t need to be made freshly (the cookies are made to be kept in the freezer and last up to a month – although from my experience they rarely seem to last that long!)
Many foods have been shown to increase milk production. Oats are universally promoted as a lactation enhancer and many moms report significant increase after adding oatmeal in some form to their daily diet. Other food well known for increasing milk production are avocados, raw almonds, barley, and leafy greens.
I still think there is a great market for a restaurant designed with pregnant and breastfeeding moms in mind (anyone want to open one?).  If a spa with a breastfeeding theme can thrive, certainly a breastfeeding-themed restaurant (offering locally made lactation cookies of course!) should be able make a go of it!
Any foods on your ‘must eat for optimum milk production’ list? Share them with me at Kimberly@abcdoula.com or find us on Facebook.

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