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Do you want to increase your milk supply? Are you worried about a dip in your milk production when you return to work after maternity leave, or when your monthly friend finally returns? I know I was!
About a month and a half before I returned to work, I started trying to build up a freezer stash of breastmilk in anticipation of an inevitable dip in my supply. My goal is to breastfeed Taylor up to her 1st birthday, but I knew that wouldn’t be easy with going back to work and I needed a game plan. I would pump once in the evening after I put Taylor to bed, and another time in the early morning, after her 3-4AM feed (find out exactly what I stock in my pumping bag in this post). I noticed I really wasn’t producing much extra, so I started researching ingredients that would give me a needed lactation boost. I came across a recipe that I modified to be almost gluten free (oat flour- yum!) and low sugar, since the concept of intentionally eating cookies all day long was appealing but also not part of my postpartum fitness plan. Exclusively nursing mom’s do need to consume between 300-500 additional calories a day to keep up their milk supply, so make those extra calories work for you and your baby by munching on these cookies.
Now that I’m back at work, I make a batch of my trusty cookies every few weeks to provide the added milk supply I need to keep up with pumping enough at work to meet Taylor’s needs. Read more about my working mama pumping/feeding schedule in this post. I notice a 3-4 ounce difference between the days I eat the cookies, and the days I do not. So far, I’ve only had to dip into my freezer stash a couple of times, usually during the weeks when I haven’t taken the time to make a batch. [update as of 1/7/16: I am still breastfeeding and successfully pumping at work, and now take this Honest Co. Lactation Supplement, 2 pills once per day, in addition to eating these cookies when I’ve noticed a dip].
The key to the cookie’s effectiveness is in their super lactation boosting ingredients. Almost all of these ingredients can be purchased through Amazon Prime Pantry, which is an AMAZING resource for us busy mamas with limited time to get into the actually grocery store. You’ll only need to buy most of the ingredients once (i.e. Brewer’s yeast, Fenugreek tablets, oat four, etc.) because you only use a bit per batch – well worth the initial investment!
The Best Lactation Cookie Recipe:
1 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar (I substitute this Splenda brown sugar blend)
4 tbsp of water
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 large, omega 3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups of thick cut oats
1 cup of raisins
4 tbsp of brewer’s yeast (NOT GLUTEN FREE – skip if you cannot tolerate gluten)
9 fenugreek capsules (empty capsules and throw away casings)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix flaxseed meal and water, set aside.
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour, brewer’s yeast, salt, soda and fenugreek), set aside.
- Blend butter and sugars well.
- Blend in eggs, one at a time.
- Stir in flaxseed mix and vanilla, mix well.
- Add dry mixture in three equal parts.
- Stir in oats and raisins.
- Drop on baking sheet 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes.
Ideally you would space out your cookie consumption throughout the day; when I’m trying to up my milk supply I’ll eat one in the morning, another as a snack at work, and then another in the evening. I always throw a cookie (or two!) in a ziploc into my pumping bag as a pump sesh snack.
If you find yourself needing a boost in your milk supply like I did, whip up a batch of these and give them 24-48 hours to help you out. Happy snacking/lactating!