Before you bake that lactation cookie recipe you found on Pinterest, take a moment to consider the pros and cons of lactation cookies versus a protein powder created for breastfeeding. Nursing and pumping moms have so many options for boosting their nutrition - and milk supply - but how to decide what route is best for you?
If you’re a new mom who’s looking for a way to increase your milk supply, you’ve probably come across countless recipes for lactation cookies on your search. Many breastfeeding moms swear by these lactation snacks, but are they really the easiest and most effective way to boost and maintain your milk supply?
A cookie that’s healthy and nutritious, tastes delicious, convenient to make, and increases your milk supply — sounds too good to be true, right? As many mamas have found out, it may be. When it comes to the effectiveness of lactation cookies, the quality of the ingredients is vital. Not only do you have to be mindful of what nutrition, vitamins, and minerals your nursing body needs, but you also need to incorporate galactagogues (milk-boosting foods) to make your cookies effective.
Depending on which recipe you choose, the ingredients of lactation cookies vary wildly. But with a plethora of lactation cookie recipes filling Pinterest, as well as many pre-made cookie mixes promising to boost your milk, it can be hard to know what the right choice is. Deciphering long lists of ingredients in various recipes and then going to the effort of baking a tray of lactation snacks can be exhausting and confusing. If you’re a mama who’s wondering how to produce more milk — and questioning whether lactation cookies are the answer — we’ve created this blog post with you in mind. Keep reading for everything you need to know about lactation cookies, and whether they’re the right choice for you.
How Can I Produce More Milk?
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants should ideally be breastfed exclusively for around the first six months, with continued breastfeeding combined with appropriate complementary foods for the first year or longer. Yet, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60% of mothers don’t breastfeed for as long as they would have liked. The most common reasons for this include trouble getting their baby to latch and difficulties with lactation.
With these challenges facing many new moms, they often look for ways to increase their milk supply and aid their breastfeeding journey. One way to stimulate your milk is to consume galactagogues. A galactagogue is a substance that can help increase milk supply, such as a herb or medication. Many substances used for increasing milk supply are also used to address digestive problems, such as fenugreek and fennel.
There are several ways to include galactagogues into your daily routine, but most moms choose to boost their intake via their diet. This has led to various recipes and specialized galactagogues products being created. From lactation protein smoothies to cookies and supplements, there’s no shortage of options for moms looking for a way to get their milk flowing.
What Are Lactation Cookies?
Lactation cookies are cookies that contain galactagogues such as whole oats, brewer’s yeast, and flaxseed. Recipes for lactation cookies vary; however, as with the majority of sweet baked goods, lactation cookies often include empty calories, such as sugar and butter. This can make them a less nutritious choice for health-conscious moms who want to boost their milk supply while also nourishing their bodies.
Put simply, lactation cookies are still cookies, and eating too many may not be the healthiest choice. It’s crucial that you check the ingredients of lactation cookies to ensure that they’ll help your milk supply — and aren’t just a calorie trap.
The Pros and Cons of Lactation Cookies
When it comes to breastfeeding, there’s no “one size fits all” solution. Just because one method helps your girlfriend turn into a milk-making machine doesn’t mean it will work as well for you — and vice versa. Getting into a workable breastfeeding routine can involve a lot of trial and error, so it’s important to be patient. If you find your milk supply is a little on the lower side and would like to boost it, it’s crucial that you consider your lifestyle and nutritional needs.
Here are some pros and cons of using lactation cookies to help increase your breastmilk:
Pros of Lactation Cookies
Contain Galactagogues - The whole point of eating lactation cookies is to improve your milk supply, but they can only do this if they're packed full of galactagogue ingredients.
Increase Your Calorie Intake - According to the CDC, breastfeeding mothers should consume an additional 450 to 500 kilocalories (kcal) of healthy food calories per day. Of course, the keyword here is “healthy,” so cookies should be eaten in moderation.
Tasty - Who doesn’t love sweet treats? If you’re a whizz in the kitchen, you can create delicious lactation cookies to enjoy as a snack.
Cons of Lactation Cookies
Empty Calories - Depending on the recipe you follow, lactation cookies can be filled with calories that offer very little nutritional value. This can make losing postpartum weight difficult.
Inconvenient - If you don’t enjoy baking, whipping up a batch of lactation cookies could feel like more trouble than it's worth. Purchasing a ready-made mix can make life a little easier, but be aware that pre-made cookies often contain sodium and other hidden ingredients. In addition, if you’re making your cookies from scratch, you’ll have to source the ingredients separately, which can be a pain.
Healthy Lactation Cookie Recipe
Lactation cookies are typically loaded with sugar, white flour, and butter. As some babies (and mamas!) don’t do well with dairy and gluten, it can be challenging to find recipes that are both tasty and nutritious. In fact, with the average lactation cookie coming in at around 150 calories each, and containing very little protein, it’s essential that as a nursing mom, you’re aware of what you’re snacking on.
Fortunately, it is possible to create a tasty and nutritious cookie that can help boost your breast milk by making a few simple substitutes in your recipe. For example, in most cookie recipes, you can substitute 1 cup of white flour for 1/3 cup of lactation protein powder. Not only does this provide a generous dose of galactagogues, but it also boosts the protein content of your cookies, which is super important for nursing mothers. In fact, according to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, breastfeeding mothers need at least 65 grams of protein per day. Adding just one serving of Milk Drunk Protein Powder to your lactation cookie recipe provides 17g of protein — almost a quarter of a nursing mother’s recommended daily amount!
If you’re looking for a substitute for white sugar that has a less damaging effect on your blood sugar levels, opt for a natural sweetener like honey or coconut sugar. For a vegan cookie, you can also switch out eggs for flaxseed. Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains a lot of fiber, so it’s perfect for nursing mothers — plus, it's a natural galactagogue! One tablespoon of flaxseed mixed with three tablespoons of water can be used in place of 1 whole egg to make your lactation cookies even more nutritious.
Alternatives to Lactation Cookies
If baking isn’t really your thing, or you’d rather explore more healthy lactation snack options, you’ve come to the right place! There are plenty of delicious alternatives to lactation cookies. One of the most versatile ingredients you can use in your milk-boosting snacks is a lactation protein powder. A simple and tasty way to get a healthy dose of galactagogues, protein powders designed for breastfeeding are also cost-effective and pack a nutritious punch. Here are some of our favorite nutrient-dense and easy snack recipes using Milk Drunk Protein Powder.
Great for any time of the day and super simple to make, lactation smoothies are both delicious and convenient. Whether you prefer yours for breakfast or as a snack on the go, smoothies can help you increase your calorie intake and healthily support your breastfeeding goals.
Add a scoop of Milk Drunk Protein Powder to your favorite smoothie recipe, blend and pour — it’s that simple! With 17 grams of dairy-free protein, four grams of fiber, 10 percent of your daily value of iron, and just 180 calories or less per serving, you can be confident your body is getting a delicious dose of vitamins and minerals.
Pancakes that taste great and help boost your milk supply? Yes, they’re a thing! Plus, with just three-ingredients, these pancakes are so easy and cost-effective to rustle up!
To make lactation pancakes, all you need is one scoop of your favorite Milk Drunk Protein Powder, two eggs, and a large banana. Blend all of your ingredients together and fire up the griddle!
Lactation Cookie Dough Protein Balls
Who would have thought that no baking and just five ingredients would make the most delicious lactation protein balls? If you’re short on time and need a healthy nursing snack for on the go, these little balls are the perfect solution. Simply mix two scoops of Milk Drunk protein powder, one cup of almond meal, half a cup of almond butter, and a quarter cup of maple syrup in a medium-size bowl!
The Best Lactation Products
Breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding and beautiful things you can share with your little one, but it can also be tiring and challenging — especially if your milk supply is low. By incorporating galactagogues into your snacks, you can boost your milk supply and nourish your body.
Lactation cookies are one way to increase your galactagogue intake, but it’s essential to source healthy recipes and make sensible food choices. To ensure your body gets what it needs, and you don’t create gaps in your diet, opt for protein-rich snacks that help cover the 20% increase in protein your body needs when breastfeeding. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate a protein powder that is specially created for nursing mothers into your diet.
Milk Drunk Protein Powder can help some mamas make more milk for their little ones — all while giving you the extra (healthy!) calories your body needs to fuel your busy day as a nursing mom!