Do Lactation Cookies Work?
Low milk supply ranks alongside pain and difficulty getting babies to latch as some of the most distressing concerns for new moms. The problems are particularly common among first-time moms. Indeed, over 90% of first-time mothers face trouble breastfeeding.
It’s not uncommon to come across victims of low milk supply associating the problem with hormonal imbalance or other possible physiological conditions. But before you visit your clinic for recommendations from your obstetrician or gynecologist, have you tried the famous lactation cookies? The term may sound fancy and faddish, but these cookies have been around from time immemorial.
What Are They?
Lactation cookies, as their name suggests, are cookies that are taken to increase and maintain the milk supply of lactating moms. Also known as breastfeeding cookies, lactation cookies are made up of galactagogues, which are compounds that boost milk production in humans and other lactating mammals.
As galactagogues exist in numerous herbs and food supplements, you should do your due diligence when shopping for these yummy cookies.
How Do Lactation Cookies Work?
To establish whether lactation cookies work, you’ll first need to understand their chief ingredients. Though they could be more, most lactation cookies comprise of four elements, namely, whole oats, flaxseed meal, fenugreek, and brewer’s yeasts.
Whole oats are high in fiber and iron, as well as protein and complex carbohydrates. Multiple studies have linked iron deficiency to reduced milk supply, and a diet rich in the mineral could make all the difference. The presence of fiber in whole oats help to deal with constipation, which is a common concern among breastfeeding moms. Oats are also famous for their high concentration of saponins. Saponins are immune-stimulating compounds that trigger an increase in the levels of prolactin, a hormone that induces and boosts milk production.
Brewer’s Yeast is a common ingredient in beer production. The yeast packs protein, B vitamins, chromium, iron, selenium, and lots of other trace elements. Besides boosting milk production, Brewer’s yeast is also associated with reduced fatigue, and might be instrumental for mothers suffering from “baby blues.” Some lactation cookies may feature wheat germ in addition to, or in place of Brewer’s yeast. The zinc content in wheat germ not only boosts the immune system but also escalates the healing process of cracked nipples. And just like Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ may also help moms who are battling postpartum depression.
Flaxseed comes with healthy fats, namely omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These healthy fats not only enrich the quality of milk but also prevent cardiovascular diseases and allergies.
The final ingredient is fenugreek, which also packs a host of health and dietary benefits for breastfeeding mothers. Some of those include reducing fever, relieving an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal complications, reducing menstrual cramps, and soothing muscle pain. More importantly, fenugreek seeds are high in phytoestrogen, which is a compound that regulates the estrogen levels in the body. A balance of estrogen directly impacts the secretion of prolactin, thereby boosting milk production. And since it also induces perspiration, fenugreek positively interacts with the reflexes of a lactating mom, resulting in a seamless release of milk.
To optimize the benefits of the ingredients of lactation cookies, experts also encourage hydrating and eating a balanced diet. And even if you don’t note an immediate boost in milk supply, lactation cookies pack healthy ingredients that might boost your overall immunity.
Other Benefits of Lactation Cookies
Besides helping boost milk supply, lactation cookies come with additional benefits as highlighted below;
Healthy Snack to Eat On the Go
As a lactating mum, there are numerous other tasks that are just as demanding as breastfeeding your baby. Some of these include trying to get the baby to sleep, changing nappies and doing baby laundry, not to mention looking after yourself. These tasks can be so overbearing that you find virtually no time to prepare food for yourself.
But as a breastfeeding mum, you probably already understand the implications of going without food. Thankfully, you can snack on lactating cookies, not only to enjoy their milk production benefits but also to consume them as a proper meal. Even your kids, husband and any other family member can easily enjoy the benefits of these healthy snacks.
Caveat: Note that certain ingredients, such as fenugreek, interact adversely with pregnant and diabetic people. Therefore, it’s prudent to choose lactation cookies that feature a low concentration of such compounds.
Another precautionary measure is to read up the ingredients list thoroughly to ensure there isn’t any substance you’re allergic to.
All the chief ingredients that make up lactation cookies are superfoods that pack powerful health and dietary benefits. Most notably, these ingredients help relieve indigestion and promote the health of your gastrointestinal tract.
Even better, most lactation cookies are designed by professional naturopaths that ensure a balance of its nutritional elements. That makes these cookies a preferred option for mothers seeking to boost their overall immunity.
How to Make Lactation Cookies At Home
- 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cup of coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 cup of debittered brewer's yeast
- 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
- 2 cups of oat flour, preferably gluten-free
- 6 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to a temperature of 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet using a silicone baking mat or a parchment paper.
- Mix the ground flax seeds with water in a large bowl.
- Add in coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, debittered brewer’s yeast, and baking soda, then stir to even consistency.
- Gradually add oat flour as you stir until you form a dough.
- Fold in the dark chocolate chips and ½ cup of oats.
- Place the dough on the baking sheet, flattening them each time using your fingers.
- Keep the temperature around 350 degrees F and bake for between 10 and 12 minutes, or until your cookies turn lightly golden around their edges.
- Allow for 10 minutes for the cookies to cool on top of the baking sheet.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and wait till they are completely cool.
- Store your cookies inside an airtight container and at room temperature if you want them soft.
Low milk production is prevalent among many breastfeeding moms. In most cases, it results from stressful situations and postpartum depression. Nutritionists recommend snacking on lactation cookies to help boost your milk production. Should the condition persist, consult your doctor immediately at it could be indicative of an underlying medical condition, such as hypoplasia.
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