Lactation cookies are one of the most popular foods for breastfeeding mamas to eat when wanting to increase milk supply. Lactation cookies taste amazing, satisfy sugar cravings, and ultimately give you a huge boost in milk supply. But many mamas become dependent on eating lots of lactation cookies to keep their supply where they want it, and it isn’t the healthiest way to go.
Do lactation cookies really work?
The short answer is yes, lactation cookies can really work, according to anecdotal studies. There haven’t been in-depth, scientific studies to prove an actual increase in milk supply. But overall, women report an increase in milk supply with these lactation cookies. Many of them have brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, flaxseed, fenugreek or other galactagogues that increase milk supply. The key is to find the right ingredients for your body. Everyone responds individually to ingredients.
Why do lactation cookies work so well?
Lactation cookies are full of a few ingredients that a breastfeeding mamas’ brain and body loves. The first ingredient is of course SUGAR! Sugar, or glucose is the brain’s first choice for energy. When a brain is tired, it craves more sugar to function. Lactation cookies offer a tasty way to get that glucose to the brain! In addition to sugar, lactation cookies also offer a lot of energy. Basically, they are high in calories. All of those calories make it easy for your body to produce breast milk without having to tap into the extra fat stores. Specifically, the calories are coming from fat (butter mainly in many recipes), and carbohydrates. Your body is getting plenty of carbs to function on NOW, and plenty of fat to save for later.
The additional herbs and ingredients for milk supply really help lactation cookies give your milk supply a kick! Many recipes and packaged cookies contain oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, fenugreek, fennel seed, milk thistle and other ingredients known to help with lactation. Many of these ingredients have been used for years to help lactating women, and fenugreek is one of the few that has been in studies, and shown to increase milk supply.
Lactation cookies are also super easy to pack on the go. This makes for an easy, sweet treat while mamas are buys, but still need to keep up milk supply. Lactation cookies don’t take long to mix and bake, and many of them can be stored in the freezer, making it super convenient for new moms.
Do lactation cookies without brewer’s yeast work?
You can absolutely find success with lactation cookies that omit brewer’s yeast. The key is that they offer other ingredients to still provide the same boost. There are many other ingredients that do this. We actually have a variety of them in our Milk Dust Bars, to help ensure that many mamas experience an increase in milk supply. We derive the yeast benefits from a nutritional yeast, so that it is actually gluten free in our blend. Many lactation cookie recipes don’t have this, and so they use oatmeal, flaxseed, fennel or fenugreek as alternatives to brewer’s yeast. Look for these ingredients in a lactation cookie recipe without brewer’s yeast, so you can ensure there are components that will help you milk supply.
Why may lactation cookies not be a good idea?
Lactation cookies do not offer breastfeeding mamas the nutrients they need to fully support hormone and weight balance. Despite being delicious and tasty, lactation cookies aren’t providing protein, vitamins, minerals or antioxidants – which are arguably more important than the lactation herbs and ingredients.
The postpartum mama still has an increased need for nutrition. There are many nutrient deficiencies that pop up after birth during the postnatal period, which is where the term postnatal depletion comes from.
Science-based Medicine goes so far to say that lactation cookies probably won’t increase your milk supply. If you read the article, they go over the disappointment in the nutritional profile of the standard packaged lactation cookie.
Relying on lactation cookies causes a cycle of needing sugar and carbs to supplement the lack of nutrients. The cookies are taking the place of the much needed nutrition, and play a role in the endless cycle of sugar cravings while breastfeeding.
Lactation cookie alternatives like Milk Dust Bars
As we learn more about postpartum health, brands like Milk Dust are developing alternatives to the standard lactation cookies. These alternatives, and healthier recipes are providing breastfeeding mamas with more nutrition, less sugar, and still a milk boost.
Milk Dust Bars are especially unique in that they help combat the sugar-craving cycle that many breastfeeding mamas find themselves stuck in. Extra minerals like Chromium and Magnesium are added to help combat blood sugar issues. Turmeric and cinnamon bark have also been show to help balance blood sugar – especially in diabetes.
Combine these hand-picked nutrients with the amazing protein count and low sugar count, and you have a wonderful snack option for mamas on the go. Not to mention they taste amazing! Sweet, like a candy bar, and some say even better than a lactation cookie!
Our Milk Dust Bars also have a unique lactation blend consisting of more than just one ingredient. We use a combination of lactation-supporting ingredients such as fenugreek, fennel seed, milk thistle, red raspberry leaf, turmeric and brewer’s yeast. By combining all these ingredients to work together, the effects of just one in high doses is reduced. A very small percentage of women have adverse reactions to fenugreek, but most have amazing results. Still, our blend has a small amount of fenugreek, supported by the other ingredients to make a more friendly, yet powerful blend.
The Milk Dust Bars are powerful alternatives to the standard lactation cookie. There are also more recipes that are paleo, low-carb or just healthier. Do your best to find a lactation cookie recipe that is low in sugar and fat, and high in nutrients. Adding blueberries to cookies, switching to dark chocolate and using a sugar substitute are great places to start.