Throughout your breastfeeding journey you will encounter multiple times of low milk production, but there’s no need to panic! Even though the number one way to increase your milk flow is to continue nursing and pumping, these lactation cookies— which are totally delicious— are an easy way to boost your milk flow!
Anyone will enjoy these cookies, not just the lactating ladies out there. And, they are so much more affordable than any lactation cookie you’ll see in the stores (tastier too!).
Who wants to spend $20 on a handful of cookies? NO ONE.
The secret to this cookie recipe is that its packed full of galatagogues, specifically oats. Galactagogues is a fancy word for 'foods that increase milk supply.'
Although nothing has been proven by science (that male and money-driven industry that ignores much of women’s health), lactation consultants— and me!!— swear by oats as a natural, safe, and nutritious lactation-boosting food.
Just by eating a few of these cookies each day, I more than doubled— if not tripled— my milk supply!
Made with oat flour instead of wheat (or almond), and enhanced with steel cut oats, flaxseed, Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, and of course chocolate (!), these cookies are packed with iron (essential for breastfeeding), fiber, and natural sweetness that keeps your taste buds— and your gut— happy! They are also Gluten Free, although I suggest checking your baking soda to see if it was processed in a wheat-processing factory.
When my Little One turned 3 months old and hit that (exhausting) growth spurt, he began a sleep regression that lasted, well… let’s just say we’re still working it out! He also started eating a LOT more, which meant an increase in bottle usage (supplementing my milk flow with formula). He was still nursing several times a day, and night, but growing more and more dependent on the bottle (it was the only thing that helped him go to sleep).
After a month of this, I suddenly experienced a sharp drop in milk supply, and (not TMI) I got my first period in 14 months! I went from 4 ounces a session from one side, to less than 1 ounce. And so yeah, I totally panicked! I have full intention to nurse my Little One until he’s a year old, and although I know many things can happen throughout the year to disrupt that plan, I’m not ready to give up so easily.
So I took a deep-dive into a Google search on how to increase my milk supply, what causes a drop in milk production, and why my period may have returned. No doubt about it, by not nursing him as often, I put myself at risk for a return of my monthly cycle. Once that happens, your body naturally slows down your milk flow! Additionally, your milk may take on a new and unpleasant taste, so your baby will be more likely to reject your breast.
So here I was, facing a cranky baby who couldn’t eat enough, with my milk supply waning, and tasting funny to him, but the best thing I could do was to continue to try and nurse him despite all his rejection.
I spent the entire week doing everything I could to increase my milk supply once again. I nursed every other hour (and then bottle fed). I dusted off my breast pump and started pumping twice a day. I began taking fenugreek breastfeeding supplements. I chugged oat milk throughout the day. And, I went on a search for the best lactation cookie recipe I could find.
I borrowed from and adapted several different recipes to develop this one below that creates a cookie that’s a little crunchy on the outside, but soft, gooey and chewy on the inside.
Also, the dried figs, flaxseed (and the oats!) are great for your gut health. Too often, pregnant and breastfeeding moms are faced with constipation like they’ve never experienced before. Hemorrhoids and fissures are a reality for so many new moms out there. Sugar can only make that worst. So, I kept my added sugar content low, and enhanced the cookie with these fiber-packed ingredients to help keep your bowels moving, and your bottom happy!
If you’d like to cut the sugar even more, go ahead! Because I recommend eating these as often as you like (they are delicious!), cutting down or eliminating the sugar only makes them better for you, and if it helps you enjoy without guilt, then go for it!
I use Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, which are super moist, and come in a sealing pouch to lock-in the moisture and flavor! I just pinch the tips off, and chop them into small pieces, roughly the same size as the chocolate chips.
Expert’s Tip: It was a little difficult for me to find oat flour, at first. Eventually I found it, but in the meantime, I grabbed a bag of Organics Happy Baby Oatmeal Baby Cereal in the baby food section at Target! Its essentially the same thing as oat flour, but less finely ground. Its also fortified with iron and vitamin C, which is exactly what a nursing mom needs more of, so its what I’ve continued to use for my cookies. Plus, I get to use this in tandem to introducing my Little One to solid foods!
Lastly, because I love to spice up all my recipes, I’ve included the optional add-ons of clove, nutmeg, cumin and ginger to enhance the flavor profile of your cookie. They just add a little depth of flavor, and the extra boost of antioxidants to benefit your heart and gut! But, if spice isn’t your style, than by all means, leave them out! However, if you do decide to try the spices, leave me a comment below and tell me how you liked it!
So try out this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie Recipe for yourself, and leave your suggestions and comments below! I’d love to hear if and how these worked for you in boosting your milk supply!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie Recipe
Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup regular sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups oat flour (or Organics Happy Baby Oatmeal Baby Cereal)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, top nubs removed and chopped to the same size as the chocolate chips
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of dried, ground ginger (also a galactagogue)
dash of cumin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet (or two) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla.
Stir in the chopped figs, the chocolate chips, and the walnuts, if you’re using them.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spices, baking soda, and flaxseed. Add this to the sugar and egg mix, and beat until just combined.
Drop 1.5 tablespoons of dough onto the lined cookie sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.
Cookies will puff up a bit in the oven; if you prefer flatter cookies, press down on the top of each cookie with the underside of a spatula.
Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an air-tight container for up to a week; cookies will keep frozen for up to 3 months. However, I find that they don’t last longer than a week!