Despite my best efforts to keep up with my baby girl’s milk supply needs, when she was about six month old, I noticed my supply was starting to fall just short of what she needed. It continued to decline until I had no extra milk left in my freezer. I panicked a little but started researching possible solutions, and a common thread started to emerge. Lactation support cookies. I’m sorry, what?! Yes, there is apparently such a thing as lactation support cookies (and bars and many other applications). However, this was a case of too much to sort through online with all the hits my Google search generated. I can hardly stomach the fenugreek in my tea, let alone imagine eating it in my cookies, and quickly got discouraged that I would ever find the right recipe.
I prayed and kept asking God to help lead me more clearly. As I told a dear friend about my struggles to keep up, God provided through her generosity. My friend happens to be an “over-supplier” of breastmilk for her baby, and she has a stocked deep freezer to prove it. She generously gave me milk to supplement my supply while I continued my search for lactation cookies anyone could actually testify to. I also switched out the membranes on my pump, and that seemed to help (recommended every 2-3 months).
Back to the cookies. Through a friend, I finally found a recipe that seemed worth trying. Here is the link that she shared: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/breastfeeding/lactation-cookies#.VNLSHi2COnP. I can testify that they are easy, taste good, and really make a difference in my supply. They help me so much that I am now eating 4-6 small drop cookies a day and I’m keeping up again, just barely, but I have been able to put a little bit in the freezer again, which feels amazing. I eat one to two cookies after each pumping session and make sure to drink a lot of water. It has boosted my supply and thus renewed my commitment to try to make it until she turns one at the end of May.
Lactation Cookies Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- 1 cup self-rising wholemeal flour (if you have plain flour, add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (if you want to reduce sugar, you could try just 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tablespoons of water (depends on how moist you prefer the cookies to be)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional, for flavor)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, for flavor)
- 1-2 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast – do not substitute with baker’s yeast or any other yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups rolled (not instant) oats
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flaxseed and water. Let them sit for a few minutes before adding to mix.
- Add the dry ingredients (apart from the oats and your additional ingredients) and mix well again.
- Finally, stir in the oats and your additional ingredients.
- Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet. I used a regular dinner spoon or a tablespoon as a guide for size.
Bake the lactation cookies for around 10-12 minutes, depending on how well cooked or crunchy you like your cookies.
This new “cookie diet” has helped my confidence that with it and a lot of prayer, my God will continue to provide for us all in this area. If we don’t make it breastfeeding until then, it will be okay too. I will not call myself a failure or a success either way, as I am doing the best I can with what I have, and I believe that’s all any of us can ask of ourselves.