Friday, May 18, 2012

Lactation Cookies

Many women have difficulty with milk supply for a variety of reasons.  Some have difficulty when they go back to work, when their babies transition from breastfeeding to consuming solid foods, or after suffering from an illness.  I, too, have suffered changes in my supply while breastfeeding and have sought out "lactogenic foods" to help boost my supply.  Of all the food and supplement choices out there, I found "lactation cookies" to be the most enjoyable food to eat.  After all, who doesn't like to eat cookies?  I originally posted a recipe that I found online on my facebook page and subsequently friends have been periodically asking me to share the recipe.  I don't know who originated the recipe but the cookies are yummy.  I'm not exactly sure if they work (I tried them with my first baby) but this is a good excuse to eat some cookies.  I can't wait to start baking them and eating them once my second baby is born.  After months of gestational diabetes, this will be a welcome treat!

I have been wondering why certain ingredients are used in these cookies.  The three key ingredients in this recipe are oatmeal, flax seed and brewer's yeast.  There are no scientific studies to support the connection between oatmeal, flax seed and brewer's yeast in increasing milk supply.  However, in many of the recipes that I have found, they all contain these three basic ingredients.  Oatmeal is thought to increase iron, help to relax the mother and decrease cholesterol (which in theory will help to boost milk production).  It's also high in fiber and many farmers will commonly increase fiber in the feed of their animals when they want a boost in milk production.  The flax seed is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are believed to improve milk quality and quantity.  The brewer's yeast is high in vitamin B which is thought to aid in milk production.  Brewer's yeast is found in beer and beer has been used by women to increase milk supply.

I get the brewer's yeast from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, and use Bob's Red Mill flax seed meal that you can get at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.  All of the other ingredients should be pretty easy to find at your local grocery store.  Hope you enjoy the cookies!

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2-4 tablespoons brewer's yeast

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
4. Add eggs and mix well.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8. Stir in oats and chips.
9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
10. Bake for 12 minutes.
11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

Here are a few other recipes in case you want to try other recipes...

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