“My boobs are spraying like a fire hose.”
Not exactly the first line to a post about a recipe you would expect, eh? But that’s what I ran across in my frantic search for lactation cookie recipes when I realized I was having low milk supply issues for breastfeeding my daughter. Oddly enough, to me, it sounded like hope.
I had always wanted to breastfeed and know it’s the best food for babies that we mothers can “make.” As I have mentioned in earlier posts, my little girl is too young for solid foods (she is two months old now!), so there is nothing I can cook for her, but I felt like I had lost my first motherhood battle when I gave in to mixing her bottles of formula. My lactation consultant’s official diagnosis was “suspected breast hypoplasia” or insufficient glandular tissue. When I said low supply, I didn’t mean “not quite enough.” I meant ONE OUNCE of milk PER DAY after combining several pumpings. A two-month-old can drink between 24 and 48 ounces of milk per day, according to Livestrong.com. Yeah.
So, I threw myself into research on the subject. I ordered books with titles such as “Making More Milk,” and “Mother Food” when traditional breastfeeding books did not adequately address my problems. I had also remembered hearing about lactation cookies at the hospital’s breastfeeding class, so I searched for a recipe that would help boost my production in addition to the herbs and pumping and other advice from my lactation consultant.
Link to the original recipe here, along with several very, ahem, VIVID testimonials and additional ingredient combination suggestions: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/breastfeeding/breastmilk-supply-increase-breastmilk-lactation-cookie-recipe#.UVKmzUnD9Ms
Lactation Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup butter or margarine (half butter and half coconut oil comes out nicely, too!)
- 1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used combinations of lower-GI coconut sugar and erythritol to reduce the impact on my blood sugar)
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (I used golden flax to blend in visually with the rest of the cookie)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup or more chocolate chips/sultanas/almonds/macadamia nuts (I used a hemp seed/chocolate combo for one recipe, and a macadamia nut/almond combo pictured above)
- 2-4 tablespoons of brewers yeast (be generous–this is one of the key lactogenic ingredients. I used 5 tbsp. in one recipe!)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
1) Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes to thicken up.
2) Cream together butter (and coconut oil, if using) and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
3) Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the butter mix. Beat until blended.
4) Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips/nuts.
5) Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips/nuts.
6) Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment. Because the dough can be a little crumbly, it might be easier if you use a scoop.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies. Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.
The great thing about these cookies is that, even if you are not lactating, they are just REALLY good cookies. My husband kept trying to steal them from me! There is also the bonus that they are great for you. Think of all the healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins in those things! Additionally, you can always make a lower sugar version like I did in the modifications above.
I sincerely hope that this post helps anyone having low supply issues, because talking about my struggles here helped me. We low-supply moms need to come “out of the closet” and not feel so judged!! I was able, mostly due to the lactogenic herbs I am taking, to increase my supply to 2-2.5 ounces a day, effectively doubling my production. Here’s me with my daily record!
Even though it is not much, it’s what I CAN do, and I give it to my daughter with pride.
Education notes: As a teacher, and an advocate of lifelong learning, I hope we can instill in our students the practice that I went through here. If you have a problem, do your research, use all available tools, and make the best of the situation.
Learning about breastfeeding (as frustrating as it is that I can’t do it the way I would like to) has been FASCINATING! The science teacher in me totally geeked out upon learning that mammalian young-rearing behavior is related to the protein/fat content of their milk. Since human milk is in the lowest protein/fat content category, human babies are hungrier and must be fed more often, needing constant connection with the mother’s body. More here: http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear.com/2009/07/what-kind-of-mammal-are-we.html
I also learned that so many different factors lead to successful (or unsuccessful) breastfeeding, and I am working hard to tackle my other problem areas to help ensure a higher degree of success with my next baby. Personally, I believe my weight and insulin resistance issues are involved (I was an insulin-dependent gestational diabetic, and insulin is a key hormone in milk production). This whole complex pregnancy/breastfeeding journey has had me reading enough to get an honorary degree in nutrition! Weight loss is my next big goal and I’m already doing my research into the paleo diet/primal blueprint style of eating. I am pretty sure most of my upcoming recipes in this blog will be paleo friendly! I guess that means no more cookies… 😛