“My boobs are spraying like a fire hose. I am waking up wet in the night in a way I haven’t since the early days. They are mental!!!” — audax
“YES, they DO WORK! I’ve found them especially helpful for afternoons and evenings when bub is cluster feeding and I seem to be all out of liquid gold – munch a couple of bikkies, have a big drink of water or milk (yum!) and you can feel your boobies expanding with fresh milk” — Glamourcide
BellyBelly’s lactation cookies recipe is suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The dough is even more potent than the cookies, however if you are pregnant, you must not eat the dough, as it contains raw egg and is a risk factor during pregnancy.
IMPORTANT: If you are having supply problems, please read our article on milk supply issues which discusses several common reasons why breastfeeding mothers have supply issues and how to fix them.
Most breastfeeding problems are preventable and fixable, and many are caused by incorrect latch or scheduled feeding. Only a small percent are due to medical conditions – an example of this is hypoplasia (insufficient glandular breast tissue). Introducing dummies, formula or nipple shields may make the problem worse, as the baby is feeding less from the breast, so it wont stimulate the production of more breastmilk. Please contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for support or hire a lactation consultant (IBCLCs are best) to help diagnose whats really going on. Most GP’s are not well trained in breastfeeding and can’t give the same level of advice and support that well trained breastfeeding workers can.
Lactation Cookies Recipe – Ingredients
Prep time: approx. 15 minutes
Oven temp: Preheat to 170C or 338F
Makes approx: 14-16 cookies using a tablespoon (double recipe for more)
When making these lactation cookies, please try to source organic, local ingredients where possible – they’re so much better for you. I’ve tried to use healthy alternatives where I can, but the lactation cookies need to be sweet enough to hide the very bitter taste of one of the most powerful ingredients!
If you are already breastfeeding, try eating the dough as well as the cookies, as it seems to be even more effective at increasing supply, but do not eat the dough if you are pregnant due to the risk of eating raw egg.
- 1 cup self raising wholemeal flour (if you have plain flour, add 1/2 tsp baking powder)
- 1/2 cup butter (for a healthier option, use organic, virgin coconut oil instead which is super good for you!)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (if wanting to reduce sugar, you could try just 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (can be found at any local health food store or on Amazon)
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tablespoons of water (depends if you prefer moister cookies)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (optional, for flavour)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, for flavour)
- 1-2 tablespoons of brewers yeast (do not substitute with bakers yeast or any other yeast).
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (use himalayan salt if possible)
- 1 & 1/2 cups oats (get the thicker cut oats if you can)
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of your fave biscuit ingredients (see suggested list below).
DO NOT leave out or substitute the brewers yeast for any other products or yeasts… it’s one of the main ingredients that makes them work. Nutritional yeast and bakers yeast are different – don’t use these!
Lactation Cookies Recipe – Method
- 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 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 ingredient.
- Make the biscuits (I use a desert spoon as a rough size guide) and place them onto a lightly greased or lined baking tray. Flatten them a little with your fingers or a spatula – if you like a soft centre, don’t squish them down too much. If you like you can just make them into balls – I do this and love the soft centre!
Bake for around 10-12 minutes depending on how well cooked/crunchy you like your biscuits – I prefer them a little soft and lightly cooked.
“I know they worked for me, because I squirted after eating them for a bit, and I hadn’t done that for months”. — PumpkinZulu
Boosting Your Lactation Cookies For Better Results
Try the original recipe first, but if you don’t notice much of an increase in supply, add more brewers yeast, and if you like, more flax seed meal too (don’t forget to increase the water to match). Add a tablespoon of water for each tablespoon of flaxseed meal. If the lactation cookies aren’t working or just for supply issues in general, please seriously consider getting some reliable help from the ABA/La Leche League or an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) as mentioned at the start of the article.
Lactation Cookies – Ingredient and Variation Ideas
There are so many delicious ingredients you can add to your lactation cookies to flavour them up! You might like to add coconut, banana, grated apple, choc chips, sultanas, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dates – the list is endless.
Our members have made variations to this recipe by using these delicious combinations:
- Coconut and banana
- Choc chip and cranberry
- Dried apricot and white chocolate
- Apple cinnamon: 1 tsp cinnamon instead of vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped dried apple and 1/2 cup sultanas. BellyBelly member audux also added 2 tbsp stewed apple to experiment and found the cookies to turn out lovely and moist.
- For a healthier cookie, substitute some or all of the butter for virgin coconut oil which is SO good for your body (inside and out) with a mountain of benefits, including anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Choose an organic oil if you can. Virgin coconut oil is best – avoid the refined/blended products for best results. Coconut oil is surprisingly in solid form and not an oil, but this is normal. For more benefits of coconut oil, visit the Coconut Research Center website.
- For a more fibre rich, healthier flour, use half or all coconut flour (you may need to add in an extra egg). If you only have regular white flour, that is fine to use, but remember that it’s the most unhealthy flour for you.
“I was eating 1-2 each feed and only just cooked them so they were still quite soft. I noticed a huge difference when I had them and soaked through everything. When my son was feeding I hold a cup under my other breast and collect about 40mls just from leakage!” — ryatha
“I made a particularly potent batch this week. I haven’t needed to use breast pads for a couple of months, but after this batch, my friends call me ‘Wet Patches’. I doubled the flaxseed meal, added cocoa and hazelnut meal – they taste like Nutella.” — Audax
Lactation Cookies – Where to Get Brewers Yeast
You can get brewers yeast from health food stores, and you may be able to find it in the home brew section of a store or in health food isles of supermarkets. You can also get it from Amazon.
Lactation Cookies Recipe – Where to Get Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseed meal has been included as an ingredient because it is high in omega-3 and dietary fibre. It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.
You should be able to find flaxseed meal in the health food isle of your supermarket, if not your health food store. You can also get flaxseed meal on Amazon.
Try to purchase organic products where you can.
“I love these things!! Made a heap yesterday, and ate some dough as well, oh yum! First time in a week i’ve been full, and bubs got boobie drunk!” — sarah 87
Will I Get Results Eating Lactation Cookies?
Personally, I have ended up dripping overnight after having lactation cookies in the evening. While the majority of BellyBelly members find that this lactation cookies recipe works very well for them, I can’t guarantee results for everyone – and as far as I am aware, there is no official research into lactation cookies. However BellyBelly forum member Pholi who had been working hard to overcome low supply issues took it upon herself to run a little test. Here are her results:
“When eating cooked Lactation cookies at a rate of approximately 2/feed – average 24 hour yield over 5 days before: 372ml. Average over 5 days after: 412ml.
Increase of 40ml, or 11%.
Stopped eating cookies for 2 days: Average 24 hour yield: 397ml.
Decrease of 4%.
Started eating raw lactation cookie dough, which, according to collective BellyBelly wisdom, is supposed to be even more effective than cooked dough, also at a rate of the equivalent of 2/feed. Average 24 hour yield over 4 days: 449ml. Increase from cooked cookie average of 37ml, or 8%; increase from no dough in the previous 2 days of 52ml, or 13%.
Increase from before eating any cookies or dough of 77ml, or 20%.
Conclusion – it made a positive, measurable difference to my supply when I ate the cookies raw or cooked, but the raw made a bigger difference. I was certainly not leaking or spraying, or even feeling any fuller. I think that the fact that the numbers dropped when I stopped for 2 days strengthens the results.”
What Else Besides Lactation Cookies Will Help With My Supply?
- Read our article on milk supply issues for tips on how to increase your supply
- Eat oats for breakfast – some mothers find this helps to increase their supply, but there isn’t any science backing this up. Oats do have great health properties though – they even help lower cholesterol and are a good source of iron. You can sprinkle oats with chia seeds, add chopped banana or other healthy toppings for extra nutrition. Oats do contain some gluten though, so use your own judgment if you’re intolerant.
- Remember to keep up your water intake (especially in warmer weather when baby may want to feed more – he gets thirsty too), as this can make a big difference. Have a glass of water next to you every time you breastfeed (right next to your cookies!). Ideally have a water bottle with you all the time and try to sip every 15 minutes. Your body needs more water when breastfeeding and if you don’t drink enough, you could also find yourself ending up constipation, haemorrhoids and/or anal fissues, especially in the early days breastfeeding. It’ll help with your energy and concentration levels, which dehydration messes with. There’s plenty of really good reasons to drink more water!
- Fennel tea can also be used to help increase supply
- Avoid dummies, formula or nipple shields unless advised by a lactation consultant – these things decrease direct nipple/milk stimulation
- Offer the breast more frequently. Demand equals supply as far as breastmilk goes – when your baby is sucking at the breast it sends signals to make more milk
- Fenugreek can also be used to increase supply, however if you’re thinking of adding it into the cookie recipe, BellyBelly member, entreat, has this warning: “Do not add ground fenugreek unless you have some serious sugar to counteract the bitter flavour! I wasted a whole batch.” Also be aware that if you have a colicky or windy baby, fenugreek may irritate your baby more – try other methods first.
- If your baby doesn’t seem right, is losing weight or does not have plenty of wet nappies, please seek help without delay.
“I made a batch yesterday morning, I’ve had to get up this early to express, I woke up feeling very full and leaky and uncomfortable!! So they have definitely made a difference” — eza
Any Questions About This Recipe?
Due to the massive amounts of comments and questions I get about this lactation cookies recipe, please ask any questions or discuss this recipe in our designated discussion thread in the Breastfeeding Forums.
Further Breastfeeding Resources and Recommended Reading
- Check out BellyBelly’s Top 6 Best Breastfeeding Books (every mother or mother-to-be should have one of these books in her library!)
- Join in on BellyBelly’s Breastfeeding Forum, which contains loads of great support and information. Our breastfeeding forum is frequented by the former Director of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Barb Glare, as well as other breastfeeding counsellors, counsellors in training, doulas and midwives.
- BellyBelly highly recommends every breastfeeding mother or mother-to-be become a member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, for great support, information, resources and friendships.