BellyBelly’s lactation cookies recipe is deliciously suitable for both pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
And oh boy, do they work!
“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
IMPORTANT: If you're having supply problems, please read our article about common milk supply issues. It discusses several common reasons why breastfeeding mothers have supply issues, and suggests how to fix them.
Also, see our article, 5 Unreliable Signs That Your Baby Is Getting Enough Milk.
Most breastfeeding problems are preventable and fixable, and many are caused by incorrect latch or scheduled feeding. Only a small percentage are due to medical conditions – an example of this is hypoplasia (insufficient glandular breast tissue).
Please contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association (or La Leche League in the US) for support, or hire a lactation consultant (IBCLCs are best) to help diagnose what’s really going on. Most GPs are not trained in breastfeeding beyond a few hours of information, 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 dessert spoon per cookie (double the recipe for more)
When making these lactation cookies, please try to source organic, local ingredients wherever possible. They're so much better for you. I’ve tried to use healthy alternatives where I can, however the lactation cookies need to be sweet enough to hide the very bitter taste of one of the most powerful ingredients.
If you're already breastfeeding, try eating the dough as well as the cookies, as it seems to be even more effective at increasing supply.
Do not eat uncooked dough if you are pregnant. There is a risk of bacterial infection from eating raw egg.
- 1 cup self raising wholemeal flour (if you have plain flour, add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder)
- 1/2 cup butter (for a healthier option, use organic, virgin coconut oil instead – it’s super good for you!)
- 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 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 – organic, steel cut oats are best for you, but rolled oats are fine
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of your favourite biscuit ingredients (see suggested list below)
leave out or substitute the brewers yeast when making lactation cookies. It’s one of the main ingredients that makes them work. Nutritional yeast and bakers yeast are different and will not work in the same way.
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 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.
- Make the biscuits (I use a dessert 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 squash them down too much. If you like you can just make them into balls – I do this and I love the soft centre!
Bake the lactation cookies for around 10-12 minutes, depending on how well cooked or crunchy you like your biscuits.
“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 above lactation cookies recipe first, but if you don’t notice much of an increase in supply, add more brewers yeast.
If you like, add more flaxseed meal too, but don’t forget to increase the water when you add more dry ingredients. Add a tablespoon of water for each tablespoon of flaxseed meal. If the lactation cookies aren’t working or for supply issues in general, please get some reliable help from a qualified lactation consultant or breastfeeding support organisation.
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, chic chips, sultanas, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dates… the list is endless.
Our members have made variations of the lactation cookies recipe by using these delicious combinations:
- Coconut and banana
- Choc chip and cranberry
- White choc chips and macadamias
- Dried apricot and white chocolate
- Apple cinnamon: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped dried apple and 1/2 cup sultanas. BellyBelly member, Audax, also added 2 tablespoons of stewed apple and found the cookies turned out lovely and moist.
- For a healthier cookie, replace some or all of the butter with virgin coconut oil, which is SO good for your body (inside and out). Virgin coconut oil has a mountain of benefits, including anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Choose an organic oil if you can. For more benefits of coconut oil, visit the Coconut Research Center website.
- For a healthier, more fibre rich flour, use 50% or 100% coconut flour (you might need to add an extra egg). If you only have regular white flour to make lactation cookies, it's fine, but remember it’s the most unhealthy flour.
“I have only used them for about 24 hours and the milk is flowing! So happy and excited that they are working so well!” — Rika-Marie
“I was eating 1-2 each feed and had only just cooked them so they were still quite soft. I noticed a huge difference when I had them, and I soaked through everything. When my son is 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 most health food stores. If you prefer quick and easy, you can order it online from a store like Amazon.
Lactation Cookies Recipe – Where to Get Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseed meal has been included as an ingredient in the lactation cookies recipe because it's 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 whenever 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
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. 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 milk supply issues) took it upon herself to run a little test. Here are her results:
“Started eating cooked lactation cookies at a rate of approximately 2 per feed. Average 24 hour yield over 5 days was: Before: 372ml. 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 per feed. Average 24 hour yield over 4 days: 449ml.
Increase (from cooked dough 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: When I ate the cookies, raw or cooked, it made a positive, measurable difference to my supply, but the raw dough 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 a healthy breakfast – here are 13 great suggestions.
- Remember to keep up your water intake (especially in warmer weather when baby might 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 ending up with constipation, haemorrhoids and/or anal issues, especially in the early days of breastfeeding. Drinking water helps boost energy and concentration levels, which dehydration messes with. There’s plenty of really good reasons to drink more water!
- Drinking fennel tea can also help increase supply
- Avoid dummies (pacifiers), formula or nipple shields unless advised by a lactation consultant. They decrease direct nipple stimulation, which means less milk production
- Offer the breast more frequently. Demand equals supply as far as breastmilk goes – when your baby is sucking at the breast it sends your body signals to make more milk
- Fenugreek can also increase supply, but if you’re thinking of adding it to 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 can irritate your baby more – try other methods first.
- If your baby doesn’t seem well, 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, as I woke up feeling very full and leaky and uncomfortable!! So they have definitely made a difference” — eza