Lactation Cookies – Effective Lactation Cookies Recipe

“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 deliciously suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

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. Also, read 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 percent 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 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, however 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. Do not eat the dough if you are pregnant, due to the risk of bacterial infection from 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
  • 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
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of your fave biscuit ingredients (see suggested list below).

DO NOT

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 the same.

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 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 increase 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, choc 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
  • 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). 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 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 to make lactation cookies, it’s fine to use, but just remember it’s the most unhealthy flour.
Lactation Cookies - Effective Lactation Cookies Recipe

Lactation cookies with chopped nuts and dried fruit instead of chocolate chips, from BellyBelly fan, Rika-Marie.

“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 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 most health food stores. If you’d like nice 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 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

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:

“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%.

I 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 a healthy breakfast – here are 13 great suggestions.
  • 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/pacifiers, formula or nipple shields unless advised by a lactation consultant – these things decrease direct nipple/milk stimulation, hence result in 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 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

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Last Updated: July 16, 2015

CONTRIBUTOR

Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a doula, writer and mother to three awesome children. Currently, she's travelling the world for 12 months with her partner and children, and hopes to inspire more families to do the same. Visit aroundtheworldpluskids.com.au for more information.


62 comments

  1. hallo…thanx for the article i am def going to try this recipe. with my first son i had to use nipple shields because my nipples didnt want to turn outwards (as they explained it to me) and so my milk supply dried up after 4minths and i got a cyst in my breast! thus the reason for me for looking for ways inwhich i can increase my milk supply or my second son (curretly 22weeks pregnant). is there ways how i can prepare my nipples for breastfeeding?? otherwise i will use the nipple shield but eat loads of cookies 😀

  2. Hello I live in zimbabwe Bulawayo and I would like to know if I can substitute the flax seed for something else and what would that be. I can onto find the flax seed anywhere. My son is three months old and was born at 4kgs

    1. Everything stayed the same as the recipe but I used 2 eggs and a lot more water (1/4 cup) and I also threw in some organic maple syrup just a teaspoon and raisins wow they came out phenomenal and very moist! I had like 5 already lol and I am not a cookie eater

  3. I can’t find brewer’s yeast in powder form. I found it in tablet form. Can i crush the tablet then use it for the cookie?

  4. My baby is going through a growth spurt and i just cant seem to fill her up, so i decided to try these cookies i only had a quarter of cookie and my breasts filled within 5 minutes and started leaking every where :) Thank you!!!

    1. I would like to know the same thing I just made them had a few cookies now waiting wondering how long it takes to see results?

  5. Hi was wondering how many cookies you should eat and how long they take to work. I am looking to boost my milk supply in the afternoon when Bub wants to cluster feed all the time.

    1. I’m going to make these in the next few days using honey or agave instead of the sugar. I’ll let you know!

  6. Hi there! I’m definitely going to try this out!! I was wondering does Brewers yeast have any negative effects on your body? Such as weight gain bloating etc? Thanks!!

  7. Thanks for the recipe. This brewers yeast… Do I add it dry? I’m not sure how that works. I’m on my second batch and this time I moistened the yeast before adding it. It smells quite boozy this time!

  8. I was just wondering, how would you properly store these cookies? In the refrigerator? In a tupperware container? FTM here!

  9. Tried these last night. I had to leave out Flaxseed because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I made 12 cookies (baked) and ate the left over cookie dough. I only pump while I am at work and usually pump 3 oz from each breast during my first pump of the day. Today I pumped 5oz from one and 4oz from the other (my last feeding was on the 4oz one). Definite increase in supply! Thank you so much!!

  10. How many cookies can you eat a day? And does it matter when you eat them… like right before I pump or feed?

  11. This may be a silly question but i have two order children, 6 and 4, and was wondering if they can eat the cookies, too. (I can’t bake cookies and not give them one.) I do not see an issue but thought it was better to ask than to assume.

    Thanks!

  12. Hi, really excited to try these but wondering are they safe to eat during pregnancy? I am bf 7 month old and 12 weeks pregnant with number 4. I don’t want bub to wean early because I’m pregnant (unexpected pregnancy, I like to bf till at least 12 months) I have read my milk supply could reduce because I’m pregnant.
    Thanks

  13. Hi,

    just wondering if you can freeze the cookies, either as dough or after cooking? It would be good to be able to batch prepare a lot of the dough to easily make more if running low.

    Thanks!

  14. hello, i have a 3 months old baby and m unable to BF. I wanted to BF but i am having very low milk production and more whatever milk am having, my baby is nt able to latch properly. Please advice whether these lactation cookies will increase my milk supply and also is there any other substitute for brewer yeast. Please help!

  15. Hi. Can i subtitute the brewers yeast with fuenugreek seed or grounded ones? And how much shld i add? Unfortunately i can’t use the brewers yeast to make the cookies.

  16. Iv started eating these cookies.
    I started Wednesday Arvo, had tummy pains all night, next day baby had not normal poops.
    And haven’t got back to normal yet.
    Been having one cookie a day,
    Now it’s Saturday and we are both pooping lots with tummy pain :( ” and we are never sick)
    So the only thing I can ring it down to is the cookies, it’s the only thing that’s changed.
    But the milk supply has doubled, so I don’t want to stop but I to scared to have one today because I’m sick of feeling icky, and my bubs I don’t want to feel like that. What do I do?
    How will I receive your reply? I’m new to this site.

    Thanks ladies

  17. Hello.
    I’d like to try this recipe, as I’m facing health issues and have been advised to build up my frozen milk stock. However, I have not been able to find brewers yeast locally, and don’t have the time to wait on an order. Will nutritional yeast (yellow flake) work?
    Thank you.

  18. If you eat raw how long can a batch be left in the fridge safely? Just wondering whether to freeze some and unfreeze as I need.

    Thankyou :)

  19. I made these for a friend tonight. How many should she eat a day? Maybe start with one a day? I made them medium size. She’s having supply issues, taking fenugreek, and going to a weekly breastfeeding group with a lactation nurse. But I don’t want it to irritate her tummy or make the baby gassy, and I’ve heard the flaxseed or brewers yeast can do that. Thanks!!

  20. Hi my baby is one month and two days today and my milk supply is very low and i cannot find brwered yearst anywhere what can i use instead? plz im ineed thnks

  21. They taste soo good!!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I’m full term right now, so I’m just hoping it will help with my supply once I give birth. I’m tempted not to eat all of them in one sitting.

    Great recipe, I used all coconut oil instead of butter, and I also added some chocolate chips to it.

    I’m very happy with the results :)

  22. Thank you!! After feeding my five day old every half hour since 11pm last night, I called my Mum sobbing this afternoon upset with my very obvious lack of milk (and sleep!) I asked her to pick up Brewers yeast on her way over to cuddle bub and she whipped my up some cookies. By licking the beaters and having a spoon of batter with my feeding tea I was able to give bub enough milk for a two hour sleep and we both awoke happy and content… Plus I now have a massive batch of delicious cookies! I’m secretly glad the rest of my house are ceoliac as I now don’t have to share :) we added choc chip, cocoa and substituted hazelnut meal for flaxseed- yum yum!

  23. These are great thankyou! I friend recommended them. Just made my third & best batch to date. Substituted the butter with apple purée and some coconut oil, left out the sugar by using a few spoons of honey instead and using chopped organic dates as my added extra (& added cocoa this time). This lets you be very generous with the brewers yeast without the taste being too strong. Also this way I feel that I’m eating something very healthy. I also added amaranth flakes & sprinkled cookies with sesame seeds for fun. Reeeelly good and a noticible difference to my supply. I add the brewers yeast & flax to porridge or muslie at breakfast when time permits too. I’ll thinking I’ll experiment with a savory biscuit version next, not sure how that will go, wish me luck 😀

  24. Hi, when is the right time to eat cookies and how many cookies do i need to eat per day? Btw, Im 7 mobths on thw go now :)

    1. Just in case this helps anyone in future, I’ve tried freezing the cookies and freezing the batter balls this week. A quick microwave (15 secs for 1 cookie) seems to do the trick, and the batter balls seem fine baking from frozen (maybe an extra +5 mins cook time).

      Someone with more chef training might correct my time adjustment if they know better than me ! :)

      -Margs

  25. Hi I’m making these for my daughter but I’m only here for a few days. How long will they in tin or can these be frozen. Xxx

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