Not only are these oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies a great snack for breastfeeding moms, they may help increase breast milk production too!
I've read that when it comes to breastfeeding, oversupply is a much more common problem than low milk supply. Unfortunately, I (and many other moms I know) have fallen into the low milk supply category with both of my babies. This time around, I anticipated the problem and have been much more proactive about it.
I made sure to speak with a lactation consultant before I even left the hospital, and as I write this post I'm getting ready to leave for an appointment with a physician that specializes in breastfeeding. However, Baby J is still struggling to gain weight, so I am following the nurse-pump-bottle routine every 2-3 hours. Feeding is my life right now.
On the other hand, I feel like I have very little to complain about. My newborn is about as calm as one could hope for, which is the total opposite of how Peanut was when she was a baby. Knock on wood. However, I am trying to do everything I can possibly think of to increase my milk supply. Which is where these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies come into play.
I made these lactation cookies and froze them before Baby was born, so it would be one less thing to worry about once he did arrive. Now they are sitting in my freezer in a big ziploc bag, ready to meet my snacking needs after a quick thaw in the microwave.
However, they're pretty easy to make, so if you do have a newborn at home, you should be able to find time to make them, even if you have a needier baby. I made several batches when Peanut was a baby, and she was a screaming machine.
Now I want to make sure that you know that there is no scientific evidence that lactation cookies or any of their ingredients ACTUALLY increase milk supply significantly, just some anecdotal reports.
However, the ingredients are all safe, and if nothing else, the cookies make a good one-handed snack for those times when you're starving and can't take time to actually sit down and eat a meal with both hands (ie. when you're nursing a baby/pumping all day long).
The ingredients in these nursing cookies that supposedly increase milk supply include flaxseed, oatmeal, wheat germ, and brewers yeast (see, all healthy stuff).
You shouldn't have a problem finding any of the ingredients for these cookies, except maybe the brewer's yeast. Your regular grocery store might not carry it, but if it does, it will be in the natural foods aisle. Otherwise you can find it at a natural foods store or online.
If you have the option between regular and de-bittered brewers yeast, get the de-bittered. It will improve the flavor of your cookies. DON'T try to substitute regular yeast - it won't work.
You should be able to find the flaxseed in any grocery store, either in the baking aisle or the natural foods aisle. The wheat germ and oats will be in the breakfast aisle.
After you make these cookies, make sure you put a big bold label on them that says "LACTATION COOKIES" so your husband or older children don't steal them away from you. They taste pretty good, but again, that can depend on your brewer's yeast. If you get the regular, they can have a bit of a bitter aftertaste to them. Not so bad that they're inedible or even unpleasant though.
Want more chocolate chip cookie recipes?
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below uses chocolate chips, vs. the option of replacing them with nuts or dried fruit.
One of these cookies (if you make a batch of 3 dozen) has the right amount of calories to make it the perfect sized snack for a nursing mom, even with a glass of milk. So grab your cookie, make yourself a cup of nursing tea and relax - if you get the chance.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup brewer's yeast
- 1 Tablespoon wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips see note
- Heat oven to 350°F and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (NOTE: Cookies made on silicone mats will spread more than those baked on parchment).
- Mix 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds and ¼ cup water together in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
- Stir together 2 cups whole wheat flour, ¼ cup brewer's yeast, 1 Tablespoon wheat germ, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Cream ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and ½ cup granulated sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-low speed. Add 2 large eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and mix until completely incorporated. Add the flaxseed mixture.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add 2 ½ cups rolled oats and 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Drop 1 tablespoon portions of dough onto prepared baking sheets 2" apart. Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are just beginning to brown, but middle is still quite soft. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for several weeks.