A majority of women have their hearts set on breastfeeding their newborn baby. But for some, doing so is either difficult or next to impossible. While there are numerous reasons for this, one of the biggest is low milk supply. Some women consistently have a low supply of breast milk that can't be explained by medical professionals. But even if you're successful at producing a sufficient amount of breast milk, you may have noticeable dips in your supply. All of these scenarios are frustrating because you just want to feed your baby well.
Because of this, some moms swear up and down that eating so-called lactation cookies helps increase their breast milk supply. Lactation cookies don't just do that, though; they also nourish mom's postpartum body. In other words, you're fed and are more likely able to produce more milk. But what exactly is in them that have women claiming that they help with this particular issue?
Generally speaking, lactation cookies contain different ingredients that are high in whole-grain carbohydrates, natural sugar, and healthy fats. But they also boast ingredients known commonly as galactagogues. Examples include brewer's yeast, flax seeds, and oats- all of which have been said to increase breast milk supply. There may also be various herbs and/or spices such as fenugreek, goat's rue, ginger, or Shatavari included.
While all of that is interesting, it still doesn't answer the main question- do lactation cookies increase breast milk supply? Well, the most important thing to keep in mind is that these treats aren't exactly needed to maintain your milk supply. Experts have pointed out that no matter what one's nutrition may be, your body will still produce some amount of milk. Having said that, nutrition does matter in certain situations.
"It affects the composition of our breast milk. Most vitamins, some minerals, the brain-boosting fatty acids, and many beneficial phytonutrients such as antioxidants increase in our breast milk when we include them in our diets," said Marina Lane, R.D., certified lactation counselor and founder of The Lactation Nutritionist
So, are lactation cookies worth trying? The extra calories will fill you up, and that can help in producing more milk. Plus, most experts say that lactation cookies can be an effective food for a breastfeeding mom to include in their diet. If you find that you're eating enough calories and are hydrated- but still struggle with producing milk- lactation cookies may give you that extra boost you need. But most experts stress that the ingredients found in these treats are mainly effective when nursing and pumping on a regular basis.
"Making sure your baby nurses frequently and efficiently is more effective than any galactagogue. Breast milk is produced 'on-demand', so being separated from your baby for extended periods of time or having an improper latch are the most common reasons for reduced milk supply," Lane added.