To the brand new, uninitiated mom, breastfeeding can be a journey that’s both beautiful and harrowing at the same time. It’s not until you’re in the throes of early motherhood that you realize it may not be as easy or blissful as you once believed. Worries over milk supply, supplementation (PSA: the most important thing is that your baby is fed, regardless of how), improper latching, or mastitis can consume your mind in those early sleepless days. If you’re blessed with an abundant breast milk supply, cheers to you. Everyone else, read on for a potential boost.
August is National Breastfeeding Month, so let’s talk about milk supply. For a nursing or pumping mom, a lack of supply, whether perceived or real, can be devastating. But before you let mom guilt creep in, remember that many factors can affect breast milk production. Medical problems, frequency of feeds, latching issues, certain medications, stress, dehydration – all can have a negative impact. Ironically, stress begets stress, so sometimes, the more stressed you are while trying to build supply, the more futile your attempts become.
Instead of feeling discouraged or giving up breastfeeding entirely, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant first. Then, consider upping your consumption of galactagogues. Our favorite option (which happens to be tasty, too) is the milkmakers line of nutrient-packed lactation cookies, bars, and teas.
What’s a Galactagogue, Anyway?
We know, it sounds a bit out of this world, but per Merriam-Webster, a galactagogue is “an agent that promotes the secretion of milk.” You know how they say good health starts in the kitchen? The same can be true when it comes to building up milk supply. Galactagogues are lactogenic foods or herbs. Their success is largely based on anecdotal evidence, but for a mom with supply concerns, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.
Women have traditionally relied on lactogenic substances like oats, lactation teas, fenugreek, blessed thistle supplements, brewer’s yeast (or nutritional yeast), dark leafy greens, hops, and barley to rev up supply. In my days of pumping for my little ones, who are almost 5 and 7.5 years old now, I drank teas, took supplements, and sprinkled brewer’s yeast onto oatmeal to help boost production. Lactation cookies were not on my radar then, but how I wish they were, as a lactogenic treat to enjoy with my naptime coffee! Newer moms, you’re in luck, because there’s a sweet new spin on milk and cookies, thanks to milkmakers.
Milkmakers lactation cookies are made with wholesome ingredients that benefit the whole family – not just breastfeeding moms. Baked with a nourishing trifecta of oats, brewer’s yeast and flaxseed — all known galactagogues — they’re a delicious, convenient, and preservative-free way to deal with supply issues.
Oats are a nutritional powerhouse, packing whole grains, fiber, iron, vitamins and minerals in every hearty bite. Not only are they traditional supply boosters, they’ve also been used in cookie recipes forever, making them the perfect neutral base for milkmakers lactation treats. Brewer’s yeast, which is traditionally used in the production of beer and ale, can also help with breast milk production. It delivers essential B-complex vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to both mom and baby. Finally, we have heart-healthy flaxseed in the mix. Flax is known as a superfood with good reason. Loaded with nutrients, it has protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, also known as “good” fats, which are necessary for brain development.
Milk and Cookies, Redefined
A cookie with magical milk-making benefits sounds too good to be true, but you can never go wrong with a tasty treat, regardless of whether it amps up supply. Lactogenic foods work well for some women, but they should not be the only thing you try to boost your breast milk production. Given how delicious they are, though, they’re definitely worthy of enjoying with some afternoon coffee or lactation tea.
Eating cookies for the sake of your baby? We’d call that a treat for both mother and child. And that’s a great way to celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month.