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Oh-So-Yummy Lactation Cookies

November 20, 2010

This afternoon my husband & I dropped Shane off with my in-law’s, and headed over to the hospital to visit a friend.  A tiny little slip of a boy, with a kiss-ably cute scrunched up nose, and a head of thick, dark hair.

He was born the day before yesterday, by c-section, and when I heard that I knew exactly what I was going to bring with us to the hospital: a batch of lactation cookies (scroll down for recipe).

After Shane’s birth, which was by emergency c-section, we struggled with breastfeeding.  Due to the beating my body took, recovering from both labor and and a major surgical procedure, it wound up taking over five days for my milk to finally come in.  In the interim, we were instructed to supplement with formula, and were released from the hospital with an Enfamil-packed diaper bag “for breastfeeding moms” as a parting gift.

We struggled to overcome this difficult start, battling nipple confusion and low milk supply for weeks after his birth.  Thankfully, we made it through the first rough weeks, and Shane went on to nurse until well after his second birthday.

I know my friend encountered similar difficulties after her first child’s birth — unexpected c-section, delayed milk production, and so on.  I also know that she fought hard to overcame all of those issues, and was able practice extended nursing with her daughter as well.  I was hoping these cookies would help her out in these early days, ease her mind, and nourish her sweet tooth as well!

This morning Shane and I set to work in the kitchen, and mixed up a batch of Lactation Cookies.  I first stumbled across this recipe on an online breastfeeding support forum when Shane was only a few months old, and they quickly became a delicious staple in my diet.

These cookies are full of galactogogues (ingredients known to increase milk production in lactating moms) such as oats, flaxseed and brewer’s yeast. When I was still working and pumping for Shane, I’d pack them in my lunch bag. Eating two about a half hour or so before pumping would dramatically increase my output…plus, they’re insanely delicious!

No worries…they’re safe to eat if you’re not currently breastfeeding, you won’t spontaneously start lactating just from eating these cookies if you’re not already nursing a little one!  My husband and son love these cookies, so we still make (and enjoy!) them regularly, even though Shane’s nursing days have passed.

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Housepoet’s Lactation Boosting Cookies

Ingredients:

* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour (I typically use half regular and half whole wheat)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.

2. Mix together the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream together the margarine and sugar in the mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Add flaxseed mixture and vanilla to the bowl. Beat until blended.

3. Sift together all dry ingredients, except for the oats and chips. Add dry ingredients to margarine mixture. Stir in oats, then chips, with a spoon.

4. Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

*NOTE* IT MUST BE BREWERS YEAST, NO SUBSTITUTIONS.

(Original recipe can be found here)

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I was joking with my doula that when I first go into labor, I’m going to distract myself by baking a batch of these cookies, so that they’re ready to take with us to the hospital once it’s time to go.  I’ll be munching on these yummy, beneficial goodies soon after my little one’s here, and hopefully nursing will get off to a much better start this time around!

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