Lactation Cookies While Pregnant: Benefits & When To Start

| Reviewed By Sarah Schulze, MSN, APRN, CPNP

The idea of treating yourself to cookies is always appealing, and lactation cookies can offer extra advantages for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

A good reason to eat cookies is always welcome! Lactation cookies are known to offer advantages for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, making them a desirable treat.

Since they contain natural ingredients, you can start eating them during pregnancy, but you may wonder if it’s better to wait until after you give birth.

Can you eat lactation cookies while pregnant? Yes, you can eat lactation cookies while pregnant. Lactation cookies typically have oats, flaxseed, and other ingredients that are safe for anyone. Keep in mind that consuming lactation cookies before birth may not be helpful in boosting your milk supply.

Read on to learn about the benefits of lactation cookies and whether or not they work.

Lactation Cookies – What To Know

Lactation cookies are delicious, nutritious treats for breastfeeding mothers.

Do Lactation Cookies Work?

Yes, lactation cookies work for some mothers. Even though there isn’t enough scientific research to support their effectiveness, mothers who have eaten lactation cookies claim they helped boost their milk supply.

However, if you have a low supply issue, lactation cookies alone won’t solve it. Reach out to a lactation consultant for long-term support.

Lactation Cookies Ingredients

Lactation cookies contain the following ingredients that encourage your body to produce nutritious milk for your baby:

  • Oatmeal: This ingredient has lots of fiber, keeping you full longer. It also encourages the body to make prolactin, a hormone that promotes milk production.
  • Flaxseed: Besides containing plant estrogens that stimulate milk development, flaxseed also has alpha-linolenic acid that helps synthesize omega-3s and DHA, which support the baby’s brain development.
  • Brewer’s yeast: Brewer’s yeast is high in B-complex vitamins, protein, zinc, and iron.

Lactation Cookies Benefits

Besides increasing milk supply, lactation cookies offer the following benefits for breastfeeding mothers:

  • Strengthens and nurtures: Breastfeeding women should eat an extra 330 to 400 kcal daily. Lactation cookies give breastfeeding mothers the energy and nutrients they need to feed their children and recover after giving birth.
  • Curbs hunger: Breastfeeding makes you hungry. Having a nutritious treat on hand can help quickly satisfy you.
  • Aids with digestion: Oatmeal, a common ingredient in lactation cookies, contains healthy dietary fiber that helps regulate digestion and ease constipation.
  • Satisfies sweet tooth: A lactation cookie is a sweet treat you don’t have to feel guilty about eating, especially if you make them at home with healthier ingredients.

Lactation Cookies Side Effects

The active ingredients in lactation cookies might have the following side effects in women:

  • Weight gain: Since lactation cookies have additional calories, women can gain weight if they eat too many.
  • Stomach problems: The fiber in oatmeal can cause unpleasant digestive issues such as gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Drink plenty of water when eating lactation cookies to balance the fiber in your diet.
  • Headaches: Brewer’s yeast may cause headaches in some people. If you’ve never tried brewer’s yeast, wait until your partner or friend is home to eat the cookies to help you if you get a headache.
  • Oversupply: Since lactation cookies can increase milk supply, your body might make too much milk.

Are There Benefits To Eating Lactation Cookies While Pregnant?

There aren’t any benefits to eating lactation cookies while pregnant. If you’re worried about not producing enough milk for the baby, work with a certified lactation consultant.

However, making lactation cookies while pregnant will save you time before the baby’s born. It’s easy to freeze them, and you’ll appreciate having them on hand.

Do Lactation Cookies Affect the Baby?

No, lactation cookies don’t affect the baby. Lactation cookies contain safe, nutritious ingredients for mothers and babies.

Even though brewer’s yeast may be unsafe for those with diabetes or those who are allergic to yeast, lactation cookies only contain a small amount of brewer’s yeast that wouldn’t harm your child.

Do Lactation Cookies Help With Colostrum?

There’s no evidence to suggest that lactation cookies help with colostrum, but there’s a possibility that they could encourage colostrum production. 

Try to eat a nutritious, balanced diet to build up the nutrients in the colostrum for your baby.

When To Start Eating Lactation Cookies

You can start eating lactation cookies whenever it feels right to you. Most mothers start eating them after giving birth when their milk comes in.

Since you’re not required to eat lactation cookies, you can start or stop eating them whenever you want.

How Many Lactation Cookies Should I Eat per Day?

It’s helpful to eat about 2-3 per day in order to get the full benefits of lactation cookies.

You might want to start small and eat one to see how your body reacts to the ingredients. Then, you can increase the number of cookies you eat until you’re eating 2-3 per day.

When To Eat Lactation Cookies

You may want to eat homemade lactation cookies at least 3 hours before you nurse because the food you eat typically takes 3 to 6 hours to show up in your breastmilk.

If you buy cookies in a package, consult the manufacturer’s instructions on when to eat them.

When Does Milk Production Start During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, milk production starts in the early part of your second trimester.

At around 16-20 weeks, the high progesterone levels supplied by the placenta cause the lining of the tiny sacs inside breast tissue (called alveoli) to begin secreting small amounts of colostrum.

This occurs in varying levels for each woman, and some may even begin to leak milk about halfway through pregnancy. Whether or not this happens has nothing to do with a woman’s ability to breastfeed successfully after delivery. 

Once the placenta is delivered after the baby, there is a sharp drop in progesterone levels accompanied by a dramatic increase in other hormones like prolactin, cortisol, and insulin, which leads to the full production of breastmilk seen around days 2-4 postpartum. 

How To Prepare for Breastfeeding While Pregnant

Follow these tips for a successful start to your breastfeeding journey:

  • Take a breastfeeding class: See if your OB/GYN or hospital offers a complimentary class to prepare you and your partner for breastfeeding.
  • Ask your hospital about skin-to-skin contact: Skin-to-skin contact enhances the bond between a mother and baby and helps with breastfeeding by signaling the release of oxytocin, a hormone that facilitates bonding and milk production. Let the hospital know you plan on breastfeeding so they make skin-to-skin contact a priority after birth.
  • Choose a lactation counselor: If you’re concerned about low milk supply, consider working with a lactation consultant or discuss your medical concerns with your OB/GYN.

Supplements To Increase Milk Supply While Pregnant

Since many supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, you should use caution when taking supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding.

After consulting your doctor, you may want to try these lactation supplements to boost milk supply:

  • Palm date
  • Fenugreek
  • C. amboinicus
  • Milk thistle
  • Shatavari root
  • Blessed thistle
  • Black seed
  • Fennel

Related Questions:

What Happens if a Man Eats Lactation Cookies?

If a man eats lactation cookies, he won’t start producing milk as a woman would, but he’ll get some of the other benefits these tasty treats offer.

Eating nutritious lactation cookies may give a man more energy, stimulate weight loss, and boost his immune system.

Can You Eat Lactation Cookies Without Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can eat lactation cookies without breastfeeding. Lactation cookies are safe for anyone to eat, and their high nutrient content may be a better option for the whole family than other sweets and treats.

If you make your own lactation cookies, you can also choose the ingredients you use for a custom taste and/or nutrient boost.

Conclusion

Lactation cookies may help boost milk supply in breastfeeding women because of their high nutrient content.

However, if you have issues with a low milk supply, lactation cookies shouldn’t be the only solution.

You should reach out to a professional, certified lactation consultant to get the help you need feeding your child.