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There's hunger and then there's nursing hunger. And as anyone who has ever breastfed a baby can tell you, it's nothing short of "eat-everything-in-the-house-and-then-search-for-what-you-dropped-in-the-couch-cushions" ravenous.
Feeding a baby is hard work and can require what feels like near-constant eating—especially if you're concerned about your milk production. Of course, there are plenty of milk-boosting foods (also called galactagogues) that you can easily fold into your daily diet, but when your hands are full or you're trapped under a sleeping baby, sometimes you just want to grab something that's easy and delicious. One of the quickest and easiest ways to satiate you both while including ingredients that can help turbo-charge your milk supply? Lactation cookies.
What are lactation cookies?
Simply enough, lactation cookies are cookies that are made with ingredients that can help boost milk production. Most recipes include four standouts that are heralded for their milk-boosting properties: Oats, fenugreek, flaxseed and brewer's yeast. And while calling them cookies does suggest they're a bit of a treat, they're more densely packed with vitamins and nutrients than your standard TollHouse.
Do lactation cookies work?
Well, that depends. According to International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant Dr. Sharifa Glass, there is minimal medical research on the efficacy, recommended dose and safety of herbs, spices, and foods for milk production. "Whether these substances truly work or the positive results are due to a placebo effect is unclear. Mothers should be cautious when ingesting any herbs or spices as they may cause adverse side effects in the mother and the infant, and they may alter the efficacy of maternal medications."
Still, one of the most important things when you're nursing is fueling your body. In fact, it's recommended that you consume more extra calories while breastfeeding than throughout pregnancy. So while a lactation cookie may not magically help you pump extra ounces, healthy snacks and lots of water certainly can. Check with your doctor to see if there are any ingredients you should avoid, but otherwise, many lactation cookies are an easy to grab snack to stock your pantry with.
Yes, you could definitely bake up some of your own—after all, the recipes generally feature easy-to-find ingredients like rolled oats, brewers yeast and flaxseeds. But if baking is (understandably) at the bottom of your priorities list, there are lots of super tasty and effective pre-packaged lactation cookies on the market today.
We've rounded up reviewer's highest-rated, most talked-about and best lactation cookies that can be delivered right to your door, no baking required!
Best lactation cookies
A version of this article was originally published July 19, 2021. It has been updated.