Okay, breast feeding mamas: how many of you have heard about lactogenic foods? As someone who struggled to maintain a steady supply of breast milk, many lactogenic foods—foods said to possibly help boost milk production—became my go-to ingredients in those early months following each of my sons’ births. While there isn’t much research on the impact that specific foods have on breast supply, there’s strong anecdotal evidence that they work, and good old fashioned passed down wisdom, too. So much so that many professional lactation consultants and doctors believe that lactogenic foods can be helpful.
If nothing else, lactogenic foods happen to be plain good for you (and baby!). They include barley, almonds, oats, buckwheat, fennel, ginger, legumes and nutritional yeast, all of which can be used to make nutritious snacks for the whole family, even when mom isn’t breastfeeding.
I recently whipped up these super natural Cowboy Cookies for a breastfeeding mama friend who’s just had a baby. Most cowboy cookies are super sweet treats hefty enough to fuel the Wild West on sugar alone. They are usually packed with coconut, nuts, chocolate chips and loads of butter and sugar.
My delicious and totally satisfying version swaps coconut oil for part of the butter, is lower in sugar and has fewer chocolate chips than most traditional cowboy cookie recipes. I also pack mine with super healthy fixin’s including high-protein hemp seeds, lactogenic oats and nutrient dense walnuts.
There’s certainly no guarantee that these delicious sweets will improve milk supply but, if you’re going to make cookies for a new mom in your life or, really, anyone, you might as well make it these healthier treats. And, bonus: kids love them, too!
Keep in mind that the most important thing for breastfeeding mamas to do is maintain a balanced diet that’s high in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals and drink lots of water. I’d say that they should get lots of rest too (because they should), but we mamas know how that goes! Also remember that most women only need 500 extra calories to support breastfeeding.