Sunday, March 21, 2010

Monday Munchies: C is for . . . Colostrum?

I've never done a Monday Munchies post before, as I spend enough internet time with food on my other blog (a food blog I co-author with my birth mom - have I never mentioned it here? Oops, perhaps not), but I got a call last night that made me think it was high time I shared a certain recipe with you.

I present: Lactation Cookies! If you've never had or heard of them before, they are so named because the classic recipe includes several lactogenic ingredients (translation: believed to support milk supply): oats, brewer's yeast, and flaxseed meal. Being a food blogger, I can't let ANYTHING go without tweaking it a little, so I'm adding a bit of ground fenugreek to the recipe, to go with the B vitamins, essential fatty acids etc. of the other key components - why not, as it's probably the best known galactagogue of all, and its maple flavoring would fit perfectly here.

Word to the wise: this recipe is not a tool to resolve serious supply issues, but to support the normal ebb and flow of healthy lactation. A perfect use for it was demonstrated by the mom who called me last night: Many women experience a small but noticeable dip in supply in the days prior to their period, and sometimes for a few days into it. For this mother, the return of fertility coincided with the 3 month growth spurt for her baby, as well as the normal regulation of supply that can occur between 6 and 12 weeks, where a mother's breasts no longer feel abundantly full before, and then dramatically empty after, each feeding.

All of these are perfectly within the range of normal, though it's certainly frustrating for such factors to coincide. The effects of menstruation and the growth spurt are very much temporary, frustrating as they might be. So how to cope with it while you wait out the several days to a week or so of this going on? The first is to make sure you're continuing to empty the breasts - your baby is nursing more frequently to drive up your supply, so let this happen. Let the supply & demand system do its work (and if you need to be separated due to work or other circumstances, make sure to keep pumping regularly). Give yourself some extra rest if possible (i.e. a nap during the day if you can swing it, as baby will most likely wake more frequently to nurse at night during this phase). Hydrate yourself, but don't go completely off the rails and overhydrate, either, as this can backfire.

And, you can certainly nourish yourself with some Mother's Milk tea and/or lactation cookies! Huzzah. Again, neither of these are enough to resolve a rare true low supply issue (please contact an IBCLC if you are concerned, and visit Kellymom), but it may be enough to give you a gentle boost during the kinds of temporary, minor decreases mentioned above. Take care of yourself as you ride it out. Plus, YUM.


1 cup butter or palm shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 eggs or Ener-G egg replacer
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour OR flour of your choice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground fenugreek
3 cups thick cut oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons brewers yeast

These are easy to healthify if you want to make them vegan and/or avoid white flour or refined sugar: just substitute a gluten free or a whole grain flour, and use brown rice, pure maple syrup, or a substitute of your choice in place of the sugars. As denoted, palm shortening can replace the butter and Ener-G egg replacer for the eggs.



  1. My good friend made these for me while I was Babymooning with Lazlo...they were incredible! Highly recommended by ME (tandem nursing momma to a 2 year old and a 2 month old!)

  2. Nice! I used to make the basic ones but I left out the brewers yeast because that stuff tastes like arse. Maybe the fenugreek would mask the taste. Yum.

  3. I knew you would have an abundance of glorious knowledge to share.

    Looks like I was right ;)

  4. Those look super yummy! Not lactating at the moment but still plan on giving them a try!

  5. Just made these for a client and they are delicious! The maple-y flavour of the fenugreek really overwhelms any of the bitterness from the brewer's yeast. Really yummy.

    I hope someone makes them for me when it's my turn! I'm asking for a babymoon next time :)

  6. I'm so very glad you guys enjoyed!

  7. Och but those look delicious! I'm adding them to our recipe book! :)