Healthy Lactation Cookies (to Boost Milk Supply!)

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These healthy Lactation Cookies are a life-saver for new moms. They’re made with milk-boosting ingredients, like flax seed, oats, and brewer’s yeast, and feature healthier ingredients to avoid a sugar crash later. Because moms need all the energy they can get!

lactation cookies on a cooling rack

How Do Lactation Cookies Work?

Lactation cookies are strategically developed with ingredients that are thought to boost milk supply. These ingredients include:

  • Flax Seeds. Flax seeds are a rich source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen which is similar to the female hormone estrogen. It may help to influence the production of breast milk, and the essential fatty acids in flax may help to make the milk more nutritious.
  • Brewer’s Yeast. Brewer’s Yeast is believed to be a galactogogue, which is thought to increase milk production. It’s also loaded with B vitamins, iron, and chromium, which may help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Rolled Oats. Oats are a good source of iron, and since low-iron levels have been associated with a decrease in breast milk production, it makes sense that eating something high in iron might help!

Anything that makes you relax is also thought to help encourage your breast milk to let-down, so sitting down and eating a cookie might help in that regard, too!

ground flax and water in bowl for lactation cookies

What’s the Best Way to Increase Your Milk Supply Naturally?

It’s important to note that the most important factor when it comes to making breast milk is how often you allow your baby to nurse. Your body produces breast milk using the “supply and demand” system, so the more you let the baby nurse, the more milk you will make. 

Unlimited access to the breast is essential for establishing an adequate milk supply, and no number of lactation cookies or herbs can replace that. (Though they do help boost your caloric intake, and that’s necessary for breast milk, too– don’t be tempted to diet or reduce your calories when you’re trying to establish your milk supply.)

The nurses at my hospital even recommended that I completely avoid using pacifiers or bottles for the first four weeks of our son’s life to ensure that I nursed him every single time he needed comfort. (Which felt like 20+ hours out of the day.) You can’t nurse a baby too often, but you can nurse them too little.

With that being said, eating a few of these cookies couldn’t hurt, either.

How to Make Healthy Lactation Cookies

Most recipes for lactation cookies that I’ve seen floating around the internet are loaded with white flour and sugar, and very little of these special milk-boosting ingredients, so I have to wonder if they are really doing new moms any favors. You need all the energy you can get during those first few months, and the last thing you need is a sugar crash!

lactation cookie dough on pan

The following recipe is my solution to that problem. These cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free to accommodate those with allergies, and they are naturally sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar.

Best of all, the batter can be whipped together in minutes, so you won’t have to wait long before you’re swimming in cookies (and hopefully more breast milk)!

Can You Use Nutritional Yeast in Lactation Cookies?

Brewer’s yeast is always found in classic lactation cookie recipes, but if you’re gluten-free and can’t find one that is certified gluten-free, or if you can’t find a de-bittered version (it tastes terrible otherwise), try using nutritional yeast instead. It’s thought to have similar properties to brewer’s yeast with its nutrition profile, and it tastes much better!

healthy lactation cookies on pan

 

How to Make Healthy Lactation Cookies (1-Minute Video):

lactation cookies on a cooling rack
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Healthy Lactation Cookies (to Boost Milk Supply!)

These healthy Lactation Cookies are loaded with milk-boosting ingredients, like flax seeds, oats, and brewer's yeast. I love that they're made with low-glycemic coconut sugar, to help avoid a sugar crash later!
Course Dessert
Cuisine gluten-free, vegan
Keyword lactation cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 145kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl combine the ground flax seeds with the water, and stir well to mix. Add in the coconut oil, coconut sugar, debittered brewer's yeast, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and stir again until well combined. Gradually stir in the oat flour until a dough is formed, then fold in the 1/2 cup of oats and dark chocolate chips.
  • Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet, then use your fingers to flatten the cookies.
  • Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. I prefer mine baked for 10 minutes, so that they are crisp around the edges, but still nice and soft in the center, but they will firm up more the longer you bake them. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • These cookies will soften if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so I recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer for best texture and shelf life. Or, you can store them on a plate (uncovered) at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Video

Notes

*If you are gluten-intolerant be sure buy certified gluten-free oats. If you cannot find a brewer's yeast that is certified gluten-free, try using nutritional yeast instead, which is thought to have similar properties for milk production.

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Lactation Cookie Nutrition (per cookie): Calories: 145, Fat: 7g, Carbohydrates: 18, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g

Recipe Notes:

  • I came up with this recipe for my mom friends who can’t have nuts, but if you’d prefer a “Paleo” lactation cookie, try adding brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast to my Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe instead! (You could even add a flax egg to them, if you like.)
  • I also found these Date Energy Balls and Lactation Energy Bites helpful for my first several weeks of nursing– they provided me with easy, nutrient-dense calories when I was up all hours of the night! They would also make a wonderful gift for a new mom.
  • If you’re not a nursing mom, but just want a vegan oatmeal cookie to enjoy, omit the yeast– these cookies will taste even better without it!
  • It’s crucial that you use debittered brewer’s yeast in this recipe, as the regular version tastes terrible!! I couldn’t even stand one tablespoon of the regular stuff in an entire batch of cookies, so please don’t waste your ingredients and ruin a batch of cookies like I did. If you would prefer to use nutritional yeast, it is suspected to have similar milk-boosting properties, too. (Experts aren’t sure why yeast boosts milk supply, but they suspect it has something to do with the B vitamins it contains.)

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think! If you make a substitution, let me know how that works for you, too. We can all benefit from your experience!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried a lactation cookie before? My husband loves them, too!

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Comments

Cassie

What is the serving size on these cookies?

Tiffany

Just made these with a few liberties (coconut flakes and dried currants). These cookies are delish! Can’t comment on whether they effectively boost my milk but I’d definitely make them again just based on flavor 🙂
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Ash

These WORK. I hadn’t pumped enough at work to send for my son at daycare for weeks, but literally the day after making/eating these I pumped enough to send!
I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used half white and half brown sugar and I used a little less oil and added sunflower butter (it’s really oily) since I can’t have peanuts or almonds. Will be making again!

Stephanie

Hi, if i wanted to separate the mix into 2 jars as a baby shower gift to make at least 12 cookies in each jar. How can i alternate the liquid measurements in the recipe
?

Stephanie

Has anybody tried this with whole west flour?

Steph

How much does this recipe weigh as I’ll be using it as a baby shower gift and want to put in a bag but the bags depend on the weight of the recipe?

SJ

This is my second batch! I store them in the freezer and enjoy one straight from the freezer in the evening with a cup of Mother’s Milk Tea. For those who want a sugar free option, I sub the coconut sugar with 1/2 cup of monkfruit sweetener (1:1 granular) and about a teaspoon of pure stevia extract. I also add almond extract (bc I love it in everything and it helps to mask the taste of the yeast) and I use cacoa Nibs instead of chocolate chips. Delicious! As the mom of a very hungry 3 month old, they seem to help with my milk supply too – bonus! Thanks!

TayloR

So my sister made them for me. Just trying to figure out how many I should eat in a day or sitting…they are delicious just don’t know if I can over eat them. Lol 🙂

Emma rhodes

This recipe is amazing! I didn’t have coconut sugar and I only had regular brewers yeast, not debittered. I substituted 1/2cup brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar and they turned out perfect! I think the extra sweetness of the brown sugar helped to cut the bitterness of the brewers yeast. Thank you for this recipe.

Paige

I tried this recipe and love it. I did change it up a bit thought by doing 1.5 cups oatmeal and using nutritional yeast. Had to bake mine for at minimum 15 minutes as well.

Natalie

Thanks for sharing! Do you think these will freeze well? If so, do you recommend freezing the dough or the baked cookies? Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I tend to freeze baked cookies, so the work is already done! But, then we also eat them straight from the freezer. The cookies might be a little softer when they are thawed later, so if you don’t want to eat cold cookies, I would freeze the dough, then thaw and bake.

Amy

Hi I have always used brewers yeast in my cookies, but i have a friend asking me to make them with nutritional yeast. Can you tell me the ratio? Would it be the same amounts? Thanks

Megan

These were fantastic! So yummy! I don’t leave reviews, but I had to for this gem. They melted in your mouth and were full of flavor. I recently baked another recipe for lactation cookies, and they were great too…however, I had to cut out all dairy, added sugars, and flour from my diet (whole 30) so I found this recipe. You will not be disappointed. What a treat! Thank you, thank you!

I didn’t have debittered brewer’s yeast so I used nutritional yeast. I made my own oat flour in my vitamix as I forgot to purchase at the store. I probably will never purchase oat flour now that I know I can make my own in a pinch. I melted 1/3 cup of ghirardelli 100% cocao into batter, and after placing on cookie sheet I topped each cookie with 5 dark chocolate chunks (qty 12). Dark chocolate is not whole30 compliant but I figured 5 chunks a day wouldn’t hurt.

Jenna Kuna

THESE ARE AWESOME!! SO, SO TASTY AND EVEN MORE ENJOYABLE BECAUSE OF THE GUILT FREE INGREDIENTS. MY DAUGHTER IS 3 MONTHS OLD AND I JUST GOT MY PERIOD, WHICH DEFINITELY HAD AN EFFECT ON MY MILK SUPPLY AND HER WILLINGNESS TO NURSE. I JUMPED INTO TRYING EVERYTHING FOR INCREASING LACTATION, FROM TEAS TO FENUGREEK SUPPLEMENTS, TO EATING SPOONFULS OF FLAX SEEDS AND HEMP AND NUTRITIONAL YEAST… FELT LIKE I WAS TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM, HAHA! I GOT SERIOUS ABOUT AND CONSISTENT WITH PUMPING, TOO, WHICH REALLY HELPED. THAT SAID, I LIKE THE IDEA OF EATING A FEW YUMMY COOKIES MORE THAN SPOONFULS OF SEEDS ON THEIR OWN! I SEARCHED LONG AND HARD FOR A RECIPE THAT ISN’T LOADED WITH BUTTER AND PROCESSED SUGARS AND AM REALLY STOKED THAT THIS IS THE ONE I TRIED! I’M ALSO HAPPY TO HAVE NEW HEALTHY INGREDIENTS ADDED TO MY PANTRY:) MY HUSBAND LOOOOOVES THESE, TOO. SO EXCITED TO SHARE THIS RECIPE WITH MY FRIENDS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THE PERFECT COOKIE!!

Kbeema

Great cookies made them exactly as the recipe cAlls. I’ve never tasted brewers yeast before the taste is a bit overwhelming. Other than that crisp brown on outside soft chewy on inside yummy!

Shaden Tavakoli

New mom here making these to get my milk supply up! Love it! Question: In the video you add water a second time however in the written instructions I don’t see that. Can you clarify how much water to add in that second phase? Thanks!

Chelsea

Hi! I just made these but I used spent grain flour instead of oat flour & nutritional yeast instead of brewers yeast. I was convinced these substitutions was going to make them terrible but they are still really good! A solid recipe, thank you!

Stephanie Mama

Good recipe. I am not vegan or gluten free (just dairy free for the baby), so I modified it slightly. I used half oat flower, half conventional flour and instead of water, I used an egg and almond milk. Very fluffy and yummy. Cant comment yet on the lactation effect but these ingredients are tried and true, so I wouldn’t worry.

sarah

Hi, Have you ever frozen a batch to eat later? If you have, how were they? I am 31 weeks pregnant & thought about making these ahead of time.

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, but I have not thawed them all the way to room temperature again, so I’m not sure how they hold up in that case. I tend to eat cookies straight from the fridge or freezer after I make them, so I can say that they are great that way! They do thaw well in the fridge after freezing.

      Sarah

      Thank you!! I look forward to making them soon.

Vanessa

These were easy to make and yummy. I accidentally brought the bitter brewers yeast, but still tasted better than some other recipes I tried. Thank you!

Ann

Hi, would it be possible to use almond flour instead of oat flour?

NicolE

Delicious! Thank you! Didn’t have coconut sugar so replaced with 1/2-1/2 brown and white sugars. Easy!

Ritu Uppal

Hi, i used this recipe but they are not sweet, they turned out bitter.i used brown and cane sugar instead of coconut sugar because i couldn’t find it anywhere. Could it be the dark chocolate? I mixed the yeast before i mixed the yeast well and it bubbled up alot and THEN i added everything else. I also used white chocolate along with dark chocolate. Are they suppose to be bitter? If not then what did i do wrong?

    Megan Gilmore

    Brewer’s yeast is incredibly bitter unless you find one that is labeled “debittered,” so my guess is that’s the culprit? I couldn’t add regular brewer’s yeast to anything without a very noticeable flavor.

Shahanah

I love this recipe! I made a batch and froze them before baby arrived in 6 cookie baggies. I pulled the baggies out as I needed and it was the perfect treat while I was figuring out mommyhood for the first time. I have a 4 week old that I have a strong milk supply for and waiting for my next batch to bake as I leave this comment.

Marie

I tried the recipe and it came out splendid. Thanks for sharing. It has help me to save money from buying the cookies.

Jennifer L Aron

My cookies came out tasting good, but were very flat and flimsy (they easily fell apart). I like more puffy/ chubby cookies, so I am going to experiment with adding more flour, and hopefully will yield cookies with a better appearance for gift-giving. However, this recipe stands “as-is” for tasty cookies for myself, with only a slight aftertaste from the brewer’s yeast that isn’t bad at all. I ate several throughout the day, with no sugar crash.

Brandi

I used olive oil instead because I don’t like coconut oil and olive oil works just as good just with less of the amount or alittle extra oats like I did

Tina Dawson

Thank you so so so much for this amazing recipe. I baked two batches of this before my due date and froze it. Been eating 2 cookies everyday (reheat in microwave for 30 secs) and my milk supply has never been a problem. Also, super delicious. Like really good! Thank you once again!!! ❤️ Baking the next two batches today. Yumm!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying them! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

Simrat

Can I substitute coconut oil with butter?
Thanks!

Yuliana

I only had steel cut oats so I replaced the oat flour for almond Flour and cooked the steel cut oats in a bit of water to softened them. I also used a bit less sugar.
They turned out pretty good as well.

Cristina

My favorite lactation cookie recipe by far! I produced over 1/2oz more just with 2 cookies the first night I ate these.
I substituted the chocolate chips for raisins and added just a little bit of maca and lucuma powder to my batch.
Overall, they taste delicious and are very effective. My family also loved them!

Jamie

I am breastfeeding my daughter who has a dairy allergy so I had to go dairy free. I stumbled upon these cookies and they are amazing! Not only do they help with your milk supply but they also are delicious and super easy to make. I cannot thank you enough!

Cheyenne

How often do you recommend eating a day?

Amy

I would like to try your recipe, but need to avoid coconut as my baby had an intolerance reaction to it last time I used coconut oil & milk. Would canola oil work as a sub for coconut oil? If so, do I need to adjust the amount? Also, what do you rec subbing for the coconut sugar – reg white sugar? White/brown sugar combo?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Nur

Hi! I have a whole lot of instant oats at home, and was wondering if I could use these instead of regular rolled oats. Would they still be effective to promote breast milk? Also, can I make oat flour and stick to the recipe you have shared by grinding the instant oats finely (to make the oat flour)? Lastly, if I substituted the coconut sugar with organic cane sugar, will it help in avoiding that “sugar crash” you mentioned? Or would substituting with pure honey be a better alternative? Thanks in advance!

Miranda Beard

I think maybe I made it wrong… These were not tasty at all and they didnt seem to want to bake or stay together…

Laura

A close friend made these for me after I had my baby. I gobbled them up. Then my husband made a second batch. Gone. I just made a third batch for myself and used nutritional yeast since we didn’t have brewers. I was nervous about how the flavors would blend, but I don’t even taste it! Win! Might try to decrease sugar content for the next batch since I’m eating so much of these. My baby isn’t even two weeks old.😅

Sweetsamanthaaa

I love these!!! I made these for months at the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. I am 8 months PP and was just craving them so I’m making them again. Thank you so much for the recipe! Sooo good.

Stella soon

Love this recipe! I left out the yeast since I just want a vegan cookie. THE BEST! People who don’t know it’s vegan also love it too!

Nayeli

These are the best cookies I’ve ever made!! with a few substitutions though, to adequate with what I already had. I used 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar instead of coconut sugar, and butter instead of coconut oil. Also I added sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries and very, very bug chunks of chocolate.

I just have one little issue with them… I can’t stop eating them!

I feel they probably helped my supply, or maybe it’s just that I’m so happy eating them that my supply just when up. I don’t pump so I can’t know for sure.

(I wanted them all so I told my husband he could lactate if he ate them haha)

Cierra

Oh my goodness these cookies are absolutely delicious. I’ve been looking for an egg free, dairy free option. And these seem to have more milk making ingredients than the ones I was ordering online that were pre-baked and everything. I added in 2 extra tablespoons of oats, added in some wheat germ, I used nutritional yeast because I don’t have brewers yeast (ordered some), and I added in unsweetened coconut flakes. So good. I’ll definitely will be making more of these soon.oh I also added in a 1/2 teaspoon of fennel. Cant even tell it’s there.

Thanks again!

Ana

These cookies turned out so good 😊 i made them for my friend who just gave birth and she loves them:) I didn’t find oatmeal flour so I used almond flour and a bit of buckwheat flour instead and nutritional yeast. Yum!

Ashley

These are delicious! I just made them as my main “nesting” activity for the weekend since baby is due in a couple days, and it’s going to be hard to wait to eat them. 🙂 I followed the instructions exactly, found debittered brewer’s yeast on Amazon, and had to grind my own certified GF oat flour (not sure why the main GF baking brands don’t seem to carry an oat flour that’s certified GF). I might try some modifications in future but just wanted to share how great these came out!

Alexa

I didn’t have debittered brewers yeast, just the regular kind. So I added some almond extract and peanut butter to help balance out the taste. Delicious!

Angelina

I had made another recipe that I’d gotten from my lactation consultant that I really did not like at all. These are SO GOOD. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to have any cookies since now I have to cut both dairy and eggs for my daughter who breastfeeds on demand while I’m home and I have to pump while at work. Seriously, THANK YOU!

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