When I was interested in increasing my milk supply, a friend told me that she swore by lactation cookies. It seemed to me like a tasty way to get my daily serving of oatmeal.
I started searching for a few different recipes and pre-made cookie mixes. As I was looking at the ingredients, I wondered if any of the ingredients would be harmful. I did some research and found out that some women experience negative side effects from eating lactation cookies.
So, what are the side effects that may be caused by lactation cookies?
Weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, gas, headaches, dizziness, and oversupply may all be caused by the ingredients in lactation cookies. Some women can be sensitive to some of the ingredients in lactation cookies, and they may experience these side effects.
I was surprised by these side effects because oatmeal cookies are not something that I would expect to cause negative reactions. I looked into the ingredients a little bit more to understand the problems that they may cause.
Some of the same ingredients that can help with milk supply also may cause uncomfortable side effects when they are eaten. I have gone into more detail on these ingredients and the side effects below.
Common Milk-Boosting Ingredients In Lactation Cookies
- Brewer’s yeast
- Wheat germ
- Ground flaxseed
These four ingredients are typically included in lactation cookies because they can boost milk supply for some women. It is important to remember that these ingredients have not been scientifically proven to increase milk supply. Despite this, many women feel that these ingredients help them to produce more milk.
Lactation cookie recipes include these ingredients due to their nutritional benefits. Even though they are nutritious, these ingredients may cause negative side effects in some women.
When I found out about these side effects from lactation cookies, I searched a long time for something that could help me to increase my milk supply without the uncomfortable side effects.
I was so happy when I found an awesome product on Etsy. There were so many raving reviews, I had to try it out. This is the product that worked really well for me. I loved that it came with 3 bottles and I could try the sample pack to see which of the supplements worked the best.
Side Effect #1: You May Get Gas If You Eat Lactation Cookies
Some women have experienced gas from lactation cookies, and the culprit is usually brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeast has an impact on the digestive system because it is made from a type of fungus. It may cause gas and bloating in some people. It is similar to a probiotic and aids in digestion.
If you have never had brewer’s yeast, suddenly eating a large amount may cause gas. This is because your digestive system has never encountered large quantities of this type of fungus.
The gas can be painful and embarrassing. It is generally recommended to only eat at most 1 – 2 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast per day if you are looking to boost your milk supply. This is because higher amounts could cause some discomfort.
Wheat germ may also cause gas in some women. Wheat germ is high in fiber, and it is a type of carbohydrate that can be the cause of extra gas.
If you have started eating a lot of lactation cookies, take a look at the ingredients on the package. If brewer’s yeast and wheat germ are in the ingredients, then they may be the cause of any extra gas that you are experiencing.
If you are looking for lactation cookies that do not have the side effect of causing gas, try making your own. When you do this, you can control the ingredients and experiment to see if one thing is causing the problem.
For example, you may be able to tolerate brewer’s yeast, but have a problem with wheat germ.
Side Effects #2 and #3: Diarrhea Or Constipation May Be Caused By Lactation Cookies
Some women experience diarrhea or constipation when eating lactation cookies. The reason is usually due to the brewer’s yeast in the cookie.
Because brewer’s yeast impacts the digestive system, too much brewer’s yeast can cause these unpleasant side effects.
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but some women experience it. You are more likely to have stomach discomfort when you consume greater amounts of brewer’s yeast.
It may be better to start eating lactation cookies that are made with a smaller dose of brewer’s yeast. This can help you to avoid some of the side effects.
Start by eating a small amount, like half of a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast. Then, if you do not have any side effects, you can increase the amount of brewer’s yeast in the lactation cookie recipe.
Wheat germ may also cause diarrhea or constipation. These side effects may possibly be caused by the high fiber content in wheat germ. If you are not accustomed to eating a high fiber diet, suddenly eating a lot of fiber can cause stomach issues.
Similar to brewer’s yeast, it may be best to start with a small amount of wheat germ and see if you experience any unpleasant side effects. If you can tolerate a small amount, then you can try a larger amount in the lactation cookie recipe.
Side Effects #4 and #5: Headaches Or Dizziness May Be Caused By Lactation Cookies
Brewer’s yeast causes headaches for some people. These headaches can range from mild to as intense as a migraine. If you haven’t had brewer’s yeast before, try a small amount and watch out for any headaches.
A migraine headache can be debilitating. It may be best to hold off on eating lactation cookies until you have a significant other or friend who can help you out if you get a bad headache.
For example, you may wait to try the lactation cookies on the weekend when your partner can help you take care of your baby.
Wheat germ occasionally has the side effect of causing dizziness. If you eat lactation cookies and feel like the room is spinning, discontinue eating them.
It may be a good idea to try eating lactation cookies on a day that you do not have to drive in case you experience this side effect.
I personally did not have these side effects, but based on my research, some women have experienced them.
Side Effect #6: Lactation Cookies May Cause An Oversupply Of Milk
It is possible that the milk-boosting ingredients in lactation cookies may work too well and cause an oversupply of milk.
An oversupply of milk comes with its own set of problems. Oversupply can lead to engorgement and clogged milk ducts which are very painful. If you are experiencing clogged ducts, this article I wrote can help you. It contains over 20 tips on preventing and treating clogged milk ducts.
Oversupply can also cause leaking which is uncomfortable. Leaking can be embarrassing if you are not prepared with breast pads or an extra change of clothes.
You may want to create a small oversupply if you are eating lactation cookies. This may be because you are trying to pump and store milk for a freezer stash.
Just be aware that if you have an oversupply you will need to pump or hand express to remove milk. By definition, an oversupply is more milk than your baby will drink.
Side Effect #7: Lactation Cookies May Cause Weight Gain
Lactation cookies can contain a lot of calories in a small portion. Some of the ingredients in the cookies, such as butter and sugar, may cause weight gain. You may gain weight if you are not burning those extra calories off through exercise or by breastfeeding.
Lactation cookies can be tasty and a treat that is easy to grab when you are caring for a newborn. If you are hungry and need a quick snack, the cookie may be easy to eat because it does not require any extra preparation.
If you are wondering why you are gaining weight, and you have been eating a lot of lactation cookies, the extra calories in the cookies may be to blame. It may be beneficial to cut back and only have one or two lactation cookies per day as a quick treat.
If you feel that you need larger amounts of the ingredients to boost your milk supply, try eating the ingredients in different forms.
For example, you may try a smoothie for breakfast in the morning that includes oatmeal and ground flaxseed.
Weight gain is not experienced by everyone who eats lactation cookies. Some women are able to burn off the extra calories from the lactation cookies by breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can burn a lot of calories depending on your milk supply. If you want to read more about how breastfeeding burns calories, I go into depth about this topic in this article.
2 Common Problems That Are Not Typically Caused By Lactation Cookies
I researched these side effects of lactation cookies and their ingredients. Two problems were occasionally blamed on the cookies. These problems had to do with yeast.
The lactation cookies are unlikely to be the cause of yeast infections or thrush. However, eating extra amounts of brewer’s yeast probably does not help to clear the infection once you have it.
Can Lactation Cookies Cause A Yeast Infection?
It is unlikely that lactation cookies will cause a yeast infection. This is because yeast infections are caused by candida. Candida is a different strain of yeast than the yeast in brewer’s yeast.
Usually, yeast infections happen after taking antibiotics. This is because antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria, leaving room for candida to overgrow.
That being said, if you have a yeast infection, it may be best to avoid brewer’s yeast until the infection has cleared up.
Can Lactation Cookies Cause Thrush?
It is unlikely that lactation cookies will cause thrush. This is because thrush is caused by candida. Candida is a different strain of yeast than the yeast in brewer’s yeast.
For the most part, you and your baby are more susceptible to thrush after taking antibiotics. This is because antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria, leaving room for candida to overgrow.
It may be a good idea to avoid lactation cookies, or at least brewer’s yeast until thrush has cleared. This is to prevent any extra yeast in your system.
Beneficial Side Effects Of Lactation Cookie Ingredients
If lactation cookies can cause these negative side effects, you may be wondering why ingredients are included in the recipes. This is especially true for brewer’s yeast and wheat germ which tends to cause more problems.
Even though these ingredients may cause uncomfortable side effects for some women, many women do not experience them
These ingredients do have some beneficial properties. These health benefits may assist some women to produce more milk.
It is important to know that these benefits have not been scientifically proven to help women produce more milk, but they have helped many women.
The top milk-boosting ingredients in lactation cookies are brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, oats, and ground flaxseed. Other ingredients in the cookies are usually included for flavor and texture.
Brewer’s Yeast To Boost Milk Supply
Brewer’s yeast can be beneficial because it contains B vitamins, chromium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium.
Brewer’s yeast has protein which may assist with milk supply. It also contains small organisms that work in the same way that probiotics help the gut.
Brewer’s yeast also has the potential to interact with some medications. It is important to speak with your doctor if you are interested in taking this supplement.
Wheat Germ To Boost Milk Supply
Wheat germ is high in Vitamin E, which is known to be an antioxidant. Wheat germ also can be beneficial because it contains nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, and thiamin. Wheat germ also contains potassium, magnesium, and folate.
These are all essential vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ may also be beneficial in boosting your immune system and it may be beneficial in maintaining good cholesterol levels.
Oats To Boost Milk Supply
Oatmeal is one of the most widely-recommended milk boosting foods. Oats contain several vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of soluble fiber.
This soluble fiber may reduce cholesterol levels and reduce blood sugar. These benefits may be a few of the reasons why oats have been linked to an increase in milk supply for some women.
Ground Flaxseed To Boost Milk Supply
Flaxseed is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains fiber and lignans which are beneficial to your health. Lignans are a powerful type of antioxidant.
The three main healthy components found in flaxseed (Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans) may also help to reduce cholesterol levels.
Slowly Experiment With Ingredients To Closely Monitor Side Effects
If you are worried about experiencing negative side effects from lactation cookies, it may be best to try each of the ingredients on their own. This way, you can test out if one ingredient may be causing a problem.
For example, try eating a bowl of oatmeal for a few days. If you do not see any negative effects from the oatmeal, then add another ingredient like ground flax seed.
Eat a bowl of oatmeal with ground flaxseed for four days. If you have not seen a problem after these four days, then try lactation cookies that contain only oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and wheat germ.
Eat a lactation cookie with oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and wheat germ. If you do not experience negative side effects, then try adding another ingredient.
Try eating lactation cookies made with all four of the milk-boosting ingredients: oats, flaxseed, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast.
During this experimentation phase, it is also best to not try adding any other supplements like lactation teas or pills. If you try one ingredient at a time, you can better understand which ingredients are effective for boosting your milk supply. It will also help you to understand if one of the ingredients cause you discomfort.
If you are having some of these uncomfortable side effects from eating lactation cookies, or from taking supplements, I found that these drops really helped calm any digestive issues I experienced (link to Amazon).
If you are looking for lactation cookies to help boost your milk supply, I found that these lactation cookies are delicious (link to read reviews on Etsy). My favorite flavor was the oatmeal chocolate chip.
They do contain brewer’s yeast, flax seed, and oatmeal to help boost milk supply. They did not end up causing me any uncomfortable side effects.
If you can handle these 3 ingredients, these cookies are a quick and convenient option. It was so easy to have them on hand when I did not have time to make my own cookies at home.
Lactation cookies may have some uncomfortable side effects such as:
- Weight gain,
- Headaches, and
However, the good news is that not all women experience these side effects.
Even though there are some uncomfortable side effects, lactation cookies may also boost your milk supply. This is due to the health benefits of the ingredients.
It may be worth experimenting with one ingredient at a time. This will help you figure out if you suffer from one of these side effects, or if the lactation cookies help with your milk supply.
Must-Have Pumping Gear
Hear are a few of my favorite pumping items that made my life so much easier.
- This is the best pumping bra that is actually comfortable to wear all day long (the Sublime version). Use this link and code Lisa15 for a special discount on your purchase!
- Try the Chocolate Fudge flavor of this yummy milk-boosting protein powder.
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- These are the best baby bottle labels that will not wash off or wear off. The pineapple design and the whale design are two of my favorites.
- My favorite pumping bag that is roomy enough for my pump, a laptop, a cooler, and a lunch bag. They have so many cute colors and prints but I really love the Floral print.
- These custom baby name onesies I found on Etsy are so adorable I ended up buying them in two different colors. The shop even has a really cute matching mommy and me set.
- I used this tiny mini fridge (link to Amazon) near my pumping station at home so I didn’t have to trek to the kitchen after a middle of the night pumping session.
- This postpartum care box has a couple of my must-have items for the first few months after baby arrives. The tubes that help with engorgement provide so much relief.
- If you enjoyed this article, you can help support this blog by buying me a coffee here. Your support is very much appreciated!
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NEXT, Check these out
- Check out this article for all of my best pumping tips – 17 Best Pumping Tips for Beginners
- Ever wonder how many calories you burn by pumping or breastfeeding?
- Tons of helpful information on increasing milk supply without supplements – 18 Natural Ways To Increase Milk Supply