Changing for the better, one bite and (deep) breath at a time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Product - Milk Miracles Healthy Lactation Cookies

I have learned to never doubt the power of positive thinking.  Since being laid of from a medical device start-up in January (yes, at 37 weeks pregnant), my 3 1/2 year full-time job, I wondered which direction my career would take in the post-Hannah world.  I was sure of one thing: I would never again compromise myself or my true passions, nutrition and wellness, and I would only take jobs that were in the best interest of my family.  I knew that if I kept a positive attitude and an open mind, something great would happen.

Something great didn't happen.  Many things great happened.  After going to a mommy group at Babymoon Inn, where my doula works, I was asked to join their team.  I now teach nutrition classes and meet privately with expectant and postpartum moms.  I had worked in maternal/child health before and was so excited to be in a positive, family-friendly environment surrounded by health-oriented people.  Oh, and did I mention the best part?  I can bring Hannah with me.  Yup, baby chills in her Ergo (or in the arms of other mommies or staff) while I teach and consult.  

My dream has always been to have a lot of part-time jobs so that I could diversify my skills and enjoy different aspects of the nutrition and health field.  I am lucky to continue to teach regular Karve classes at both the North Scottsdale and Old Town locations.  Additionally, I work for an online start-up called MyDietitian, and I just secured a great online teaching job with a major university (more on that later).  All of this can be done from home, or at least while my hubby is home, so I haven't had to rely on anyone but family for childcare.  "Blessed" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

Enter lactation cookies.  I was looking for a recipe to bake healthy lactation-promoting cookies for a friend who was struggling with milk supply.  What is a lactation cookie, you say?  Certain foods may help nursing moms create more breast milk.  These foods, including oats, flaxseed, and nutritional or brewer's yeast, are called "galactogogues."  Lactation cookies are simply cookies that contain these milk-promoting foods.  (In case you're wondering, and I know you are, no - they don't make you lactate if you aren't doing so already.  And they won't make your boobs bigger.  But they do taste good and are healthy for anyone!)

There are many commercially available lactation cookies on the market, but none of them are really "healthy."  They all seem to contain white flour and lots of refined sugar.  I was frustrated and decided on a whim that I would try to make my own healthy recipe.  I spent days baking and tasting various combinations using dates and a dash of stevia for sweetness and a variety of healthy substitutes for white flour, such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and coconut flour.  I spent more money than I care to admit at Whole Foods.

My sous chef:

I couldn't get it quite right, and I was about to give up on my little idea.  On my last try, I decided to add ingredients to one another and judge based on feel and taste of the batter, not worrying too much about what I knew should work.  Fortunately, I wrote down what I did, because they were good!  A few tweaks later and I had a recipe I was actually proud of...and they taste great too.

The best part?  They work.  I would wake up swimming in milk and was able to pump far more than I normally did during my once-daily pumping session.  Since I'm with Hannah all the time, I only pump to keep a freezer stash.  I never had a supply issue, but I had noticeably more milk and cut down on my pumping time dramatically.  

To clarify, if baby is making adequate wet dipes and is growing well, a breastfeeding mom has enough milk.  Sometimes moms need help with supply if they are struggling with latch at the beginning, have to pump at work, or are under a lot of physical or emotional stress.  I never want to imply that all breastfeeding women need these cookies.

I started giving away cookies to friends to see what they thought.  The reactions were even more positive than I expected.  "I didn't think I would like a 'healthy' cookie, but these are addicting," said one friend.  "I have milk for days!" said another.  Yet another pumping mom texted me a few days after getting her batch: "The last 2 days I have had no problem producing enough for her at daycare the next day!  Last week I had to supplement twice and today I even have an extra 3 oz. so far.  The only bad part is I just want to eat cookies all day...."  (I will take this as a good problem!)

Oh, and did I mention that they're actually healthy?  Gluten-free, dairy-free, no added sugars (except for the chocolate chips, of course), no salt, no refined flours.  The ingredient list is simple: dates, oats, virgin coconut oil, almond meal, chocolate chips, eggs, flaxseed meal, nutritional yeast, chia seeds, vanilla, aluminum-free baking powder, and stevia.  Think Lara bar with oats, but better.  Why eat a less than healthy cookie when trying to feed your baby the best?

{Please pardon my amateur - and really quickly done - photography!}

I call them Milk Miracles, as they have been a miracle in many ways for me.  They also remind me of what a miracle my little Hannah is, and how miraculous it is to be able to feed her from my body. 

I'm selling them to Arizona residents only for the time being, since I bake them in my home as allowed under Arizona's Cottage Law.  Eventually I hope to acquire access to a commercial kitchen and sell them across the country.  They are $20 + tax for 14 cookies, which is generally a 2 week supply.  Compare this to Milkin' Cookies ($21.99) or Milk Makers ($30 for 20 cookies), and I think they're a great deal.  Plus, these competitors aren't nearly as healthy as my Milk Miracles.

This is just the beginning of my journey, and I appreciate your support as I build this whole new element of my business.  If you are interested in purchasing cookies and live in Arizona, please email me at or call/text 480-510-9634.



  1. I wish you were back in MN so I could gift these to the nursing mommas I know! That being said, I'm glad (and slightly envious) that you've found such great opportunities and sound so incredibly blissful!

    1. Thanks Diana! Every day is different, and it's definitely interesting to work while taking care of baby, but I'm so lucky to be able to do it and be with her the whole time. I will hopefully be able to ship nationally in the next six months once I switch to a commercial kitchen!

  2. so excited for you - and these amazing cookies! thank you for letting me be a taste-tester... they are completely delicious and i absolutely noticed an increase in milk production. yay!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad they have helped you. I notice that working/pumping mamas are especially fond of them because they can notice a very measurable improvement in supply. I know they help me, so I just hope they help other mamas!

  3. OK mama, I wanted to give you an update on my lactation status (a conversation I'm not sure I ever thought I'd have online?!?!?!) :)
    Ava's 9 months old, exclusively breastmilk.
    The USUAL ROUTINE: Ava has 5 meals/day; 1-2 meals of that are usually pumped milk/bottle since I've been trying to increase production by pumping 1.5-2 hrs after her last nursing session. She nurses for 10-15 minutes total (I nurse on both sides). I usually pump at midnight as well since Ava sleeps through the night (9 pm - 7 am, give or take an hour). She's not a "snacker", and on rare occasion I can fit in a 6th nursing session...but when she's not hungry, she doesn't care to be around the boob. She is eating solids, but as a compliment to breastmilk once a day.
    The DIET: I do eat rolled oats with chia seeds for breakfast almost daily. I drink lots of water throughout the day.
    The COOKIES: I've eaten 1 Milk Miracle per day this week.
    The OUTCOME: YES YES YES! While I'm not "leaking" (as many women have reported), I can definitely see an increase in production, mainly because I can calculate it when I pump. I used to get approx 2-2.5 oz during a pumping session 1.5 hrs after breastfeeding Ava. That's now increased to at 3 - 3.5 oz.
    ***Of course, as all milk-making mamas know: the amount of milk we produce is extremely individual. My amounts are probably very low compared to most women. Ava & I are both petite lil ladies, and coupled with the fact that she's slept through the night since she was 4 months old (therefore eliminating a nice long middle-of-the-night session), I think this contributes to my milk numbers.

    I know this is a long post, but I wanted to let you know the "Milk Miracle" from someone who's actually trying to increase milk production. We recently discovered Ava has a significant lip & tongue tie, so that's likely had an effect on her latch & therefore, my production these last 9 months. Though she's healthy & a very happy baby, I've always had a slight concern that I could be feeding her more (though each time I try, she just doesn't seem interested in more milk). My daily routine revolves around nourishing my daughter, so I am consciously drinking lots of water, eating oats/ chia/ flax, & pumping to ensure breastmilk is "available". The Milk Miracles are another "tool" - a VERY YUMMY tool & I'm so blessed that you...through your struggles & inspiration...have found this calling.
    Feel free to use this "review" anywhere you see fit; I just wanted to write it all down so other could have a gauge if curious.
    XOXO - Sharon & Ava

  4. I am so thrilled for you!!
    yeah and double yeah!!

  5. great tutorial and love the idea of Halloween Bark.

    I would love to have you to link up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, knowledge, experience and some good images also about Buying Lactation Cookies. Really its a great post. Keep this type of posting.