Can a breast milk cookie change your life? Or are they just a yummy treat? (Image: iStock.)
It’s a home remedy, often in the form of a cookie, cake or smoothie, which contains ingredients that allegedly boost breast milk production. So, is the lactation recipe fact or fiction? We took it to the experts.
Is it true that certain foods or ingredients can boost breast milk supply?
According to Rachel Fuller, President of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, there’s a lack of science behind so-called lactation recipes.
“Many cultures have special foods that are thought to enhance milk production. However, they have not been formally studied and there is little scientific evidence to support that eating specific foods will boost milk supply,” she explained.
“What we do know for sure about breastfeeding is that supply equals demand. In other words, feeding baby more often (or expressing more often) is the key to increasing breast milk supply.”
Medical expert Doctor Dee Chohan, dismisses the notion of lactation recipes completely. “This ‘lactation food’ is a myth,” she declares.
“Breast milk supply is controlled by the amount of milk the baby takes in. An emptier breast will produce more milk and different hormones control this efficiently.”
Why does the myth of “lactation recipes” exist?
Larissa McBride, clinical nutritionist and naturopath, believes that it’s only natural that mothers should want to feed their babies. “Lactation recipes appeal to a mother’s innate desire to feed her baby, as well as her desire to use natural means to ensure adequate supply,” she suggests.
Another argument is that those who perpetuate the myth of lactation recipes just don’t have a good grip on science.
“They have not studied Biology and don’t understand how breast tissue produces milk,” quips Doctor Dee.