Are lactation cookies & teas healthy for baby?

Symptoms caused by these ingredients

While it is fair to say that some newborns and infants are more sensitive than others when it comes to their reaction of food in a mother’s breastfeeding diet, it is also fair to say that the majority of newborns will experience one, if not all of the symptoms below from the foods listed above:

  • bloating
  • gas
  • pedalling legs
  • arching backwards
  • deposits that look like sesame seeds or cottage cheese in their stool
  • green bowel motions
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • frothy stools
  • mucous in stools
  • unsettled sleep
  • bopping on and off the breast when feeding as they react to the food in the digestive tract
  • crying or screaming
  • rooting to suck a lot as they search for their innate comfort in response to the pain
  • not wanting to be put down or lay flat

My recommendations

At the end of the day, I can’t honestly say that I have ever seen a lactation cookie increase supply. What I have seen though is positive differences in bowel motions and behaviours for the child when lactation cookies have been removed from the breastfeeding diet.

Given the amount of potentially adverse ingredients in lactation cookies, I don’t actually recommend them to any of my breastfeeding mothers. Personally I prefer to err on the side of caution and choose either a single galactgogues from the list below, or use a combination of them within a capsule or a breastfeeding tea.

I also, of course, get mothers to pump, stimulating the breast to increase supply. International Lactation Consultant, Joegensen-Perry states this about lactation cookies, ‘It is magical thinking if you believe eating a cookie is going to make milk appear in your body. Physiologically that is not what happens. Milk supply is really dependent on the level of stimulation the breast receives. The amount of drainage that occurs during a feeding, and pumping session and the frequency with which those happen.’

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When it comes to my recommendations below, the amount needed for each of these galactagogues will vary from mother to mother and how they respond to the galactagogue. Also one must always be vigilant about the possibility of an allergic reaction to these. My recommendations are:

  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Fennel – although it may cause dermatitis for some1
  • Nettle – rarely can cause stomach upset so if you choose this and baby gets unsettled, stop taking.
  • Anise
  • Marshmallow root
  • Garlic

If I was to suggest a breastfeeding tea that you can buy, it would be the New Zealand made Artemis Breastfeeding Tea.


I’d like to finish off by honouring the Mum that this blog has been inspired by. After reading my breastfeeding diet list on what to avoid, she discovered that the widely popular milk tea she was having five cups a day off, used a herb that produced gas and bloating. On stopping the tea, her son calmed. His gas was significantly reduced and his stomach was no longer distended. His skin also cleared up very quickly. She wrote to me saying, “I am so upset by this that I could sue that company with a good heart, and I am not the type of person to ever do something of the sort, however, we have both suffered so much discomfort.” I read it and on the spot promised I would write this blog for her, and all breastfeeding mothers.

Please note: If you are concerned about your breast milk supply please feel free to book a consultation with me or talk to another trained health practitioner about it. Also note that FDA does not regulate herbal products in the same manner. The FDA regulates herbals under food manufacturing regulations. Herbal products are required to be free of contaminants. Herbal labels may not make unfounded health and medical claims.1

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.