You may have heard that pumpkin is good for nursing mamas because of its ability to help increase milk production. Well, good news — it does. Pumpkin is considered a galactagogue — or lactagogue — which is a food or drug that increases a mother's milk supply. Would you like to know some more good news? We happen to be in peak pumpkin season, so this is the perfect time to fill your house with warm-smelling pumpkin deliciousness. There are countless ways to use this seasonal squash, but I found a pumpkin recipe that will increase your milk supply while simultaneously making sweet music for your taste buds.
This recipe is from the website Wholefully, a food blog with a ton of nutritious and delicious recipes. (So if you're into baking, definitely check out some more of these recipes as soon as possible.) The recipe in question not only features milk-boosting pumpkin, it also has several other ingredients that aid in lactating. Basically, these Oatmeal Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies will give you lactation superpowers.
There are many other benefits to this favorite fall squash/superfood, too. Healthline, a website dedicated to all things healthy, explained that pumpkin is good for our health for a variety of reasons: It's filled with vitamins including vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin and eyes, and vitamin C; pumpkin is also high in fiber and antioxidants... which means bye-bye, free radicals. (If you don't know what free radicals are, they've been known to wreak havoc on the body by causing disease and aging, according to Medical News Daily — no thanks.)
Need more pro-pumpkin facts? With so many pumpkin products on the market now, you can get everything from pumpkin pasta to pumpkin cream cheese to pumpkin salad dressing. It's incredibly versatile in cooking and baking, too (as proof, check out these amazing pumpkin bars). Still, this recipe takes the cake (cookies?) for breastfeeding moms.
Because it's not just about the pumpkin when it comes to these cookies. Oats are also a known galactagogue, as an article in Parents explained, plus they're high in iron, which is key for breastfeeding moms. Then there are the flaxseeds, which have lactation-enhancing phytoestrogens according to the Very Well Family website. That makes three super ingredients in one recipe. Not to mention the coconut oil, wheat flour and eggs... all good for you, too.
Even better is how this recipe swaps out plain old no-good-for-you baking ingredients like sugar and butter with maple syrup and coconut oil. As an article on Live Strong explained, it's best to keep those empty sugar calories at bay. Breastfeeding is already so taxing on our bodies, we might as well give ourselves as much nutrition as possible.
While baking goodies isn't always the healthiest hobby, there's no reason why you can indulge in a nutritionally-boosted version whenever possible. Plus, with Thanksgiving around the corner, you already have a built-in excuse to consume anything and everything pumpkin you can get your hands on, right? Grab a cookie for breakfast, a pick-me-up while you're nursing, or a midnight snack, and know you're doing something good for your body... and your baby!