What are lactation cookies & how do they help breastfeeding mums?

PHOTO: Gooberr

Apart from improper latching, nipple soreness, and infection, low milk supply is one of the frustrating issues that nursing mums may face. Low milk supply can be attributed to a myriad reasons, including age, insufficient glandular tissue (‘milk-making’ ducts), feeding times, poor latching, and diet.

Nursing mums may have already heard of lactation foods which contain galactagogues (ingredients that stimulate breastmilk production) to help boost milk supply. If you feel nutrition could be a cause, a switch in your diet could help in fuelling milk production.

Of course, you could meal prep or seek out meals that contain galactagogues when dining out, but with a baby on your hands, that’s only more work to be done. Or, you can also skip the hassle and consider lactation cookies.

They can be carried around everywhere in your bag, are easy to eat, and are essentially super healthy cookies made with nutritious milk-boosting ingredients.

Gooberr is one such company making lactation cookies. The homegrown lactation cookie and mother care brand was founded by Chin Rui Shan, 30, in 2019. She started her business with the goal of helping mothers’ lives easier when her own mother was rediagnosed with stage four adenocarcinoma.

Its cookies (or what the company calls ‘Boobkies’), come in various tasty flavours, including Lemon Blueberries, Dark Chocolate Decaf, Earl Grey and Matcha, and have received orders from all over the globe. There are also lactation teas (‘Boob Juice’) to go with the cookies.

We got her to tell us how she does it all, how lactation cookies can help nursing moms, and her tips for budding entrepreneurs.

How do lactation cookies and tea help nursing mothers? What ingredients help increase breast milk supply?

PHOTO: Gooberr

Rui Shan (RS): We hope to take some stress off mums when it comes to producing liquid gold for their babies, since the process can become a negative feedback cycle when new mums face supply issues while struggling to cope with a new addition to the family.

The idea behind lactation cookies and tea lies with the ingredients — consuming galactagogues provides the body with the right building blocks of nutrients and vitamins to help stimulate more breast milk supply.

That is why I always say lactation cookies are great for the whole family to consume, as they are normal cookies with healthy superfood ingredients.

Some natural foods and herbs, also known as galactagogues, that can help boost breast milk supply include oats, flaxseed, fenugreek, banana blossom, fennel, ginger, and leafy greens.

ALSO READ: Lactation bubble tea for breastfeeding mummies said to help boost milk supply now selling at Ang Mo Kio

Is there a time frame that customers will see results after consuming the cookies?

RS: For Gooberr’s cookies, customers usually see results within two to three hours of eating eight to 10 cookies together with our lactation teas (Boob Juice). Alternatively, moms can also have the cookies with a tall glass of milk or Milo at least three times a day!

Depending on their response to the cookies, one can then reduce or increase their intake of cookies accordingly.

What were the challenges faced in creating your products, and when did you know you had the winning recipe?

PHOTO: Gooberr

RS: It took months of baking almost every other day to come up with a flavour that works within my specifications. At the core of the cookie is a lot of healthy ingredients like oats, flaxseed and Brewer’s yeast which has a certain flavour profile.

I tried many types of fruit like lychee, strawberries, banana, and even kaya but the flavours never seemed to come through. However, I refuse to use extracts or additives to enhance the flavour or texture of the cookies.

A lot of people don’t know this but vanilla extract isn’t derived purely from vanilla beans. Instead, it’s created by steeping vanilla beans in solvents like propylene glycol (which doubles as car antifreeze!). I’m not in favour of consuming this, even if it’s just a drop of it.

I hope to spread the word for consumers to know what they’re eating, and to look out for hidden ingredients like extracts!

Eventually, I knew I was on the right track when I gave samples to new mums and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive; that they helped to boost supply and while tasting yummy.

What inspires you and keeps you going?  

RS: A mother’s unconditional love. Witnessing what my mother went through, being poked and prodded every day, gave me my company ethos.

I want to put mothers’ health at the forefront of my brand. When mothers write in to share about how much Gooberr’s Boobkies have helped to increase and sometimes double their supply, or how Gooberr’s skincare has helped control eczema flare-ups and clear up a bad rash, it serves as a good reminder that I’m doing something right.

ALSO READ: From banker to baker: How this SG mum helps other breastfeeding mothers

What would you advise budding entrepreneurs embarking on a business or industry they are new to?

PHOTO: Pexels

RS: Do your research! You may have a product or a service, but are consumers willing to adopt your solution? Is there a need and desire in the current landscape for it?

If you intend to start a business with high capital start-up costs and require constant capital injections to keep the company afloat, always ensure you have enough to cover yourself and your staff.

Ask yourself how long you can stay in the business with minimal sales. Otherwise, expect complications to arise as soon as you run out of funds.

What are some things you wish you knew before started the business? Is there anything you would have done differently?

When it came to making decisions, I know I did my best at that given moment with all the information that was available to me — I don’t think I should have lost sleep over it. I remember having signed contracts and then staying up late into the night pondering if I made the right call. So I’d definitely try to sleep better at night if I could do it again!

Visit Gooberr’s website for more information.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.