Mexican Atole – the “Lactation Potion”

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Looking for a lovely, warm cup of milk boosting ingredients? Then you need to check out atole for breastfeeding. It’s a lactation drink you may not have heard of. It is so easy to make and good for milk supply too.

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What is Atole?

Atole (pronounced ah-TOH-leh) is a traditional beverage in Mexican cuisine made from masa harina (corn flour), the type of corn flour that is traditionally used to make corn tortillas.

Atole is often referred to as “warm cornmeal drink”.

Although it is referred to as “cornmeal drink”, it is not made out of corn meal. Both cornmeal and corn flour are made by milling dried corn, making them extremely similar and often easily confused. The main difference is the texture. Corn flour has a smoother consistency while corn meal is thicker and more gritty in texture.

However, atole can also be made of ingredients other than corn flour like pulverized rolled oats. This is the way it is made specifically for mothers who are producing breastmilk.

Atole was originally a breakfast beverage that dates back to the Aztecs and Mayans. Now, it is traditionally a warm beverage that is consumed during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead (November 1 – 2). Atole is enjoyed as a breakfast beverage, or a desert snack. Enjoying a mug of atole is comparable to having a cup of hot chocolate in American culture.

Is Atole Good for Breastfeeding?

A common belief in Mexican culture is that Atole will help a nursing mother quickly and easily boost a her milk supply.

Is this true? Yes and No.

While there is no scientific evidence that any food can help increase, boost, or ramp up ones lactation supply, there are foods that can help support healthy lactation.

While there are many atole recipes, such as “atole de avena” or “oatmeal atole” , both are commonly believed to help boost mothers’ milk.

Atole de avena is preferred because it is made from rolled oats. Rolled oats are commonly recommended for breastfeeding moms by American lactation consultants. In fact, most lactation cookies and recipes all have one common ingredient… ROLLED OATS. Because of oatmeal’s abundance in nutrients, it’s a super food when it comes to helping a woman’s milk supply.

Traditionally, in Mexican culture a postpartum mother is on “bed rest” for minimum of 40 days. A midwife, mother, grandmother, or mother-in-law is to care for the postpartum mother and assist with caring for the newborn.

During these 40 days, Mexican woman are treated with extreme care. The healing woman has to refrain from lifting anything heavier than her newborn child, going outdoors to avoid cold touching her skin, and must not leave the bed for a significant amount of time.

During this period, Atole de avena is prepared and served daily for the recovering mother. It is believed to be a “lactation potion”. This common practice dates back to the 1600s and is still used today.

Breastfeeding mother’s have often reported to feel “thirstier” during their breastfeeding journey. A cup of warm, delicious atole de avena is a great option for many reasons.

Read more postpartum recovery tips here.

Reasons why Atole May Help Increase Milk Supply

  • Atole mainly consists of water, milk, and rolled oats.
  • Enjoying a warm cup of tea, coffee, or atole has proven to decrease stress (the number one killer of breast milk supply).
  • Atole primarily consists of milk. Milk contains calcium which is a necessity for every living organism on earth. 
  • Drinking atole promotes hydration. 
  • Hydration is a key component in successful lactation.
  • Oatmeal is one of the top 5 foods that help support lactation
  • Oats may increase the production of the oxytocin hormone, which can help increase breast milk production.
  • Warm beverages, during the breastfeeding process, have proven to induce the let down reflex (a reflex that makes breastmilk flow).
  • Atole is a better, more safe alternative to drinking coffee and some teas.

More Lactation Drink Recipes

Chocolate Strawberry Lactation Smoothie Recipe

Green Lactation Smoothie Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Lactation Smoothie

Green Tea Lactation Latte Recipe

Recipe for Atole de Avena for Breastfeeding

Recipe for Atole de Avena for Breastfeeding

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Atole recipe for breastfeeding moms with oatmeal to help support healthy milk supply.


  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 cups of preferred milk (almond, oat, whole)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar (traditionally, piloncillo is used)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract


    1. Start by grinding the oats in a blender or small food processor. We will grind it until it reaches a thick flour consistency.
    2. Then add all of the ground oatmeal plus the rest of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a soft boil.
    3. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often making sure the milk does not boil over.
    4. Once it reaches the consistency of runny pudding, remove from heat and serve hot in mugs.
    5. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
    6. Enjoy!

    Did you make this recipe?

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    What to Serve with Atole de Avena?

    Here are a few recipes to serve along side a warm cup of Atole!

    Lactation Banana Bread

    Blueberry Lactation Muffins

    Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies

    Check out all of our healthy Lactation Recipes for breastfeeding Moms!

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