5 Reasons Why Oatmeal is Great For Breastfeeding Moms

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Scroll through any lactation recipe you can find online and you’ll find one ingredient that almost always makes it to the list- oatmeal for breastfeeding. Nutritionists and moms around the globe swear by the effectiveness of this food to increase milk supply in breastfeeding moms.

Whether you are suffering from low milk supply or just want to boost nutrition in your breast milk, figuring out what to eat while breastfeeding can be challenging at times!

Oatmeal is already quite popular as a healthy breakfast option, but it turns out, there’s much more to it than meets the eye.

But the question is- can oatmeal increase breastmilk supply, or is it all just a placebo?

Scroll down and keep reading to find out.

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Does Oatmeal Increase Milk Supply?

Oatmeal has been in use for decades as a galactagogue, and is recommended by nutritionists and experts and vouched for by moms too. That said, there is not a lot of actual scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness when it comes to increasing milk supply.

Even if there is, it is all mostly anecdotal.

One possible explanation of how it might help boost milk supply is the fact that it is a rich source of iron- the deficiency of which has been linked to reduced milk production in breastfeeding moms.

With that idea in mind, oatmeal could actually be great for moms during the postpartum period in specific. This is because a good percentage of mother’s are believed to be deficient in vital nutrients after pregnancy, and iron deficiency is directly linked to low breastmilk supply.

By offering 12% of your body’s daily requirement of iron in just a cup’s worth of serving, oatmeal has the potential to naturally enhance breastmilk production.

Read More about Breastfeeding Foods that Increase Milk Supply

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5 Benefits of Bone Broth while Breastfeeding

Some experts also claim that the consumption of oatmeal can have a cholesterol-lowering effect on the body. This effect has then also been found to be associated with better production of breastmilk. The science behind this association is, however, yet to be understood.

One thing to note is that nursing moms have always continued to hail this simple food as a way to increase milk supply. This pumping experiment shows that there is some truth to this, making oatmeal worth a try if you are looking to increase breast milk supply.

Benefits of Oatmeal For Breastfeeding Moms

Lactation is a complex subject that is still being dissected by researchers and scientists. There is no solid scientific study that zeros in on the impact of oatmeal consumption on the production of breastmilk. However, there is still a lot it can do for you while breastfeeding.

Let’s take a closer look at some reason why oatmeal is one of the best breastfeeding foods.

1 – Great Source of Micronutrients

Oatmeal is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. It is a decent source of protein and fiber, and also contains impressive amounts of micronutrients like zinc, phosphorous, iron, calcium, and manganese.

In addition, it also contains vitamin B complex, which has been found to be helpful in boosting mood, elevating energy levels, and fighting anxiety, stress, and depression.

That’s not all- oatmeal is also a rich source of beta-glucan; a kind of fiber that is specifically thought to be beneficial in raising the levels of the hormone prolactin, which in turn, enhances milk production.

Another easy way to get extra nutrition in while breastfeeding is to to drink a lactation protein shake. It contains milk supply boosters and the all the nutrients you need in a day to make breast milk in just one yummy drink.

2 – Provides Plant Estrogens

Apart from being nutritionally dense, oatmeal also contains plant estrogens, which stimulate the milk glands and boost the production of milk in breastfeeding moms.

Oats also contain saponins- a substance that has been linked to a positive effect on the hormones associated with milk production.

3 – Improves Digestive Health

One of the best benefits of including oatmeal in your meals is improved digestive health.

Oats, in their different forms, are a brilliant source of soluble fiber, which has been found to reduce constipation and improve bowel movement.

Adequate dietary fiber consumption has been credited to improving and modifying breastmilk composition, which might, in turn, have a positive impact on infant health.

The consumption of oatmeal has also been found to promote the growth of gut microbiota, which could help reduce the risk of digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome.

4 – Strengthens Immunity

The presence of beta-glucan and certain bioactive phytochemicals in oatmeal is what contributes to its anti-inflammatory action in the body, which in turn, helps give your immune system a little boost.

These compounds that benefit the maternal immune system, could also possibly help improve the baby’s immune system too.

5 – Versatile and Easy to Make

Oatmeal is super easy to work with- which is why it is so popular among breastfeeding moms. Moms can feel pressured with all the sleep deprivation and exhaustion post-birth, and the idea of spending time in the kitchen, making a healthy meal can seem daunting at times.

Oats are super easy and effortless to make, can be added to so many different foods, and consumed in so many different ways. The easiest is perhaps to make them as overnight oats in batches and have in fridge for breakfast or snacks.

This is exactly why they are a great choice for breastfeeding moms to quickly whip up a homecooked meal that is healthy, nutritious, and also boosts milk supply.

Make sure to grab a copy of our favorite snack recipes for breastfeeding. Includes 12 easy recipes you can make to help boost milk supply.

How to Use Oatmeal to Increase Breast Milk

Making oatmeal a part of your breastfeeding meal plan is actually incredibly easy, given how versatile it really is.

Tips to get the full benefits of oatmeal while breastfeeding:

  • While instant oatmeal can help increase breast milk supply, you will get more of a benefit by using old fashioned oats, as they have more nutrients intact than instant oats.
  • Eat between 1/2 – 1 cup of oatmeal a day to see in increase in supply.
  • Most Moms report an increase with a few hours of eating oatmeal.

Read more about foods that increase milk supply here.

Oatmeal Recipes for Breastfeeding to Try

Here are some ideas for eating oatmeal while breastfeeding.

The easiest way to eat oatmeal is for breakfast. Whip a big bowl of this lactation oatmeal recipe that’s loaded with protein and milk boosters.

You could start your day with a glass of healthy lactation smoothie. Whip up a quick smoothie with some healthy ingredients that you have in your kitchen- or try out this delicious pumpkin oatmeal lactation smoothie.

Got some extra time over the weekend? You can whip up a batch of these chocolatey peanut butter lactation cookies– and enjoy them for days as a quick healthy snack.

Or try this healthy version of chocolate chip oatmeal lactation cookies made with oatmeal, coconut and walnuts. The good thing about these cookies are even though they are a treat, they are good for you too!

Not too sure about spending all that time baking? You might want to try out these apple pie lactation bites that taste incredible. They are loaded with a lot of different galactagogues to boost your milk supply naturally. PLUS they take only a few minutes to make.

And of course, if you’re looking for the simplest recipe, you might want to try this lactation granola. It’s a great easy peasy healthy snack for breastfeeding moms.

That’s not all- oatmeal is so versatile, you can top your morning bowl with berries, chopped fruits, nuts, and anything else you like.

If you’re not a morning person, you could also prep your jar full of overnight oats in advance, and just dig into it in the morning.

Oats can also be transformed into no bake lactation oatmeal bars, turned into a nice comforting porridge, added to soups to make them more fiber-rich and filling, and also added to lactation muffins– the possibilities are endless!

Check out more lactation recipes for boosting milk supply.

And if you like pumpkin, check out these healthy breastfeeding pumpkin recipes – almost all with oatmeal too!

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Cautions on Eating Oatmeal while Breastfeeding

While oatmeal is generally considered a safe for breastfeeding moms, there are a few things to consider.

Oatmeal can cause excessive gas in some breastfed babies. If you notice your baby is experiencing a lot of gas, consider eliminating oats for awhile and see if it helps.

Also while oats are naturally gluten free, most unless specifically labeled gluten free are processed in facilities along with wheat. If gluten is bothersome to you or your baby, make sure to use only gluten free oats.

Read more about foods to avoid while breastfeeding that could possible irritate you baby.

More on Breastfeeding from Birth Eat Love

Here at Birth Eat Love, we are dedicated to helping make healthy eating easier for breastfeeding moms. Here are some of best resources for helping you through your breastfeeding journey.

6 Ways Coconut Can Help Breastfeeding Moms

22 Breastfeeding Snacks You Can Toss in Your Purse

Breastfeeding Meal Plan for Healthy Mom + Baby

Foods and Herbs That Decrease Breast Milk Supply

9 Breastfeeding Diet Tips All Moms Should Know

Dinner Ideas for Breastfeeding Moms (EASY + Healthy)

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