Oatmeal is renowned for its high nutritional profile and is considered a healthy cereal. Due to its abundant health benefits, experts often recommend oatmeal for breastfeeding mums, as besides improving metabolism, this cereal also helps enhance breast milk supply and boosts recovery.
Read on as we tell you more about the potential benefits of oatmeal for nursing mums, its galactagogue properties, and healthy oats recipes to improve breast milk production.
Oatmeal For Breastfeeding Mums: Does It Really Increase Milk Supply?
Oatmeal exhibits galactagogue properties, which may increase the production of oxytocin hormone in your body, further improving your breast milk production. However, there is still a lack of scientific evidence to prove this statement.
Regardless, you can safely add oatmeal to your post-pregnancy diet. In fact, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends adding oatmeal among other whole grains as a part of a regular diet for nursing mums.
5 Health Benefits Of Oatmeal For Breastfeeding Mums
Oatmeal helps improve your breast milk supply and benefits your overall health / Image credit: Freepik
Oatmeal contains carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fibre, and offers the following health benefits.
It offers vital micronutrients and nourishment: Oatmeal contains several micronutrients, including zinc, folic acid, iron, magnesium, copper, and vitamins B6, and E. These nutrients enhance your postpartum recovery and also support your baby’s health by providing nutrition through breast milk.
It enhances your digestive health: Oatmeal has a high fibre content, which can improve your bowel movement, thus easing or avoiding postpartum constipation. Besides, fibre-rich foods promote good bacteria in your gut, which further improves digestive concerns like irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, oatmeal modifies breast milk composition and promotes your baby’s health and immunity.
It may improve your immunity: Oatmeal contains bioactive compounds, which exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds help boost your immunity, which in turn can also benefit your baby’s immune system.
It increases your energy levels: Oatmeal is an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates, which help improve your energy levels and reduce fatigue.
It benefits your overall health: Several studies have concluded that regular consumption of oatmeal helps regulate your blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Oatmeal For Breastfeeding Mums?
Oatmeal does not have any side effects for nursing mums. However, if you have the following health concerns, you may experience certain side effects after consuming oats.
If you are sensitive to fibre, then you may experience flatulence or bloating after consuming oats for the first time. Start with small servings and then gradually increase the quantity.
If you have any kind of gastrointestinal tract disorder, you should consult your healthcare provider before adding oats to your diet.
While oatmeal is a gluten-free cereal, in some cases, it may cross-contaminate with gluten-containing grains, such as wheat. Hence, if you have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, go for all-organic oatmeal brands.
4 Nutritious Oatmeal Recipes For Breastfeeding Mums
These oatmeal recipes are healthy, nutritious and simplee to make / Image credit: Freepik
A quick and easy recipe that packs a load of nutrients. You can also supplement the smoothie with your favourite dry fruits and nuts as toppings and increase its nutritional value.
You will need:
Half a mango, diced
1 banana, diced
A cup of instant or quick-cooking oats
½ cup milk
Almonds, walnuts (optional)
Put the chopped fruits into the blender jar and add oats, and milk to it.
Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth consistency. If needed, add a bit of water to adjust the thickness.
Pour the smoothie into a tall glass and top it with your choice of favourite dry fruits and seeds.
This recipe is nutritional, simple, and delicious. You can prep it at night and pop it in your refrigerator, and add a bunch of toppings when you enjoy it the next morning.
You will need:
⅓ cup of rolled oats
Low dairy or Greek yogurt
Fruits of your choice
½ tablespoon of chia seeds
Add oats to a small glass or jar. Add yogurt and a bit of water, and give the ingredients a good mix.
Add chia seeds and give the mix a good stir.
Refrigerate the oat mix overnight.
In the morning, take out the glass and give the ingredients a good mix.
Add fruits of your choice, drizzle a tad bit of honey or maple syrup, and enjoy!
This is a healthy and satisfying one-pot dish, perfect for your lunch or dinner. It is packed with nutritional ingredients and ups your daily fibre intake.
You will need:
1-2 tablespoons of ghee or oil
½ cup of chopped onions, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes
½ teaspoon of chopped green chillies and ginger
⅓ cup of moong dal and cooking oats
¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and red chilli powder
Salt as required
2 cups of water
In a pressure cooker, heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Wait till the seeds crackle.
Add chopped onions, ginger, and chillies, and saute for a few seconds.
Add the rest of the veggies, moong dal, and oats.
Stir for a few seconds and then add the spices and salt.
Pressure cook for 7-8 minutes and consume the khichdi hot, with a side of pickle or yogurt.
This oatmeal cookie is chewy in the middle and crispy on the edges, and you can munch on them during snack time guilt-free.
You will need:
½ cup of rolled oats and whole wheat flour
⅓ cup of raw sugar and butter
2 tablespoons of raisins
2-4 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and vanilla extract
Grind the sugar until you get a powder-like consistency and keep it aside.
Grease a tray with butter and preheat your oven to 180°C for 15 minutes.
Add wheat flour and butter to a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients well and then add the rolled oats and raisins.
Add the milk and give the dough a good mix again.
Now scoop the dough and place it on the greased baking tray. Gently press the top of the dough with a spatula.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, until they are lightly golden in colour.
Once done, set them aside to cool, and then enjoy the cookies with tea or milk.
There’s no denying that the benefits of oatmeal for breastfeeding mums are numerous. From improving digestion to boosting breast milk supply, oatmeal is a valuable addition to every lactating mum’s balanced diet.
Try the oatmeal recipes that we have discussed above to improve your nutritional intake. You can even customise them according to your preferences and change some of the ingredients to suit your taste buds.
Suggestions offered by doctors on BabyChakra are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by BabyChakra is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.