The unique properties of oatmeal are well known to many mothers, as well as women soon to be initiated into motherhood. But for the rest of the population, it may come as a surprise to hear that oatmeal, including the kind made from steel cut oats, helps nursing mothers produce more milk!
It’s true, and there is actually a name for foods with lactation-promoting properties: they are called lactogenic foods or galactagogues. Oatmeal falls into this category because of a number of interesting reasons.
Firstly, oatmeal helps breastfeeding moms to relax. Oatmeal is a natural comfort food, and anything that helps mom get more relaxed can encourage the milk let-down process.
Steel cut oats are packed with nutrients, including iron. It is known that maternal anemia/low iron levels can result in a decreased milk supply, so it makes sense that eating something high in iron can increase milk supply in some women.
Eating just one serving a day of oatmeal has been shown to help breastfeeding moms produce between 0.5 and 1 additional ounce of milk a day!
There is a fantastic article written by Amanda, of ExclusivePumping.com, where she recorded her daily pumpings for a five days to see if eating oatmeal would have any effect on how much milk she produced.
She did not eat oatmeal the first day (to record a baseline), but did during the other four days. Sure enough, during three of the four days that she did eat oatmeal, she produced at least one additional ounce!
Did you know that you don’t even have to eat a bowl of prepared oatmeal to get its health benefits! Oats have the same lactation-promoting properties in oatmeal as they do in COOKIES!
Below are a collection of our favorite lactation cookie recipes. Make a batch today, to give yourself a boost when you need!