Throughout pregnancy, the body prepares to produce enough food for the baby, but many moms face a low breast milk supply for many reasons.
Expectedly, your diet and overall health play a crucial part in your milk production. If you lack nutrition, your body will drain all reserves, weakening you.
Therefore, feeding yourself the right nutritious foods, such as oat milk, is imperative. It’s one of the few beverages that meet the nutritional food criteria.
The best part? Made with fresh milk and nutritious oat, this type of milk can increase your breast milk production significantly, so let’s talk about it.
Is Oat Milk Good For Breast Milk Supply?
Although studies haven’t confirmed the positive effects oatmeal, oat milk, and oats have on increasing breast milk production, many nursing moms have expressed their positive experiences with oats.
Lactation consultants such as Kelly, Bonyata, the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, support their claims. She suggests that consuming oatmeal is the best way to increase breast milk production naturally.
One of the reasons why mothers prefer oat milk over cow milk is that it’s rich in iron. With enough iron, moms can defeat the common maternal anemia, which scientists have confirmed decreases breast milk supply.
Why is Iron So Important For Nursing Mothers?
Iron doesn’t only help defeat anemia in mothers and increase milk supply but plays a vital part in boosting their energy levels and improving their overall well-being.
Also, iron consumption is necessary for lactating mothers because they should replace the lost blood during labor to protect themselves from various diseases and breastfeed their infants.
Lastly, iron can improve maternal immune systems, reducing the possibility of sore nipples, thrust, and clogged milk ducts.
Other Benefits of Oats
Oats also pack other nutrients such as phytochemicals, beta-glucans, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates that will improve the quality of your breast milk.
Oats can also help you relax, which naturally causes your body to produce oxytocin. It’s a hormone that helps with milk production and promotes feelings of comfort that pass onto your baby.
However, remember that supplementing with oatmeal alone isn’t enough to increase your breast milk supply. You also need oat milk.
While nursing, you draw calcium from your own body and pass it onto your baby for the healthy development of their bones. Therefore, you must replenish your calcium to keep yourself healthy and maintain lactation.
Oat milk has calcium, iron, and other essential minerals and vitamins. But here’s the real kicker. Oats contain water-soluble fiber that swells up in the stomach.
So, drinking milk promotes satiety. Now, that’s a healthy way to increase milk supply and lose pregnancy weight.
How Much Oat Milk to Increase Milk Supply?
The recommended daily calcium intake for adults (19-50 years old) is 800mg, while nursing mothers require 1.625 times more calcium than the average adult.
It’s essential to monitor your milk consumption so that it takes effect. To increase milk supply, nursing moms should consume oat milk about 4-6 hours before nursing.
However, nursing frequency, diet, body chemistry, and metabolism can increase the speed of the effect to 1 hour or reduce it to as long as 24 hours. To control this, you should develop a habit of consuming oat milk daily.
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How Long After Eating Oatmeal or Oat Milk Will Milk Supply Increase?
How long after consuming oatmeal will your milk supply increase depends on many different things such as your nursing frequency, body chemistry, metabolism, foods you eat, etc.
However, most moms notice a boost in breast milk supply a few hours after eating oatmeal and oat milk.
I saw a boost of 1 ounce or a half ounce at each pumping session a couple of hours after consuming oatmeal or oat milk.
What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?
I would describe oat milk as creamy, thick, and slightly sweet, but note that the sweetness level will depend on your chosen brand and if sugar or other flavors have been a part of the making process.
Also, oat milk has a nutty flavor and tastes similar to oatmeal. The best part? You can buy oat milk in different flavors, including plain, chocolate, vanilla, etc.
Health Benefits of Oat Milk
First, oat milk doesn’t contain common allergens like dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts, but it can have gluten if the oats used in the making aren’t gluten-free.
Some babies have soy and dairy protein allergies, so some mothers need to switch from cow to oat milk for the first six months while nursing and pumping.
Another essential health benefit of oat milk is that it has more fiber than other types of non-dairy milk on the market. Most oat milk brands have about 2 grams of fiber.
Other types of non-dairy kinds of milk consist of coconut or nuts. Therefore, they’re higher in fat than oat milk.
Lastly, oat milk has a lot of iron, which is essential for nursing mothers as research has shown that anemia in nursing mothers can drop the breast milk supply.
Environmental Benefits of Oat Milk
I won’t bore you with the details of the environmental benefits of oat milk.
However, I want to mention that if you drink oat milk, you’re not only doing yourself and your baby a favor but also the environment. Making oat milk requires less water than other types of non-dairy milk, such as almond milk.
How Can I Use Oat Milk?
Many mothers, especially those who haven’t consumed oat milk before discovering the health benefits, don’t know how to use it for more milk produced.
Here’s a list of various ways you can use oat milk:
- You can drink it plain in a glass.
- Or you can add it to your coffee as it’s thick and adds creaminess. Make sure you don’t drink too much coffee while nursing and pumping.
- Add cinnamon and a drop of vanilla to your warm oat milk and enjoy a tasty, creamy drink.
- Make oat milk froth and use it for your coffee.
- Oat milk and cereal make a great breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or snack.
- Replace water with oat milk in your favorite smoothies.
- Make pancakes or waffles with oat milk.
Homemade Oat Milk Recipe
To make oat milk for extra milk production, you need water, oats, a blender, a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, and storage containers.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe:
- 2 cups of oats
- 4 cups of water
You can use steel-cut oats, instant oats, or rolled oats.
Measure your ingredients, soak your preferred oats in water and leave them in the fridge overnight. The next day, blend the mixture in a blender.
Once done, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.
Make sure you separate the pulp from the liquid. The liquid you will get is the “milk.” You don’t have to toss the pulp; you can consume it as it is. Or bake it.
Lastly, store your freshly made oat milk in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Important note: Store-bought oat milk can last longer than the homemade version. So, make sure you read the storage instructions on the package.
Extra Tips for New Breastfeeding Moms
Making oat milk can be time-consuming and tiring for new mothers as you probably haven’t slept well at night for a long time.
Soaking, straining, and storing can be too much for a sleep-deprived brain.
However, if you find the strength to do it, go for it. You will save money and have a fresh glass of oat milk daily.
If you don’t have the time or will, don’t beat yourself. Purchase a few cartons of oat milk and save yourself the trouble.
Last tip: Making oat milk means you will have fresh oat milk in your fridge, but note that store-bought oat milk also contains extra calcium and vitamin D. And you could use the extra bust of calcium in your diet as a nursing mother.
Final Tips For Breast Milk Production
Drinking oat milk daily isn’t the only thing you should do. You should also ensure you have safe milk for consumption that won’t affect the milk supply for your baby.
Once you open a carton of milk and expose it to oxidation, it loses quality and quickly loses freshness.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore suggests consuming open milk, especially dairy milk, within 2-3 days.
So, it would be best if you tossed oat milk open longer than this.
Otherwise, you risk becoming infected with unwanted bacteria, which can affect the amount and quality of your milk supply for your baby.
The worst part? You can unknowingly pass viruses or diseases to your child, so pay attention to everything you consume while nursing and pumping. The bacteria you can transfer to your child can be so mild you might not even know it.
However, it can still compromise the health of your newborn, especially if they have fewer immunity defenses.