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The Effect of Oatmeal on Breastmilk

By Laura Niedziocha

For some women, breastfeeding is an important part of raising a child. Low milk supply can make breastfeeding a difficult task. Indications that your child is not getting enough breastmilk can be a lack of dirty diapers or reduced weight gain. Changing your diet to include certain foods, like oatmeal, can help to increase your milk supply.

Oatmeal and Breastfeeding

Oatmeal can be effective at increasing your supply of breastmilk, states Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC of the website Though Bonyata states that there is no scientific proof, women who increase their intake of oatmeal during lactation generally report seeing an increase in production.


Three mechanisms may be the cause of oatmeal increasing production. First, oatmeal is rich in iron. Low iron is common after pregnancy and can cause your body to reduce breast milk production. Simply increasing your iron intake through oatmeal might explain an increase in production. Oatmeal is also known as a comfort food. A relaxed woman can produce more milk than a stressed-out woman. Relaxation may be hard to come by with a newborn, but oatmeal may help a little. Finally, oatmeal is rich in fiber which can help reduce cholesterol. Many of the herbal medications used to increase lactation also work to reduce cholesterol, so in this respect oatmeal may have an effect.


One bowl of oatmeal each day can be enough to start reaping these rewards. Bonyata states that some women report an increase by just eating foods with oats, such as cookies or granola bars. However, to keep your intake regular it may be best to eat a bowl of oatmeal each day. Oatmeal causes no major side effects, but people with celiac disease or other bowel sensitivities may need to eat oats with caution.


For a woman, low milk supply can be frustrating. In some cases, low milk supply may be caused by a physical problem that you cannot change. A simple dietary alteration like eating oatmeal is not only good for you but may help to end your frustration with breast feeding. This may be a simple solution for a working mother who is forced to pump her breastmilk. Before making any dietary changes or to rule out any physical problems causing your supply issues, contact your doctor.

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