Let’s be real. Breastfeeding is a full-time job, and there may be times your once bountiful supply may decrease. When that happens, do yourself a favor and enjoy a bowl or two of these oats.
What does this oatmeal have that may help boost your supply? It is full of galactagogues. Galactagogues are substances that may promote lactation. There are a lot out there, but the ones included in this recipe are flax, oats, full-fat coconut milk and brewer’s yeast.
Flaxseeds are full of essential fatty acids and phytoestrogens that can influence milk production. To get the benefits, grind the flaxseeds in a food processor before consuming to ensure proper digestion which will allow you to enjoy all the benefits of this wonder seed. Store any extra ground flax in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and slow oxidation.
Oats, first and foremost, are full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Rich in iron, calcium and soluble fiber, oats are excellent for helping keep you full and energized while breastfeeding. What gives oats their claim to let down fame is the beta-glucan they contain. This fiber can help increase prolactin levels, which lead to milk production. (1)
Coconut milk, especially the full-fat version, helps support your need for some extra calories and healthy fats while nursing. One study found mothers who ate coconut products had significantly increased levels of lauric and capric acid in their breastmilk. Their supply had increased protective antimicrobials meaning they passed on greater protection to their little ones. (2) Coconut milk is also delicious. Let’s not forget the taste factor.
Brewer’ yeast is also rich in phytoestrogens, as well as protein and iron. The phytoestrogens can help increase milk production while the protein can offer some sustained energy to get you through your nursing sessions. The additional iron can help give a little boost as well since nursing mothers often suffer from a reduced milk supply if they have a dip in iron levels or become anemic.
These ingredients can work together to help increase supply while giving mama energy and the calories she needs to nurse her babe. Though galactagogues can be useful, they treat the symptoms instead of the root cause. If you suffer a sudden loss of supply, it is best to see your health practitioner or a lactation consultant. There are so many reasons why your supply can dip, some more serious than others. It is best to find the root cause and resolve the issue so you can continue on your nursing adventure with your babe.
There are also some galactagogues that are natural but potent. For example, fenugreek may boost supply but may also interfere with the absorption of medication. As always, speak to your health practitioner before taking any new supplements.
Now back to this oatmeal! The milk boosting ingredients included here may already be in your cupboard and combining them just helps make a delicious bowl of lactation promoting goodness. You could enjoy this oatmeal every day if you’d like for additional sustained lactation support. Plus, it’s tasty, a breeze to whip up, can easily be changed up with different fruit toppings, the addition of some raw cacao for chocolate lovers and an extra dose of antioxidants or can be prepped the night before as overnight oats and… the list goes on.
These oats are amazing. They are delicious. They are filling. They are nourishing. They help promote lactation. Go on and make them already!
Let it Flow Anytime Oats
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
4 teaspoons fresh ground golden flax
1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup banana, chopped
2 tablespoons almond meal
drizzle maple syrup
In a pot on medium heat add oats, water, and coconut milk.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until thick and cooked through (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and add flax, brewer’s yeast, and salt. Thoroughly mix until flax, yeast, and salt are evenly distributed.
Transfer half of the oats to a bowl. Top with fruit, nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.