I started searching for ways to increase my milk supply almost as soon as my daughter was born. It seemed common knowledge that oatmeal is recommended to increase milk supply, but I wondered if oat milk would work the same way. We had a few things that contributed to me trying to increase my milk supply. The main factor was that she was born premature and was not strong enough to latch right away, so I exclusively pumped.
So, does oat milk increase milk supply? Yes, oat milk can increase milk supply. This is because oat milk is a plant-based drink made from oats and water. Oatmeal is commonly recommended by lactation consultants to help with milk supply. Oatmeal and oat milk have not been scientifically proven to increase breast milk, but they have worked for many moms.
After eating bowl after bowl of oatmeal for breakfast for a month, I started to get tired of the texture. I needed to add some variety into my morning routine while also keeping up the ounces of milk I produced. I bought a carton of oat milk to try it out for myself.
Why Does Oat Milk Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding?
Oat milk can increase milk supply because of the star ingredient – oats. One reason oats may increase milk supply is that oats are a good source of iron. Low iron levels or anemia in a breastfeeding mother may cause a reduction in her milk supply.
Another reason why oats may increase milk supply is that they are known to lower total cholesterol levels and increase the “good” HDL cholesterol. Some other herbs that are recommended for breastfeeding mothers also lower total cholesterol levels.
Some moms swear by oatmeal to increase their milk supply and others do not notice much of a difference. In my personal experience, I noticed that I pumped about 1-2 more ounces on the days I ate oatmeal or drank oat milk. So, it did not cause a drastic increase in milk supply for me, but I was happy for the extra ounces.
How Long Will It Take To See An Increase In Supply After Drinking Oat Milk?
I usually noticed an increase in supply later a few hours after drinking oat milk or eating oatmeal. I would see an increase of an ounce or half an ounce at each of my pumping sessions. For the most part, I would see the increase after pumping during the middle of the morning and again after pumping at lunchtime.
So, What Exactly Is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is made from oats that are soaked in water. Oat milk is a type of plant-based milk, similar to almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. It does not contain any dairy.
What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?
Oat milk is thick and creamy. It can also be slightly sweet. The sweetness will depend on the brand that is purchased and if flavoring or sugar has been added. Oat milk has an almost nutty flavor to it. It tastes similar to oatmeal, which is not surprising. Some brands make several flavors of oat milk, including plain, vanilla, and chocolate.
Health Benefits Of Oat Milk
One of the major health benefits of oat milk is that it does not contain several of the major allergens, such as dairy, soy, eggs, or nuts. Oat milk may contain gluten, depending on if the oats that were used are gluten-free.
I had to go dairy free for the first six months while I was breastfeeding and pumping due to my daughter’s dairy and soy protein allergy. It was a huge shock to remove all dairy products from my diet. As she grew older, we noticed that her allergy turned out to be a more mild intolerance. Eventually, she was able to tolerate dairy through my milk when I slowly re-introduced it after she turned six months old.
Another health benefit of oat milk is that it contains more fiber than many of the other types of non-dairy milk out there. Most brands of oat milk contain about 2 grams of fiber. Oat milk is also typically lower in fat than other types of non-dairy milk that is made from nuts or coconut.
Oat milk also contains iron, which is important for nursing mothers while breastfeeding. One study suggested that anemia in a breastfeeding mother may be indicative of low milk supply. The link to this study is in the References section below.
Environmental Benefits Of Oat Milk
Oat milk may benefit the environment because it takes less water to produce it compared to other types of non-dairy milk. One other type of non-dairy milk in particular (ahem, looking at you, almond milk) has come under scrutiny because of the huge amount of water that is used to produce it.
How Can I Use Oat Milk?
When I first found out about oat milk, I was not quite sure how to use it. Here is a list of my favorite ways to use oat milk.
- Oat milk can be drunk on its own, in a glass.
- One of the most popular ways to drink oat milk is in coffee. This is because it is thick and adds creaminess to your cup of joe.
- Warm the oat milk and add cinnamon and a drop of vanilla. Add your sweetener of choice if you are looking for a comforting sweet drink. (This was my favorite way to drink oat milk!)
- Pour the oat milk over cereal.
- Use oat milk as a substitute for milk or water in smoothies
- Use oat milk as a substitute for milk or water when making pancakes or waffles
Does Oat Milk Curdle? Does Oat Milk Froth?
Oat milk does not typically curdle, which is one of the reasons why it is a great non-dairy option in warm beverages. Curdling is a common problem with almond milk and soy milk. Oat milk also froths well. These are two reasons why it has quickly become popular as a non-dairy choice when it is added to coffee.
How Do You Make Oat Milk?
To start making oat milk, you will need two ingredients: oats and water. You will also need a blender, a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, and a jar to store the oat milk.
- First, measure out 2 cups of oats and 4 cups of water. Steel cut oats, rolled oats, or instant oats may be used.
- Then, soak the oats in the water in the refrigerator overnight.
- After soaking, blend the oats and water mixture in a blender.
- Then, strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to separate the pulp from the liquid. The liquid is the “oat milk” and the pulp may be either eaten or baked.
- Store the oat milk in the refrigerator for up to two days. Store-bought oat milk may last longer than the homemade version. Be sure to read the instructions on the package.
It can be a bit of a hassle to make oat milk, especially for a new mom. The steps to soak overnight and then strain the pulp were a little too much for my sleep-deprived new-mom brain. I preferred to buy a few cartons of oat milk, instead of taking the time to make it myself.
Another benefit to the store-bought version of oat milk is that it is typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Because I was dairy-free, I appreciated the extra boost of calcium in my diet from the oat milk.
Where Can I Buy Oat Milk?
Oat Milk can sometimes be found in stores such as Whole Foods and Target. I recommend calling the stores ahead of time to check if it is in stock. Because oat milk is new and trendy, it can be difficult to find on the shelves. I have noticed that the companies that make it sometimes have difficulty keeping it on the shelves for long periods of time.
Oat Milk can also be found online. I have included a link here to my favorite brand of oat milk. I preferred to buy oat milk online because many times when I would try to buy it at the store, it would be sold out. Sometimes you have to buy several cartons. I was able to buy one carton at a time by including it in my Amazon Fresh delivery.
If you are looking for a way to increase your milk supply while breastfeeding, you may want to give oat milk a try. I know that I really enjoyed drinking a glass of oat milk a few times per week after I was tired of the texture of oatmeal every morning.
For more ideas on increasing your milk supply while breastfeeding, you can check out this article I wrote on increasing your milk supply naturally. It includes many of my best tips on how to increase milk supply without the use of supplements or pills.
- Find your perfect pump bag – Sarah Wells Vs. JuJuBe Pump Bags (Best Stylish Pump Bags)
- Check out this article for all of my best pumping tips – 17 Best Pumping Tips for Beginners
- Ever wonder how many calories you burn by pumping or breastfeeding?
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