Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Jada Glover
Oat milk is a great milk alternative for help increasing your breast milk supply. Alternative plant-based milks are increasingly popular, especially for those that have allergies to cow’s milk.
Sometimes babies may also have adverse affects from cow’s milk and other dairy products. This is the perfect time to try oat milk for increasing milk supply, especially if you or your baby also have allergic reactions to soy, nut, or coconut-based foods.
From an overall health perspective, keep in mind that oat milk cannot replace all the protein, healthy fats, or nine essential amino acids contained in cow’s milk, and even some other plant based milks.
So if you switch from drinking cow’s milk (especially organic or raw whole milk), you will need to be sure you’re getting those nutrients from other food sources.
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What Is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is a popular milk-alternative that is creamy and made from oats. You know the oats that you eat in your oatmeal? Yep, oat milk is derived from those same plants – typically steel-cut oats or whole oat groats. Pretty cool, huh?
It comes in a variety of flavors like sweetened (added sugar), unsweetened (no added sugar), vanilla, and chocolate. My favorite is unsweetened since there are no additives.
Oat milk is sold commercially in grocery stores or online at Vitacost. Vitacost is my favorite one-stop shop for buying healthy pantry staples, sustainable meat and seafood, trusted supplements, clean beauty, and even natural cleaning products at a discounted rate.
Oat milk is made by using oats soaked in water to blend. IT is then passed through a strainer or cheese cloth.
Because the oats are used in the process during the blending, many of the nutrients still pass through to what you drink in the oat milk. It also has a creamier texture because the oats pass through the strainer after the blending process.
Oat Milk for Food Intolerance
I use oat milk in my coffee everyday. It helps me maintain my breast milk supply while nursing my one year old daughter. Why do I use oat milk?
Well, I had a food intolerance test performed by my holistic nurse practitioner recently. We found I was sensitive to almonds (and cow’s milk).
So, I’ve since switched to adding oat milk to my coffee. Before switching to oat milk though, I used Nutpods creamer with almonds + coconut. This is really great for coffee too (instead of dairy creamer if you’re sensitive to it).
Does Oat Milk Help With Milk Supply For Breastfeeding Moms?
Yes, since oat milk is derived from oats, it can help with milk supply for breastfeeding moms.
Oats are considered a galactagogue, which means they are a food known to promote healthy milk production. Oats are often included in lactation recipes and lactation cookies.
As I mentioned before, many of the nutrients pass from the oats to the oat milk during the creation process. These same substances can help your hormones and your body produce more breast milk as a breastfeeding mom.
I do want to mention that oat milk contains a higher carb count than dairy creamer (like half and half or coconut/almond creamer varieties) even with no sugar added. If you are following a modified keto diet while breastfeeding limit your portions to stay within your carb allotment for the day.
Why Does It Increase Breast Milk Supply?
Oat milk can be used for increasing breast milk supply because it comes from oats which contain a substance called beta-glucan that is thought to increase prolactin levels in the body. Prolactin is one of the key hormones for milk production.
Additionally, oats contain saponins and plant estrogens, which also have a positive effect on hormones and milk production. Oats, which are the main ingredient in oat milk, also offer protein, vitamins and minerals which are important for breastfeeding moms and milk production.
They are also an excellent source of fiber, which can help you stay full longer. This is an added benefit if you’re trying to lose weight while breastfeeding.
How Much Oat Milk Should You Drink Per Day To Increase Milk Supply?
If your only source of oats in a day is oat milk, you can easily consume 3 glasses per day to see an increase in milk supply. If you also add in other oat containing foods or milk boosting foods, you may not need to drink as much oat milk.
Did you know oats can often be substituted in many baked good recipes in place of white or whole wheat flour? I use it a lot for banana bread and healthier treat recipes. I grind up oats in my Vitamix blender to make an oat flour.
Try these other foods that contain oats if you’re looking for an occasional alternative to oat milk:
- Lactation cookies made with oats
- Bread baked with oats
- Banana bread with oat flour
- Granola bars with oats
- Granola with oats
- Oat straw tea
How Long Does It Take For Oat Milk To Help Breast Milk Supply?
Foods and drinks that promote a healthy milk supply affect all moms differently. It may take 12-24 hours to start seeing an increase, or it may take a few more days.
Unless you have a rare allergy to oats, there are no real side effects to drinking oat milk a few times a day. If you do notice any stomach discomfort, just reduce the amount you’re drinking or try a different drink to help increase your milk supply.
Keep in mind though that no food is going to take the place of removing milk efficiently. So, if your baby doesn’t have a good latch or you’re skipping nursing/pumping sessions, your supply is going to decrease.
Always focus on removing milk and getting in as many sessions as you need to make more milk. This will tell your body to produce more. If you need help to increase your milk supply, be sure to read my e-book The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Milk Supply Fast.
The Best Oat Milk For Breast Milk Production
The best oat milk for breast milk production will be from natural oat sources. Organic is always preferred to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that they often spray on conventional plants in the field. Added oils and sugars should be avoided in the ingredients if possible.
You also want to avoid oat milk varieties and brands that put “gums” in their ingredients. Those ingredients often cause gassiness and bloating in your digestive system and could irritate your baby also.
This would include guar gum, gellan gum, carob bean gum, arabic gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan, They may be okay to eat or drink occasionally, but not if you’re planning to drink oat milk several times a day.
Another note when buying oat milk for breast milk production is that there are two varieties in terms of fat content. Think about it like cow’s milk having a few varieties.
The barista oat milk blend is creamier, with a fat content typically around 3%. This variety makes it better in coffee and lattes, and is great for baking and cooking, similar to how you would use half and half or whole milk. This version can also be enjoyed straight from the carton.
The original oat milk has a fat content around 2%. It is most delicious on cereal, in smoothies, or enjoyed straight from the carton. Here are a few of my favorite oat milks that are organic and creamy for anything you’d want to use oat milk for.
This MALK organic oat milk is my favorite brand and choice that you can get online because it has no added oils or gums in it (like sunflower lecithin or oil). It only contains filtered water, gluten-free oats, and Himalayan salt.
This makes it a great choice. It is also GMO-free and organic.
The Oatsome organic oat milk contains no gums, nuts, gluten, or GMOs. This is my second choice for oat milk for breastfeeding moms.
It comes in a barista blend variety or regular. Both are unsweetened which is what I prefer. You can always add sweetener with sugar, stevia, honey, or maple syrup.
Rise Brewing makes great organic oat milk. It is both organic and non-GMO. They do add sunflower oil in it, but no gums at least.
It comes in a variety of flavors which is fun too:
- Barista blend
The flavored varieties do have added sugar. But, they are still great for a treat or to use in smoothies, which need a little something sweet anyway.
Rise Brewing also has pre-made lattes, which are super yummy. I get those when I’m on vacation or on-the-go to have readily-made coffee available in the mornings.
Although not organic, this Califia Farms oat barista blend oat milk is one that I’ve purchased in the past at my local grocery store. It will work for smoothies or coffee. It is non-GMO and you can get a multi-pack on Amazon.
This linked variety is unsweetened, but they do have a vanilla sweetened variety or pumpkin spice. Both of these are sweetened if you prefer.
Minor Figures – Organic Barista Blend
The Minor Figures brand of oat milk is a good choice, especially if you want to use it in your coffee. The company also is a proud carbon-neutral brand if you are into purchasing from companies that tout their environmental standards.
This one also has no added sugar, although there is some naturally occurring in the oat milk making process. You should note though this variety is not gluten free.
The oats used might be processed with other wheat products. It also has a funny carton if you want some humor in your oat milk!
Do-It-Yourself Oat Milk
You could always make your own oat milk for increased breast milk production. It just requires a few simple ingredients.
It is super easy to make if you have the right tools. Here’s a simple oat milk recipe to get you started.
1/2 cup of rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mills are my favorite and cost-effective if you buy in bulk)
3 cups of filtered water
- Blend your oats and filtered water in a Vitamix or similar powerful blender for 30 seconds. This Vitamix blender is my favorite for making smoothies, pureed soups, milkshakes. It doesn’t leave any small pieces in it, which is important for picky/texture eaters like toddlers.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain the milk from the blender without pushing it through the blender.
- Refrigerate and enjoy!
- Optional but recommended add-ins include 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt. Do not over-blend and do not soak the oats as that could result in slimy milk.
Ways To Include Oat Milk In a Breastfeeding Diet
Oat milk can be included in a breastfeeding diet in a variety of ways. You can use it in savory dinner recipes as a substitute for regular cow’s milk or almond milk. You can also use it for breakfast recipes like overnight oats.
Oat milk makes really great lattes since it is creamy if you have a milk frother. My favorite milk frother is this one. I use it almost everyday to make my oat milk hot and frothy.
I have a handheld frother too, but it doesn’t work nearly as well to froth, nor does it make the milk hot which is important if you want hot coffee since the oat milk is typically refrigerated.
Below are a few other ideas to include oat milk in your breastfeeding diet. Feel free to experiment with it in your cooking or meal and snack preparation.
- Cereal with oat milk
- Coffee/latte with oat milk
- Smoothies or protein shakes – use the oat milk as the milk base
- Hot tea with oat milk
- Overnight oats with oat milk
- Chia pudding or chia oats
- Swap for 1:1 in any baked goods that call for regular milk
- Add to soups or cheesy baked pasta recipes
Whole oats contained in most oat milks do not contain gluten. If you have a gluten allergy be sure to read product labels because sometimes they are manufactured on shared equipment, which may cause an issue for someone with celiac disease.
Using oat milk for help boosting your breast milk supply might be a smart choice.
If you’re looking to boost your breast milk supply, oat milk may be a great drink to use for that purpose. It is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.
It may take as little as half a day to a few days to see an increase in milk supply when combined with efficient milk removal and an overall healthy diet with lots of water to drink as well.
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