Oat milk is a popular non-dairy milk alternative known for its smooth, rich, and creamy texture with a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. However, is it good for breastfeeding women?
Overall, oat milk is a great non-dairy milk alternative for nursing mothers, packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. It contains protein, fiber, and other nutrients as well.
Let’s talk more about the benefits of oat milk, specifically for breastfeeding, and whether or not it can cause any adverse reactions in your baby. Read on!
The Benefits of Oat Milk When Breastfeeding
Oat milk is rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Calcium and vitamin D both play a very important role in strong and healthy bones and teeth.
Additionally, calcium is crucial for blood clotting, heart health, nervous system functioning, and much more (source: National Institutes of Health [NIH]).
Whether it is homemade or commercially-made oat milk, both are safe and healthy for breastfeeding women to consume. While breastfeeding, it is essential to consume foods rich in protein and calcium (source: Mayo Clinic). A healthy and well-balanced diet will help your breastfed baby stay healthy.
However, it is essential to note that some sweetened varieties of oat milk are high in sugar. Excess sugar consumption can lead to unwanted weight gain and obesity. Therefore, when purchasing a brand from the grocery store, check to make sure that it is either unsweetened or lower in sugar.
While many believe that oat milk might increase their breast milk supply, there is currently no scientific evidence to support this.
However, since all kinds of milk, including non-dairy milk substitutes, are high in water, they can support adequate hydration and fluid intake. Therefore, staying hydrated can boost breast milk production (source: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center).
Can Oat Milk When Breastfeeding Cause Gas or an Allergic Reaction?
Unfortunately, as there is no designated list of foods that can cause gas or digestive discomfort in your baby, there is a possibility that oat milk can make your baby gassy.
Therefore, if you are noticing gas in your baby, it is vital to take note of the foods you are eating and try to narrow down which food or foods can be causing the gas (source: Texas Children’s Hospital). Therefore, every baby is unique, making it difficult to predict whether the intake of oat milk will cause gas for your baby.
If you think a particular food is causing fussiness in your baby, avoid that food or beverage for a week to see if you notice a difference in your baby’s behavior (source: Mayo Clinic).
Similarly, while oat products are not one of the most common allergens, such as dairy, gluten, or shellfish, they can pose a potential risk of an allergic reaction in your baby. Therefore, rather than avoid new foods out of fear of an allergic reaction, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction instead.
If your breastfed baby is having an allergic reaction, you may notice hives, swelling, breathing problems, nausea, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, paleness, and more (source: American Academy of Pediatrics).
If you notice any of these symptoms, especially if they are present in multiple different areas of the body, seek medical attention immediately.
Oat Milk vs. Almond Milk for Breastfeeding
Many breastfeeding mothers who are dairy intolerant, lactose sensitive, or who simply prefer milk substitutes over cow’s milk struggle to decide if they should be drinking oat milk or almond milk. Actually, both of these options are safe and nutritious for you and your breastfed baby!
Similar to oat milk, almond milk is commonly fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and other essential vitamins and minerals, in addition to the protein content and nutrients naturally present in almonds.
Go with the one you prefer and enjoy more!
I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the health benefits and information about consuming oat milk during your breastfeeding journey.