If you are a breastfeeding mom, you have probably heard that oatmeal will help you produce more breast milk. Oddly enough, it’s true! Oatmeal is considered a galactagogue (an alien robot sounding word that means a food or substance that increases the flow of breast milk in mothers). Now, if you are cringing at the thought of scarfing down packets of instant oatmeal in an effort to boost your breast milk supply for the next 12 months, you are mistaken. This is 2019, y’all. We live in the era of Pinterest and Instagram. We are all gourmet chefs here. In fact, we have not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR lactation oatmeal recipes that you need in your life to keep your morning bowl of oats from being anything but repetitive and boring. Mama needs nice things, too (especially after long nights with no sleep).
Now, these lactation oatmeal recipes would probably be more accurately described as lactation oatmeal frameworks. That is because you can customize, change, and experiment with these recipes to your heart’s content. Again this is 2019. We have options. Does your baby have a dairy allergy? Tree nut intolerance? MPSI? No problem. If you see an ingredient you cannot eat because of its effect on your baby’s stomach, simply swap it out for a substitute that works for you. The lactation oat recipes will still work. Dairy free? Use almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. Gluten free? Purchase gluten free oats. Soy free? Check. Vegan? Use a non-dairy milk and flax egg.
One other thing to keep in mind as you make these lactation oatmeal recipes is that while oatmeal is a galactagogue in and of itself, you can add other galactagogues to hopefully help boost your milk supply further. Brewer’s yeast, which we go into more detail below in recipe #1, is the most commonly added galactagogue to oatmeal. It’s actually the ingredient that turns a normal cookie recipe into a lactation cookie recipe. Other nutritional powerhouse lactogenic foods you can add into your oatmeal include chia seeds and ground flax seed. Again, the options are endless.
Finally, we do need to make one quick disclaimer: these lactation oatmeal recipes will take longer than 30 seconds in the microwave à la instant oats. That really is the only advantage instant oatmeal has over regular old fashioned oatmeal: time. However, we promise that these lactation oatmeal recipes only take around 5 minutes of hands-on time tops (you can nurse the baby or do your make up while it’s cooking). On to the recipes!
Fancy Lactation Oatmeal
Or lactation muesli if we want to get technical. Muesli is fancier (and tastier) oatmeal that has other good-for-you ingredients including nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. We prefer Bob’s Red Mill. Nuts and seeds are also galactagogues, but to a lesser extent than oatmeal. By combining lactation oatmeal + nuts + dried fruit in one bowl, plus some other healthy (and tasty) ingredients, you can start your day off right and encourage your milk jugs to, literally, fill up. No powdered oatmeal packets involved!
We added in a few other nutrient dense ingredients to really increase the health factor in this lactation oatmeal recipe. In addition to the oatmeal, we added in Brewer’s yeast. If you have read our article on 12 Proven Ways to Increase Breast Milk Supply, you may remember what Brewer’s yeast actually is. It’s one of those ingredients that once you know, you do not forget. It’s a…fungus. There’s a fungus among us! It is actually used in beer brewing. So, naturally it’s good for breast milk, too. I wonder who figured that one out, ya know?
Despite it being a fungus, or maybe because it is a fungus, Brewer’s yeast is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in B-complex vitamins, protein (it provides all the essential amino acids), and minerals like chromium which help regulate blood sugar levels. It does have a bitter taste which is why we only use a teaspoon in the below lactation oatmeal recipe. Feel free to increase the amount of Brewer’s yeast if you like the taste of it.
Because of the somewhat bitter taste of the Brewer’s yeast, we also added in some molasses. Molasses, specifically black strap molasses, is a great source of iron. Iron is an essential mineral for many bodily functions, like helping transport oxygen throughout our entire bodies. The lower the iron levels in our body, the less energy we have. Breastfeeding moms, especially, need to make sure they are getting enough iron for this reason. Adding in a spoonful of molasses in this lactation oatmeal recipe increases the iron content, and gives the porridge a sweet, smoky flavor. If molasses is not your thing, feel free to use maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, or brown sugar instead.
Fancy Lactation Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup muesli (or old fashioned oatmeal)
- 1 tsp Brewer's yeast
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1 cup water
- Bring water to a boil. Add muesli, brewer's yeast, and molasses. Sitr, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Add toppings and enjoy!
Maybe we should rename this galactagogue oatmeal?
Instant Pot Lactation Oatmeal
This recipe is for all you Instant Pot lovers out there. The best part about this lactation oatmeal recipe is that it makes enough servings for at least 3 meals (4 depending on how much you eat). It is also toddler approved, so you can quickly throw the ingredients in your Instant Pot when you wake up, let it do its thing while you get everyone ready, and then voilà! Breakfast is served. Also, if you are not on the Instant Pot train yet, here is your friendly reminder that it’s time to quit being a contrarian and jump aboard. If you are a working mom, your Instant Pot will be your best friend and sanity saver for more meals than just breakfast.
In this recipe we are using steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are a bit heartier than regular old fashioned oats. Because of that, the texture is chewier—in a good way. This recipe is also dairy free since we use coconut milk instead of regular milk. Not a fan of coconut milk? That’s fine. Swap out for any non-dairy milk you like. Just don’t use cow’s milk. The proteins in cow’s milk coagulate when cooked in high pressure. While it is edible (allegedly…), we don’t advocate trying it out. Stick to a milk alternative with this lactation oatmeal recipe.
Instant Pot Lactation Oatmeal
- 1 cup steel cut oatmeal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup sliced or crushed nuts
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp sweetener of choice honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.
- Press saute button on Instant Pot. Add oats, coconut, and nuts. Cook for 2-3 minutes until ingredients are fragrant, stirring frequently. Turn off saute.
- Add coconut milk, water, and sweetener.
- Mix everything together. Press Porridge button on Instant Pot. Cook for 2 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release (around 10 minutes).
- Add whatever toppings you like and serve.
Overnight Lactation Oats
If you barely have enough time to throw some concealer on in the mornings, much less cook up oatmeal, then this recipe is for you. The beauty of overnight lactation oats is that you can throw the ingredients together in a bowl or Mason jar before you go to bed, and then grab the container as you run out the door. No cooking involved.
By now everyone knows what overnight oats are. You can even buy them in the store (Don’t. Make your own). In case you are new to this trend, overnight oats work by allowing oats to soak up milk all night long. The result is a chewy, tasty cold bowl of oatmeal. Since we are upping the ante here and making overnight lactation oats, we are adding a few more ingredients to make the oatmeal more nutrient dense.
As mentioned above, most overnight oat recipes call for the oats to soak up milk. However, since breastfeeding moms need a higher amount of protein than the average mama bear, we are going to do half milk, half Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a wonderful source of protein. If you are dairy free, try using almond milk yogurt or coconut yogurt instead. We also are going to add in chia seeds. Chia seeds are a lactogenic food as they are a great source of fat and fiber. Chia seeds don’t impart much flavor, but they make the texture out-of-this-world good. When chia seeds absorb liquid, they turn from hard little seeds into little gel pods. If it sounds odd, it is. But trust us. They are key to a good bowl of overnight lactation oats. With that said, you do you boo. If you don’t want them, leave ’em out!
Overnight Lactation Oats
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- Stir together all ingredients in a container.
- Place in refrigerator overnight (covered or uncovered).
- Top with whatever you like! Honey, maple syrup, berries, nuts, banana, the options are endless.
If you prefer to start each and every day with pancakes, then this recipe is for you. It is actually our favorite way to eat lactation oatmeal here at Work Breastfeed Mom. In this lactation oatmeal recipe, we swap out the milk for an egg and smashed banana. We also add in a little Brewer’s yeast and the top the whole thing with nut butter and more banana. The result is a protein packed, delicious start to your day. Or end to your day since this oatcake is perfectly acceptable for dinner, too.
Once again, we want to note that the Brewer’s yeast has a detectable taste. We smother the oatcake in nut butter to mask the flavor, but you can still taste hints of it. Keep that in mind if you aren’t a fan of Brewer’s yeast. Simply skip that ingredient.
This recipe is also easily doubled so that your baby and/or toddler has a hearty breakfast, too. And it is definitely toddler approved (and frequently requested) in our household.
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 egg
- 1 smashed banana
- 1 tsp Brewer's yeast (optional)
- Mix oatmeal, egg, half of smashed banana, and Brewer's yeast together in a bowl.
- Spoon mixture onto a heated electric griddle or oiled pan on medium heat.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip. Cook for 2-3 minutes more until oatmeal is browned on edges and egg is cooked through.
- Top with nut butter and remaining smashed banana. Enjoy!
One final mom hack note: we prefer to cook this on an electric griddle. If your mornings are hectic, mix up the ingredients and put the griddle on low (around 200-250°F). Put the mixture on the griddle and allow to slowly cook while you get dressed, nurse the baby, and/or prep lunches. Flip the oatcake at some point and allow it to cook a bit longer. Grab it whenever you are ready to eat breakfast. Cooking on low heat won’t burn it. Also, we can’t recommend this inexpensive electric griddle enough. It’s lasted for over 10 years in our house and has made 100s (1,000s?) of these lactation oatcakes!
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