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Does Porridge Increase Milk Production for Nursing Mothers?

by Sara Ipatenco

Many breastfeeding mothers worry that they aren't making enough milk to nourish their baby, and in a small number of cases, it might be true. If your baby isn't growing well, you might not be producing sufficient amounts of milk. Before you give up on your breastfeeding goals, however, learn about the things that could potentially increase your supply. Porridge, usually called oatmeal, is one remedy that might help.

A Bowl of Porridge

Many mothers swear by a bowl of porridge each day to boost milk production. Other foods that contain oatmeal or oats, such as granola bars or muffins, might also work. Because porridge is a healthy addition to your diet, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Porridge supplies certain nutrients, such as fiber and iron, that you need to be healthy and produce nourishing milk. Even if the porridge doesn't increase your milk supply, you'll still be providing key nutrients in the milk you do produce.

It's Not Scientific

There is no scientific evidence that definitively proves that porridge will increase your breast milk production. There is, however, a key finding that might explain why it works for many women. Insulin, for example, plays an essential role in how much breast milk you produce, according to the MedlinePlus website. An improper insulin balance can hinder your production, and eating a bowl of oatmeal can help regulate your insulin levels so you can produce an increased supply of milk.

Give It A Try

Try eating a bowl of oatmeal most mornings for breakfast, the Healthy Life Journal website recommends. Opt for whole oats over flavored oatmeal packets because they are lower in sugar and aren't as processed. Instant oatmeal can work, but look for plain varieties. Add certain herbs to your oatmeal to further encourage an increase in your breast milk supply. Anise, for example, might stimulate milk production, according to Robin Elise Weiss, author of "A Better Way to Breastfeed."

Increasing Supply In Other Ways

Don't rely solely on oatmeal to increase your milk supply because it might not work for you. Instead, talk to your doctor about other ways to promote production. Taking certain herbs, such as fenugreek, milk thistle and nettles, might help you make more milk, Weiss notes. Don't take these supplements without approval from your doctor because he'll need to recommend an appropriate dose. Nurse more frequently, pump between nursing sessions and talk to your doctor about herbal teas or prescriptions, because each of these can help you produce more milk, as well.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

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