From sound baths to CBD, woo-woo wellness is having a moment. There’s something to be said for bettering yourself outside the realm of conventional healthcare, but I’m also reassured by science. I like knowing that what I’m experiencing isn’t a by-product of the placebo effect, but rather, actually doing something for me.
So, when I looked into the old wives tale that eating oats helps stimulate milk production in nursing mothers, I was disappointed to find that very little research has been conducted on this topic.
Despite combing through the first six pages of Google Scholar, there are no studies that back up the claim that oats help promote lactation. Ugh. (So, if you’re a graduate student brainstorming research ideas – this is a sign, the world needs proof.)
I did, however, have some luck finding lots of opinion pieces that claim eating oats helps stimulate milk production. The internet is loaded with moms swearing that upping their oat intake helped them nourish their lil’ babies.
Although she is no scientist, Amanda Glenn of Exclusive Pumping created her own experiment, to test this old wives tale, and posted the results on her blog. Glenn found that by eating oatmeal for breakfast, she consistently increased her milk production. Of course, the comment section below her post is filled with mothers backing her claim – saying “heck yeah, eating oats definitely increases lactation.”
Besides Glenn’s quasi-experiment, there are a few studies from the 90’s that measured a positive relationship between cows that were fed with naked oats and an increased milk yield. I know, humans and cows aren’t quite cousins, but there’s something to be said about the proven oat/milk relationship.
Additionally, there are some decent explanations that make a pretty compelling pro-oats argument:
- Insufficient milk production has been linked to maternal anemia, and boosting iron levels can help cure anemia. Oats have been shown to be a good source of iron… so, if you’re catching my drift, oats = iron, and iron = more milk.
- Oats contain a bunch of substances – such as saponins, phytoestrogens, and beta-glucans – which are all thought to encourage hormone production that results in milk gland stimulation and… *ta-da,* increased lactation.
There are age old recipes for “lactation cookies,” that are supposed to help new moms produce milk. I don’t know what science they are backing themselves with, but I’m here for it. I’ll even go far enough to say that, if your mom told you that eating oats helped her feed you, she’s probably right. ‘Cause mom is always right.
Conveniently, our Granola Butter’s primary ingredient is oats. So, we whipped up our own Kween Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie recipe, which can be altered to be gluten free. No matter if you prefer woo-woo wellness or science, GB cookies are so. dang. delicious.
Kween Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup Granola Butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons oat milk
¾ cup raw sugar
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour (If desired, can be substituted with 1:1 gluten free flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cup rolled oats (If you’re making this gluten-free, double check that your oats are suitable!)
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 °F and grease or line two cookie sheets.
Cream the butter and Granola Butter. Once fully mixed, stir in the eggs, oat milk, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
Combine the two bowls and stir well. Finally, add in the oats and chocolate chips.
Using a spoon, drop approximately one tablespoon of dough onto the cookie sheet. Make sure cookies are evenly spaced. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Enjoy, kweens!!