Oatmeal and Beta-Glucans for Nursing Mothers (ESL)
Moving Beyond the “One Pill, One Problem” Philosophy
The idea that “one pill can solve one problem” is widespread, but it limits our view of health. We need to understand that health is a system where everything is linked. For example, taking medicine for heartburn might ease the symptom, but it won’t solve the root cause, like stress or poor diet.
The Complexity of Breastfeeding Challenges
When it comes to more complex issues like breastfeeding, a single pill to increase milk supply is just a small part of the solution. Medicines, such as domperidone, may increase the amount of milk, but they won’t improve its quality. These medicines also won’t fix other health issues the mother might have, like high blood sugar or hormone imbalances.
The Importance of Basic Health Care
A more effective way is to consider the basic health needs. Eating good food, doing regular exercise, drinking enough water, and avoiding things that can harm you are all crucial. These basic needs give our bodies what they need to be healthy. Good food provides essential nutrients, exercise strengthens the body and mind, and water keeps our cells functioning. Avoiding harmful substances helps prevent chronic illness and inflammation.
Oatmeal as a Nutritious Choice
Oatmeal is often recommended for good health. Many believe it helps with breastfeeding because it contains minerals and B vitamins that help with stress. But oatmeal offers something more: it has a special fiber called beta-glucans.
The Power of Beta-Glucans
Beta-glucans are really good for you. They are strong fibers that can help not just one, but many parts of the body. For breastfeeding mothers, beta-glucans can strengthen the immune system, help control blood sugar, and lower inflammation in the body. This can make the milk better quality* and might even increase its amount. And the benefits of beta-glucans are not limited to breastfeeding. Researchers have studied these fibers for ten years to understand how they can help with other health issues like diabetes, cancer, and breathing problems.
Oatmeal – More Than Just a Comfort Food
In the end, oatmeal is not just a simple comfort food. It has beta-glucans that can make a big difference to your health. This teaches us an important lesson: good health is about taking care of the whole body, not just solving one problem. So, oatmeal is not just good because it is warm and comforting; it is a strong choice for overall health and wellbeing.
*The ways that intestinal health and systemic inflammation affect breastmilk quality will be discussed in later articles.
- Learn more about the balance of hormones after childbirth: The Postpartum Dance of Estrogen, Insulin, and Cortisol for Milk Production.
- Learn about how the body can lose its sensitivity to insulin: Insulin Resistance: when the body's energy management falters.
- Learn more about causes of low supply that respond to dietary changes here: Causes of Low Milk Supply that respond to Lactogenic Foods and Herbs
- Learn how insulin builds the mammary gland tissue and supports milk production: Insulin impacts each stage of Milk Production – Implications for Insulin Resistance
Hi! I’m Hilary Jacobson, and I’ve been helping moms tackle milk supply issues for over 30 years. My book, ‘Mother Food,’ was a game-changer when it first came out, and I’m still at it—researching, writing, and teaching to make sure new moms get the support they need. Want to stay in the loop? Sign up to my newsletter for updates.