Is Oatmeal Good For Pregnancy—6 Amazing Benefits For Moms-To-Be

Is Oatmeal Good For Pregnancy

Eating oats as part of your pregnancy diet is something that some women swear by. However, others shy away from them.

Many people eat oats to lose weight. As such, some moms-to-be assume that no real health benefits are involved. These women are missing out on an excellent option for breakfast and snack time.

Gaining and maintaining a healthy weight are essential during pregnancy. As such, knowing the full benefits of everything you eat can be very helpful.

In this article, we’ll talk about steel-cut oats, rolled oats, instant oats, and overnight oats and the health benefits of eating oats, both when you are pregnant and even when you’re not. 

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know everything there is to know about consuming oats during pregnancy.

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Is oatmeal good for pregnancy

When planning a healthy pregnancy diet, including oatmeal is always a great option. These complex carbs do wonders for your body, baby’s bones, and general development. 

Complex carbohydrates are far more beneficial than empty carbs in many breakfast cereals and other options.

Pregnant women may have reservations about oatmeal because it is often consumed to lose weight and prevent weight gain during restrictive diets. 

However, oatmeal has many benefits, such as being high in folic acid, which is incredibly important during the first trimester and throughout pregnancy.

Folic acid aids your baby’s brain development and prevents congenital and neural tube disorders. 

Other foods are high in folic acid, and folic acid should be present in the prenatal vitamin you take each day, but oats and oat flour products meet quite a bit of this requirement during pregnancy.

You can prepare oatmeal in many ways to keep it from tasting bland. Eating oats plain or with fruits or nuts is excellent for pregnant women. A bowl of oatmeal adds dietary fiber you need daily.

Is Oatmeal Good For Pregnancy

Benefits of oats during pregnancy

There are many health benefits to eating oatmeal during pregnancy. The following are just some of them. 

For more information, ask your doctor at your next prenatal wellness check. You can also find lots of ways to prepare oats during pregnancy so that your taste buds will stay happy!

1. Provide energy

The carbs that are present in oatmeal, as well as the calories that are involved in a serving-size bowl of oats, can give you a boost of energy. This is especially great during the first trimester when morning sickness can mean you aren’t getting enough to eat and are running out of energy quickly.

It’s also great for the third trimester of pregnancy, when you may not sleep well due to how large your belly is, heartburn, a kicking baby, and other issues.

2. Can help prevent gestational diabetes

Healthy weight gain is vital during pregnancy, and stabilizing your blood sugar levels is essential in preventing gestational diabetes.

Because of the complex carbohydrates present when you eat oats, your digestion is slower. This means that you stay full longer and aren’t as likely to gain too much weight too quickly, which can put you at risk for gestational diabetes.

3. Meets dietary fiber needs

Your fiber intake is important when pregnant because the more fiber you consume, the less likely you are to become constipated.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, so consuming oatmeal makes for a yummy breakfast and can help move your bowels.

4. Helps prevent anemia

Eating oats during pregnancy can also help you to stave off anemia.

Anemia is fairly common in pregnancy because of the increased blood volume during this time. 

Because you have so much more blood, producing and keeping enough iron can become difficult.

5. Naturally gluten-free

If you have a gluten allergy, you will be happy to know that oatmeal is naturally gluten-free.

You should still be careful and read the packaging, however, as some brands and varieties of oatmeal may have been processed or packaged in places where they may have come into contact with gluten products.

6. It’s full of B Vitamins

We need B vitamins to help us to process and break down fats and protein in our diet. Without it, we aren’t getting all the benefits that food can provide.

Whole grains such as oatmeal have these essential vitamins and Vitamin E that can help our bodies break down, absorb, and process the nutrition in our foods.

Is Oatmeal Good For Pregnancy

Different types of oatmeal

Not all oatmeal is created equal. Suppose you want the most bang regarding benefits to your health. In that case, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various types of oatmeal and gain a general understanding of the differences between them.

1. Steel-cut oats

Steel-cut oats are the most healthy oatmeal option because of their fiber content and density.

When you’re considering eating oats during pregnancy, these raw oats take a bit longer to prepare, but the finished product’s cooked oats are tasty and the healthiest of all the oatmeal options. You can make them into a savory porridge for dinner or snack.

If you want to make them more flavorful and appeal to your taste buds a bit more, you can add a variety of food to them, such as a dash of maple syrup, brown sugar, chopped nuts, fresh fruits, almond butter, chia seeds, hot milk, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, and more.

2. Instant oatmeal

You should do your best to avoid pre-packaged oatmeal, which has far fewer benefits than steel-cut oats or rolled oatmeal.

Expecting mothers can have some of this in moderation, but on the whole, you should avoid flavored instant oats, if possible, that come already loaded with artificial flavors and sweeteners.

Instant oatmeal is often full of preservatives and empty calories that are not good for you and your baby.

3. Overnight oats

Rushing through the morning, preparing a healthy breakfast can be daunting for a pregnant woman, especially in early or very late pregnancy. As such, preparing breakfast the night before is ideal so that you have more time for some extra shut-eye.

For pregnant women who don’t want to get up and cook, especially those whose growing baby in the tummy keeps them up all night, making a jar of overnight oats is perfect. Not only is this oatmeal safe during pregnancy, but it’s also delicious and easy.

Add oats to milk, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, (it’s delicious if you add cinnamon), and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. You may even add chia seeds for an additional boost. The following day, all a mom-to-be has to do is grab the ready-to-go oats for a healthy breakfast!

4. Whole oats

Whole oats, otherwise known as old-fashioned oats or rolled oats, are a safe variety of oats you can consume during pregnancy. You can make many savory dishes that are delicious with them. 

Some people love to eat them for breakfast, while others also like to use them for baking.

You can put them in a food processor and grind them to a fine crumble to make pie crusts (combined with all-purpose flour) or topping for coffee cake.

Aside from oatmeal cookies, another option is to use rolled oats in healthy snacks such as granola bars. Add some nuts, seeds, honey or other sweeteners such as brown sugar and bake them to make a wholesome snack.

If you have a gluten issue, however, you may want to avoid this type of oats, as they can and do sometimes cause a reaction in those sensitive or allergic to gluten.

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How much oatmeal should I eat

As with all things in life, moderation is key. Too much oatmeal can cause issues because, well, too much of a good thing really isn’t a good thing.

You should consume no more than one cup of oatmeal per day to get all the healthy fats and benefits to your red blood cells, immune system, blood pressure, your baby’s nervous system, and more that oatmeal has to offer.

You should also be aware that one cup per day also needs to be considered concerning snacks with oatmeal like trail mix, granola bars, cereal bars, or parfaits that you may be eating as snacks throughout the day.

Oats and the pregnancy diet

Consuming oats is good for everyone, including pregnant moms.  Adding steel-cut oats or rolled oats to your pregnancy grocery shopping list is a good idea.

While you should steer clear of instant oats because they are far less healthy than plain oats or rolled oats, most types of oatmeal are great for you. 

They are a great source of vitamins, help to keep you from becoming anemic, and can help prevent unhealthy weight gain and diabetes during your pregnancy.

Ensure you consume oats during pregnancy in moderation, and don’t add too many sugary toppings when preparing them. You want to get as much nutritional value as possible from this hot cereal without constraining your blood vessels and raising your sugar levels.

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