Is Oatmeal Good For Pregnancy? (Health Benefits & Possible Side Effects)

Oatmeal is a higher fiber lower sugar option that is safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy as it contains complex carbohydrates that break down slowly in your body, keeping you feeling full longer and decreasing the chances of excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes as well as containing all the essential nutrients required for the mother and the baby. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women are advised to consume whole grains such as oats.

Advice to eat right comes from all corners of the world when you are pregnant, but we all know how the relationship between food and pregnancy can be complicated as there seem to be new rules for not just what you can eat but how you can eat it too.

Good news for you if you’re craving oatmeal!

Oatmeal and oats, in general, are some of the top healthy foods you can eat during pregnancy as they are a safe grain for every trimester that offers a tonne of benefits to you and your little one. They are an affordable superfood choice you can easily include in your everyday diet.

A bowl of oatmeal might be your favorite breakfast or even meal option for weight loss, and you might have eaten it all your life, but now that you are pregnant, should you continue eating oats?

As healthy and nutritious as they might be, oats and oatmeal, like any other food, might affect your body if not eaten the right way.

Here at 1happykiddo, we tell you all about consuming oatmeal during pregnancy, how they benefit you and how to choose the right proportion for your nutritional safety and that of your unborn. 

Nutritional benefits of oatmeal during pregnancy 

Not only is it helpful in soothing a queasy stomach during those early waves of first-trimester nausea and stabilizing your blood sugar, but oatmeal is also beneficial to pregnant women for several nutritional reasons. 

1. Essential minerals

Oats contain significant amounts of calcium, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus that offer multiple benefits, from bone health to teeth formation to improving immunity and fetal growth and development.

2. Excellent source of energy

During pregnancy, you’ll need a constant dose of energy, and the rich carbohydrates and calories present in oatmeals give you the much-needed instant energy boost.

3. Complex carbohydrates for slow digestion

Oats contain 3 main complex structures: bran, endosperm, and germ, which take time to break down and digest, unlike simple carbs.

This lowers the risk of gestational diabetes by keeping your blood sugar level in check. Slow digestion also healthily ensures weight gain during pregnancy.

4. Dietary fiber prevents constipation

Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy.

Among the cereals to consume during pregnancy, oats are packed with a considerable amount of soluble fiber that helps ease digestion and improve bowel movement, thus treating constipation.

5. Folic acid helps fetal development

The enriched white oats are a source of folate that supplies folic acid, which plays a vital role in developing the fetal brain and nervous system, thus reducing the risk of congenital disabilities when consumed early on in the pregnancy.

6. Iron that minimizes the risk of anemia

Intake of oatmeal every day during pregnancy gives you the required iron, which decreases the likelihood of developing anemia at this time.

7. Vitamins B1 and E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of free radical damage and keeps your skin glowing and healthy during pregnancy.

Vitamin B1 in oats is essential in breaking down the fats and proteins in the body and for keeping the mucus membrane strong and healthy.

Nutritional value of oats

100 grams of instant, plain, or fortified bowl of oatmeal contains the following nutrients:

NutrientsAmount
          Calories           389kcal
          Water        84.03g
          Carbohydrates        66g
          Protein          16.8g
          Fiber          10.6g
          Fat        6.9g
          Sugars          0.48g
          Folic acid          71mcg
          Vitamin E          0.07mg
          Niacin          0.96mg
          Riboflavin          1.13mg
          Vitamin A          433IU
          Vitamin K          0.4mcg
          Phosphorus         532mg
          Potassium          429mg
          Sodium         2mg
          Zinc        3.9mg
          Iron        4.7mg
          Magnesium        177 mg

g=grams; my=milligrams; mcg=micrograms

Best oatmeal topping ideas

A bowl of oatmeal with lots of fruits and nuts on top to make it an enjoyable and healthy meal for pregnant women.

Thankfully, the best thing about eating oatmeal while pregnant is that you can healthily jazz it up.

Here are some top picks of our favorite toppings:

  • Crushed nut
  • Ground ginger
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Frozen berries
  • Brown sugar 
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple sauce
  • Chia seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Cinnamon
  • Banana
  • Honey
  • Cream
  • Milk

FAQ’s

Is it safe to eat oatmeal during the first trimester?

Yes, it is safe to eat oatmeal during the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy as it can beat morning sickness by calming the stomach.

It can also be combined with other healthier foods like fruits and nuts, making it a readily available option.

Is it normal to crave raw oats while pregnant?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to crave raw oats or any other food during pregnancy,  especially in the early stages. Still, you should avoid eating them as they can lead to discomfort in the stomach and intestines.

Are masala oats good during pregnancy?

It’s not recommended that pregnant women consume masala oats as they contain hydrated veggies, which are the processed form of fresh vegetables.

It’s always a good option to eat food in its natural forms during pregnancy as it keeps you healthier and tastes better.

Conclusion

The only reason to avoid oatmeal entirely during pregnancy is if you’re gluten intolerant.

While whole oats don’t contain gluten, they have some similar proteins that may trigger a reaction and should be consumed cautiously during the first trimester as they can also cause diarrhea.

Otherwise, they provide fiber to help you fight constipation and hemorrhoids and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.

Adding nuts, seeds, and berries to this whole-grain goodness helps to lay a nutritious foundation for another day of your baby’s health building so you can look forward to enjoying your new favorite pregnancy meal -one that’s not too hot or too cold but just right.

Hello, I am Emelda from Nairobi, Kenya. They simply call me mama Lilly. A fun of long road trips and a very good cook, along with my mommy duties to a super active girl. She inspires and challenges me in equal measure, and that is how I get to share with you our journey of triumph as we grow and tag you along.

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