Is It Safe To Consume Oats During Pregnancy?

11 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

oats during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, a well-planned, healthy, and nutritious diet is highly beneficial for you and your unborn baby. Oats are one such healthy food item that you can include in your diet when you are pregnant. Having said that, the first question that pops into your mind will be, “Is it safe to consume oats during pregnancy?”.

You must incorporate healthy foods, such as whole grains, into your pregnancy diet and eliminate junk food. The nutrients that you consume are the primary source of nutrition for your baby. So you must eat healthily. Oats contain a whole host of nutrients that are vital for the mother and baby as well. In short, yes, it is safe to consume oats during pregnancy. It is a very healthy option and it is even advised during pregnancy. Let us see why.

In This Article

Are Oats Safe to Consume During Pregnancy?

Oats are safe to eat during pregnancy because they contain all the necessary nutrients for both the mother and the unborn baby. However, you must exercise caution when incorporating it into your early pregnancy diet. When consumed in excess, oats can cause diarrhea and indigestion, which are not desirable during the early stages of pregnancy.

To avoid side effects, moderation is the key. Oats can be harmful if you are allergic to gluten. If you are allergic to gluten or experience any adverse effects after consuming it, you must avoid it.

Nutritional Value of Oats

Oats are a highly nutritious whole grain renowned for their health benefits. They are packed with a wide range of vital nutrients, making them a popular and nutritious option for breakfast. However, when it comes to pregnancy, oats offer numerous benefits beyond just being a comforting breakfast option. Here is the nutritional value of 100 g of oats (1):

Nutrients Value
Water  10.84 g
Energy  379 kcal
Protein  13.15 g
Fat  6.52 g
Carbohydrate 67.7 g
Fiber 10.1 g
Calcium 52 mg
Iron 4.25 mg
Magnesium 138 mg
Phosphorus 410 mg
Potassium 362 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Zinc 3.64 mg
Selenium 28.9 µg
Folate 32 µg
Choline 40.4 mg
Lutein and zeaxanthin 180 µg
Vitamin K 2 µg

Oats During Pregnancy: What Kinds Are There?

Different Types of Oats Suitable for Expectant Mothers

Selecting the correct kind of oats might provide you with a healthy and flexible meal choice when you’re pregnant. Oats come in a variety of varieties, each having unique qualities and applications. Following is a list of some of the most popular varieties of oats that pregnant women may include in their diet:

1. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

These oats are whole oat groats that have been steamed and then flattened with large rollers. They have a hearty texture and take slightly longer to cook compared to instant oats. Rolled oats are highly versatile and can be utilized in a variety of recipes, including oatmeal, granola, cookies, and beyond. Once cooked, their texture becomes somewhat chewy.

2. Steel-Cut Oats

Also known as Irish oats, steel-cut oats are whole oat groats that have been chopped into pieces with steel blades. They have a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. If you want your oats to be chewier or if you want to add texture to your dishes, steel-cut oats are an excellent option to consider. While they take longer to cook, they are a good source of fiber.

3. Scottish Oats

These are stone-ground oats that are similar to steel-cut oats but are ground even finer. They have a creamy texture when cooked and are a good source of fiber.

4. Instant Oats

These oats are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled thin. They cook quickly, making them a convenient option. However, they may have a softer texture compared to other types of oats and might have added ingredients. If you’re trying to limit your sugar consumption, it’s important to read the ingredient list before buying quick oats since some of them may have extra sweeteners or flavors.

5. Oat Bran

Oat bran is the outer layer of the oat grain and is particularly rich in soluble fiber. It can be added to cereals, smoothies, or baked goods to increase fiber content. Oat bran can be a healthy addition to a pregnant woman’s diet.

6. Quick Oats

Quick oats are similar to instant oats but are processed differently. They are pre-cooked and then rolled thinner than old-fashioned oats. Quick oats cook faster than old-fashioned oats but may have a slightly different texture. are a type of oatmeal that has been pre-cooked and then dried, allowing for faster cooking. They are more finely cut than traditional rolled oats, which gives them a quicker cooking time. Quick oats are convenient for those who want a fast and easy breakfast option. You can enhance the nutritional value of your quick oats by adding fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or a dash of milk.

7. Oat Groats

Oat groats are whole, minimally processed oats with the outer husk removed. It can be a nutritious addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. They have a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. Oat groats are a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing a steady release of energy. While they take longer to cook, they are the least processed form of oats and retain more nutrients.

10 Incredible Benefits of Having Oats During Pregnancy?

benefits of eating oats during pregnancy

These tiny grains are very healthy and full of benefits that make them a great addition to the diet of any pregnant woman. Oats are a tasty and versatile food that can help you stay healthy during pregnancy because they are high in important nutrients. Let’s look at all the different ways that oats can help your health and the health of your child, making every bite a celebration of life and energy.

1. A Source of Energy

Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates, specifically a type known as beta-glucans (2). These carbohydrates break down slowly in the digestive system, providing a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream (3). This gradual release helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing the rapid spikes and crashes associated with simple carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates in oats contribute to a sustained and long-lasting energy release. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant women, who may experience fluctuations in energy levels throughout the day. 

2. Good For Women With Gestational Diabetes

Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates are digested slower and do not cause a spike in the blood sugar level (3). If you have or are at risk of diabetes, you can consume oats. Oats are a great option for people with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, and it is essential to carefully monitor blood sugar levels to safeguard the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

[Read: Pregnancy and constipation]

3. Good Source of Protein

Protein is a crucial nutrient during pregnancy. Proteins are composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. Amino acids are crucial for the synthesis of new cells, tissues, and enzymes, supporting the physiological changes occurring in both the mother and the developing fetus. Protein is essential for the development of the baby’s organs, tissues, and overall growth. During pregnancy, there is an increased demand for protein to support the growth of the placenta, amniotic fluid, and the expansion of maternal tissues (4)

4. Helps Prevent Constipation

Oats can be helpful in preventing and relieving constipation. Oats are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeping constipation at bay (5). Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. This helps soften stools, making them easier to pass. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps move it through the digestive system.

5. Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Oats are well-known for their positive impact on cardiovascular health. They contain a significant amount of soluble fiber, particularly beta-glucans, which are effective in reducing cholesterol levels (6). It is crucial to prioritize maintaining healthy cholesterol levels during pregnancy to minimize the chances of heart-related complications.

6. May Help Prevent NTDs

Oats contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is crucial for the health of pregnant women. It contributes to the growth and maturation of the baby’s brain and nervous system. Folic acid also helps lower the risk of neural tube defects (7).

7. Encourages Optimal Weight Management

It is important to maintain a healthy weight throughout pregnancy. The nutritional composition of oats makes them a beneficial addition to the diet of pregnant women, aiding in weight management. The fiber content of oats promotes a feeling of fullness, which can help control overeating and support weight management (8). Thus, eating oats during pregnancy offers a consistent source of energy while promoting healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

8. Good For Bone Health

Although oats do not provide a substantial amount of essential bone-strengthening nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, they can still contribute to maintaining overall bone health. Oats contain essential nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. These minerals are involved in bone formation, mineralization, and the maintenance of bone density (9) (10).

9. Helps Alleviate Morning Sickness

Oats, specifically in the form of plain oatmeal, can be a gentle and easily digestible food that may help alleviate morning sickness for some pregnant women. Morning sickness is a common symptom during pregnancy, typically occurring during the first trimester. Oats are a good source of complex carbohydrates, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Maintaining stable blood sugar may reduce feelings of nausea and prevent the dizziness associated with low blood sugar. Besides, Oats contain B vitamins, including B6, which is known to help alleviate nausea. Vitamin B6 supplementation has been suggested as a remedy for morning sickness, and oats naturally provide a small amount of this vitamin (11).

10. Helps Stay Hydrated

Preparing oats with water or milk can contribute to hydration, which is important during pregnancy. Oatmeal, especially when cooked with water, absorbs the liquid and becomes porridge-like in consistency, providing a source of both nutrients and hydration.

Tips to Have Oats During Pregnancy

tips to have oats during pregnancy

The best kinds of oats are steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and whole oats. You can also opt for oat flour and instant oats. Here are some ways to incorporate oats into your daily diet.

1. Breakfast

Boil oats with milk or water, and add a teaspoon of honey, fresh-cut vegetables, and a hint of vanilla essence to make a yummy breakfast. You can even try making pancakes with oats.

2. Replacement for All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour or maida, is not a good idea during pregnancy. It can result in unhealthy weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes. The good news is that oat flour can replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. You can use oat flour to make cookies, cakes, muffins, bread, pie crusts, and even tortillas.

3. Granola Bars

Granola bars can be a convenient and nutritious snack during pregnancy, providing a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with various vitamins and minerals. However, it’s important to choose granola bars wisely, considering the ingredients and nutritional content. Select granola bars contain oats, nuts, and berries and are a delicious source of nutrients and energy.

4. Flavorings

For all its benefits, many pregnant women, unfortunately, find oats very bland and lacking flavor. The trick is to pair oats with flavorings that go well with them. Here are some great examples: A sprinkle of cinnamon powder, a dash of maple syrup, milk, ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruits, and brown sugar—all of these go very well with oats.

5. Experiment

The biggest advantage of oats is that they are easy to cook and prepare. So you have the liberty to experiment with ingredients till you find a pairing your taste buds love.

Note*– If you’re planning on eating oats while pregnant, be wary of flavored varieties since they may include sugar or artificial flavors. To boost the flavor and nutritional content of your oats, try using plain or lightly processed oats and topping them with nuts, fresh fruit, or natural sweeteners.

Side Effects of Oats Consumption When Pregnant

Side Effects of Oats Consumption When Pregnant

Oats are generally considered a nutritious and healthy food choice, and they can be a part of a balanced diet during pregnancy. However, as with any food during pregnancy, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and be aware of any potential side effects. Here are some considerations:

1. Fiber Content

Oats are rich in fiber, which is generally beneficial for digestive health. However, consuming too much fiber can lead to bloating and gas. Pregnant women may already experience increased gas and bloating due to hormonal changes and the pressure of the growing uterus on the digestive organs.

2. Phytic Acid Concerns

Oats contain phytic acid (12), an anti-nutrient that can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, making them less available for absorption. While this is generally not a significant concern when oats are part of a balanced diet, pregnant women should ensure they are getting enough of these minerals from other sources.

3. Gluten Sensitivity

Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free, but they may be processed in facilities that also handle wheat, barley, and rye, which contain gluten. If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, it’s essential to choose oats labeled as gluten-free to avoid potential cross-contamination.

Oats Recipes To Try During Pregnancy

oats granola bars

Here are a few yummy recipes you can try during pregnancy:

1. Oatmeal and Fruits

Eating oatmeal and fruits during pregnancy is beneficial as it is rich in carbohydrates with the added benefits of fruits. Apples, berries, and bananas go well with oatmeal.

2. Oats, Vegetable Soup

This soup is an excellent way to curb hunger, as it satiates your appetite. You can have this soup between meals or even as an alternative to evening snacks. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial during pregnancy.

3. Delicious Oats Granola Bars

Delicious, healthy, and simple to make, oat granola bars are a great snack. They make a tasty breakfast option. You can use them as a snack between meals or a sweet treat to curb cravings. Feel free to experiment, so you aren’t chained to a particular recipe. You can mix and match fruits, nuts, and other ingredients to suit your taste.

Following a healthy, safe, and balanced diet is very important, especially during your pregnancy. You will get to hear different pieces of advice from different people about what is good and what is bad during pregnancy. As a best practice, always discuss with your doctor before adding or eliminating a food group from your diet. Your doctor, who knows your body and pregnancy better, would be able to calculate your daily calorie requirement and suggest food items accordingly.


1. Will I be Able to Digest Oats When I am Pregnant?

Oats are rich in fiber. This helps it not only digest well but also help with constipation. It is a safe food during pregnancy.

2. Can Oats Replace my Rice During Pregnancy, to Reduce Weight?

Oats are packed with energy and have complex carbs in them. These take time to digest, thus keeping you full longer. If you want to cut out rice completely, do so after consulting your doctor.

3. How Much Oats Can I Have When Pregnant?

Moderation is key when it comes to any food. When you are pregnant, your body can change every trimester too. So, consult your doctor for quantity suggestions and also listen to your body.

4. Can Eating Oats During Pregnancy Help My Baby?

Oats are rich in folic acid. Folic acid is essential for the neural development of the fetus. Eating oats can add this to your baby.


  1. Oats, raw – []
  2. Oat and Barley in the Food Supply and Use of Beta Glucan Health Claims – []
  3. Physiology, Carbohydrates – []
  4. Protein and Amino Acids – []
  5. Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation – []
  6. β-glucans and cholesterol (Review) – []
  7. Neural Tube Defects, Folic Acid and Methylation – []
  8. Impact of Oats on Appetite Hormones and Body Weight Management: A Review –  []
  9. The Effects of Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Fluoride, and Lead on Bone Tissue – []
  10. Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet – []
  11. Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study – []
  12. The Role of Oat Nutrients in the Immune System: A Narrative Review – []
Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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