What: Maternal Nutrition & Lactation Bar
Price: $2.96 - $3.95
For Mum / Breastfeeding
COMPANY PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
…contains ingredients (including oats) that may support normal milk production (lactation) during feeding.
…carefully developed by a prominent dietitian
Your maternal nutrition and lactation bar
Together with a prenatal vitamin are all the important controllable ingredients to a healthy pregnancy
PAED PREFERRED REVIEW:
First and foremost, these oat bars taste great, and are a filling snack, due to a combination of their low GI status, and size (serving size 60g vs many other snack bars at 30-40g). They are lower calorie, lower sugar and lower fat than similar snack products on a “per 100g” basis, but their larger size needs to be taken into account when looking at serving size nutritional information.
The Bars come in 3 flavours:
Apricot & Almond, with Dark Chocolate
Oat Berry, with Dark Chocolate
Cranberry, with Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.96-$3.95 depending on order type.
Availability: Predominantly health food stores, with some convenience stores listed online.
What’s the Evidence?
There is no evidence in recognised literature that supports the notion that oats/oatmeal can increase breast milk production. There is one study from 1990 that demonstrated that beta-glucan (an oat protein) can increase prolactin (the hormone that causes lactation) production in vitro ie in a test tube. This has never been replicated in animal, let alone human studies.
Despite that, the internet is overflowing with food products (especially oats as “lactation cookies”) that claim to increase breast milk supply. They are unsubstantiated claims.
I have some concern that these bars are marketed as “Lactation Bars” online, as there is no evidence for that. There may be anecdotal reports from mothers who believe certain food products increase their breastmilk supply, but this has not been proven by science. There is no explanation within the product information explaining how these bars will improve lactation.
Women should be cautious when reading product information on any product.
“Women that are considering falling pregnant should start to eat the BetterBump, as the key ingredients vital for the development of a healthy baby are all built into this one delicious and convenient snack”. These bars are somewhat unique in terms of the presence of folic acid, iodine and iron in their ingredients. All three micronutrients are very important for normal foetal development in particular. However, the amounts required to ensure newborn safety are significantly more than those contained in each bar. A number of bars would need to be consumed each day. As most women take a pre-conception/pregnancy multivitamin supplement, such as Elevit, there is no added benefit to the additives within these bars.
The probiotic contained in these bars is inulin. To have an effective prebiotic effect, one would need to consume 5-8g/day of inulin. Each bar contains 2.41% inulin ie 2.41% of the 60g bar is inulin = 1.4g. Therefore 4-6 bars would need to be consumed to achieve the recommended daily intake of inulin.
BetterBump bars definitely do the job in terms of a low GI healthy snack, and taste good, but caution should be exercised in terms of any medical benefit. The bars should NOT be used as a replacement for recommended pregnancy multivitamin supplements.