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does low-carbohydrate diet affect breastfeeding?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have severe insulin resistance syndrome. My doctor and others told me I could not low carb during breastfeeding and as a result, the weight is piling on and I am really depressed about it. I wanted to go back to my old way of eating, approx. 40-50 grams of carbs a day in the form of veggies, salads, avocados, berries, melon, peaches etc. and protein and good fats.

Has anyone done this while breastfeeding? Has it affected your milk supply?
post #2 of 14
I did a modified candida diet while BF but I don't think my carbs were quite that low. Could you split the difference and slowly remove things from your diet without going all the way? See how your milk supply does? Maybe you could get your weight to stabilize but keep you milk?

I should add that my son was probably 6 mo when I did that so my milk supply was very established. It's definitely not something you'd want to do in the first 12 weeks or so.

ETA: You might also cross-post this in the BF forum...lots of knowledgeable mamas over there too
post #3 of 14
my milk supply is improving on a low carb diet!! I increased my fat intake in exchange.... more fat in you milk-- that can only be good for your baby.
post #4 of 14
*your milk
post #5 of 14
I would slowly cut down and see how it works for you and babe. I don't know how many carbs I have been down to in the past as I have never counted but I done a pretty strict candida diet for several months w/ no ill effect- Plus I felt about 100x better.
post #6 of 14
I'm on the specific carbohydrate diet, to control severe ulcerative colitis. I eat no grains, no starchy vegetables, no sugar, and no lactose. The only carbs I eat are in fruits, low-starch vegetables, and the odd bit of honey for a treat. I don't count carbs, but the carb count in my diet I'm sure is pretty low. I eat mostly meat, fish, aged cheeses, poultry, yogurt, veggies, fruits, oils and fats, and nuts. I nursed on that diet for several months and never had a milk supply problem at all. If anything, I had an abundance of milk, because I was healthier and feeling better.

The WHO has information on how severely undernourished a mother has to be before milk supply or quality is affected; it basically says that even moderately malnourished mothers make adequate milk. And the diet you're proposing has adequate protein and fat, fruits and vegetables to provide vitamins and minerals, and enough calories that you're not losing weight too quickly. That's not malnourishment at all.

I would first of all hesitate to take breastfeeding advice from many doctors, who are woefully misinformed. I would also venture to say that a lot of the nutrition advice being handed out is nothing more than opinion. People throughout history in different cultures in different places have eaten a tremendous variety of different foods, in different combinations and ratios. They've all managed to nourish their babies, right?

I would eat the diet that causes you to be healthy and feel healthy. Watch your fluid intake. Make changes slowly-- don't just wake up one day and drastically reduce your carb intake-- take a few days or a week or two to ease into it. Make changes as needed if you see problems develop.
post #7 of 14
The only thing I would be concerned about is really rapid weight loss while nursing, as it can dump toxins into your breastmilk. Otherwise, eat to feel well, Mama!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I would eat the diet that causes you to be healthy and feel healthy. Watch your fluid intake. Make changes slowly-- don't just wake up one day and drastically reduce your carb intake-- take a few days or a week or two to ease into it. Make changes as needed if you see problems develop.
definitely. that is what i did, and it definitely helped. cold turkey low carb-ing might be too stressful and harder to stick with.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicky2 View Post
The only thing I would be concerned about is really rapid weight loss while nursing, as it can dump toxins into your breastmilk. Otherwise, eat to feel well, Mama!
I've heard this before too, but haven't been able to find much info about it. do you have a link or any more info about that? thanks
post #10 of 14
never mind! found it here: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/lowcarb.html
post #11 of 14

on the other hand...

this is from the canadian baby center website:
Quote:
Babies are exposed to their mothers' toxins in utero, i.e. through the placenta. The most recent research found that this prenatal exposure to PCBs does have a subtle negative effect on the neurological and cognitive development of children right up to school age.

Breastfeeding can counteract any adverse developmental effects caused in the womb, despite current PCB levels in breastmilk. That's because breastmilk contains antioxidants, which seem to compensate for the toxic effects of the environment. Breastmilk also helps babies develop stronger immune systems. So the most harmful effects of toxins are from exposure in the womb, not breastfeeding, and government bodies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries conclude that breastfeeding should continue to be promoted and supported.
....
Should I avoid losing weight while I'm breastfeeding?


There have been suggestions that you should avoid weight loss while breastfeeding, as this might mobilise the toxins stored in your body fat. However research evidence does not support this. One study looked at women who had average exposure to environmental contaminants and an average loss of 4.1kg between 4 and 20 weeks after the birth of their baby. The research found no link between change in the women's body weight and contaminant concentration in their breastmilk. Toxin levels fall as you breastfeed anyway, and moderate weight loss while breastfeeding is perfectly normal, so it would not seem to be a risk factor.

full article: http://www.babycenter.ca/baby/breast...sinbreastmilk/
post #12 of 14


Quote:
The research found no link between change in the women's body weight and contaminant concentration in their breastmilk.
This sentence makes a lot of sense to me, because I think they're looking at the wrong things.

I think it's short-sighted to think that most of the toxins we're passing on to our kids are due to _current_ exposure. Not that we should be cavalier about it, just the opposite, because what we've been exposed to over our lifetimes, and even moreso what we haven't excreted over the course of our lifetime, is what our kids will get from us.

But that's not an anti-breastfeeding argument, I want to make it clear. Kids who get a high toxic load from mom (mine) still need nourishment, and the risks of non human milk are higher for them, both in terms of needing the antibodies and various forms of protection from mom, for the easy digestibility, and for avoiding fairly allergenic foods like cow's milk protein and soy protein.

Anyway, really off-topic. And to the OP--it sounds like you know what to eat to make your body feel good, and to me that means your body is functioning better, and thus is better able to nourish your child.
post #13 of 14
If you are eating low enough carb that you are making ketones - it can make your milk taste bad and your baby may refuse it. I don't know if it's harmful but that is what I have read re: weight loss and bf. Otherwise so long as milk seems abundant and baby drinks it... should be OK. I assume you have tried less extreme methods of controlling the IR? A lot of women have luck with the Insulin Resistance Diet which is much easier to stick to IMO... (I have pCOS so am familiar with IR... )
post #14 of 14
Are you sure it's low carb or the source of the carbs? I gain more quickly and feel yuckier when I eat too many grains. However, eating fruits and vegetables makes me feel great.
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