Atkins safe while breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 07-30-2004, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
darsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Apologies if this has been asked before, but I didn't see any posts for it.

Is the Dr. Atkins diet safe while breastfeeding? I did it summers ago and lost a lot of weight and felt AWESOME (though I did do more veggies and fruit then recommended)...Anyways, would there be any complications doing it while I'm breastfeeding?

Thanks in advance!!!
darsmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 15 Old 07-30-2004, 08:49 AM
 
Brayg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What would be UNsafe about cutting out refined, processed foods and replacing them with whole foods, veggies and fruits? If you keep it balanced like you should, it's perfectly safe. I would maybe skip induction, but follow maintenence or restrict the bad carbs a little more.

ETA: I also didn't really restrict fruits and veggies ('cept the starchy veggies--potatoes, corn and peas) and made sure I ate a green salad with every meal (not breakfast though! :LOL). I lost a lot of weight. But I also did exercise regularly, which is a major component.

Good luck!
Brayg is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 07-30-2004, 11:53 AM
 
lynsage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
a lot of people use the words "atkins diet" as shorthand for "cutting back refined carbs". if you actually read the literature for the atkins diet (dr atkins' new diet revolution), it advises against pregnant or breastfeeding women going on the diet.

the point of the atkins diet is to put the dieter in a state of ketosis, and the ketones get into your breastmilk and could harm your baby.

if you are talking about maintaining a balanced diet with 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and switching to healthier carbs like whole grains and brown rice, cutting back on white sugar, etc., that would be fine, but it's also not the real "atkins diet". you should definitely skip the induction portion of the diet (that's the part with no carbs) and avoid going into ketosis.

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mom-lowcarb.html
lynsage is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 07-31-2004, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
darsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Ladies!
Yep, by "Atkins" I mean no bread, pasta, etc. just cheese, eggs, meat, fruits and veggies. Now that I think about it, true: What would be UNsafe about it? Thanks again!
darsmama is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 07-31-2004, 11:26 AM
 
bwylde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 2,823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's a Yahoo group I used to belong to for nursing and pregnant women (I did Atkins while nursing, but stopped when I got pregnant) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PregnantAtkids/ . There's a wealth of information there with women at all stages of low carbing. HTH!
bwylde is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 07-31-2004, 11:48 AM
 
clewal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In his book, he recommends that if you are nursing to use the maintance portion of the diet and skip the induction part altogether.
clewal is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 07-31-2004, 11:11 PM
 
rubidoux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't expect anyone to follow my example, and I'm no doctor, but I just wanted to mention two things -- First, I have been in ketosis for probably half of the ten mos my son has been nursing and he is doing great! Second, it wouldn't make any sense for ketosis to be bad for a baby. Pregnant and nursing women are much more likely to be in ketosis than non-preggos because our bodies are doing extra work. It is much easier for me to get into ketosis now than it was before I was pg and my strips are a darker purple than I ever got before. The whole point of having the extra fat on our bodies during nursing (those five or ten pounds a lot of people say their bodies want to keep till they stop nursing) is so that there will be food for baby even if mom isn't able to eat enough to produce milk. And the only way for that fat to be used is if mom is in ketosis. Just doesn't make any sense to me that this process would then hurt baby.

J.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

rubidoux is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 08-01-2004, 04:22 PM
 
bwylde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 2,823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A thought I had is you can use the keto sticks to test your breast milk for ketones/ketosis if concerned (the ones you urinate on; you can get them at any pharmacy). I never had them personally in my BM even though I had them in my urine.
bwylde is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 08-01-2004, 06:10 PM
 
rubidoux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
quoted from previous post:
the point of the atkins diet is to put the dieter in a state of ketosis, and the ketones get into your breastmilk and could harm your baby.

if you are talking about maintaining a balanced diet with 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and switching to healthier carbs like whole grains and brown rice, cutting back on white sugar, etc., that would be fine, but it's also not the real "atkins diet". you should definitely skip the induction portion of the diet (that's the part with no carbs) and avoid going into ketosis.

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mom-lowcarb.html[/QUOTE]


I just read the kellymom links and there's no support there for the statement that "keytones get into your breastmilk and could harm your baby." In fact, there is some support (though nothing airtight, for sure) for the idea that there's no reason to worry about ketones in breastmilk -- anecdotal evidence that babies of long distance runners have not been affected.

There is no part of the atkins diet that has "no carbs." And I suppose the same people who've been jumping up and down telling us to eat tons of snackwells cookies and pasta (what is it 300 g of carb/day they wanted us to eat?) for the last 30 years are the same who decided that five was the magic number of servings of fruits and veggies. Hmm. Well, I guess I won't bother arguing that fruits and veggies are bad for you -- no need. I don't consider myself a big veggie eater, but my guess is that I get the magic five and remain in ketosis anyway. Atkins is not anti-veg or zero carb.

I cut this out of one of those kellymom links:
"This Atkins diet is also potentially dehydrating, because your body must draw from lean body tissue for energy since there are not enough carbohydrates in the diet for energy supply. This causes a burden on your kidneys to dilute waste products from protein breakdown. Of course, while you are nursing, you need more fluids, not less."

Atkins seriously stresses drinking tons of water and getting into water balance, so I just don't know how they could come up with this as a complaint. Not to mention it doesn't even make sense -- it doesn't take an expert to tell you that atkins is high in protein and fat, so why on earth would our bodies be using protein from our lean body tissue? There have been studies that show that people on atkins burn more fat and less lean tissue than people losing on low fat/high carb diets. (See this article.) So why would this supposed expert rely on such a rediculous argument? I guess he or she just doesn't like the idea of atkins. Go figure.

J.

edited to clarify that top part was quote from pp

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

rubidoux is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 08-01-2004, 09:59 PM
 
lynsage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"There are some concerns that it is not safe for a breastfeeding mother to be in ketosis, whether she is following a low carbohydrate diet or burning fat in some other manner. It is unknown if the ketones that are excreted into the blood and urine are also present in the milk, and if so what levels would pose a danger to the breastfeeding infant. The Atkins Center website’s FAQ section recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women adjust their carbohydrate intake to the maintenance level, which is considerably higher than the weight-loss level. "

well, that's from La Leche League's FAQ page on low carb diets. personally, i wouldn't take the risk, and i'd just stick to the maintenance phase without forcing my body into ketosis- you can lose plenty of weight that way anyway.

i posted the kellymom link as a general informative page, not something to back up my post point-by-point. i wasn't anticipating getting singled out for a debate. i was just trying to help by offering some information.

i've done atkins before, by the book, using their starter kit, and the induction phase does not have carbohydrate foods like whole grains. it has an extremely small amount of vegetable carbohydrates, but not in amounts your body can use to sustain its balances of proteins and sugars, hence the ketosis. the majority of sources do not recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women participate in that phase.
lynsage is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 08-02-2004, 05:30 PM
 
mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: closer to fine
Posts: 1,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Looks like you're due soon Katie?

I'd just like to suggest that instead of following a diet regime, maybe you could just eat whole healthy food & enjoy that baby!!!!

I'm a weirdo, I know. But for the first few months, I didn't think about losing weight, I just loved my little lives

Do you have a midwife? Keep us posted!
mountain is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 08-02-2004, 08:57 PM
 
rubidoux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lynsage,

I wasn't trying to single you out for debate. It just irked me that your post included a couple of statements (ketones get into breastmilk and that there is a phase of atkins that is no carbs) that are either just not true at all or unproven. I know that you didn't think about the fact that they are untruths, and that you weren't intentionally making false statements, but as someone who has benefitted greatly from atkins, it really drives me crazy to see untruths that may scare others away from trying it.

When I first heard of atkins, I thought it sounded terribly unhealthy (completely buying into the whole low fat thing even though it didn't work for me -- of course fat is bad, good god it is just a natural truth after all, ) and believed all of the negative hype. I was also a juvenile diabetic and had terrible terrible labs -- and was told time and again that I'd never be able to have children and that I could expect very nasty complications (kidney failure, blindness, etc) and probably an early death. My first labs taken after starting atkins (after about six weeks) came back completely normal -- same numbers that you lucky nondiabetics can get eating any old thing you please. For the first time in years I thought I might actually be able to live a normal and possibly long life and have children. Two years later I got pg with milo and had a stellar partly-atkins pregnancy (there were parts where I did atkins b/c I was having more trouble with my blood sugar and parts where it seemed my body could handle a little more carb and really wanted it). The whole way through all of my lab work and all of milo's stats were perfect. He was born 9 days before his due date and weighed 7 pounds ten ounces with no physical problems at all. I spent quite a lot of time in ketosis during my pregnancy and I have been in ketosis since. There is no way to know if it is healthy for milo, but there is also no way for me to know if it would be healthy for him to be drinking my milk if my blood sugar was all out of wack b/c I was eating carbs. What I do know is that I feel great and the diet feels totally right for me, milo is also doing great (happy baby, average size, hitting milestones about right) and, as I said before, the arguments that it's bad to be in ketosis while pg or breastfeeding just plain don't make sense and there has been not one iota of scientific or anecdotal evidence that it's bad.

So, while I'm sorry that you felt attacked (and I really didn't mean to attack you personally at all -- I think that most people who read this and most people in our society will absolutely agree with you over me in this "debate"), I hate the thought of someone like me reading that stuff and not questioning it when atkins could really help them.

J.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

rubidoux is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 08-03-2004, 03:31 AM
 
KarenEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been doing Atkins, beginning at maintenance carb levels since I'm still BFing my 2-1/2 year old, since March. It has been the ONLY way I could lose weight while BFing.

After my son hit 6 mos old, I tried low-fat, low-cal, all to no avail. That kind of dieting affected my milk supply. The low-carb way I've been eating has allowed me to slowly lose 20 pounds since March. On top of that, I have gone from 32.9% bodyfat to 25.1% and my lean body mass has increased by 5 pounds.

I am doing lots of cycling and walking, but I was doing that before low-carbing and unable to lose weight. My nursing toddler's happy, I'm happy and losing weight, and have more energy than ever before.

I started my personal low-carbing at the direction of my naturopath when nothing else would work. I do take a variety of supplements every day and eat 7 servings of veggies minimum.
KarenEMT is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 08-11-2004, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
darsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the responses gals. I'm confused now, but I know to go do more research!!!!
Thank you!
darsmama is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 08-13-2004, 09:39 PM
 
BrooklynDoula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I eat low carba nd breast feed my 2 year olb but I make sure I don't go too low carb (I eat lots of veggies, fruits, and things like beans but no rice, pasta, bread, potatoes). I also work out a great deal. The Atkins diet web site warns AGAINST doing the diet while preg or nursing. There is absolutely proof that toxins in our bosied are stored in our fat and that burning off that fat releases the toxins and they go into our breast milk. Nursing is actually a primary way that the body gets rid of its toxic load unfortunatle. Mothing had a related article about environmental toxins recently. This toxin load issue is also true for other animals milk, a good reason to drink organic cow milk or eat organic cheeses

So, for the forst 6 months I would recommend you do not actively try to lose weight (although switcing to whole grains and limiting sugars is always a wonderful idea), and after that I would thinks a diet like a version of Atkins, South Beach, or your own low-carb version would be safe if you don't lose more than about 2 pounds a week. Particularly if you are working out.

best,

Megan

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

BrooklynDoula is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off