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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breastfeeding while in Ketosis: Round 2

    Since my baby has been growing great, no issues breastfeeding, etc, and I found myself trending lower and lower in my daily carb counts; I decided I was going into full-on Keto again. I tend to average between 20 and 40 carbs per day.

    After a couple of days with this limit, I noticed Natalie wanted to nurse practically all day long. It seemed like a small drop in supply, as expected. However, the very next day my letdowns seemed normal, and I got the usual breaks between feedings.

    If some one else is consuming a high carb diet and wants to make the change with younger babies (~4+ months old), I would recommend starting at 100g carbs per day, and cutting 5g each day and monitoring your supply as you go along. More important than carb count while breastfeeding is your water and caloric intake. Be sure to be constantly drinking water; if you feel thirsty then you are already a little bit dehydrated. If you are having trouble with your calorie counts, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Great, intuitive site (and love the app!) with an extensive food database.

Above all else, I recommend going gradually into ketosis and calorie restriction while breastfeeding, especially if your baby is young, and if you are not at home with the baby for unlimited nursing during the potential conversion.

   Check out my previous posts on breastfeeding while in ketosis -
Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding
Keto and Breastfeeding Introduction
Keto While Breastfeeding: Days 1-5
Keto and the Breastfeeding Diet TIPS

7 comments:

  1. I have been breastfeeding my daughter who is 5 months old 100%. I went low carb about a month & 1/2 ago and almost lost my milk because my calories were too low. I started keto about a week ago and I haven't had any issues with my supply since I am eating around 1800 calories and drinking plenty of water. I have heard that being in keto puts ketones and toxins into the breastmilk. Have you heard of this? Do you know if it's true and is it bad for baby? I love my fitness pal and would love to follow you! My username is xmichikox

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    1. In my experience, when people use the generic term "toxins" is typically means they don't have real evidence as to why something is unhealthy, they just are making baseless claims. Ketones do pass into breast milk, however this is not at all harmful to babies. Worst case scenario is that your breast milk has a slightly different flavor and your baby will have to get used to it. Exclusively breastfed babies are always in a ketogenic state, because breast milk itself is ketogenic. Here is a very thorough post about the theories regarding weaning a baby from breast milk only to a ketogenic diet
      http://www.ketotic.org/2014/01/babies-thrive-under-ketogenic-metabolism.html

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  2. Thanks you Jessica for your information! I've just started (today actually) this adventure in a Kentogenic diet while nursing a 7 month old. I kinda went cold turkey today on carbs (had about 30).. I had bullet proof coffee this morning and didn't get hungry until almost 1pm! Have you done that while nursing, and is it OK? During pregnancy I really only ate when I was hungry, which was about 2 times a day... and often I had ketones in my urine, so I guess my body was burning fat while i was pregnant? I did start off overweight when pregnant and gained at least 30lbs, but dropped all the baby weight in about 2 months post baby... What would you consider a healthy weight loss while on this diet while nursing? What should i expect? Thanks!!

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    1. Hey there! I would consider 1-3 lbs per week to be a great goal, although I have been much closer to that 1 lb per week myself throughout this round of Keto + breastfeeding!

      I think my disrupted sleep + breastfeeding are really fighting my last 25 lbs, but I am slowly making progress!

      As to waiting several hours between meals, I have found no issues with small fasting periods (up to 16 hours including sleep), as long as I was well-hydrated, and avoided any drastic calorie cutting. The only dips in my supply that happened were 1 when I first cut out carbs to <30/day, and when I tried cutting down my calories too low too quickly. The first worked itself out while I kept doing Keto, and the second I had to increase my calories a little bit while still maintaining a small deficit.

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  3. I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog!! As the first commenter stated she was worried about ketones in breastmilk, I too have been worried about this. There are so many websites that come up when you google keto and breastfeeding that say they can be harmful to babies. My daughter is 3 months old now and while I know it's a little early to start keto I absolutely can't wait any longer. I feel my best when I eat low carb and I feel that's how I need to eat to be the best mom I can to my two daughters. And it's the only way I can lose weight! Breastfeeding alone just does not do it for me unfortunately.
    So just to calm my over anxious worried mom mind, I'm assuming your kids are thriving and healthy and fine as you breastfed them while on the keto diet? I'm sure they are great, I just don't know anyone who's done this and want to make sure it's ok!! Thanks :)

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    1. Both kids are absolutely healthy and thriving! And the second one also has a better variety in her diet, more easily. I had been closer to ketogenic during that pregnancy. I think that will contribute to overall health in the long run.

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  4. Thank you so much!

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