Dieting While Breastfeeding

As a mom you never stop learning. I thought I had breastfeeding all figured out especially after breastfeeding 5 children, boy was I wrong! The last few weeks my milk supply has decreased and I couldn’t figure out why so I decided to do a process of elimination. Took a pregnancy test, nope not pregnant. Then I stated wondering about the low carb diet I have been on for 3 weeks.  In the last 3 weeks I have lost 10 pounds and had a goal to lose 20 more pounds before Christmas. However,  that goal has changed.
I took my daughter for her well visit today and had a long talk with the pediatrician about breastfeeding my new baby. She confirmed what I had already figured out. My diet is decreasing my milk supply. She lead me to Kelly Mom which says this about breastfeeding and dieting:
Avoid quick-fix solutions
Liquid diets, low-carb diets, fad diets, weight loss medication, etc. are not recommended while breastfeeding. 
I was surprised because all I have done is cut out pasta, breads and sugary snacks and replaced them with more veggies, protein, fruits and drinking water. I knew that a  low carb diet is a quick fix but was to also be a lifestyle change too. I was told that loosing 10 pounds in 3 weeks was way to much weight to lose and to take my time. I chuckled because the doctor’s exact words were, “you were pregnant for 9 months and give your body 9 months before you do anything”. Really??? I have 5 pregnancies of weight I would like to lose. I never thought I would hear a doctor say that! I would like to be healthy not just for me but for my kids too.
When I suspected my decrease in my milk supply I kept an eye on  my baby’s diapers and yes she did have soiled diapers so I wasn’t too concerned. Apparently babies are to gain 2 pounds a month while my baby has gained 1 pound a month which surprised me because she is a chunky baby. So for now I push away the low carb diet and just try to watch what I eat period and my milk supply will increase.
 If you lose weight too quickly while breastfeeding your nutrition and/or health maybe compromised. Plus rapid weight loss programs should be avoided because fat-soluble environmental contaminants and toxins stored in body fat are released into the milk when caloric intake is severely restricted.
I share this with you because I am passionate about breastfeeding and I wanted to inform all the breastfeeding moms to be careful dieting while breastfeeding because it can be unhealthy and it could effect your milk supply. Not only just low carb diets but dieting in general. In the long run it can effect you and the baby.
You can find valuable information on breastfeeding on Kelly Mom.
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  1. Yes I have definitely heard that your milk supply can decrease if dieting… Boo Hoo Good for you though that after having your fifth child Nicole you are determined to take care of yourself and get back into shape!! By the way your new website looks great!!

  2. I breast fed all three of my children, but this was years ago and I know I couldn’t go on any diet….I was always hungry. But who knew, you were still eating but I guess the calories aren’t enough to supply. Best of luck to you and your baby!

  3. I had the exact opposite situation when I was breastfeeding, I was gaining weight but still milk supply diminishing. I tried everything, including increasing certain foods, taking herbal supplements that are meant to increase milk production, etc etc. I gained weight (which I wasn’t too happy about..I weighted MORE while breastfeeding than I did while pregnant) and still lost milk production. I was so frustrating. Drs didn’t have any suggestions for me. I kept at it, and my daughter weened herself at 8 months…far too soon for my liking. /sigh.

    But I agree with your took 9 months to get the baby here, we have to try to remember to give ourselves 9 months to heal.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I know we all want to lose our post baby weight but not at the risk of not giving our babies enough nutrients.

  5. Dieting while breastfeeding needs to be done carefully. I was a Weight Watchers leader and the breastfeeding moms needed many more points to eat! Those babies need to be healthy!!!

  6. I never dieted while breastfeeding but I always lost weight. I have heard that it can decrease your milk supply as well!

  7. These are some great tips for those wanting to diet while breastfeeding. Thanks for sharing!

  8. As a fitness professional and breastfeeding mother, I am still trying to get my behavior to match my knowledge, lol! I have read that 70-80% of the weight loss equation is diet, so that is where I should be putting most of my efforts, right? But no….I would rather spend 1.5 hours in the gym or train for a marathon to get the weight off. I am about 4 days away from completing my 1st full marathon and I will have trained 16 weeks for it. Sadly, I didn’t lose 1 pound!!! I have accepted the reality that I have to change my eating habits, especially since I am not 25 anymore 🙂 . Even with exclusive breastfeeding for 1 year AND consistent exercise, I have never dropped weight easily, and I know the fact that I have not focused on eating better is to blame. My daughter recently stopped nursing at 2.5 and I am sure that my body is still adjusting, and if anything, I probably didn’t adjust my eating to account for the fact that I am no longer breastfeeeding.

  9. Sandy Cain says:

    I breastfed my daughter for 2 1/2 years. I ate like a horse, but never gained any weight. I LOST weight while nursing no matter how much I ate! But even for those moms who need to watch their calories, breastfeeding is not the time to diet. Thanks for a great article, this is really a public service!

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