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Getting enough calories for breastfeeding...HELP

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  • Getting enough calories for breastfeeding...HELP

    Before you post the link- I have read the entry on MDA about it. Hopefully some nursing moms can give me some tips.
    I just started eating primal after "healthy eating" for about a week- being constantly hungry I for the most part could hit my 1200 calorie min. Started primal tuesday and have not been hungry enough to get even close to 1200. I have 2-3 eggs in the morning fried in coconut oil and some bacon grease w/bison&beef breakfast sausage(2-3 links) and raw organic spinach. Honestly last night I forced myself to eat dinner bc I'm concerned about losing my milk.
    I am no primal expert, but I am in the process of reading The Primal Blueprint and have been reading MDA like crazy! So pls be nice bc I am GENUINELY concerned.
    Body stats:
    250lbs- 28.5 body fat.
    I'm 12 weeks post-partum and have breastfed my prior children, my eldest for 2.5 years.

  • #2
    Let's see, you had maybe 40gm protein for breakfast? And forced down dinner, so it looks like enough food for that day. Are you saying you used to be constantly hungry and now aren't hungry enough? It sounds like what you ate yesterday, unless the dinner was small and/or low-fat, was enough, but I'm not sure. Certainly meat & fat is more calorie-dense than fluff, so it may look like too little. Did you run your calories through fitday or something like it? I don't, but it might give you a picture if you don't it a few times.

    I've been nursing for 13 years and it seems like that's enough ... but it's no fun to force yourself. You could split your breakfast between bkfst and lunch, but honestly, I'd do it the way you are - you could work a leptin reset in there without even trying!
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


    • #3
      I wouldn't be terribly concerned about milk supply. Your body has ample stores from which to draw (ie calories stored as fat), which combined with the calories you're ingesting is more than enough to make milk.

      Eat more if you feel you must and don't worry about it. Add carbs in the form of peeled tubers (preferably sweet potato) and winter squash if you feel like it. Eat a couple of tbsp of coconut oil if you so desire.

      Be sure you're getting enough zinc, A, D, K, iron and magnesium. You may need supplements for zinc, A, D, iron and mg.

      Don't worry too much, females of all species have been able to nurse babies in times of caloric plenty and in times of caloric leanness - that's why we readily store insure there is enough additional energy should food become scare during a pregnancy or lactation.


      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


      • #4
        I wish I'd known about this way of eating when I was nursing my daughter (2.5 years for me too). So I don't have any direct experience with breastfeeding-while-primal, but I would think if you needed to eat more to keep your milk production up, you'd get hungry. I know even nursing while not eating primal, some days I wasn't hungry and some days I was a bottomless pit. I figure that most of the time, this is something that nature has gotten pretty good at working out. I know stress definitely isn't good for nursing, so I'd keep a low-stress awareness about it and not really force feed yourself unless you have a marked decline in milk. Hopefully there are some other currently nursing moms with some insight. Good luck!


        • #5
          Currently I'm bfing a 15mth old... I'm 5'3" 170 (or so) which ~ to a BMI of 30 . when I started primal I was closer to 190, and I was eating ~ 2400 cals/day and easily lost weight w/o impacting milk supply. Right now I'm doing the Leptin Reset (check the Leptin reset thread) and monitoring my intake and trying to keep my total cals/day at 1842 to make myself accountable for my food consumption (I'm not calorie restricting - just readjusting b/c ds is no longer nursing 10x/day), and jump start a 4mth stall. I'm also very active - I LHT 3x/week, run or walk 2-3x/week and sprint 1x/week.

          Given all that I'm eating WAY more than you are. As I read your post it sounds to me like you're afraid your not even getting 1200 cals - which is why you're concerned - correct? and you're forcing yourself to eat dinner so you get close. One thing you may want to do is focus on good quality protein - if you follow the leptin reset - try to get 50g of protein at bkfst w/in 30mins of waking up, then ensure you eat again in 5hrs for lunch, followed by 5hrs later for dinner. One thing I found was that I couldn't go VLC. I need to stay w/in the 50-100g of carbs/day. it not only keeps my weightloss to less than 2lbs/week, but it also helps my mood, and keep my milk supply stable. How much exercise are you getting? Are you moving slowly and LHT? Wearing your newborn in a wrap and doing squats can count as a LHT once you get the ok from your ob/mw. Same with wearing baby for a walk around the block.

          Can you give us an idea of what your daily eating looks like? you say you're stuffing yourself w/1200cals...but you'd be surprised how many more cals you get eating primally b/c of the increased fat consumption. Your breakfast sounds good. What does lunch/dinner look like? I definatley recommend tracking for a couple of days to get an idea of what you're really eating.... it will help put things in perspective.

          remember to keep an eye out for wet/dirty diapers to ensure baby is getting enough... and don't forget your 12wks've got a growth spurt on the remember to offer early and often...
          The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
          What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

          Converted to PB November 2010
          SW 190lb
          Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
          25 Sep 2011 160lbs
          1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
          GW ~135lbs
          Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

          My Journal:


          • #6
            Great point - the key to making enough milk is frequency frequency frequency. Offer the breast for everything. Everything! First line of defense! And diet can play a role for some, but few truly have trouble making enough as long as they're not limiting the breast to some arbitrary, 2, 3, or 4 hour schedule.
            5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
            Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
            Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
            Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
            ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


            • #7
              Just make sure you're getting appropriate nutrients to pass on to your child, don't worry about calories unless your body gives you signals that there's a problem. My doctor had me continue taking my prenatals while I breastfed. If you don't get the right nutrients for your baby, your body will rob itself to feed the child. Don't be overly worried unless you notice you're having trouble producing milk. I breastfed both my daughters on a 3 hour schedule and donated the excess (I had to pump for comfort; there was about 10 extra ounces a day). IMO, having a routine caused me to produce *more* milk, moo cow that I was, lol.
              Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.