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Fasting while nursing?

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  • Fasting while nursing?

    I'm due to have a baby in the next 3-4 weeks. This is my 6th baby and I have nursed all of my previous children for at least 18 months, and a couple as long as 3 years. So, I'm pretty well able to nurse a baby at this point. ;-)

    Now, I've only gradually been switching over to primal eating over the past 6 weeks, and I have not tried IF or anything like that yet. After my baby is first born I intend to simply eat to my hunger for the first 6-8 weeks. However, after that I think I might be interested in trying some IF. Any ideas if this will hurt my milk supply? CW says I need to keep a steady supply of calories coming in or my milk supply will suffer. I'm just not sure if that is really true or not. So, what do you think? Any ideas?

  • #2
    Cool question!

    Lactating mothers do require extra glucose, but the body has plenty of ways to cope with not enough glucose. According to this study (Metabolic Adaptation to Feeding and Fasting during Lactation in Humans) the only downside of fasting was less milk produced, but even that was not consistent during the test.

    It would make sense that you would produce less milk but I would be curious to see how much less.


    • #3
      Congrats, Pollo.

      My question is why would you be considering IF?
      I can't understand why you would be wanting to mess with something that has worked so successfully in the past.
      And my intuition is to leave the idea of fasting alone until this new little one is weaned.
      You will still get amazing health and energy benefits from your primal food.
      Annie Ups the Ante


      • #4
        I am nursing my three year old right now. I started my own form of IF about a year ago. I usually skip breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. So I fast about 18 hours a day. My supply is fine. But I wouldn't advise it until after a baby turns one, even with a great track record. Remember pregnancy akes a lot of your bones ad reserves, especially after six of them. Right now I would once nitrate on high nourishing food like grass fed liver, avocado, coconut oil. After six months then maybe cut out snacks and see how you do. Then at a year maybe do something similar to me. Good luck and great Breastfeeding!
        Home birthing legal mama. Unschooler. Jewish Intactivist (step away from the foreskin!). Full-term breastfeeder. Kettlebell padawan.


        • #5
          Personally, I wouldn't.

          If you nurse for 3 years, it is such a short time, and such an important thing for mother/baby. After that, you can IF if you want. But I, personally, wouldn't IF while nursing.


          • #6
            As a bit of background. I am a Registered Prof Midwife, have done a ton of research on the physiology of this issue and counsel women all the time with similar questions.

            As long as you are getting adequate nutrients and listen to your body (ie if your body is hungry, eat) I can't see it being a problem. The biggest issue that I see being a potential is not getting adequate calories to support your body's needs when breastfeeding (about 500 additional calories above BMR).

            When you breastfeed, your body taps into the reserves of "new fat" it created via lypogenesis during pregnancy. If you have been eating clean and haven't been rolling in toxic waste piles this fat is relatively low in 'toxins'. If you are not getting adequate calories, your body taps into "old fat" that has been acquired during your lifetime in an effort to save the stockpiled "new" fat. This old fat tends to be very high in toxins and when scientists measured breast milk of mothers on crash diets they found it to be very high in toxins compared to women getting adequate calories (you can still lose your pregnancy weight with adequate calories, just at a slower rate).
            Seems crazy, but it's true.
            Hope this helps.