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Thread: Carbs while breastfeeding page

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    orielwen's Avatar
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    Carbs while breastfeeding

    Now that I'm breastfeeding my appetite is going through the roof! We can't afford to feed me more Primal food so I'm having to add in more carbs to fill me up. Mostly potatoes and some white rice, about the equivalent of two or three medium potatoes a day. I'd rather be eating more eggs or coconut oil, but there we go. Is this likely to be a problem for me or the baby? She's a slow feeder so I'm not getting much exercise at the moment either.

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    Aldergirl's Avatar
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    You could, perhaps, add eggs and other meats to your potatoes and rice. For instance, make a stirfry, but have it be mostly egg and veggies with just a little rice (what I ate for dinner today, minus the rice). Or, if you're eating a baked potato, eat it with lots of cheese and bacon. You can also cook your rice in homemade broth/stock to add in more nutrients and a little more protein.

    Throughout my pregnancy I've had a lot of meat aversions, which has been really annoying! I've had to sneak meat in: lots of custards, more meat in my rice pasta, eggs scrambled into my rice mac&cheese, gelatin added to things, etc.

    I really don't know how eating all the carbs will affect baby and you. I know I ended up gaining more weight than I should have during this pregnancy (I'm 5'4", and went from 122 pounds to 162... and I still have a month left!). I'm really interested to see what more knowledgeable people have to say about this!

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    Doesn't breast milk have some carbs? I'm quite sure it does, since cows milk does. I would imagine some safe starches would be beneficial, especially if you're otherwise eating primal. I'm no expert though. I'd ask my sister but she's vegetarian, heh...

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    Aldergirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildrose View Post
    Doesn't breast milk have some carbs? I'm quite sure it does, since cows milk does. I would imagine some safe starches would be beneficial, especially if you're otherwise eating primal. I'm no expert though. I'd ask my sister but she's vegetarian, heh...
    I wouldn't think there'd be any harm to the baby from safe carbs. Breast milk has 7.5 grams of carbs, compared to 4.2 grams of fat and 1.1. grams of protein (according to wikipedia). It may be your body needs more carbs to make milk, and that's why you're craving it. But, I really have no idea! If I keep replying to your post, though, maybe someone--like Dragonfly--will see this post and give us some better answers!

    I'd really like to know, too, since I'll be in the same situation as you in about a month!

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    orielwen's Avatar
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    Trouble is I'm not craving it. I'm craving FOOD – any food. But I agree that some carbs are probably good.

    I'll get some free pork rind from our friendly butcher tomorrow to make into scratchings, and see if he has any marrow bones going spare. Good idea about cooking rice in stock, thanks!

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    Carbs are fine, but you may be needing more nutrient-dense foods and too many carbs could displace them. It's really worth prioritizing your diet right now, even if you have to borrow some money to do so.

    Are you eating liver and seafood? Bacon? (yes, bacon is highly nutrtious, especially pastured bacon.)

    Are you getting sufficient D3? If you can eat dairy, can you get some cheese? Fat soluble vitamins are essential to your hormonal balance and your babies optimal brain growth. Carbs just don't have the micronutrients you are needing right now.

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    And of course make sure you are staying well-hydrated and salting your food to taste.

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    I found that the quickest way to drop my milk supply was to try to drop the carbs. So, I kept a higher carb primal diet through nursing, and dropped them after DS weaned. I tried to stick to good carbs: lots of sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, etc. Exclusively nursing a newborn/baby until they start taking some solids burns more calories than pregnancy. I would be hesitant to cut carbs unless you find you can keep a good milk supply.

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    Breastfeeding definitely requires more calories than pregnancy! Nowadays I average 2000 calories daily, do minimal exercise (gentle swimming mostly), and while I feel like I eat a lot, still weigh less than pre-pregnancy. For me, the ravenous hunger diminished as my kid got older. In the early months, I was eating much more food than now, and was thinner.

    I ate lower carb while nursing my daughter, and instead ate a lot of offal, meat, seafood, fats, etc. Daughter's quite small, only in the 10th percentile for her height and weight at 26 months. In contrast, the nursing mothers for whom carbs are part of their diet, have much bigger babies (no formula). My daughter had a higher birth weight than these babies, so she must have grown slower.

    Maybe it's genetics (my MIL is 4'10", husband and I both 5'4"), dunno. I've started eating higher carb the past couple of months, around 200-300g daily, and noticed my letdown stronger than it was in the past year. Kid still nurses 3-5x a day.

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    orielwen's Avatar
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    Am pestering husband (cook/shopper) for more liver. Smoked mackerel for breakfast every day. Venison heart and aubergine stew yesterday. Decent bacon is expensive but I'll see if we can get some.

    Bsby doesn't seem to like me having dairy. I'm hoping she'll grow out of that soon, because I'm really missing it.

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