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Dieting and bfing

(18 Posts)
ToughTimes Sun 03-Nov-13 22:08:45

Ds2 is almost 11 months, ebf. I am going to be going on a very strict calorie controlled diet from Jan and I want to know whether my milk will dry up as my body will be using up the excess fat for energy..?

I am clinically obese, and have had several health scares over the past few years. I have seen my GP who has recommended (strongly) that I need to lose at least 3 stones. I am just wondering if by dieting, toxins will be released into my milk and whether this will harm DS? I love bfing, but know I have to do something soon if I want to be around for my children. I wouldn't be devastated to give up, more disappointed, but if it's possible then I'd ideally like to continue. Any success stories?

mrsmartin1984 Sun 03-Nov-13 22:35:43

your diet has no effect on your milk supply. It's a common misconception. There are women in famine stricten areas who are still able to breast feed and their babies are healthy while they are staving (that's an extreme example please don't go that far). I'd still advise that you keep your fluids up because although it won't have an effect on your milk you can easily feel dehydrated breast feeding (water has zero calories anyway)

I hope that puts your mind at rest

midori1999 Mon 04-Nov-13 00:10:48

It's not generally advised to drop below 1500 calories a day when dieting/Breastfeeding and I would imagine doing so, even if it has no effect on your milk supply, could make you feel quite ill.

Is there any particular reason you need to do a very strict calorie controlled diet? I ask as I have lost 2 1/2 stones in 3 months before (easily!) doing slimming world and I was active, but I was eating loads and slimming world is suitable when Breastfeeding.

Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 00:31:06

Hello, I lost 6.5 stone after my last pregnancy whilst breastfeeding.
The main rules that I stuck to were;

Whatever my diet calories should have been I allowed myself extra for breastfeeding, so at 11 months I would have allowed about an extra 500 calories per day.

Kellymom has a section on dieting during breastfeeding and I think the protein allowance per day was a minimum of 65g, dropping too low on protein can affect your supply. This info on kellymom is really helpful!

I tracked everything using an app called myfitnesspal, it's free on apple and android. You put in your height weight etc and it gives you a calorie allowance. Then you can factor in your breastfeeding calories as exercise (any exercise you do gives you more calories to eat! ) so that you always get your correct calories. If you do any exercise, even walk to the park or the shop you can add that on too!

I've done this. You can too!

Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 00:32:44

Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 00:33:36

Sorry about that, fixed the link! I haven't been around on this site fir a while. smile

Strumpetron Mon 04-Nov-13 00:36:31

your diet has no effect on your milk supply.

Hello could you please expand on this, where you've read it please? It's just I have never heard this before and don't know how on earth it can be true. Especially as there are foods that aid/reduce milk supply.

Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 00:45:32

Strumpetron, they are wrong. At the most basic level what we eat flavours our milk. Breast milk contains the same alcohol level as a mothers blood alcohol level at the same time. The old saying you are what you eat is all too true, you can't exercise away a bad diet!

Before beginning my diet after my last child was born I spent about a month researching because I was worried I might have a negative impact on my child and that was just not acceptable to me, nor was ceasing b/feeding.

I ate much more healthily, cut out processed foods, high fat and sugar foods and avoided aspartame. A real food low GI diet.

My diet has gradually changed, my son weaned at the age of 3 and I am running my 1st half marathon in a couple of weeks.

OP. You can do this. Why wait till January? You can do this now! Xxxxxxx

ToughTimes Mon 04-Nov-13 08:12:55

Hey guys, thanks for replying. I need to lose weight cos I'm really overweight. It's really affecting my self-esteem and my relationship with DH. My friend is a dietician and has made me up a low cal diet consisting of juices, salads and healthy proteins/fats/carbs. They are a maximum of 1000-1500 cals per day. I would estimate that at the moment I'm consuming between 2000-3000 cals daily sad .. I'm particularly addicted to crisps! So would the sudden drop in my calorie intake reduce my milk? I guess I would like to carry on bfing, but after bfing ds1 for 18months, then getting pregnant and bfing ds2 for a year, I would like to get some semblance of my body back. It might sound selfish, but my weight is starting to depress me...

What further complicates matters is Ds2 is CMPI so I've been dairy, egg and soya free for almost a year. Though I've been taking supplements,I have had very bad eczema and psoriasis which the GP says is a result of restrictions in my diet. So I'm torn between stopping bfing for all the reasons detailed above, and continuing if I can as I think I will miss it...

Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 11:26:20

Toughtimes, I don't see why you can't continue breast feeding. I would suggest that you try making some small changes to your diet rather than having a big diet overhaul in one go. Reduce your portion sizes, go for the reduced fat option and maybe switch your crisps to lower fat baked options and save them till the end if the day as your treat if you can still fit them in your calories for the day. I usually eat 3 meals a day and 3 snacks in between i always save myself something as "supper" if I've been good enough to be able to fit it in. If you reduce your portion sizes to fit your calorie allowance and try to go for a walk 3 times a week you will notice a big difference by the end of November.

Does that sound more manageable than changing to food / shakes you aren't sure about?


Kickarsequeen Mon 04-Nov-13 11:27:59

And no, suddenly dropping your calories ( as long as it's to a sensible level) won't impact your milk supply. Xx

mrsmartin1984 Mon 04-Nov-13 18:48:16


Your diet as little to no effect on your milk

bimbabirba Mon 04-Nov-13 21:11:57

I am aware that all the most reputable sources say that milk supply won't be affected by weight loss but my experience has been slightly different in that when I started WW -- and went from 3000 to 1500 calories a day-- my body must have had a shock and at first thought it best to stop milk production in times of famine! So I dried up for a couple of days but then magically adjusted to the new regime and milk was flowing in abundance again!

ToughTimes Mon 04-Nov-13 21:34:27

Thanks all. Some great advice. Mrs Martin, I know for a fact that me having dairy upsets ds2, though I'm not intolerant at all. So I think there are aspects of one's diet which do affect babies. I respect kellymom, and it gives great advice but I don't think everything on it should be taken as gospel as it depends on the individual and their baby...

mrsmartin1984 Tue 05-Nov-13 09:55:15

Yes things like milk for a dairy intolerent babies make a different. Certainly caffine and alcohol can pass through. But your diet won't effect your supply of milk. Kellymom does show where they get their information from. So I would give their information more credit then other sites

ToughTimes Tue 05-Nov-13 13:54:29

Sorry Mrs Martin, in my sleep deprived ind I read you as saying your diet doesn't affect your milk (i.e. things like dairy etc won't pass through). I now realise you meant it doesn't affect SUPPLY!



ToughTimes Tue 05-Nov-13 13:55:07

Oh for deck sake, *mind

tiktok Tue 05-Nov-13 14:32:56

There have been some concerns about 'toxins' getting into the milk with a strict weight loss diet....I don't think there is much science to back this up, to be honest, and I see the analytical armadillo takes the notion apart here:

Dieting will have no effect on your milk supply, and the quality of your milk will remain high and perfect for your ds smile

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