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Diet affecting breastmilk, and food worries.

(7 Posts)
BertieBotts Wed 21-Oct-09 23:23:53

I am not eating properly at the moment for various reasons (mainly stress - my relationship is breaking up). I have lost a lot of weight and am due to have blood tests next week to see if I am deficient in anything and need supplements. My doctor seems supportive of me breastfeeding (she has not suggested stopping anyway) but I don't know what her knowledge level is about it.

I am breastfeeding DS (12m) - I know diet doesn't affect milk unless it is severe malnutrition, but I am worried that if my blood is showing deficiencies that might be a problem, as I have heard breastmilk is similar to blood. Might my poor diet be affecting DS?

Although he is 12 months and also eating solid food, he is quite fussy and still does not eat a great deal (which I am also feeling guilty about that possibly being related to my eating habits) - I have been doing BLW and hoped he would make a natural transition from bf to eating more food, but he hasn't. He just seems to love bf so much and I think fills up on it as he often refuses food after a few bites. I have tried refusing to feed him during the day, distracting him etc, but he gets upset and I always give in. I have tried spoon-feeding him as well which has mixed results. He seems healthy, active and a good weight, but he is more settled and less grumpy on days when he eats more food. I did not feel worried about the quantities he was eating until I realised this connection. Now I am worried that he is not eating enough and he may be filling up on breastmilk which is lacking in nutrients.

I realise I could talk this through with a Health Visitor or similar, but I am reluctant to as I have recieved bad advice from them in the past regarding diet affecting breastmilk (at 4 months I was advised to start solids as DS' weight gain had slowed down, it was implied that my milk might be lacking as I was not eating very well then either) - there are only 2 HVs in the area and a NN - the NN and one HV told me this. The other HV is nice but also gave me strange bf advice, she said I should massage the breast at every feed to mix the hindmilk and foremilk together. hmm Hopefully I should be moving soon though, and I will have different health visitors there. I will also have better access and control over the food which comes into the house.

pooter Wed 21-Oct-09 23:34:29

Sorry you are going through such a hard time. The massaging idea is a load of crap to put it bluntly grin.

I wouldnt worry about your diet - well - obviously it would be better for YOU if you were eating normally - but have a read around this site kellymom It is American but very very well researched and referenced and should put your mind at ease.

WRT the BLW and your little boy not eating much - i had this issue too, and had to keep chanting to myself 'food is for fun until they are one' to stop myself worrying. You said yourself that he is healthy, active and a good weight - so as long as you are offering him a variety of foods he will not let himself go hungry. Your BM is still the perfect food for him and although some people will tell you it is lacking in iron, the iron in BM is in a bioavailable form which your son can access easily, whereas iron in other foods and formula has to be present in larger quantities as it isnt very readily assimilated.

Seriously - have a trawl around kellymom and you will feel so much better!

moondog Wed 21-Oct-09 23:39:09

Breast milk isn't 'lacking in nutrients'. Whatever gave you that idea?
If you are going through a stressful time (sorry to hear that) it will be quite literally a port in a storm for him.

He'll eat more when ready.
Keep away from lunatic HVs who give you shit advice like that though. She'll be recommending you pour in chocolate Nesquick throguh the milk ducts next and jump up and down to make milkshake.

hmm

(Who are these nutters let loose on innocvent women?)

BertieBotts Wed 21-Oct-09 23:46:45

But pooter, he is one, that is why I am worried. Stupid rhyme grin

Sorry moondog I didn't mean that breastmilk is lacking in nutrients anyway, I meant that I was worried that mine might be since the doctor wants to text my blood for which nutrients I am lacking. If that makes sense. I mean I know that diet shouldn't affect breastmilk but the seeds of doubt have been planted

grin at the nesquick milk! She is lovely but... clearly a loon. She asked me about 4 times
"Are you SURE you're not anorexic?"
"No, it's fine, I know I need to put more weight on"
"You don't look fat."
"Yes I know, I am skinny, I just need to put some weight on."
"Okay. Are you sure you're not bulimic? You don't make yourself sick?"
"No honestly, it's not like that, I am just stressed..."

etc etc...

moondog Wed 21-Oct-09 23:49:53

If you are worried then the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to eat well nad be kind to yourself. smile

bedlambeast Thu 22-Oct-09 10:36:48

Message withdrawn

1stMrsF Thu 22-Oct-09 10:36:48

Do you already take a broad spectrum multivitamin/mineral supplement e.g. Pregnacare? You can do that without the tests from the doctor and it might put your mind at rest a bit.

However, my understanding is that it's likely that your milk will be just as nutricious as it ever was, and if you are lacking in nutrients it will be your body that will suffer not your milk or your baby, so try to relax and as moondog says, to eat as well as you can for your health as well as his.

I hope things improve for you very soon.

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