Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Low Carb

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      Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Low Carb

      This was a huge issue for me, some people will say its fine to eat purely induction style foods but how do we know?
      Untill I knew for a fact I decided it would be irresponsible for me to do that.

      Is low carb good during these times, yes I think so, but in the form of cutting out empty calories such as sugars, processed foods, refined grains etc and moderation of fruits and higher carb vegetables (Do you really need that peice of bread or pasta? ofcourse not).

      Anyway here are some articles and links I found useful, unfortunately theres not a great deal of information out there:

      Breast Feeding and ketosis

      Quote from an Atkins Nutritionist on the Low carb friends board:

      " Breast Feeding and ketosis

      I can certainly understand your confusion.

      I followed the maintenance phase of Atkins while breast feeding and during pregnancy.

      The reason for this is because the only studies that observe ketosis in pregnancy or bresat feeding are in uncontrolled diabetics who are in ketoacidosis, not the same thing as ketosis.

      There are NO studies that show the safety of burning ketones and its effect on babies (either in utero or breast feeding). We do know that ketones are found in breast milk. Babies may have a different threshold of tolerating ketones than adults, maybe not, but I'm sure you do not want your child to be the guinea pig!

      I am very comfortable with ketosis and fat-burning but I did not want to subject my children to an unkown factor that "might or might not be harmful".

      Because we do not have long term studies validating the safety of ketones as a source of energy for babies, we cannot recommend following a ketogenic (Atkins) during this time of your life.

      It is possible that you lose weight following the maintenance phase of Atkins however it is not recommended to follow any weight loss plan during this time because you need the energy/nutrients while breast feeding.

      Keep in mind that you will not breast feed for the rest of your life. So when you stop feeding, you can go back on Induction.

      I am not aware of the interview with Dr. Atkins that you posted and will look into this further.

      Thank you both for bringing up such an important topic of discussion."

      lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=263252
      I am breastfeeding my baby and I want to lose weight. Is a low carbohydrate diet safe for a breastfeeding mother?


      Many women are anxious to get back in shape after childbirth, but we must remember that pregnancy weight wasn’t gained overnight, and won’t disappear quickly, either. It is wise for mothers to wait until two months postpartum to purposely lose weight, as the mother’s body needs time to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. Many mothers find that by following a sensible diet they are able to lose weight steadily while breastfeeding. Anyone who wants to start a weight loss diet should consult with their physician to rule out any health problems that would contraindicate the diet. If a breastfeeding mother is interested in any type of weight loss diet, there are several factors she should consider.

      Nutritional balance-- A breastfeeding mother should receive adequate and balanced nutrition, for her breastfed baby’s sake, and the sake of her own health. Otherwise, she risks depleting her body’s nutritional stores. A malnourished mother may have inadequate levels of vitamins A, D, B6 and B12 in her milk, and may risk decreased milk supply.

      Hunger-- Inadequate caloric intake results in feeling weak, tired, and drained. When a mother feels this way, taking care of a baby is very difficult, and these very real feelings can result in lowered milk supply and inhibited milk ejection (letdown) reflex. The Subcommittee on Nutrition during Lactation advises breastfeeding mothers to take in 1500-1800 calories per day.

      Rate of weight loss-- Gradual weight loss has not been found to affect either the mother’s milk supply or the baby’s health. However, there are documented concerns when a breastfeeding mother loses weight rapidly, defined as more than a pound (.45 kg) per week. Toxins, such as environmental contaminants PCBs and pesticides, are stored in body fat. When a breastfeeding mother loses weight rapidly, these toxins may be released into her bloodstream, and the toxin levels in her milk may increase. Rapid weight loss has also been linked to a decrease in milk supply.

      There are a number of low carbohydrate diet plans, and all are based on the theory that by limiting carbohydrates and eating adequate amounts of protein, the dieter will be freed of the cravings and hunger that are typical of other weight loss plans. The diets differ in the degree and manner of carbohydrate restriction. Some encourage dieters check for ketosis by using special urine test strips. Ketosis occurs when the body burns fat instead of glucose for energy, and is marked by the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones are any of three toxic, acidic chemicals (acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) that build up in the bloodstream.

      Many people who follow low-carbohydrate diets do lose weight more rapidly than is wise for a breastfeeding mother. It would be possible to modify a plan to include more carbohydrates in the form of fruits and starchy vegetables, which would slow the weight loss.

      There are some concerns that it is not safe for a breastfeeding mother to be in ketosis, whether she is following a low carbohydrate diet or burning fat in some other manner. It is unknown if the ketones that are excreted into the blood and urine are also present in the milk, and if so what levels would pose a danger to the breastfeeding infant. The Atkins Center website’s FAQ section recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women adjust their carbohydrate intake to the maintenance level, which is considerably higher than the weight-loss level.

      Another possible concern is that these diets are too high in protein, but a breastfeeding mother secretes 6 to 11 grams of protein in her milk every day, and growing babies need that protein, which is the body’s basic building material. Protein, unlike some other nutrients, can not be stored in the mother’s body. The US Department of Agriculture recommends that a lactating woman consume 65 grams of protein per day. Many women who follow the Brewer Pregnancy diet, which recommends 80-100 grams of protein per day, continue to follow that diet during lactation. Another concern might be the amount of fat in these diets, but lactating women do need a certain amount of dietary fat. According to Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding, the recommended daily requirement of the fats and oils food group is 7 servings per day, with a minimum of 5. Though low carbohydrate diets do prescribe what some may consider large amounts of animal protein, it can certainly be lean protein.

      Some people who follow a low carbohydrate diet also use artificial sweeteners, which many breastfeeding mothers choose to avoid. It is possible to follow a low-carbohydrate diet without using artificial sweeteners.

      No “diet” is a one size fits all proposition, and that is especially true for breastfeeding mothers. With research and some care regarding balanced nutrition and rate of weight loss, a breastfeeding mother might choose to follow certain elements of the low- carbohydrate diet, and leave the rest behind.

      lalecheleague.org/FAQ/lowcarb.html
      Dieting and Pregnancy
      plus-size-pregnancy.org/Dieting_and_Pregnancy.html (plus other articles there)

      Is a low carb diet safe during pregnancy?
      amazingpregnancy.com/pregnancy-articles/20.html

      Low Carbohydrate Diets during Pregnancy
      babyzone.com/features/content/…3&contentid=1413&scf=3020

      High Protein, Low-Carb Diet During Pregnancy Good for Baby
      medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=16743

      "Short-term/long-term low-carb dieting Acetone and other ketones (part of being in a state of ketosis brought on by following a low-carbohydrate diet) seems to cause brain damage in the fetus which may result in the baby being born mentally retarded. [Maryland State Medical Journal 1974: p.70]

      Despite the fact that ketones seemed to cause "significant neurological impairment" and an average loss of about 10 IQ points was well known and arousing "considerable concern" years before Atkins published his Diet Revolution [Clinics in Endocrinology and Metabolism 12(1983): p.413], Atkins nonetheless wrote "I recommend this diet to all my pregnant patients." [Atkins, RC. Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. David McKay Company, Inc., 1972]

      After enough pressure from the AMA, Atkins finally relented. "There’s one other point I’m really sorry about." Atkins finally admitted, "I now understand that ketosis during pregnancy could result in fetal damage. My pregnant patients have never had this problem, but I realize I didn’t study enough cases to validate my recommendation. If anyone wants a retraction, I’ll be glad to give one." [New York magazine March 1973.]"
      66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:yJ…+low++carb+research&hl=en

      I'll do some more later
      I think its best not to be in ketosis when breastfeeding. As you said Sherrie, you just don't know what the effects are.

      I was reading how this vegan mum breastfed her son. Sadly he ended up dieing of a B12 deficiency. She was a vegan because of her religious beliefs. She is in jail now and apparently pregnant with another baby. That makes me so mad.




      Weight Loss Goal - to reach 55kg
      Currently doing 12 week body transformation - at 64kg (9kg to goal)
      (Started 27/8/12 at 77.8kg)
      I noticed something interesting this morning. On nutritiondatas website they show the composition for a cup of human breast milk: nutritiondata.com/facts-B00001-01c201X.html

      Now in that is 17g of sugars. If you were eating quite LC then where would that come from? Would it come from ketones or would your body still get that 17g of sugars from elsewhere(muscle)?

      And if we don't need this at any point in our lives then why is there 17g per cup of breast milk?

      Will have to look for the composition of a ketogenic BF mum, wonder if its around anywhere? I wonder if anyone has ever looked into that?
      I was pointed to this thread and its a very interesting read, theres some more links to research on this subject which I will list down here for safe keeping. I am very glad to see this information from a member called Regina as I've never felt comfortable with ketosis during these times and if you just simply "eat more greens" then your gonna be in ketosis:

      forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=117720&page=7&pp=15

      Certainly worth a read if you pregnant/breastfeeding!
      Analytic Considerations for Measuring Environmental Chemicals in Breast Milk

      ehponline.org/members/2002/110…4needham/needham-full.htm

      EXPECTING THE BEST: DIABETES, PREGNANCY, AND BLOOD GLUCOSE CONTROL

      nfb.org/vod/vodfal0104.html

      Will need to find more info on why they say this (in bold):

      Breastfeeding and Type II Diabetes

      Benz, J. Antidiabetic Agents and Lactation. Journal of Human Lactation. March 1992. 8(1):27-28.

      "If the dose of insulin and adequate carbohydrate intake is ensured, most diabetic mothers taking insulin will be able to breastfeed satisfactoriy. Compared to the dose before pregnancy, the required insulin dose probably will be substantially reduced during breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends tolbutamide as the preferred oral hypoglycemic agent during the breastfeeding period; however, the infant should be monitored closely for signs of jaundice. The mother should be monitored using a method specific for glucose, since lacturia may interfere with nonspecific methods of urine glucose measurement. It is important to monitor for ketones in the mother because acetone is excreted in breastmilk and may adversely affect the infant's liver."

      Re: Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Low Carb

      I am breastfeeding my 9 month old at the moment and eat low carb. I am not trying to be in ketosis while im feeding her and i eat low carb small meals when hungry to keep up with the demands of two small children. My doctor has given me the ok to eat low carb, i just eat more dairy than i will when im not breastfeeding.

      Re: Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Low Carb

      This is a bit random, but its something that really annoyed me at the time & my partner wanted to go all out ninja style on the dr back then, but last year I went to the dr because even though i wasnt eating junk my weight was increasing and i couldnt figure out why because it usualy stayed pretty steady unless there was a reason, it was making me feel really down and depressed because i was trying to hard to be healthy and keep fit and so i went to the doctor for a check up, and the doc told me to go on a "shake diet" he said to replace my meals 3 times a day with these shake things,, VLCD shakes.. does anyone use them or are they classed as unhealthy? anyway long story short.. i lost the kilos i had gained but then they came straight back.. I went to a different doctor and found out i was nearly 3 months pregnant!

      so i was annoyed coz i felt like the other dr saw me as just another girl sad about her weight and just fobbed me off by tellin me to go get on the shake diet! .. when fact is i only went to the dr coz i didnt know why it was happening when i was doing everything right ... .. anyone else have anything like that happen to them?


      [COLOR="Purple"][SIZE="1"]Goal 01: 75Kg .......................... accomplished!
      Goal 02: 70kg .......................... accomplished!
      Goal 03: 65kg
      Goal 04: 59kg[/SIZE][/COLOR]

      Re: Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Low Carb

      I am not a fan of shake diets at all especially 3 times per day ones: Very Low Calorie Diets

      When I was pregnant with Maya I had been diagnosed with a goiter (enlarged thyroid) 6 months before falling pregnant and then when I was about 6 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with CFS. When the endo diagnosed me with CFS he warned me that my thyroid will likely get bigger during the pregnancy. I was 55 - 56kg at the time (I had been maintaining after doing Atkins for a couple of years at that point).

      Anyway I gained weight quite rapidly compared to my first. With Ryan I gained about 10-12kg and with Maya it was close to 30kg despite eating so much healthier with Maya and already having maintenance down pact! I didn't eat for 2!

      I never had cravings with either pregnancy.

      But I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself! When I was about 2 and a half to 3 months pregnant I all of a sudden started snoring and continued to snore right through. When I started snoring I was at the 60kg point so nowhere near a weight that would contribute to snoring!

      I was having really bad back problems so found it really hard to get to sleep and then when I finally did I would start snoring and wake up so I saw the DR desperate to fix this. Without even asking anything she simply come straight out with "oh you must be eating too much" and fobbed me off!