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Can You Do Keto While Breastfeeding

Stock Up On Fruits And Veggies

How to eat Keto while breastfeeding.

As mentioned above, you should temporarily increase your carbohydrate intake while breastfeeding. Avoid low-quality options such as processed foods and opt for high-quality and organic options.

Eat a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits while incorporating more fiber into your diet. Psyllium husk goes great with a morning smoothie.

Risks Of Doing Keto While Breastfeeding

There are several risks associated with following a keto diet while breastfeeding. Here are the most common.

  • Possible dangers for the mother, such as an increased risk for ketoacidosis and malnutrition.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. One of the most common side effects of a ketogenic diet is that you lack certain nutrients, including B vitamins, which are usually found in abundance in foods containing carbohydrates. Not only does a deficiency affect the mother, but it also affects the quality of the breast milk. This means that the child may not get the nutrients they need for the healthy development of their body and brain.
  • Constipation. A reduction in carb intake can cause constipation.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

The Keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that, along with boosting weight loss, has several health benefits for the body. It involves consuming meals rich in fats, having a moderate protein amount, and a low carb count. To give you a better idea, look at it this way, you get 75% of your calorie intake from fat, 20% protein, and less than 5% from carbs.

A ketogenic diet is a good way to lose weight while eating moderate carbohydrates and high-fat foods. People have been using it to treat or lessen the symptoms of many health-related issues for years but now its gaining popularity among moms who want to lose weight and gain a healthy body shape back.

So, is it the right diet for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight? Lets look at the details.

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Is Keto Safe While Breastfeeding

Despite the relative safety of keto while breastfeeding, there are still some slight risks.

First, women can struggle to get the nutrients they need for breastfeeding while following a strict keto diet. Some experts suggest increasing your carb intake while breastfeeding, allowing 50 grams or more each day.

Second, women who are breastfeeding are at a higher risk of ketoacidosis . This condition causes your body to create too little insulin. Although researchers arent entirely sure why, women who are breastfeeding are at a slightly higher risk of developing this condition.

Your health history and experience with the keto diet may determine whether this is a safe option while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about whether you can do keto while breastfeeding.

Keep An Eye On Your Electrolytes

Can You Do Keto While Breastfeeding?

Make sure you are getting your daily dose of electrolytes. I would make a big 32 oz beaker of my electrolytes and sip it throughout the day. I noticed that when I tried to drink them all in one go it would cause me to have some serious unwanted visits to the toilet which is not very good for anyone let alone a breastfeeding mother.

When I missed taking enough electrolytes my milk suffered. I could clearly see that it was imperative that to keep going with Keto it was the most important factor that impacted my breast milk output.

My electrolyte drink consisted of the following:

Sodium 7000 mg a day

Potassium 3500 mg a day

Magnesium 500 mg per day

For sodium, I use sole water which is pronounced So-lay, for magnesium I use a supplement called natural calm and for potassium I have been using Lo salt. Below is how I make my sole water:

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How To Start Keto While Breastfeeding

Below are my top tips whilst you are doing keto, this comes from a mom of 5 who has actually done the diet while breastfeeding and has stuck to it for well over 24 months.

I have lost over 50 lbs and am now back to my college weight which Im very pleased about but what I am incredibly proud of was the fact that I was able to do it with 5 kids and breastfeeding my baby. I am now at the point that I have been able to increase carbs to 100g without it affecting my weight.

Milk Supply And Quality

A major concern for many people who are nursing is how their diet may affect their milk supply and quality.

Your body needs a certain amount of both calories and fluids to produce enough milk to sustain your baby. Therefore, its important that you dont go for any diets that are too restrictive.

Because keto is rich in protein and fat, it can be extremely filling, potentially making it difficult to get enough calories to produce milk for your baby and remain healthy yourself.

It varies by person, but calorie needs are higher when youre nursing. Sedantary nursing women need at least 1,800 calories per day, but those who are active need closer to 2,400 .

Additionally, being in a state of ketosis where your body burns fat instead of carbs increases your fluid needs. This can increase the risk of dehydration, even for people who arent nursing .

Combined with the extra fluid requirements you have while nursing, it can get even harder to stay adequately hydrated. If you become dehydrated, you may notice your milk supply rapidly diminishing .

Anecdotally, many people who nurse on a keto diet report needing to drink at least 1 gallon of water per day to maintain their milk supply.

When it comes to milk quality, limited evidence suggests that breastmilk produced by someone on a keto diet is higher in fat and calories than breastmilk from someone who isnt. Therefore, the baby may not need to drink as much to get the calories they need .

8 ).

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Finding The Ketogenic Diet

Six years later after failed fertility treatments for her PCOS, a miscarriage, and a successful adoption Natalie discovered ketogenic eating. She lost 40 lbs in three months, which brought her weight down to 210 lbs , helping her infertility and her PCOS symptoms. Much to her surprise, after six years of infertility, she was suddenly pregnant.

Thompson Cooper during three different pregnancies

In the second pregnancy she developed GD, again, at 18 weeks. Her doctors and dietitian gave her exactly the same advice carbs at every meal and at three snacks a day for a minimum daily requirement of 175 grams. This time Natalie just smiled and nodded but kept her carbs below 50 grams and monitored her blood sugar regularly with a home meter. She eventually needed insulin, but just one injection at bedtime. It wasnt perfect, but I was much more successful at keeping my blood sugars in check. There was no way I could eat the amount of carbs they recommended. If I did, my blood sugars would be way too high.

Will she still develop GD later in this pregnancy? She doesnt know, but she will do her utmost not to up her carb consumption and will monitor her blood sugars regularly. She has set the goal of under 50 grams of carbs per day and hopes to get down to 25 grams if possible. I cannot believe that 175 grams of carbs is still being recommended for GD! It is insane.13

Misconceptions Around Keto And Breastfeeding

My Experience Doing Keto While Breastfeeding

1. BREAST MILK DIET This is not a breast milk diet. This is the keto diet with extra calories and carb allowance that helped me to lose weight 2. THIS IS NOT A NO CARB DIET. A common misconception of keto is that it is zero carbs. You are allowed carbs they just need to be carbs from healthy sources such as vegetables. 3. THIS IS NOT UNHEALTHY This is not a fad or unhealthy breastfeeding diet. The Keto diet is a healthy diet while breastfeeding. Full of vegetables, protein, and good fats it is far healthier than the standard American diet

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Carbs Needed To Stay In Ketosis

This all comes down to the individual. Generally when you arent breastfeeding it ranges between 20-50g. When you are breastfeeding however this needs to be much higher. I would start at 100g by adding 3 large pieces of fruit to a normal Keto diet. By the time I had finished breastfeeding, I was able to keep my carbs at 100g and maintain my weight.

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Can You Do Keto While Breastfeeding

Some People Say Its Harmful to Milk Supply, While Other Studies Are Showing the Opposite.


Theres a lot of controversy at the moment surrounding the idea of doing the keto diet while breastfeeding. Some people say its harmful to milk supply, while other studies are showing the opposite.

How To Eat Low Carb If Breastfeeding

Keto and Breastfeeding: Will it Hurt your Milk Supply?

If youre breastfeeding you should not do a strict low-carb diet. You likely need to add more carbs, at least 50 grams per day, to be safe.6

Remember that its also important to eat adequate calories in general, and the metabolic demands of breastfeeding will likely require more than your usual amount of calories.7

One way to make sure you get enough carbs is to add three fruits per day or extra servings of root veggies, to an otherwise strict low-carb or keto menu. But you can choose whichever way you prefer to get the extra carbs, like selecting moderate and liberal low-carb recipes .

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Risk For Pregnant Women: Saturated Fat

Protein is part of the keto diet, but most keto diets dont differentiate between healthy, lean protein and the kinds with lots of saturated fats like beef and pork. In fact, since fat is so encouraged, the diet can actually lead people to eat more unhealthy meat as well as oils, butter, and lard.

Make no mistake: Healthy fats are essential for your growing baby. But too much saturated fat can cause health problems like higher cholesterol for you, which puts a strain on your heart and therefore your pregnancy.

The keto diet also doesnt stop you from eating processed sandwich meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and salami. These meats have added chemicals and colors that may not be healthy for your tiny, growing baby or for your body.

For some people, the keto diet causes so many side effects that they even have a name for it. The keto flu includes side effects like:

Pregnancy comes with its own side effects, which can include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, stuffy nose, and aches. You definitely dont need to add the keto flu or uncomfortable stomach symptoms to this!

Its not usually considered ethical to use pregnant women as subjects in clinical studies because of the risks. So medical research on the keto diet during pregnancy has mostly been done on animals like mice.

One such showed that pregnant mice that were fed a keto diet gave birth to baby mice that had a larger heart and smaller brain than typical.

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Ketosis Diet While Breastfeeding

Although the keto diet is a great way to lose weight and improve health, there is some concern that keto while breastfeeding could be dangerous for breastfeeding moms. Despite these concerns, there are many benefits to keto while breastfeeding.

First, the food eaten on the keto diet is good for your health and milk supply while breastfeeding. Meat, fatty fish, cheese, butter and eggs will all help you feed your baby. Many of the foods to avoid on keto are also ones you should avoid while breastfeeding. Alcohol, sugary foods, and unhealthy fats may prove harmful to your baby.

Second, there is no evidence that a low carb diet will impact your milk supply. With this in mind, you can enjoy the benefits of the keto diet without worrying about whether your baby will be properly fed.

However, your body needs more calories when youre breastfeeding. A breastfeeding woman should be consuming 200 to 500 extra calories each day. If youre following the keto diet, its important to make sure youre eating enough calories to support you and your baby.

Because every womans body is different, you should ask your doctor whether keto while breastfeeding will work for you. Even if youre already following the keto diet, its important to discuss your diet with your doctor.

Tips For Breastfeeding Mothers On A Ketogenic Diet

Breast feeding while on a Keto diet | Can it be done? Is it safe?

If you are aware of what your body is telling you, keep an eye on your milk supply, your babys diaper output, and weight gain, and implement the above information, you should be on your way to healthy weight loss while successfully breastfeeding your baby. Please always talk to your doctor before changing your diet, especially if you are taking any medication.

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