Many new moms often face a big dilemma when it comes to losing weight during breastfeeding but they do not want to deprive their babies of essential nutrients. And as we know intermittent fasting can be helpful in losing weight, but is it really safe to do so during breastfeeding? Well, to find out the answers, POPSUGAR asked a couple of experts.
Registered Lactation Counselor and co-founder of Imalac, Rachael Sablotsky Kish, said that intermittent fasting during breastfeeding is possible, but she usually does not recommend it.
“A healthy regimen is important for a mother’s well-being, as breastfeeding is physically and emotionally demanding,” told Rachel to POPSUGAR. “With that being said, your caloric intake will not necessarily inhibit your ability to provide for your infant.”
Rachael explained that women who have experienced poverty, shortage of food, and malnutrition are able to breastfeed their babies. However, that is not ideal, added Rachel.
Generally, Rachael does not suggest dieting or intermittent fasting during breastfeeding because she believes that a nursing mother needs an additional 500 calories a day, which is similar to a pregnant woman.
“A well-nourished mother is able to provide more for their baby on an emotional and playful level, and they are also more likely to breastfeed for a longer amount of time,” said Rachael. Instead, she suggests maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet containing foods such as oatmeal, eggs, salmon, fruits and vegetables, and more importantly, exercising.
Kelly Schellman, Maternal and Newborn Lactation Consultant with the University of Missouri Health Care explained that mothers who do intermittent fasting during breastfeeding are prone to dehydration, which can decrease their milk supply. She said she would not recommend intermittent fasting during breastfeeding.
“We would recommend eating healthy, low-fat foods, fruits and vegetables along with protein snacks and foods while breastfeeding versus intermittent fasting,” said Kelly. It is imperative to find out the best diet plan during breastfeeding. So, make sure you consult with your Ob-Gyn as well as a lactation consultant. Check with their whether intermittent fasting during breastfeeding is safe or recommended.