Is Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding Safe ?

Breastfeeding mothers requires more nutritions than normal female.Around 450-500 extra calories are required for lactating (breastfeeding) women per day which can be challenging while fasting.

Not all women experience weight loss with breastfeeding. In fact, some may even retain weight until they stop feeling.

If you’re looking for other ways to lose weight, you may have think about the  intermittent fasting

Here’s given more details about what does means intermittent fast, what is it’s impact on your health and your body, and whether or not it’s safe for you and baby while you are breastfeeding.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where you take foods in a specific slot of time.

There are a variety of ways to practice fasting. Some people eat every day and do the majority of their fasting at night. For example, you might eat for 8 hours of the day, like between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and fast for the rest 16 hours. Others prefer to eat a regular diet some days of the week and fast or restrict their calories on other days.

There are a some reasons people give for intermittent fasting.

Some research surrounding suggests that cells may resist disease when they’re under stress from low calorie. Not only that, but other studies show that fasting may lowers inflammation in the body, as well as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

And, of course, there’s a lot of research surrounding weight loss while intermittent fasting.

The idea is that when you don’t eat, the body starts breakdown of fat for energy. Fasting for certain periods of time may also reduce your overall calorie consumption, results in weight loss.

In one small study, adults tried alternate-day fasting where they ate normally every alternate day and took only 20 percent of their normal calories on the other days. At the end of the study, most had lost 8 percent of their total weight just in 8 weeks.

Is it safe for you to do while breastfeeding?

The idea of women fasting while breastfeeding isn’t totally new. In fact, some women fast as part of the Muslim religion, Ramadan. This involves not taking any food from dawn to sunset for almost 1 month of time. Some women surveyed about this practice share that their milk supplies did reduce during fasting.

Why might this happen? Well, other research suggests that women may not be taking required amounts of macro- and micronutrients to carry milk production.

Researchers concluded that breastfeeding women who normally fast during Ramadan should not practice fast, because they are technically exempt from this practice.

Traditional advice surrounding nutrition in breastfeeding suggests that women require extra  330 to 600 calories per day to support milk production.

Beyond that, it is necessary to eat a variety of foods and focus especially on foods that contain large amounts of protein, iron, and calcium. Eating sufficient amount of the nutritious or balanced foods ensures that you stay healthy and that your milk contains enough nutrients that your your baby needs to flourish .

It should be noted that lots of our daily fluid comes from the food we eat. If fasting reduces your fluid intake, it might also decrease your supply.

Unfortunately, there aren’t actually any studies on the intermittent fasting and lactating women entirely for weight loss reasons.

Most of what you will find out in a rapid internet search is anecdotal or a story. And for all the positive stories you’ll hear, there are probably as many other different experiences.

In other words: This is something you should talk to your doctor . Finally, it may not cause any harm, but it may not be worth the possible risks such as losing your milk supply.

Is it safe for baby?

Recent research suggests that fasting doesn’t essentially effect the macronutrients in breast milk. However, some micronutrients in breast milk may be “remarkably” affected.

In women fasting during Ramadan, one study showed that milk secretion remained the same before and during fasting. What changed, though, was the concentration of lactose, potassium, and the overall nutrient content of the milk.

These changes are not essentially good for baby — and researchers who targetted on this topic concluded that women should take advice of their healthcare providers when it comes to fasting and its possible risks factors.

Perhaps what is most important to notice is that no two women are the same. The way of fasting may impact nutrients in breast milk and the overall supply of milk may be significantly different depending on the individual.

How will you know if baby is getting all the required nutrients ? Pro-breastfeeding group La Leche League figures a few things that may specify there is a problem:

  • Your baby is lethargic or very sleepy.
  • Your baby either takes too much or too small time at the breastfeeding. A “normal” feeding session may vary in time, but see if you observe a marked difference.
  • Your baby isn’t defecating enough. Again, your baby’s defecation pattern may be individual so, figure out any differences.
  • Your baby is dehydrated. You may observe diapers are dry or you might see dark or reddish-brown urine in his diaper.
  • Your baby is not gaining weight or remaining on their growth curve.

Are there some fasting options that are better than others?

Always talk to your doctor before making remarkable changes in your diet. They may even have suggestions or guidelines to share with you or things to take care when it comes to your health and milk supply.

If you do want to practice intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor about a more mild outlook. There are no specific guidelines for lactating women as there is no data on breastfeeding women to make these suggestions from.

Nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars explains that generally, women may benefit from shorter fasting slots of 14 to 15 hours versus other methods of intermittent fasting.

And it may be more about what you eat than when you eat it. So take suggestions of your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure you are fulfilling your nutritional requirements.

Risks while breastfeeding

Some experts share that low calorie intake during breastfeeding may negatively effect the nutrients your baby gets in your milk, essentially iron, iodine and vitamin B-12.

Of course, it’s possible to eat a healthy, balanced diet in your non-fasting slot , but it may take some efforts to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients everyday.

Again, another risk is low milk output. The idea is that low calorie diets and intervals in nutrition — or in fluid intake — may reduce milk production.

You may or may not feel this possible complication. But if you experience, it can take some efforts getting your milk supply back up to levels that is needed for your growing baby.

If your nutrition is effected enough to change the composition of your milk and reduce your milk supply, this may also have intimations for your own health also.

Nutritional intervals can cause things such as vitamin deficiency anemia. Symptoms include fatigue ,shortness of breath(dyspnea) ,weight loss and muscle weakness.

Alternatives for weight loss if you’re breastfeeding

While surely not as exciting or interesting as intermittent fasting, you may want to try weight loss the traditional way while breastfeeding. Doctors suggest focusing to lose slowly and constantly, not more than about a pound in a week.

This may mean making some small alterations to your daily life such as:

  • Serving your meals on smaller plates or bowls to cut portion sizes.
  • A voiding processed foods, mainly those having high sugar and fat content.
  • Slowing down your eating process to allow your brain to recieve to your stomach’s fullness signals.
  • Eating whole foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
  • Raising your weekly exercise to the suggested 150 minutes of moderate activity (like walking or swimming) or 75 minutes of fast activity (like running or Zumba).
  • Add strength training to your workout two times a week with either weight machines, free weights, or body weight workouts.

But try not to worry if you’ve recently delivered a baby and have a few extra pounds hanging around. Be nice to yourself. Growing and giving birth to a baby is an magnificent achievement.

If you’re still interested in intermittent fasting, consider taking suggestions with your doctor to discuss the positives and negatives.

It is possible to use this method and still fullfil your nutritional requirements, but the way it affects your health and your milk production may not be the same as what other women in your life have faced.

No matter what you do, try to take nutrient rich food and do mild exercise such as walking — trust us, this latter one won’t be difficult with your growing baby — and ultimately your hard work should pay off.

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