Breastfeeding and low carb

I have an 8 week old baby, questionable milk supply (he has been very slowly gaining and I occasionally have to supplement) and need to lose 100 lbs. I'm also 37 and have Hashimotos hypothyroid, tho my levels are normal. I only gained 20 lbs during this pregnancy, but have only lost 10 so far :/ I'm county calories, trying to stay away from crappy foods and haven't started exercising yet. My question is would eating low carb further diminish my milk supply? I need to start getting this weight off bc I'm at a place where I hate to even leave the house.


  • Elise4270
    Elise4270 Posts: 8,375 Member
    I think just making healthier choices will keep you on track. Losing weight while breastfeeding was not possible for me. I had twins and actually gained weight. Stay active, go for walks, eat like your feeding your baby, because you are you know.

    If you continue to supplement the "milk", the baby has to work harder for breast milk. It's different muscles. And will get where he/she prefers the bottle. So personally, I would not supplement at all. I feed twins. Your body can meet the needs.

    Best advice I can offer is get in touch with your local La Leche League. They are experts and very supportive.

    And congratulations!
  • mjj79
    mjj79 Posts: 415 Member
    Thanks for the suggestions! My local hospital had a support group led by lactation consultants which has been great! Unfortunately, even they agree that I need to supplement at times. My supply just doesn't keep up and never has with any of my kids. (I have twins too :)
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    Some reliable breastfeeding resources and their take on low carb while BFing
  • mjj79
    mjj79 Posts: 415 Member
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
    edited September 2016
    Elise4270 wrote: »
    If you continue to supplement the "milk", the baby has to work harder for breast milk. It's different muscles. And will get where he/she prefers the bottle. So personally, I would not supplement at all. I feed twins. Your body can meet the needs.

    Not everyone's body can. I've been through breastfeeding issues with both of my boys. I worked with doctors specializing in breastfeeding (they exist and they are awesome). My body simply doesn't produce enough milk to keep a baby healthy. Even on meds to stimulate production. Even pumping a gazillion times a day on top of feeding baby what's there. Also, some babies have issues that make breastfeeding difficult - tongue ties (my first), lip ties (my second), strong gag reflexes (also my second). They can be fixed too (the ties anyway) but that requires recognizing the problem and if it's not caught very very early, mom's body doesn't get the necessary stimulation from baby feeding for the milk to come in properly.

    Long story short - I would always encourage someone to breastfeed as much as possible. But please don't tell someone to starve her baby because you think that every mom can produce enough milk. It's not true. And it's incredibly hurtful to imply that a woman is lacking because she's unable to 100% breastfeed.

    Also, my older son continued to breastfeed the whole time alongside supplementation. He preferred the breast to the bottle. They also make some bottles that are just as much work as breastfeeding if baby's preference is a concern.
  • tlflag1620
    tlflag1620 Posts: 1,358 Member
    I eat LCHF and am still nursing my one year old (singleton). I nursed my other three children as well, but this was the first time since going low carb. I didn't find that my supply was effected (actually I found my milk came in much earlier, and while the volume seemed to be less, the milk itself was "creamier"). That said, I'd been eating low carb for nearly two years before she was born, so my body was well acclimated. Suddenly dropping your carb intake is quite likely to reduce your supply. If you want to reduce carbs, I'd suggest you do so very gradually, and be sure get enough calories to supper lactation and to stay hydrated.

    I also want to +1 what @SusanMFindlay said - exclusive breastfeeding is all fine, well, and good, but there are defiantly circumstances where supplementing is necessary, and can actually allow you to nurse longer than if you didn't supplement. Rule number one about babies - make sure they are getting fed!
  • mjj79
    mjj79 Posts: 415 Member
    Thanks for the feedback ladies!!!
  • JenniferNoll
    JenniferNoll Posts: 367 Member
    Retired La Leche League leader here. Your Hashimoto's may be affecting your milk supply. Check with your endocrinologist, as your meds may need adjusting. I second the advice on going to a La Leche League meeting. They can be great sources of information, encouragement, and support. Also, seeing a lactation consultant is very good advice.

    Also, if you haven't already been told to do this, nurse your baby first, allowing him (or her) to drain both breasts before supplementing with formula. If you can manage to pump between feedings, you may be able to build your supply some more. There shouldn't be a need for you to do this for very long, maybe a couple of weeks until your body starts making more milk. Also, oatmeal is a great galactogogue, and can help to build your supply. You can also find some Mother's Milk Tea at the health food store, which contains fenugreek (and other herbs) that will you to make more milk.

    It sounds like you are doing a great job with nourishing your baby. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

    A 10 pound weight loss in 8 weeks is great! It sounds like you are doing just fine. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins, and make sure you are getting enough nutrition from your food. With an 8 week old nursing baby, you probably aren't getting enough sleep. I know it's hard to nap when baby naps when you have other children, but snatch at every bit of rest you possibly can. Lack of sleep can slow or stall your weight loss. Don't forget that your body is still recovering from the stress and trauma of pregnancy and childbirth.

    I think you're going to do just fine.
  • mjj79
    mjj79 Posts: 415 Member
    Thanks for the great advice Jennifer ! Thankfully I rarely have to supplement much most weeks. Mainly if I pump for a bottle bc I usually can only get 2oz at a time. Then I mix it with some formula. Some days he'll get a 2 oz supplement but it's becoming more rare.
    I've been trying to have oatmeal and Brewers yeast a few times a week. I have Mothers milk tea but had read fenugreek wasn't good for hypothyroidism so I haven't been using it.
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
    Fenugreek also did nothing for me. If it's okay for you, moringa was the only food/herbal that had any effect on my supply and is the only one with scientific studies backing it up.