3 Reasons Not To Follow a Low-Carb Diet When Breastfeeding!
After a mother has given birth it is natural to be anxious to lose the
weight that has been put on during pregnancy as quickly as possible.
Popular diets include high protein and low carbohydrate diets such as
the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet. Most of us are becoming more
aware that breastfeeding, all other things being equal, is the best way
to feed your newborn child but is breastfeeding compatible with one of
these popular low-carb diets?
1. The first thing to address here is the mother's anxiousness to lose
weight after giving birth. As the weight was gained slowly it is
generally better to lose it over a period of time too. Low-carb diets
can promise weight loss of '14lbs in 14 days' and such like but this is
never normally a healthy option no matter who you are, whether you are
breastfeeding or not. Breastfeeding actually helps mothers to lose
weight anyway and medical research suggests that it is advisable for
new mothers to not actively start trying to lose weight through dieting
for the first 2 months and this should preferably be stretched to when
your child starts solids at around 6 months.
2. The second thing to address is the health of the mother. Low-carb
diets have a high potential to make you feel unwell as they are not
balanced. These diets are typically low in fiber, minerals such as
calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as antioxidants and folic acid
as well as other parts of a balanced diet. They can also be high in
protein and fat intake. Coupled with this a lot of the weight loss
achieved by following these diets can be through water loss and so
dehydration can be a risk if plenty of water isn't drunk. It's
stressful enough after giving birth and taking care of your newborn can
be exhausting until you've established routines with your baby. Why
would you want to add the possibility of dehydration and not giving
your body a balanced dose of required vitamins and minerals to help it
recover after pregnancy and childbirth?
3. The third thing to consider is your baby's health. There a few
reasons as to why your baby's health may be affected by a low-carb
diet. Firstly some mothers have found that by following a low-carb diet
their milk supply has decreased. Stopping the diet generally brings the
milk supply back to required levels. By limiting your intake to certain
types of food there exists the possibility that your milk will not have
the required levels of vitamins that your baby requires. Low-carb diets
usually place the body into a state called ketosis. It is unknown if
ketones can be passed through breast milk to your child and the impact
on health. The Atkins website advises mothers to start on the
maintenance part of its dietary plan which involves a considerably
larger carbohydrate intake than its starting point.
In summary, it is advisable for mothers to eat a balanced and healthy
diet whilst breastfeeding and a low-carb diet should really be avoided.
Like all things medical in nature there are always exceptions in
certain circumstances and if you are unsure due to special
circumstances a physician should be consulted.
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