3

votes

Will IF Affect My Milk Supply?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

I have a beautiful 13-week-old daugher whom I breastfeed and pump/bottle feed. All the "common wisdom" says I need to take in all these extra calories in order to breastfeed, which I have absolutely not found to be true. I have tons of extra milk and a huge freezer stash. Now, there have been a few times lately when I have done an IF kind of by accident. I absolutely had no time to eat until dinner. And I felt GREAT!! I have not found this to diminish my supply at all, but it has only been a couple of times. Does anybody have any experience in this area? I'm still drinking tons of water, and made sure I took some coconut oil today.

I should add that I used to IF before I became pregnant and do miss it.

Any experiences with this greatly appreciated!

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on August 13, 2012
at 08:44 PM

I just got over food poisoning and was expecting a dip in supply after not being able to eat for over a day (I did have some coconut water and juice eventually) but it was fine. I've been EBFing for almost 6 months now. I also tried "bullet proof coffee" only for breakfast for awhile, with no supply dip (I quit because it tastes gross to me now).

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on August 13, 2012
at 08:02 PM

http://robbwolf.com/2011/01/11/the-paleo-solution-episode-62-everyday-paleo/ audio Episode 62 of Robb Wolf Podcast

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on August 13, 2012
at 08:00 PM

http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/the-paleo-solution-episode-62.pdf Robb Wolf in this or another podcast says why would you change anything that might risk your milk? Why can't you wait to IF until you've weaned the baby? If you accidentally IF that's one thing but never intentionally. Stress can affect milk. IF is a type of stress!

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 13, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Thank you so much for the detailed response! I really appreciate it.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 13, 2012
at 05:26 AM

Thanks. These are the things that worry me. Well, not the depression part, but everything else!

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I barely have time to eat, much less count calories or anything else! But I generally eat a healthy high-fat paleo diet without a lot of starches or fruits (although I have been eating a little more more starches lately). I'm diabetic, so have to keep the carbs/sugars low.

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7 Answers

6
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on August 13, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Personally, I wouldn't do it deliberately. I would be worried about milk supply, but I'd also be concerned about how it would affect my hormones. You are only 13 weeks post-partum. You might encounter low supply later (hopefully not!) and there is still a chance of post-partum depression in the first year, especially if you have hormonal issues. I don't mean to be a Debby Downer, but I'd be careful. The best thing for you and your baby is to take the best care of yourself that you can, and that includes making time to eat! Good luck and congrats:)

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 13, 2012
at 05:26 AM

Thanks. These are the things that worry me. Well, not the depression part, but everything else!

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Missing a meal, especially if not hungry, isn't the end of the world and might make dealin' with a new bebe a bit easier.

That said I wouldn't deliberately IF for health or weightloss but if it happens don't sweat it.

3
Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:05 AM

As a fellow breastfeeder and pumper, going on 14 months with my munchkin, I think the better question is, "what won't affect your supply?" Everything and anything and nothing at all can affect your supply. Awesome for you for having a large freezer stash, I was never able to create one as my supply has always been just enough to feed my daughter, plus an extra ounce or two here and there. But back to you... :)

With breastfeeding, as with just abou everything in life, n=1. You are your own experiment. While I can appreciate the others opinions that you should proceed with caution and that you shouldnt do it intentionally, there is a little more to it than that. You said you feel great when you IF, well in my book, feeling great means no stress. And stress can be one of the BIGGEST issues with milk production. Mama is happy = more milk! As for the mechanics of IF, from my understanding of it, you don't necessarily HAVE to eat significantly less calories... It's mostly about timing. (at least that's how I used to do it). So as long as you're eating enough highly nutrient dense food when you do eat and your baby is satisfied with your milk, kudos. If you are trying to IF to dramatically decrease calories and drop weight quickly, well that's bad jujus. However, from every book and article I read on BFing, if you nutritionally deprive yourself in any way while you are nursing, your body will take what it needs from YOUR body to ensure the survival of your nursling. So, be wary of that.

Last but not least, milk supply will wax and wane over the course of your nursing relationship. So in all honesty, if you eat too little for a period of time (speaking from my personal experience) your milk supply may very well drop. As a pumper, I'm sure you know to the ounce how much to expect each session so just monitor that carefully. If it dips too low for comfort (whatever your level is), eat more. Period. I was freaked my supply was drying up Because my pumping volume was about 50% of what it had been for almost a week, so I ate a lot of food (all paleo and upped the carbs) for about a week and my supply skyrocketed. (this was after taking fenugreek to try to increase my supply, and that didn't work for me...).

Anywho, that was probably way more than you wanted to know. :) congrats on the baby and keep up the good work!

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 13, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Thank you so much for the detailed response! I really appreciate it.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on August 13, 2012
at 08:44 PM

I just got over food poisoning and was expecting a dip in supply after not being able to eat for over a day (I did have some coconut water and juice eventually) but it was fine. I've been EBFing for almost 6 months now. I also tried "bullet proof coffee" only for breakfast for awhile, with no supply dip (I quit because it tastes gross to me now).

1
9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

on August 13, 2012
at 08:02 AM

Congrats to you! I breastfed (pumped really) for 3 months than couldn't anymore not because of supply but exhaustion and no support. However I learned a lot about milk supply especially pumping. I was about average but ate more when I could and didn't let myself get hungry. As well used supplements. I remember that its important to establish a strong milk supply by eating well and having your child at the breast often for the first 12 weeks!! Than you can make adjustments after. I would just focus on that personally because your child is most important right now and it goes by quick. Good luck to you. It sounds like your doing great!!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Missing a meal, especially if not hungry, isn't the end of the world and might make dealin' with a new bebe a bit easier.

That said I wouldn't deliberately IF for health or weightloss but if it happens don't sweat it.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:26 PM

What is your intake/nutrient breakdown like on a daily basis? If your IF is naturally leading to calorie restriction, I'd recommend against this.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I barely have time to eat, much less count calories or anything else! But I generally eat a healthy high-fat paleo diet without a lot of starches or fruits (although I have been eating a little more more starches lately). I'm diabetic, so have to keep the carbs/sugars low.

-2
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on August 12, 2012
at 09:59 PM

It depends. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

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