2

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Nursing mom Paleo Newbie....milk supply tanking!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 30, 2013 at 6:13 PM

I have an almost 5 month old baby and I exclusively breastfeed (well, we are starting to introduce solids but she is still getting 97% of her nutrition from breastmilk).

I started the whole30 challenge 3 days ago and while I already feel better, my supply has tanked. Here is a typical day of eating: breakfast casserole (eggs, spinach, pork sausage, sweet potatoes) and almond muffin for breakfast, tuna/avocado/egg salad for lunch, protein-heavy salad or grilled meat and vegetable for dinner, trail mix or hard boiled egg or banana or apple w/almond butter for snacks.

Has anyone experienced this? I like the idea of the whole30 because I do well with clear cut rules and being a working mom, it's easier for me to have a bright line on what I can and cannot eat so I don't have to think about it too much. Would adding some dairy or grains help, and if so, which ones are most Paleo-friendly? Is this just a matter of getting enough calories? Help! I want to keep up Paleo but at this rate I am going to have to supplement with formula soon (and that seems to defeat the whole purpose of Paleo).

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 30, 2013
at 11:11 PM

+1 I had the same fickle issues with my first baby, years ago, and had to stop breastfeeding at 4 mos. No problems with second, whom I breastfed for 15 mos. More carbs such as sweet potatoes might help.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:18 PM

And an FYI, big-chain grocery stores around here don't carry grassfed, non-homogonized milk. I have to get it from the health food store or our specialty grocery store. It is expensive and you have to pay a deposit on the bottle, but it's worth it to us. I never liked milk, but this milk doesn't taste like the skim I grew up with.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:16 PM

If I were you, I would go for Weston Price http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:11 PM

Most people here typically recommend raw dairy or raw fermented dairy. I have only had raw cheese and I think it's gross. It's probably just me though since everyone else raves. Anyway, if you're not into all that, I would do whole non-homogonized milk and whole milk plain yogurt. You can swirl honey into the yogurt if you don't like it plain. Also, grassfed butter is a good source as well as grassfed cream if you can find it. I agree that there is not magical food, most important to just get enough! GL!

36bde8bf352f0de3d99d8f7f0e1e262f

(10)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Hmmm that is a possibility. I think it varies pretty widely but I have friends who go their period back this soon.

36bde8bf352f0de3d99d8f7f0e1e262f

(10)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:29 PM

So it sounds like it's probably just a calories issue, and not a specific type of food that I'm lacking. I did talk to a LC when I returned to work and her opinion was to just make sure to eat and drink enough and there is no magic food (like oatmeal). I did not have problems with dairy. Any suggestions for specific dairy products that are more Paleo-friendly than string cheese and milk from commercial dairy farms?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Eat more, guarantee when you go paleo/Whole30, your caloric intake takes a nosedive. Lactation is energy intensive.

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5 Answers

3
3e66b25c5a264df4b6af57d483773145

on April 30, 2013
at 06:23 PM

You need to snack. Every nursing mother I've known to do a whole30 (myself included) has had issues getting enough calories for BM production.

2
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on April 30, 2013
at 06:21 PM

If it were me, I'd add dairy back in (assuming you don't have problems with it). I find that it's hard to get enough calories during the whole 30, especially if you work outside the home. I stay home and sometimes felt too lazy to cook a decent lunch, and when I didn't, I was only around 1000 calories. Obviously this isn't the case for everyone, but it was difficult for me. I would wait on doing anything with clear cut rules until you are done BFing (I can completely relate to that logic though...I'm the same way).

Another option is to call a lactation nurse. I called for what seemed like the most random problems and they were always able to help.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:18 PM

And an FYI, big-chain grocery stores around here don't carry grassfed, non-homogonized milk. I have to get it from the health food store or our specialty grocery store. It is expensive and you have to pay a deposit on the bottle, but it's worth it to us. I never liked milk, but this milk doesn't taste like the skim I grew up with.

36bde8bf352f0de3d99d8f7f0e1e262f

(10)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:29 PM

So it sounds like it's probably just a calories issue, and not a specific type of food that I'm lacking. I did talk to a LC when I returned to work and her opinion was to just make sure to eat and drink enough and there is no magic food (like oatmeal). I did not have problems with dairy. Any suggestions for specific dairy products that are more Paleo-friendly than string cheese and milk from commercial dairy farms?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:11 PM

Most people here typically recommend raw dairy or raw fermented dairy. I have only had raw cheese and I think it's gross. It's probably just me though since everyone else raves. Anyway, if you're not into all that, I would do whole non-homogonized milk and whole milk plain yogurt. You can swirl honey into the yogurt if you don't like it plain. Also, grassfed butter is a good source as well as grassfed cream if you can find it. I agree that there is not magical food, most important to just get enough! GL!

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:46 PM

A few more ideas to add to the good ones you have already:

-WATER. I drink a lot less water paleo. Must drink lots of water for nursing.

-SLEEPING & DEMAND. Has she recently started sleeping longer periods? A lot of moms find that if their baby drops a middle of the night feeding, their supply drops. I have actually been known to wake mine up around midnight to nurse to make sure the supply stays. Don't go any longer than 5-6 hours between any feeding and see if that brings it back.

-Also, is this your first baby? I found that my supply was so much more fickle with my first one. It got a lot easier with later babies. I think part of the reason was bc I didn't nurse often enough with my first one. Everyone's body is different, and some just need more nursing to keep up the supply.

If you haven't discovered it yet, this is one of my favorite breastfeeding websites: http://kellymom.com/

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 30, 2013
at 11:11 PM

+1 I had the same fickle issues with my first baby, years ago, and had to stop breastfeeding at 4 mos. No problems with second, whom I breastfed for 15 mos. More carbs such as sweet potatoes might help.

1
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:22 PM

My wife's supply began tanking when our boy was about 10 months and she started to get worried. She went from easily pumping 6-7 oz per pump session to about 3 oz per pump session. But about a week later, it was clear why. She got her period for the first time since having the baby. Her supply immediately shot straight back up to a surplus production again and she has continued breast feeding through 15 months old. Several weeks ago, her supply began to drop a lot again and she took that opportunity to stop breast feeding altogether (and stop pumping as well). Now she will deplete her supply (a couple months worth) as we wind him down to just a few oz per day total of breast milk combined with 3 full meals per day.

You're only at 5 months so I'm not sure if it's the same reason, but it may be.

If you really want to continue breast feeding and you are not ready for your supply to be over, keep at it and get every last drop, every single time. That will at least give you the best possible chance of it going back up to surplus levels. She was very dedicated during that time and it paid off for several additional months of supply.

Hope that helps,

JK

36bde8bf352f0de3d99d8f7f0e1e262f

(10)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Hmmm that is a possibility. I think it varies pretty widely but I have friends who go their period back this soon.

0
36bde8bf352f0de3d99d8f7f0e1e262f

on May 02, 2013
at 01:14 PM

Thanks everyone. I'm trying to increase calories and if that doesn't help bring my supply back up then I'll add some dairy.

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