Does anyone know if fat composition of diet effect breastmilk?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2011 at 3:49 AM

So I'm eating a VLC diet right now (I've lost about 17 pounds so far and have another 65 to go,) I'm also breastfeeding my 3 month old baby boy. I didn't discover Paleo until my third trimester but because I was so heavy during my pregnancy I avoided grains and sugar like the plague.

Anyway, I have a 19 pound, 26 inch long 3 1/2 month old. He isn't a Michelin baby, just big and tends to be ahead on all of his physical milestones by about a month. His father is tall but according to my mother in law he was never that big as a baby, and as far as I know none of the babies in my family have been this big, though we had a few six foot tall females and plenty of over 6'3" - 6'5" males in my family amongst my great grand parent's generation. Do you think that my son is possibly tapping in to my family's genetic potential after many years of neglect on SAD or do you think it's because I was so overweight while pregnant and he's just another fat baby born to an overweight mother? I passed all my glucose tests with flying colors while pregnant.

Does diet effect the composition of breastmilk? I googled that question and most lactation websites say no, but based on the fact that Transfats have been proven actually pass through in to your milk, it doesn't seem too off base to assume that eating lots of healthy grassfed animal fats and such wouldn't effect it in a positive way. Thoughts?



on March 27, 2011
at 02:48 AM

yeah, I read that thread before I wrote this one but it didn't fully answer my question. I also had another couple of questions. :-) Sorry to bother you. :-P


on March 26, 2011
at 12:32 PM

Ashley - see this question: "Breastmilk Fat Type Content" - tons of links...I'll be putting a bounty on it. :) http://paleohacks.com/questions/10447/human-breastmilk-fat-type-content-v-grain-fed-cows-milk-omega-6-omega-3-convers#axzz1HhyZhdft



on March 26, 2011
at 03:52 AM

let me clarify. My grandparents and their siblings and my parents and their siblings are all fairly normal in height, though the women are around 5'8". My female siblings and I are all 5'6" so my family has been steadily getting shorter every generation which is why my giant baby boy is puzzling.

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on March 26, 2011
at 05:22 PM

I would imagine it affects the composition of your breast milk to some degree. I had a lecture on lipid metabolism a couple of weeks ago and our professor focused on the fact that the type of fats people eat are perfectly mirrored in the plasma membranes of body cells. And since cells are what makes the components of breast milk to be pushed into the glandular ducts, I would imagine these cells provide the fats that they themselves have. It makes sense on a cellular level, though I would agree with Mysti that "your body knows how to adjust accordingly." -The baby will get what it needs. ;)



on March 26, 2011
at 04:41 AM

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby :) I'm a lactation counselor, so I don't have as much training as a lactation consultant, but to my knowledge Yes your diet does affect your breastmilk. However, there is loads of controversy over that. We do know that in countries like Ethiopia, where they mothers have very poor nutrition, their breastmilk has a very high caloric and fat content. Your body knows how to adjust accordingly. I would advise you to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of good fats and protein. TONS of fluids. As far as your baby's growth goes- well, all babies are different! Your diet & activity during pregnancy may have something to do with it; it may not. He is still within a healthy range. My son was right there with yours. My husband and my own side of the family are all tall and skinny, but our boy was a chunk! He's two and a half now, and he's still 95th percentile for height but dropped down to 25th percentile for weight (though he doesn't look that skinny! He's got some good chub!) Maybe your guy is going back to your family's genetic roots, it's quite possible...I'm sure you'll have fun watching him grow either way :)

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