2

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Another Question for the Breastfeeding Paleohackers

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM

So my darling little paleo-baby has turned 6 months and he's still mostly breastfed. Due to a recent growth spurt he has ramped up my production and in the mean time majorly ramping up my appetite. Unfortunately it's causing me to plateau again. I know I should probably be patient but I've got 60 more pounds to lose before I'm anywhere near my goal and I'm planning on nursing until he's at least 2 years old so it's not like I can wait till I'm done.

I haven't been eating non-paleo foods; I've just been majorly hungry and eating way more meat and snacking on sardines, oysters, liverwurst, extra egg yolks, lots of kale, occaisional sweet potato etc. I know the simple answer is eat less but I'm starving! What do you ladies do? Before he hit the 6 month point I could completely control myself in between meals. I know until he starts eating the majority of his calories from solids, which probably won't be for another 6 months or so, this is only going to get worse. How do you personally find that balance between getting enough calories for both yourself and a voracious little baby and continuing to lose slowly. I'm not looking for the crazy fast results like some people on here, I just want to continue to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Am I being unreasonable?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:01 PM

But I imagine any specific thing you need could still be found in the context of paleo foods.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Well, paleo itself is not so much about inclusion as exclusion, so it would be fairly easy to eat a paleo diet that is incomplete.

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on June 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

Blasphemer... ;-)

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:48 PM

I am in a similar situation, but I weigh 220lbs. 220oz sounds like too much water. Does that rule apply to us obese folks?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:51 PM

My point is that you may think you are doing yourself a favor by eating a relatively strict Paleo, but you could just be causing yourself problems. Your body is probably not getting something it needs and so compensates by making you eat A LOT of what you are now eating. That's my guess anyway.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. Breastfeeding really only requires an extra 500 calories or so and I'm definitely eating a nutrient dense diet. I hit most of my RDA values everyday (or at least on a weekly overall,) which would be the only other issue I could see that could make me more hungry. I think my hormones are just all out of whack. I suppose my measurements have been steadily going down. It's just very... very... sloooowww.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:02 AM

We started solids. He likes them but he hates purees. I just let him steal food off my plate at the table. Hahaha it's humorous. He always goes for the meat and leafy greens. He's ambivalent about the starches and seems to dislike most fruit except frozen bananas. :-)

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:52 AM

Love the question! Congrats on your choice to Breastfeed!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:23 AM

I was induced. It was awful and I was wrongfully scared in to it because the stupid ultrasound tech thought my baby was 3 pounds bigger than he really was and thought he wouldn't fit... sigh. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I ended up with a csec anyway. Home birth next time! Anyway, I have lost about 30 pounds since my 2 week checkup already. I had only gained 15 while pregnant and I lost 13 of that just having my son. I definitely have some leaky gut issues but I think my plateau right now is because I'm eating too damn much, I don't think I'm having hormonal issues. :-) Neat post, though

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:00 AM

Sorry, typing on an iPhone. Damn autocorrect. Tamped = ramped, urea should be ultra, I wonder if the effects can be reversed with guy healing like the GAPS diet.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:57 AM

I'm depressed now. I had a 36 hour unsuccessful induction with pitocin (don't judge, I was completely tamped for a natural birth and they freaked me out telling me my baby was 12 pounds from the urea sound and he would get stuck or have shoulde dystocia... He was 9lbs... Don't get me started). Sucked too because I could have skipped the whole horrific ordeal and just gone strict for the csection (or had the home birth of my dreams which is what I'll have next time.).

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7 Answers

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:48 PM

All of my children breastfed until the age of 3 1/2. They are living proof that it's worth it. My eldest just finished her freshman year at Stanford. The youngest just graduated from pre-school. They all have immune systems that kick butt. The Black Plague could blow through town and they wouldn't get ill. All this to say that your efforts are worth it. I would hazard to say that you are not getting something. I would broaden your diet, and see if there is anything that satisfies your appetite. Maybe you need to be taking in more calcium, hence dairy. Maybe it's bone broth you need.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:51 PM

My point is that you may think you are doing yourself a favor by eating a relatively strict Paleo, but you could just be causing yourself problems. Your body is probably not getting something it needs and so compensates by making you eat A LOT of what you are now eating. That's my guess anyway.

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on June 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

Blasphemer... ;-)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:01 PM

But I imagine any specific thing you need could still be found in the context of paleo foods.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Well, paleo itself is not so much about inclusion as exclusion, so it would be fairly easy to eat a paleo diet that is incomplete.

3
7c1110b7fad797f38894545d1dbd4a9d

(100)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:46 AM

Hello Ashley, Now that your boy is 6months old, you can definitely add more solid foods into his diet and that will take some of the demand off of you and your body. Don't be afraid to blend up some ground grass fed lamb with sweet potatoes for him, or mash up hardboiled egg yolk with coconut oil into a nice pate-- the more food you incorporate into his diet the less food you'll have to consume to meet his nutrient requirements. Also, are you taking any iron supplementation? After about 4- 6months of breast feeding, mom's iron supply is usually depleted. I recommend taking liquid Floradix to support your own body. You may be experiencing "hunger" because you are depleted of vitamins and minerals. How is your hydration? Whatever your weight is in pounds, be sure to drink that much water in ounces each day-- so for example, if you weigh 150 lbs, be sure to take in 150 ounces of water each day. Thirst can also trigger hunger- and you definitely need to fluids to support the breast feeding. I'm a nurse following the paleo/primal diet, so that's my two cents. Best wishes! hope some of this is helpful for you...

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:48 PM

I am in a similar situation, but I weigh 220lbs. 220oz sounds like too much water. Does that rule apply to us obese folks?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:02 AM

We started solids. He likes them but he hates purees. I just let him steal food off my plate at the table. Hahaha it's humorous. He always goes for the meat and leafy greens. He's ambivalent about the starches and seems to dislike most fruit except frozen bananas. :-)

1
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on June 21, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Reflecting on this situation, these are my thoughts. I'm wondering whether the causal relationships here are really as they seem. It certainly makes sense to me that when your baby drinks more milk, you will get hungrier. But why would you get more hungry than the amount it takes to feed him? This part seems questionable. Even if it is the only thing that has changed in your lifestyle, it would be odd for your body to start demanding more fuel than you are expending.

In my experience with weight loss, even under the most effective diet, I go through periods of faster and slower weight loss. Sometimes the weight per se isn't changing at all, but after several weeks I will have dropped a size. Size change is much slower to see than scale weight, so it is often not noticeable right away.

My advice is always that if you are hungry, you should feed yourself. The only healthy way to lose weight IMO is to convince it hormonally to ask for less because it has gotten access to your fat stores. If you eat less than your body is demanding, I feel this means your fat stores are not available enough, and you will lose muscle mass.

Best of luck figuring it out. If it really is a matter of his feeding more, perhaps, for example, as a hormonal response that is out of proportion with his consumption, then just remember that the period of breastfeeding is short in the grand scheme of things, and you will get your day.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. Breastfeeding really only requires an extra 500 calories or so and I'm definitely eating a nutrient dense diet. I hit most of my RDA values everyday (or at least on a weekly overall,) which would be the only other issue I could see that could make me more hungry. I think my hormones are just all out of whack. I suppose my measurements have been steadily going down. It's just very... very... sloooowww.

1
F74c1ea21582bb4df85590073b50d0aa

on June 21, 2011
at 05:21 AM

Hi Ashley, I can't offer you any advice because I just started doing the paleo diet when I can. I ebf my son till 10.5 months and Now he is over a year and we are still going strong. I don't have enough experience with bf and paleo but I just wanted to empathize with you because I am hungry all the time. I have 15 pounds but they are tough. I have been upping my wieghts and barefoot running/walking and interval and that has seemed to help. Good luck!!!

1
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Honestly, I just eat. And then, move more. Go on a nice long walk. Do some heavy duty cleaning. Something to help balance it out. It's tough and I'm right there with ya.

0
F74c1ea21582bb4df85590073b50d0aa

on June 21, 2011
at 05:25 AM

I had a 40 labor where we labored naturally for 36 hours and I only progressed to a 4. It ended in a c-sec as well. We hoped for a natural birth but it didn't work out that way.

0
35b6ce9b7f9dda8d40d3e6a1812ab0a9

on June 21, 2011
at 04:50 AM

I have to preface this with the admission that I'm not actually Paleo, BUT, I'm a big fan and student of Paleo and hope to be Paleo some day. Anyway, I've been BF and/or Pregnant (non-stop) since 2005 (three kids), and I'm a total Lactivist.

The good news is that your baby's growth spurts will get fewer and farther in-between now that you've hit 6-months, and whether you're doing BLW (baby led weaning) or standard American baby feeding or something else, your baby will start filling the holes in his diet with food other than breastmilk.

Not sure how this might fit into what you are looking for, but if you had Pitocin during/after labor (which you did (whether you know it or not)because it's standard, unless you demanded that they not give you the shot between delivery of baby and delivery of placenta), but there's a theory out there that Pitocin causes women to hang onto bodyfat instead of shedding it like nature intended. Here's the best summary I've been able to find, from the Facebook Site of Intuitive Parenting Network, LLC:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=215458065131216

Another myth--that moms need to eat more calories while breastfeeding: It is true that we require more nutrients, but not that we need to eat more calories to get them. Historically, there would not be more food available just bc women gave birth. Nature is far more efficient and solved the problem another way. During pregnancy and the early pp period, the villi expand by approx 25% to increase their efficacy in nutrient absorption. That expansion is triggered in part by an increase in oxyctocin receptors in the gut.

The problem comes in of course, when you already have an damaged gut, as so many Western women do (which means you are already deficient in many nutrients), when you have a medicalized birth, especially which involves pitocin. An assault of synthetic oxytocin causes receptor sites to shut down. The least necessary will shut down first--such as those in the gut. With almost every woman in the West today receiving pit after birth, we have created a cascade of damage that we are only beginning to even recognize.

From Marshall Klaus: "Five of these hormones stimulate the growth of intestinal villi in the mother and the infant. As a result, with each feeding, there is an increased intestinal surface area for nutrient absorption. The hormonal release is stimulated by the touch of the mother's nipple by her infant's lips. This increases oxytocin in both the mother's brain and the infant's brain, which stimulates the vagus nerve, then causes the increase in the output of gastrointestinal hormones. Before the development of modern agriculture and grain storage 10 000 years ago, these responses in the infant and mother were essential for survival when famine was common.10"

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:00 AM

Sorry, typing on an iPhone. Damn autocorrect. Tamped = ramped, urea should be ultra, I wonder if the effects can be reversed with guy healing like the GAPS diet.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 04:57 AM

I'm depressed now. I had a 36 hour unsuccessful induction with pitocin (don't judge, I was completely tamped for a natural birth and they freaked me out telling me my baby was 12 pounds from the urea sound and he would get stuck or have shoulde dystocia... He was 9lbs... Don't get me started). Sucked too because I could have skipped the whole horrific ordeal and just gone strict for the csection (or had the home birth of my dreams which is what I'll have next time.).

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 21, 2011
at 05:23 AM

I was induced. It was awful and I was wrongfully scared in to it because the stupid ultrasound tech thought my baby was 3 pounds bigger than he really was and thought he wouldn't fit... sigh. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I ended up with a csec anyway. Home birth next time! Anyway, I have lost about 30 pounds since my 2 week checkup already. I had only gained 15 while pregnant and I lost 13 of that just having my son. I definitely have some leaky gut issues but I think my plateau right now is because I'm eating too damn much, I don't think I'm having hormonal issues. :-) Neat post, though

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