1

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Is it safe to lose weight while breastfeeding?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I started doing Paleo in order to increase my energy and to prevent my PCOS from turning into diabetes, not to lose weight. But I've noticed that a lot of folks around here lose weight without trying to. I'm worried that if I lose weight, toxins stored in my body fat will get into my breastmilk. (I've actually gained weight since I started Paleo, which I'll address in a separate question so as not to confuse things. But I'm worried that if I start tweaking to avoid weight gain, I might accidentally lose weight.)

So for this question, I'm just wondering whether anyone has information about how safe or dangerous it is for the baby if I lose weight. I appreciate any thoughts, ideas, or recommendations for studies/articles. Thanks!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 12, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Generally toxins from food aren't the issue that people refer to. It's usually from parabens, estrogen analougues from exposure to plastics, dioxins, pcb's, flame retardents from clothing and bedding, etc. I still think breastfeeding is always going to be better than bovine field beast fluid for babies but I really don't think it's a food thing.

2436f4e6d010656b346629a77e9599dd

(270)

on October 12, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Thanks for the answer! I don't know what you mean by "way overweight"--I way 50 lbs more than I did when I was an athletic teenager. I've been eating almost exclusively organic produce and natural meats for years. But I've been gradually gaining weight for longer. :) The baby is exclusively nursing right now.

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3 Answers

2
5c3404c52d15b147418826081289cdb6

on October 12, 2012
at 12:55 AM

I started while breastfeeding, and dropped a bit of weight, but not a lot....I too have PCOS, and noticed more, that within a week that my milk production increased, and it wasn't bad to begin with.....I have read that you do detox a bit, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Unless you're way over weight and have been eating toxic foods in abundance while nursing. You can do it gradually, and personally I'd not do any type of massive "detox". But a gradual switch to paleo shouldn't do anything to your milk.

Is the baby exclusively nursing, or getting other forms of nutrients? and in the end, do what you think is best in your situation. This is purely my experience, my son was almost a year, and he weaned himself about a month after I started eating paleo.

2436f4e6d010656b346629a77e9599dd

(270)

on October 12, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Thanks for the answer! I don't know what you mean by "way overweight"--I way 50 lbs more than I did when I was an athletic teenager. I've been eating almost exclusively organic produce and natural meats for years. But I've been gradually gaining weight for longer. :) The baby is exclusively nursing right now.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on October 12, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Generally toxins from food aren't the issue that people refer to. It's usually from parabens, estrogen analougues from exposure to plastics, dioxins, pcb's, flame retardents from clothing and bedding, etc. I still think breastfeeding is always going to be better than bovine field beast fluid for babies but I really don't think it's a food thing.

1
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on October 12, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Breastfeeding really isn't the time to lose weight. If you're coming off a SAD or semi-SAD diet I would focus more on getting your omega 3/6 ratio right, topping up your RDA's for fat soluble vitamins and minerals, and nursing that baby. If we aren't getting the right kinds of foods your body will create the right mix of things in breast-milk regardless at your own detriment. It'll pull the magnesium from your blood and bones, vitamin D from your stores, etc. and if you are already low/deficient like in the case of a blood vitamin D level under about 45 or 50, your baby is already not getting what they need. I'm not saying losing weight while breastfeeding is horrible, but your main focus right now should be nutrient density. Eat seafood in abundance, especially shellfish and fish head broths, get lots of sunshine and take a vitamin D supplement, lots of dark leafy greens, coconut products, probiotic rich foods, and good autumn winter squashes and tubers.

Try to switch to glass cookware and storage-ware, throw out the omega 6 oils, avoid conventional pork and chicken like the plague, and get lots of sunshine.

And yes, to answer your question, your fat stores parabens, estrogen analogues from exposure to plastics, dioxins, pcb's, flame retardants from clothing and bedding, etc and these WILL end up in your breastmilk. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding and think even with these exposures it's still the biologically appropriate food for human infants, but be mindful of what you expose yourself and your child to and maybe wait a bit for any intense weight loss programs until you're at the 12-15 month mark and baby is getting a goodly bit of their caloric load from solids.

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on October 12, 2012
at 03:21 PM

I don't see a problem with losing a bit of weight. The "toxins-in-the-fat" thing is pretty rare. Most people lose weight with no issues and they're the silent ones on the forums. It's the people who try a paleo-style diet and start to lose weight and then feel worse than they did before. Those are the ones that come to the forums for help and they're the ones that generally have the whole toxins-in-the-fat issue. So browsing forums and such gives you a distorted view of what happens normally.

If you start to lose weight and you feel crappy then you know a detox is happening maybe you'll want to slow it down to prevent the stuff going into your breast milk. If you feel fine, then you probably don't have anything to worry about.

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