(Breast) Milksharing for another infant, should I be increasing my micronutrients? by how much?

by (10878) Updated September 13, 2011 at 8:57 PM Created September 13, 2011 at 4:50 PM

So I am currently nursing my 9 month old baby boy and about 2 weeks ago I started pumping for an aquaintence's newborn. He's a super lazy nurser and her supply is dwindling by the week, despite pumping constantly and trying to nurse. Anyway, at the moment I'm getting about 10 oz to her a day, which is, I suppose about half her child's needs per day since he's about 4 weeks old. I'm trying to increase my supply to get more to her.

My question is, I'm already eating a primal (grain-free/ mostly dairy free except raw cheese) modified version of the WAPF diet for nursing mothers. Should I be increasing my servings of liver, coconut oil, and stuff like oysters since I'm now feeding one and a half babies or do you think that I'm probably already getting enough? I'd love to hear from any Paleo/nursing mothers of twins if they exist on this forum. What about stuff like magnesium supplements? Cod liver oil? D?

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39204 · September 13, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Firstly, I want to say that what you're doing is quite generous and truly admirable. Regarding nutrition, I would say that your best bet would be to really focus on eating organ meats frequently (as I stated before, it's my belief that a few mouthfuls eaten frequently is probably a better way to extract the greatest % of nutrients from it). You would also want to focus on eating a lot of pastured egg yolks, given that they are great sources of cholesterol and essential fatty acids that these babies need for brain development. I eat 4 a day myself that are hard-boiled so that there is as little degradation as possible. You should probably drink a lot of mineral water to replace the calcium and magnesium that are being leached out of your bones. The K2 from the organs and egg yolks will aid in remineralization.

This is a case where I'd actually be hesitant to recommend supplements because though the mineral content of breast milk is tightly regulated and not necessarily influenced day-to-day by diet, therapeutic doses of vitamins or minerals outside of the bounds of our evolutionary history may actually be dangerous for these kids. Now, when you stop breast feeding eventually, you'll be less restricted and can more aggressively replete those minerals. The generally accepted post-natal vitamins are probably fine though. I think it might be safer to get vitamin D from the sun for as long as possible and then supplement with small amounts (500-1000iu) spread out over the course of the day just in case.

Cod liver oil shouldn't be necessary if you're eating enough pastured egg yolks, but if you were able to find a DHA supplement that is tested for heavy metals and so on, that may be a worthwhile thing to consume.

This is a case where I'd say that you'd want to be eating a lot of grass-fed animal fat and of course I would say you shouldn't really dip below 200g of carbohydrates.

Regarding oysters, unless you can be certain that you've sourced them from pristine waters (on another planet?) I would avoid them. I'm a lot more conservative about these sorts of things when we're talking about an infant.

Good luck.

3221 · September 13, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I've read here on the forums that increasing your saturated fats such as with coconut oil will boost your milk supply. Wonderful of you to give to your friend's newborn.

15964 · September 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I know Travis will be here soon to talk about this subject, but think about zinc and foods high in zinc - the oysters. I nursed too - did pump a lot as well and I think my zinc tanked. It is said that nursing and pregnancy really take a tole on a woman's stores of this mineral.

971 · September 13, 2011 at 8:57 PM

I nursed twins, but I wasn't paleo when I did. I did notice, though, that my supply was very directly affected by how much fat I ate and how much water I drank. The increased need for fat while pregnant/breastfeeding is part of what helped me discover paleo. Also, water was a very time-sensitive need. I had to make sure I drank water right before/during nursing or pumping. I would often chug a water bottle while both my boys were latched on. Kind of like a weird water to milk conversion machine.

1187 · September 13, 2011 at 8:53 PM

chiropractic adjustments for the baby, it may be a structural problem limiting jaw, tongue motion, and/or neck motion

32175 · September 13, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Do you know your D level? If your Vitamin D level isn't above 40-50 ng/ml, your breastmilk will not contain much, if any D.

Be careful of supplementing cod liver oil and eating liver. Too easy to get excessive Vitamin A.

733 · September 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM


Some raspberry leaf tea may help.

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