My wife is breastfeeding our 5 month old son. We just started a Paleo diet this week. Because our previous way of eating consisted of a lot of oats and grains, she is not getting a lot of the "filler food" or empty calories she is used to. From such things as breads, tortillas, oats, etc. that she has eaten her entire life. This has resulted in never being full. She isn't so sure that she can sustain breastfeeding and eat in a Paleo manner. She understands that because she is breastfeeding, she needs a lot more (good) fats and needs more nutricious food in order to generate nourishment for our son and herself. She and the baby have also been having a lot of gas. He is very uncomfortable with this gas (on top of the fact that he is about to pop is first tooth out, and all of the discomfort that comes with). She is also very thin and cannot afford to lose any weight.
I have been scouring the internet trying to find food ideas for her, good paleo snacks, and ways to help her realize that a Paleo lifestyle is a benefit, and not a bad consequence that I am "making" her go along with. So far, most of the suggestions are more fruits and vegetables, which we think is causing the gas problems... Any suggestions? I can tell she is getting close to quitting. She broke down and had a sandwich today because she felt she didn't have enough options...
More potatoes. I've been breastfeeding on a mostly paleo for 17 months now (with some breaks for soaked oats white rice, or buckwheat.) I was pretty low carb the first 6 months after my son was born because I was still following a somewhat more orthodox view. I didn't, however give up raw or fermented dairy which I found very helpful in those early Months (under 12 Months.) I'd just say plentiful offal, shellfish, red meat, fish, and then pad out her diet with either more Starches, fruit, or dairy. That first year is critical and She should feel well nourished. I regret not taking others on Paleohack's advice to increase my carbs that first year. I'd recommend reading the Weston price Foundation's diet for pregnant and nursing Mothers and adjust it to your needs. I do eat a more orthodox paleo diet now but my son eats a goodly portion of his diet from solids now so I don't feel depleted eating this way anymore.
Sorry for any typos I'm on my Phone.
Breastfeeding for 2.5 years and largely paleo. Eggs! Clean dairy. Lots of healthy fat. and yes, soaked oats. Nuts. It was near impossible for me to feel sane and healthy until babe was 8 mos. old and eating paleo on her own. Now she nurses 2-12 times a day and eats like a champ. Maybe your wife could ease into paleo for a few more months for the sake of breastfeeding.
I was breast feeding when I first started paleo as well. She needs to have lots of snacks already prepared and ready to go for her. You could help with this. She is too busy to think about making something in a rush when she is starving and just needs something to grab and go. This is why she resorts to the old bread etc. here are some examples..
Beef jerkey or any other jerkey Kale chips Veggies with dips/almond butter Paleo egg muffins Trader joes tuna Penang or green curry pouch over sweet potatoe Beet chips Nut cheese spred and paleo crackers.
You get the idea, search around the web for paleo snacks and just make sure the fridge is always full of yummy stuff that she can just grab and doesn't have to cook. If you see her opening the fridge and closing it without grabbing anything that means you need to cook something for her fast. The feeling of starvation you get while breast feeding is overwhelming and kinda an out of body experience.
Avocado (sprinkle salt and squeeze a lemon wedge for an easy treat) and bacon are good ways to get good fats, as are hard boiled eggs. Bacon I simply lay in a pan covering the green vegetable of the day (Brussels, greens, broccoli, asparagus), place in a cold oven, set to 400, and walk away for 15-20 minutes. Apple-sized balls of mozzarella (typically $3 or so) are a perfect easy snack: 40g protein + 40g fat.
Tbsp olive oil is 119 calories, and will gratify the satiety center of the hypothalamus. Spoonful of coconut oil is also easy. Finally, a whole baked sweet potato, minus the skin, with half a stick (1/4 cup) of pastured butter melted in, spiced however you like. These are my quick tricks!
Also: don't forget the value of soaked white rice as a vehicle for more fats (butter, ghee, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc.) and relatively safe carbs. Also pretty low-intensity in terms of prep, like the above!
Meat and taters at least twice a day. At least that is what has worked for me to feel full and stick to the program. I tried to go low carb while breastfeeding a few times, and each time my milk supply dropped off dramatically, so if she has good supply and everyone is healthy let them keep eating whatever they are eating until the baby is about a year old and milk fluctuations won't be as big of an issue.
(Pssst...over here. This might get me kicked out of the tent, but I think oats are awesome, especially for nursing moms. Just try to go for the best quality oats you can find and prepare them properly by soaking and chucking the soak water to reduce the phytates. Alton Brown has a great crockpot oatmeal recipe).
I also started paleo while breastfeeding, and I love jerky, avocado, and apples with almond or peanut butter. It was easy to roast up cauliflower or brussel sprouts as a snack with salt, pepper & apple cider vinegar, and I'd make paleo dips for veggies. I also counted calories, because I wanted to make sure I was getting enough to support breastfeeding.
I also had to learn to just make more food. If we weren't having a pasta or rice anymore, then I needed to have another vegetable, or larger servings of everything.
This: http://joythebaker.com/2010/06/wild-rice-salad-with-yogurt-vinaigrette/ was also a lifesaver. I'd make a huge batch - but I used red quinoa instead of rice - and it would be a super-hearty salad (I call it super salad) for lunches for the week.
I have done both the Weston A. Price diet (while pregnant) and the Wahls Diet, a nutrient dense paleo, (while breast feeding). My thoughts are to take both with a grain of salt in the figurative sense. It is tempting to say, "This one diet is better for mom and baby so go full steam ahead and only eat that right now!". Many nursing mothers have eaten many different diets and had healthy kids and research has shown slow change is more sustainable.
With the Wahls Diet I started by working the 9 cups of veggies, 4 oz of grass-fed/wild protein and 1 teaspoon of minerals a day into my diet. This is a gluten and dairy free diet about two week in I stopped buying gluten and dairy products and let my pantry run out gradually.
As for my baby she is 7.5 months now. At 6 months we started her on solids. I pumped and froze a lot of extra breast milk and I have been making overnight oats with breast milk for her (1 tablespoon organic old fashioned rolled oats with 1 tablespoon breast-milk, let set in the fridge over night and it's ready to eat in the morning). She also eats what I eat as far as veggies and fruit, we'll start proteins at 8 months. Again there are lots of ways to eat, this is what works for us.
As for the gas, I am experiencing, but just me not the kid. I don't know how to get rid of that. I stopped taking my probiotic and I'm hoping my body will balance out on it's own. Searching for how to get rid of the gas is what brought me to this board!
I was unable to do low carb/paleo while breastfeeding and I think the reason was because grains help stimulate the body's production of prolactin; the hormone that is key to making breastmilk. Within 2-3 days of low carb/paleo my milk supply decreased DRAMATICALLY! Perhaps if she was eating Paleo while pregnant or before pregnancy, her body would have adapted prior but I think it is probably best if you do not have her radically switch dietary directions while her body is already going crazy with post-pregnancy hormones and milk production hormones. Remember - insulin is a hormone too and they all work in concert with each other to keep milk production where it needs to be for baby.
As for weight loss while breastfeeding... I was in the camp of not losing at all no matter what I did. As soon as I started weaning and milk production was no longer a major concern, I switched to low carb/paleo and 10 pounds just disappeared and the scale has been trending downward with ease.
Leave her be for now. Breastfeeding is stressful in the beginning and radical dietary changes will just add to that, especially if she is not felling well on the low carb/paleo diet.
I am currently breastfeeding and my baby is 7 weeks old. I started Paleo 5 days ago and my supply is extremely low. I am going to try the oats. I'm glad I found this post. I didn't want to stop the Paleo diet.
I find it very interesting that there are two camps for breastfeeding women, one in which breastfeeding hinders weightloss and the other in which breastfeeding accelerates weightloss.
Wonder if the line is drawn along the same lines re how your body reacts to stress? (some people lose weight when stressed and others gain)
Children's Diets...? 6 Answers