Keto breastfeeding and milk supply


That is pretty cool. So the device that goes der the skin? It’s amazing how our bodies can maintain a steady stage of glucose eating minimal carbs. So far I’ve been going ok with my supply, eating around 30g a day of carbs - I think total not net - but supplementing with feenegreek and taking daily flaxseeds and brewers yeast. Will see how the next few days go as this was when my supply plummeted last time. Albeit I’m consuming an additional 300-500 calories this time.

(Bacon enough and time) #24

Calories matter, but not the way in which we are told they do. The body’s hormonal response to the foods we eat is far more relevant to determining what it will do with the food we eat.

Pregnant and nursing women who fast on a ketogenic diet risk developing euglycaemic ketoacidosis (I don’t know how serious the risk actually is, but there have been cases described in the literature). I’m not a woman, but if I were, my choice would not be to eat carbs, but would rather be to avoid fasting until after weaning the baby.



Did it occur to you that she isn’t keto adapted? And that her cells switching over their machinery from burning carbs to long chain fatty acids doesn’t occur overnight and is neither stress free?


No I’m not fat adapted… since the pregnancy. I used to be before I conceived. I have been eating low carb paleo though for the last 2 years but definitely not keto.


What @anon81060937 brought up is important! I wouldn’t make a sudden change to fuel source while you’re nursing. Generally people recommend cutting carbs (low enough to go into ketosis) and just riding out the effects, but I would make it a gradual change for you. Your body will likely be hypersensitive to any hint of scarcity.
How are you doing?


Thanks Madeline. I’ve been going well, eating around 30-40g total carbs a day with higher calories and my supply is fine. I am also supplementing with breast feeding tablets to supply supply. I’ve been doing this for about a week. I haven’t shifting any weight, maybe a bit of water but that’s fine. My body likes being around 68-69kg. I did break down to 67 when I was following the nutritionists diet but I was starving the whole time felt drained couldn’t workout due to fatigue and lost my supply.
I’m thinking of playing around with reducing carbs a rad or to look at tweaking calories. But equally this maybe where my body is happy at during breastfeeding. I’m probably eating 1800-2000 calories. No fasting and eating when hungry. Sometimes that is before bed which I know isn’t good. We eat an early dinner here around 5pm so by 9pm I’m ready to eat again. My sleep is poor being up several times a night feeding and resettling so I am sure that is impacting on my stress and weight.
Im working out about 30min day separate from my normal daily movement which is quite good anyway.
Prior to this keto inspired journey, I was and have always eaten low carb - under 75g day even during pregnancy but not keto.


Have you been tested for Vitamin deficiencies?

I don’t believe it’s natural for a baby to wake up during the night because it places stress on the mother.

We humans need sufficient Vitamin B12 to produce sufficient melatonin and get a good night’s sleep… a deep sleep. Something to take into account though is that an effective Vitamin B12 supplement will place you in a deep sleep and you may not wake up if your baby is crying and is far away.

The only B12 supplement I’ve found to be effective at raising my melatonin levels has been Jarrow formulas methyl b12. I take the 1000mcg dosage when I need it and it works within half hour. There’s lower dosages available.

Breast milk apparently contains melatonin.


Yes I have and at around 6 week pp my levels were good. I don’t agree with that position that it is not natural I’m sorry. Breastfed babies wake frequently and even do formula fed babies. 4mo is a time where babies sleep changes and they wake between cycles and typically when a lo of babies are sleep trained. I don’t sleep train and we co sleep and feed on demand. Breast feeding is more than food and thirst is connection comfort emotional expression etc
I will look into that supplement for sure though. I take a methyl b 12 from seeking health due to mthfr.
The waking doesn’t bother me and I did it with my first for over 18-24months. It’s such a small amount of time. The weight from my first pregnancy didn’t shift until she was 12-18months really.

(Allie) #31

Completely natural! That’s why so many new parents complain of sleepless nights… :unamused:


I disagree but I would need to reveal something to make you see why it’s unnatural. It does seem true at face value because most humans are living the same type of life.

It’s like how humans used to believe that the earth was flat and keep believing that this is the way of the world and nothing will ever change. Blah blah blah until indisputable truth comes out and speaks for itself.


I think if you understand the physiology of infancy feeding and sleep you understand that night wakings are normal and necessary. Adults don’t sleep through the night and wake several times but know how to put themselves back to sleep. Babies don’t. We decide to wait until they are developmentally ready to self settle rather than “training” our children to sleep. That’s just our choice. Breast milk is digested in around 2 hours so a shorter 3-4 hr block sleep is normal. Babies don’t just seek out the breast for food its thirst comfort reassurance reconnection etc
Anyhow possibly not the appropriate place to discuss babies sleep. Happy to keep it to keto talk. :blush:

(Allie) #34

So you’re saying that every other mammalian offspring that wakes regularly during the night to feed, with no interference for humans, is also unnatural? All mammalian babies wake throughout their sleeping time to feed, the lack of waking would be unnatural, and anyone who tries to make a new mother believe her baby’s natural behaviour is somehow wrong, is extremely unhelpful.

Kittens & puppies need two hour feeds right through the night for the first few weeks, then three hourly, and when you’re lucky, four hourly. One of my friends is currently nursing these week old squirrel kittens day and night with them needing feeding every two or three hours…


I’m not sure I understand your point. I’m saying firstly that babies sleep and how a mother chooses to mother is deeply personal. If she breast feeds or formula feeds, or feeds on a schedule or by demand or sleep trains or not or co sleeps or not. There is no judgment on my part. I was responding to a comment about suggesting it was unnatural that my baby waked regularly at night and that it wasn’t natural.
I am saying it’s common and ok/normal for babies to wake as needed at night. Equally if the baby sleeps longer stretches at night that’s awesome! It just is what it is! I’m just saying that it is biologically normal for babies to wake regularly at night no different to the daytime. Babies do have longer stretches at night purely because of drive to sleep (melatonin etc) snd so their first cycle might be longer than 2-3hrs but typically more frequently after 3am due to changes in hormones.

I didn’t come on here to discuss baby sleep, I came on here to seek support about breastfeeding and keto. That’s it.

(Allie) #36

As my post shows, it’s a response to @anon81060937, I haven’t actually read your posts on the subject.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #37


I’m so curious about this! You clearly have something in mind.

I’ve always heard that the mother and baby movements during the night - tiny wakings, adjustments to nurse - are built into our physiology. That was definitely my experience with my kids: I surfaced from sleep just enough to adjust to what they needed but then drifted back to sleep - but I co-slept which makes that infinitely easier (also makes some other things harder, so I understand folks who don’t want to!).


I asked my daughter who breastfed whilst eating keto. She says,

"I think it is the low calories that were the issue.

I wouldn’t restrict calories, especially in the first year when the primary source of nutrition is breast milk. Low carb if fine and I think Diet Doctor says to have about 70g a day so she’s on the right level.

Low supply is linked to low calories. She needs a similar number of calories when breastfeeding as she did in the third trimester, about 1800 if relatively sedentary.

I lost eight kilos last summer over about three months doing low carb but Jack was about 10 months old and so I knew he was getting calories from the food I prepared plus the nutrition from the breast milk.

There are a lot of informative groups on Facebook (tend to be American)."


Thanks Patnofat I couldn’t agree more with your daughter. My calories are higher now around 1800-2000 a day and carbs low around 40g total a day and my supply is fine! I think if I decide to go proper keto and drop the carbs gradually my supply will be fine. I posted due to confusion as I paid a nutritionist hundreds of dollars almost for a program which was really insufficienT in macro nutrients, and despite raising my concerns, she continued to support the diets sufficiency. I think any practitioner working with breast feeding mums need to be more educated.
What I have learned now is that it’s us as individuals who often know our bodies and our feels humans whom have done successfully what we are hoping to achieve that have enormous knowledge and experience. Not some nutritionist who has never had children nor breastfed and who thinks one can survive off And sustain breast milk off their own body fat regardless do calories.


Thank you. This podcast is really great!!


I’m glad you enjoyed it. I found it so interesting. It’s a subject I know little about and will never experience so was not expecting to find it such a fascinating subject. It felt like the information would be useful too which was obviously the main motivation.