Fasting & Breastfeeding

So…never saw this one coming, but I’m really missing being able to fast. I wasn’t sure if it would be okay while breastfeeding.  So, I did a short 2 meal fast which ended up being a stretch  of about 18 hours. If anyone is googling this and wondering if they should/could try fasting while breastfeeding… DON’T.  Or if you do, be prepared.

1. Your baby will probably be affected.  About 42% of infants are affected when mom fast.  (I only read this statistic after my fast.) The symptoms Sofia had were:

Sleepiness. She took about 6 naps the next day and woke up from each one still tired and fussy.

Gas & stomach pain She had terrible smelly gas and acted like her belly was hurting her all day. Poor thing!

General fussiness generally, she was upset and inconsolable.  She wanted to be held by me all day.

*I felt so terrible that I had caused her this pain. I will most likely wait to do any kind of extended fast until I am done breastfeeding.

2. Be prepared. You will want to take precautionary steps.   If I were to do over again, I would have given Sofia only milk stored in my freezer, and I would have “pumped and dumped” the next morning and rest of that day.  ( I  fasted from 9pm to 5pm) This ensures that milk supply stays up and you are not giving her milk filled with your toxins.  I believe I could have done a 1-2 day fast safely if I had taken these steps.  So, if you’re considering doing a fast, I would definitely recommend following this protocol.

*I am experimenting with “spot fasting” to satisfy the longing that I feel for what fasting gives me.  I’ll write more on that later.

 

2 comments

  • ****Just wanted to give an update.**** My lactation consultant said this should not affect anything but SUPPLY. Talked to a nurse that said the same thing. The nurse said we naturally fast all the time like when we get sick. As long as toxins are being released fine all the other ways: urine, sweat, breath, etc then it should not create enough toxicity in breast milk that would be at all harmful.

    Fasting did cause serious concerns with the lactation consultant concerning my supply. She said it could have a dramatic even permanent effect. I talked to her about spot fasting or intermittent fasting and she said as long as my calories were staying up (when I did eat, compensate for fasted time), it should be fine.

    • I am really surprised to hear a lactation consultant suggested that a fast could have a permanent effect on supply. There are many varied ways to increase supply. drinking lots of water is an easy one that often works. Feeding baby more often and for longer works. I’ve been breastfeeding for 8 years and during that time encountered illness and various other supply challenges. I’ve always rested, fed bub lots and things get back to normal shortly. Hope things work out for you and your little one.

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