Intermittent Fasting while Feeding: What is it and How Do I do It?

Updated: May 3, 2024 | Published:

Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding: Is It Safe? (And How the Heck Do You Do It?)

Okay, if you’re like me, a new mom juggling a hungry baby and extra pounds from pregnancy feels like you’re in a real-life circus. All those articles about celebrities snapping back into shape weeks after giving birth? Forget them. I still look five months pregnant, and honestly, some days, I’m just thrilled if I manage to shower.

But then you hear about intermittent fasting. Suddenly, there’s this promise of losing weight without some crazy diet. And, hey, maybe some extra energy wouldn’t hurt with all those sleepless nights. But hold up, you’re breastfeeding that little bundle of joy! Does that mean IF is off the table?

Benefits of Breastfeeding Intermittent Fasting

Your Body on IF – Superhero or Super Tired?

Turns out, there’s no simple answer. Some studies show IF might help with weight loss, boost those good hormones that burn fat, and even improve how your body uses insulin. But – big but here – fasting puts a little stress on your body, and breastfeeding is already a big job.

The biggest risk is tanking your milk supply if you’re not doing it carefully. Undereating and getting dehydrated are bad news for anyone, but especially when you’re basically your baby’s personal food truck.

The Lasta app is an excellent opportunity to fast for moms in the right healthy way. Get to try via the link.

Can You Really Do Both?

Here’s the thing: some moms swear by intermittent fasting while breastfeeding. It gives them structure, helps them lose a few pounds slowly, and doesn’t mess with their little one’s meal plan. Others? It makes them exhausted and grumpy, and their milk supply dips. Bodies are weird, y’all!

I think the key is to ease into it and keep a super close eye on how you and the baby are doing. And definitely clear it with your doctor first. After all, you don’t want to experiment with something that might end up in cranky-baby-land.

Tips for Balancing Fasting and Feeding

If you do get your doctor’s okay, here’s the plan:

  • Start Slow: Don’t just jump to fasting half the day. Try a shorter window, like 12 hours overnight. See how it feels before going longer.
  • Fuel Up: When you are eating, ditch the processed snacks and load up on whole foods that keep you full: Think veggies, lean protein, all those good, complex carbs.
  • Hydration Station: Forget coffee for a second… water’s your new best friend. Breast milk is mostly water, so chugging it down keeps you and your little one happy.
  • Snack Attack: If hunger takes a mean turn, don’t tough it out. Have a small, healthy snack and take a break from the fast. No shame in that!
  • Stress Less: IF can be great, but new motherhood is stressful. If it’s making things worse, it’s not worth it.
Balanced Diet

What to Eat When You’re Eating

Remember those good, filling foods? The ones that fuel you without spiking your blood sugar too much? Here’s where you find them:

  • Lean Protein Power: Think grilled chicken, fish, eggs, even some plant-based options like tofu or tempeh – these keep you feeling full longer.
  • Vibrant Veggies: Greens, broccoli, peppers, oh my! Aim for a whole rainbow on your plate for all those vitamins and minerals your body craves right now.
  • Complex Carb Crew: Not all carbs are evil. Brown rice, quinoa, even starchy veggies like sweet potato keep the energy train running without sending you into a sugar crash.

Okay, But What Do I Avoid on IF?

This part’s pretty simple:

  • Caffeine Overload: A little coffee is fine for most moms, but don’t go nuts. It can end up in your breastmilk and turn the baby into a bouncy ball, which is not ideal for sleep time.
  • Alcohol Adventures: It’s always best to skip the booze while breastfeeding, but if you do have a drink, pump and dump afterward.
  • Sugary Shock: Cookies, candy, sodas… they’re tempting, but spike your blood sugar then leave you feeling hungry. It’s not the best combo for motherhood.

The Bottom Line: Listen To Your Gut (Literally)

Intermittent fasting can be a great tool for some breastfeeding moms. It might give you more energy, help manage weight, and make you feel healthier all around. But it’s not magic.

The important thing is to pay attention to your body and your baby’s cues. If it’s working, amazing! If not, there’s zero shame in ditching the fast and focusing on those snuggles. Trust me, a few years from now, whether you lost those last few pounds quickly or not won’t even matter.


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

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