You can absolutely follow a low-carb diet while breastfeeding, but it's important to approach it carefully. Strict ketogenic diets, which are extremely low in carbs, can potentially lead to ketoacidosis 1 , a serious condition, so it's best to avoid going to that extreme.
If you're looking to reduce your carb intake, there are several tips to follow:
Patience is key. Wait until your baby is at least two months old before starting a diet, ideally even longer—say, until the baby starts on solids around six months old.
Hydration is crucial. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Make gentle changes. Begin by gradually reducing your calorie intake, rather than a sudden decrease.
Keep up the calories. Try not to drop below 1,800 calories per day. You need energy for yourself and for milk production!
Start from Phase II. It's generally advised that nursing moms skip Phase I of the diet and begin with Phase II.
Monitor your milk supply. Watch out for any reduction in milk supply. Regular checks on your baby's diaper output and weight gain can provide important clues here.
Remember, everyone is different. Listen to your body's signals, keep your healthcare provider informed, and make sure your diet supports both your health and your baby’s.