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Thread: Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

    Hi. I'm new here. I am BF a 4 month old. Yesterday I found out I have hypoglycemia after having the symptoms for a couple months. My dr said I can still BF, I just need to adjust my diet. My babe is small.. 13 lb at 4 months. Was wondering if my low blood sugar has anything to do with his low weight? His dr is not concerned about his weight, she said he is perfectly healthy. My MIL is saying I need to stop breastfeeding now because that is whats causing it... I know that is not true. But she's constantly on me, making me second guess myself. That's why I'm here, for support!! Anyone that has hypoglycemia that could spare some advice or tips are welcome too =)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

    I was never officially diagnosed with hypoglycemia, but I've had the symptoms since I was a teenager. BFing has exacerbated the symptoms as the body uses up so much energy to make milk. But I've been able to BF for 8 months now and hypoglycemia hasn't been a problem for either me or my baby. I do have to make sure I eat every 2/3 hours, otherwise I get dizzy, light-headed, weak, and my heart races... etc. etc. I notice that oftentimes I and my baby get hungry at the same time! I guess my body pumps up production at her mealtimes.

    Anyway, if you make sure you're taking in enough calories I see absolutely no reason to stop. And while I can't speak to your case, I know for a fact that BFing hasn't caused my hypoglycemia! It's just the way my metabolism works.

    As for tips:
    - Make sure you're eating often, every 2/3 hours, to keep your food intake and blood sugar constant
    - Eating a lot of protein and healthy fats has helped b/c these foods give me more "long-term" energy. For snacks: omelets, hard-boiled eggs, cold cuts, avocado (as a spread or topping). Also cheese, whole milk drinks, yogurt and nuts (I can't eat them b/c I'm on an elimination diet, but if you can eat them they're great). For lunch and dinner: chicken, fish, meat, always a lot of vegetables, and rice or potatoes.
    - When the hunger and dizziness hit, I eat quick sources of energy that get metabolized more immediately: simple carbs and sugars. Fruit juices are great, almost an instant source of energy. Tea sweetened with honey, toast with fruit jams, cookies, cereal or cereal bars, chocolate-flavored rice milk. If you can eat chocolate, it's a great source of energy.
    - If I'm on the go, I ALWAYS have food packed in my bag. Cereal bars, fruit, cookies, even potato chip bags if that's what I have. And not just one thing... multiple little things to be always prepared.
    - At home it's helpful to spread portable snacks throughout the house so you don't have to rush back-and-forth to get or prepare anything. Before my elimination diet, I kept a stack of cereal/protein bars in every room, little bags of trail mix, and chocolates.

    So, it's a combination of keeping a good baseline nutritive diet rich in protein and healthy fats (and complex carbs such as whole grains) to keep your body with a more constant level of energy + keeping a stock of quick-energy foods (sugars and simple carbs) for those moments when the blood sugar dips down. And also, not going too long between meals (they don't all have to be big meals).
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

    I have quite severe hypoglycemia and I breastfed my first DD for 13 months and am currently BF my 12 week old. What I have to do is just make sure I eat really often. If I feel my blood sugar starting to drop I hurry and drink some fruit juice and then some carbs and protein. I love granola bars with nuts in them. Fruit leather is really great too. Make sure you always keep something like a couple granola bars or fruit snacks or candy bars in your bag all the time. If its been 2 hours since you last ate, even though you are not feeling symptoms go ahead and snack on something. Also breastfeeding burns an extra 750 calories a day. So make sure you are eating enough throughout the day. Breastfeeding while hypoglycemic does not effect your baby AT ALL!!! Because your body will take from itself to feed your baby, just like when you are pregnant. So tell your MIL she is being silly. I was told that strait from both a OBGYN and my Midwife. All you have to do is make sure you are eating enough and often enough and you can breastfeed as long as you want Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

    Thank you girls for the feedback! So far I've been doing good with eating often and stuff. I had my MIL google breastfeeding and hypoglycemia, and she finally understands they are not connected and the baby is fine!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and hypoglycemia

    I'm a diabetic, I don't have fat babies! lol So the opposite isn't true either. (low blood sugar isn't going to make your milk less calories to have skinny ones). All babies are different in sizes, and weights. But, yours sounds like a fine weight!

    That being said hypo can cause low birth weight. Was she born small? My first two were extremely small cause they wanted my diabetic blood sugar levels so low. finally they told me they were actually making me keep them too low and were starving my babies and that was why they had low birth weights! However, all my children have only had breastmilk and except for DD1 having 24 hours of formula in NICU, and DD2 formula in NICU for less then a week. DS only had one feeding of formula due to low blood glucose at birth. (we tried to get him to latch first for over a hour and when his glucose kept going lower and he wasn't latching, I told them to cup feed him, because I think his glucose was so low it was causing him not to be able to latch, it was causing him some breathing problems as well, as soon as he was fed a little formula, he started breathing correctly and was able to latch and has latched every since!). Any way all that to say the weight will only have a effect while you are carrying them it doesnt effect the calories in your milk. Eat correctly and often and you will be fine. I have read over the LLL cookbooks and they look great for hypo and hyper glycemia, I am going to buy them! Whole foods, and also tell you the carbs etc so you know what you are eating and if you are getting enough and not too much of what you need.

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