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Thread: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    east bay, ca
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    Default Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    I am exclusively breastfeeding on demand, LO is almost five months old. I cannot get enough protein into my diet, without eating a crazy amount of calories.... I am already drinking 100 ounces of water a day, and have an absolutely packed diet, i am thinking of trying to get a little bit of extra protein without adding any more food, i have gained ten lbs since having the baby, every time i dip calories my supply cuts off. So is protein powder safe? What my partner bought is EAS 100% pure whey protein. Does any one have any knowledge as to if its safe, if it will provide proper protein, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Feb 2015
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    California, USA
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    Can you change your diet instead of adding the powder? More rice and beans and dark green vegetables as well as chicken/turkey? Not sure what you're eating now but if you're eating a who'll balanced diet you shouldn't need extra protein - since you mention you get a lot of calories, but you need more protein, I'm just curious.

    As I mentioned in the other thread you posted in about water in take, usually you should drink to thirst. That's a lot of water! While is healthy to be hydrated, over hydration isn't the way to go. Also cutting out a bit of water might open up some stomach room for food proteins

    If that isn't possible I have no idea what powder to take but I would imagine most of them are safe. You could go to infantrisk.com and give them a call maybe?

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    The only way to lose weight is to decrease intake of calories and/or increase calorie burning. Replacing a balanced diet of healthy foods with processed powders is not going to help you cut calories- in fact it might make matters worse. See this: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weigh...nd-weight-loss

    You have gained 10 pounds OVER your weight just prior to having baby? Was there any initial weight loss past partum? When did the gain begin? Is your doctor aware of this? If a post partum woman is having issues with excess weight gain, There are possible medical issues and conditions that should be tested for.

    How do you know you are not getting "enough" protein, specifically? What is your diet like?

    When you say your supply "cuts off" what do you mean? We can help you much better if we understand more about your breastfeeding journey.

    Also, you may be drinking to much water. Normal milk production depends on mom being adequately hydrated, which most mothers can achieve by being sure to drink whenever they are thirsty, and yes lactating moms will be a bit more thirsty than average. If you are pounding water despite not feeling the need in order to increase milk production, stop. It does not help. See: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mother...lories-fluids/

    Protein is found in lean meats, seafood, eggs, and nuts in high levels ounce per ounce. Most people can get enough protein from eating those sources in relatively small amounts that would not cause gain excess weight. Is there a problem with this for you? Do you eat vegan?

    I cannot see why a protein powder would be contraindicated for a nursing mom, unless you were taking more than would be healthy or the ingredients caused some issues (Whey is dairy- milk- if you or your baby has a dairy sensitivity-not lactose intolerance, I mean a allergy to dairy proteins- then a whey powder is going to be a problem, for example.) But I also do not at all suggest consuming protein powder as a healthy or effective way to try to lose weight, nursing or not.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2015
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    east bay, ca
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    well I am not trying to lose any weight, im trying to stop gaining weight. In my diet i eat Full grain oatmeal every morning 1/2 serving, eggs as a snack an hour later , yogurt , either a peanut butter sandwich or turkey, afternoon snack is either fruit or dried fruit. dinner is always a protein, veggie, and carb. ice cream or frozen yogurt for dessert. i take prenatals vitamin d calcium, and magnesium every morning. i may scale back on water occasionally but it usually doesnt help. i read that i am supposed o be trying to get 20 grams of protein for breakfast... i guess i was just wondering if i could supplement a little if it would hurt at all. I would go for chia seeds but they arent a very good source.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2015
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    east bay, ca
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    i guess i will have to start logging a chart and see if i am techinically getting enough. I am not doing this currently. I already measure my servings to make sure i am not eating double portiuons along with cutting out non nutrient dense food out of my diet.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    OK. Sorry, I misunderstood your concern. Again I am not saying don't take protein powder due to nursing. I do not think it is a problem as far as that goes.

    Anyway, looking at your diet, it sounds fine to me although I am not a nutritionist. If you simply want to stop gaining weight, why not skip dessert or have fruit instead and/or reduce the carbs (breads and cereals) a bit, and eat more protein? Moms get super hungry when nursing, because we are burning more calories to make milk. And getting enough protein helps with hunger.

    One thing I try to do to reduce carbs is instead of eating sandwiches made with bread, I would instead eat extra turkey & tomato wrapped in lettuce, or peanut butter spread on apple slices instead of bread. Just as quick as a sandwich and I could still eat it one handed. And what about exercise? It can be really hard to be active enough with a baby, but "active" does not need to mean 2 hour workouts in the gym. I found putting baby in the stroller or sling and taking a "daily" (sort of) walk of 30-60 minutes worked best for me. It was doable, so I did it. Better than joining a gym but never finding time to go.

    I guess I am still not understanding the protein concern, is this related to your milk production concern or weight concern or both? Anyway, if you want to increase protein at breakfast specifically, why not add or substitute eggs and meat at breakfast?

    Would you like any suggestions with your milk production issues? If so, it would help to have more info about what is going on with milk production and why you think it is low.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2015
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    east bay, ca
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    So just to update I have further altered my diet to get rid of calories so no more dried fruit and no more ice cream. Such a bummer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    I would be careful about altering your diet too much. Don't go to extremes. It is a myth that EVERYONE loses weight while breastfeeding. I pretty much can't lose weight while breastfeeding, which I'm finding is more common than talked about. I exercise, eat well (not dieting, but monitor my calories) and I lose about a pound a month starting around month 6-8. Before that, nothing. I don't tend to gain, but I don't lose either. I got pregnant while still nursing my first, so I never got to find out if the weight would come off totally after weaning. This is my second time going through this, and it's very slow. I have read that some women do gain weight while breastfeeding. Some lose a lot in the beginning and then gain easily.

    I am not saying you can't lose weight, but don't feel like you're doing something wrong if you struggle with weight. My hairdresser started crying when I told her I couldn't lose weight nursing because she said her doctor kept telling her she must not really be trying hard enough to lose the weight when she was nursing! She didn't know anyone else who nursed, and assumed she would lose weight, since that's what folks like Beyonce talk about frequently!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Brussels, Belgium
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    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    Hi mama, it's a good thing to let go of ice cream while trying to lose weight. I also gained weight postpartum but it was entirely due to eating unhealthy quick calorie foods. I was just tired after breastfeeding and child care, and reached for foods that would give me a quick boost which were empty calories. This time with #3 actually yes, I am drinking a protein powder-enriched green smoothie and am losing weight. But listen, I'm a lacto-vegetarian; if I weren't I'd eat lean meats and fish instead of taking protein powder. I added a protein (powder-)enhanced meal to each day and I started losing my mummy tummy belly by the second day of it. I have an abundant milk supply. It's also helping me recover from my workouts faster (I do 20 mins of kettlebells twice weekly and take my bike around town with the family like most people do here in Flanders). Before the increase in protein I was sore for 3 or 4 days after kettlebells, but now the second day I am ready for more. I'm not cutting calories but just trying to take in enough protein so that I'm not hungry every half hour, like I was before. Protein powder has been very helpful for this. But I would prefer for health reasons and economically to eat real foods rather than highly processed ones; but I just personally don't want to eat meat. Protein power is in my diet because I am becoming more cautious about usual sources of lean protein with lower carbohydrates, like soy foods and wheat gluten (seitan), due to the unfolding research on these foods. I still eat them but want more variety in my diet, and for me a highly processed food like vegetarian protein powder is helping me slim down. Beans have protein, but like nuts and seeds their protein to calorie ratio is so low that by the time you have eaten enough protein through them you have taken in a lot of calories from carbs (beans) or fats (nuts/seeds).

    I actually eat chia seeds in my morning oatmeal but this is for the omega 3 and 6 oils in the seeds and the added protein, vitamins and minerals. They are not protein powderhouses like egg whites, though. In terms of that, if you eat eggs, you might find preparing an egg breakfast with one or two less egg yolks will help you get on a good start for the day.

    If you're looking to lose weight, probably one of the best ways to do it is to prepare health, balanced meals for yourself in advance. The good news is this can be very easy: cook a healthy carbohydrate like sweet potatoes or whole grains, compliment with a lean protein, such as baking it in the oven in a big batch; and serve with a big portion of fibrous and leafy vegetables and some healthy fats. I have no time or energy to cook elaborate meals. I use frozen veggies, and they have really helped me a lot. I can overlook the texture given the convenience and health benefits. It's nice to prepare a big batch of these foods once a week and chill them as ready-made meals in the fridge or freezer. This is the best weight-loss secret ever: prepare healthy meals in advance (and eat them).

    Actually, if you're eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest your sugar cravings for ice cream, yogurt and dried fruit will go away on their own. If you are still hungry, mama, eat--and continue to steer your diet to include balanced proportions of foods.
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Protein powder and Breastfeeding

    HI,

    I am a registered dietitian, and as far as your diet goes, it sounds like you are getting ample protein. It is really difficult to not get enough protein in the American diet. If you are still concerned, one thing you could do is to eat Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. You don't get anymore calories in most cases, but you get a load more protein. Protein powders are safe to use for BF-ing mothers, and EAS is a pretty good one, but if you are worried about weight gain, this will only add calories to your intake. Also, if you are gaining a lot of extra weight for no apparent reason, I would definitely have your thyroid levels checked. Pregnancy can do wacky things to your thyroid (it did to mine- when I got pregnant and then again post-partum). You'd have to be eating 35,000 calories in excess of what you need to survive/make milk for your babe (which of course, already increases your needs by 400-600 kcal per day) for you to gain 10 lbs. Based on what you say you are eating, it is unlikely, but on the other hand, I have no idea how much ice cream and dried fruit you are eating! I have a 5 mo old and am hovering at the same weight since my initial postpartum weight loss, but I also know that I am doing very little to lose the weight, mainly because I do not want to jeopardize my supply (although secretly I hope it is just because my thyroid stuff hasn't rebounded yet and once it does, the extra weight and then some is just going to "melt away" like I hear about happening to other women, but somehow I doubt it).

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