Is Going Keto Safe for Me while Breastfeeding?

Eating a low-carb diet while breastfeeding could be an effective way to lose the pregnancy weight, while still eating all the nutritious foods that you and your baby need. However, eating a strict low-carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet may pose some danger to both you and your baby.

Read on to know more.

Why do people opt for keto diet?

Keto diet is a popular choice for many women who want to lose weight, improve heart health and reduce the chance of having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), among other benefits. It is designed for the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates, by implementing a high-fat, with sufficient protein and low carbohydrate diet meal plans. However, the keto diet restricts foods like fruits, grains and beans – all of which are important sources of vitamins and minerals. So really, is the keto diet recommended for mothers who are breastfeeding?

Is low-carb diet healthy during breastfeeding?

Sure, a low-carb diet would help with the objective of losing weight but did you know that it could also be potentially dangerous? While there are people who consume low amounts of carbs in order to achieve ketosis, their body would healthily be fueled by fats and ketones. The danger is when a woman who is breastfeeding, consumes an extremely low amount of carbs – which could result in a rare case of ketoacidosis. You should not consume anything less than a bare minimum of 50g of carbs per day.

Also, inadequate intake of starch is bad for gut health because good bacteria feed on the fibres in starchy foods. It is crucial for breastfeeding mothers to eat sufficient amounts of nutrients as lack of it may place her at risk. Remember that while you may have a set amount of daily caloric intake, once you have started breastfeeding, your metabolic rate will be more demanding and this will require you to consume more calories than your usual. Don’t forget that the keto diet also refers to you consuming heavy amounts of fat. High levels of fat, especially saturated fat, isn’t good for your heart’s health in the long term either.

Another concern is dehydration. The keto diet will put you in a state of ketosis, meaning that your body is fueled by ketones and excreted when you urinate. Since rich sources of liquids like fruits are to be removed from your meal while undergoing a keto diet, ketosis makes you dehydrated – which would result in lower milk supply.


It is important to note that for the first few days of starting a keto diet, exhausted mothers will be faced with a lack of focus, as the brain requires glucose – that comes from carbs. As your body transitions to relying on fats to fuel the body, there will be times that you will find it difficult to nurture your child too.

Though there are no scientific or medical reasons for why you should not go on a keto diet while breastfeeding, it would be best advised to refrain until the breastfeeding period for that child is over and done with. Losing weight may be important health-wise, but being mentally and physically capable of caring for your infant child or toddler should always be your main priority.

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