Breastfeeding and low blood sugar

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Breastfeeding and low blood sugar

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  dykask 7 years ago.

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  • So I’ve done the 5 2 diet before and it worked really well for me. after my baby daughter was born I felt like pregnancy and breastfeeding shifted my entire metabolism. I no longer recognised myself – I used to find it easy to eat healthily and would often accidentally fast through forgetting to eat! Once I hit late pregnancy I was constantly hungry. I am still breastfeeding (my daughter is only 15 months and I aim to feed until 2 years, for her health benefits and mine) and I’m still always hungry. I obsess about food and cake and eat huge portions. I think it’s partly breastfeeding but mostly tiredness and stress. We don’t have scales but I’m probably about 10 lbs heavier than before pregnancy.

    I wanted to do the fast diet again to “reset” my metabolism as I wondered if there was something off with my insulin or hunger hormones. What I’m finding is the fast days are ok. I’m not “hungry” though I am obsessing with food. But the morning after I feel so rough, it’s as if I’m hungover: nauseous (even vomiting), shaky, dizzy, confused hot and cold. It seems like a hypo, but I’m not diabetic. So bad on one occasion I couldn’t take my daughter to nursery as I was being sick and kept blacking out. I’m wondering if 500 cal restriction is too much when breastfeeding, or if I should try the gentle 2pm until 2 pm window. Anyone else experienced anything like this out got any suggestions?

    Hi Friandfiend,
    This really does sound like something your need a doctor to check.

    I was breastfeeding my daughter when she was 15 months old, but it was mostly comfort feeding, and not much sustenance. But even so, I think if I was doing 5:2 then, I would do 800 calorie fast days, or your gentler version. But again, it would be good to get professional advice. If no-one pops up here, I hope your have a Nursing Mothers Association, or similar, where you are, to ask.

    If your doctor can’t find a reason for those awful symptoms, I am afraid I would suggest you cut out sugar. Sugar really came into my diet when my daughter was little: exhaustion and stress! And that led to putting on extra weight and the cycle of sugar setting off the intolerable cravings to eat more.

    It has been the combination of 5:2 and cutting out sugar that has made all the difference to me.

    Goodluck, I know how hard it is. All power to you!

    Thanks so much Cinque, that’s really helpful. I suspect my doctor would just tell me not to do the 5 2 diet (the NHS generally is pretty rude about it) and to stop eating cake, which isn’t an approach that’s worked for me… I do genuinely believe something has gone a bit haywire with my metabolism since pregnancy. I seem to be more disposed to great swings between hypo-like symptoms, and raging carb cravings. I agree that too much sugar (and being tired) is probably connected to it.

    Having said that, these side effects are I think a bit more extreme than hunger pangs, and need to be taken seriously. I’ll try the 800 calories and see how that goes. It’s also possible things will calm down as my body gets used to not fasting again. I’ve also been trying to cut down a bit on carbs and cut out sweets.

    Thanks again for your support!

    Cheers Friandfiend, let us know how you go.

    @friandfiend – You shouldn’t be fasting while you are breastfeeding. Your baby needs constant good nutrition. Instead you just focus on a healthy diet. Use the last nine months to figure out how to eat healthy. Right now you need to worry first about your daughter’s nutritional needs.

    If you are always hungry try cutting way back on refined sugar consumption. That could help right away. Eat more fiber and even allow yourself fats. Try reducing carbs like bread as they tend to drive hunger. Whole fruit would be good and lots of vegetables. You can eat a huge amount of salad if you go very light on the toppings. Try more types of vegetables and maybe add some tofu or mushrooms. For taste you can throw in things like smoked salmon etc. Hunger is no fun but if you get in the habit of eating fruit and vegetables to fight the hunger you’ll find you can eat an awful lot of food without gaining weight.

    Sorry I’m not helping with fasting advice but I don’t think you should be fasting while you are nursing. By doing so you are putting both yourself and the baby at risk.

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