Does a diet harm breast milk?
Many women have a desire to return to their original weight after gaining weight during pregnancy. It often seems helpful to follow a diet. However, many diets carry risks, as they have a negative influence on breast milk if the supply of nutrients is insufficient or one-sided, and impair its quality.
Especially diets with a drastic reduction of carbohydrates or fats or even a diet based only on proteins carry the risk of a child’s deficiency supply. A sufficient supply of nutrients and vitamins is essential for the proper development of the child. This concerns for example B vitamins, folic acid, iodine, selenium, vitamin A, calcium and various fatty acids.
In addition, diets that lead to a too drastic reduction in maternal weight can lead to reduced milk production. In addition, radical weight reduction attacks the maternal fat reserves. However, these can contain various harmful substances that are fat-soluble and thus accumulate in the fat depots.
With reduced calorie intake, the body’s fat reserves are tapped for energy production and the harmful substances are released from the fatty tissue. These can then be passed on to the child via breast milk, which is also rich in fat. Accordingly, a diet is only desirable if it leads to a moderate weight reduction and the nutritional requirements are sufficiently covered. In addition, a diet can be sensible if a healthy lifestyle is being aimed for and a positive change in diet to wholesome, fibre-rich and balanced foods is being made. More radical diets should be postponed until after weaning.
Can I use Weight Watchers while nursing?
Weight Watchers has a diet plan that is tailored to the needs of breastfeeding women. It contains higher calorie numbers than a regular company diet plan, depending on whether the child is fully breastfed or already fed. As the calorie requirement is increased during pregnancy, the diet plan thus meets the increased demands of the body.
In itself, a breastfeeding woman can use Weight Watchers as part of her weight loss plan, but as with any planned diet, she should follow certain rules during the breastfeeding period. For example, the weight loss should not be too great, so as not to influence milk production, which can lead to a reduction in the quality and quantity of breast milk in the event of excessive food reduction or unbalanced diet. In addition, generally applicable recommendations should be followed, such as a sufficient fluid intake of at least two litres per day, the integration of fruit and vegetables into the meal plan and the use of dairy products and oils to ensure the supply of essential fatty acids.
By eating a complete diet, breast milk contains all the nutrients that are important for the baby and is the best food for the infant. If participation in a Weight-Watchers diet is desired during the breastfeeding period, it can be worthwhile to obtain the necessary information material from the company in advance. Afterwards a doctor can be consulted and the diet plan discussed.