| |

Nourishing Your Baby and Body: A Guide to Keto While Breastfeeding

Share this!

Breastfeeding and keto might seem like two things that aren’t meant to go together, but it is being done by mothers all over the world to feed their babies while losing weight. However, ever since keto began trending, it has been followed by a host of warnings about its supposed dangers. 

The dangers of keto have since then been debunked, but it is still natural for nursing mothers to wonder if they can continue this diet while breastfeeding. If you’re a new mom who wants to continue or start keto but you’re worried about how this will affect your breastfeeding, then keep on reading. 

**This post probably contains some affiliate links to items I own and love and feel would benefit you immensely. Read the disclosure here.**

how to do the keto diet while breastfeeding

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic or keto diet, to put it simply, is a low-carb, moderate protein, and higher-fat diet that enhances fat burning. This diet has been around for a while, even if its popularity has increased recently, particularly as a means of treating people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and epilepsy.

When following a ketogenic diet, people frequently lose weight and reap the benefits that come with it. Moreover, keto can enhance athletic performance and general health by reducing inflammation.

RELATED: How I Completely Avoided the Keto Flu

What is ketosis?

Ketosis, which is attained by consuming less carbs, moderate amounts of protein, and more fat, is what enables weight loss and other advantages of the keto diet. The body goes from relying on carbohydrates to using fat for energy when it is in a condition of ketosis.

Typically, glucose is used up by the body as fuel. Simple sugar known as glucose is absorbed from diets high in carbohydrates. The body either uses it for energy or stores it as glycogen in the muscles and liver. As a result of consuming fewer carbohydrates, your body starts to break down fat cells as a substitute for energy. Ketones are acids that are produced as a result of this process and show that the body is burning fat.

RELATED: My Unexpected Ketogenic Diet Experience (the first time around)

Is keto safe for breastfeeding moms? 

There aren’t very many studies that have confirmed or debunked keto safety for breastfeeding moms. Some people have cited dangerous conditions happening as a result of keto, such as ketoacidosis, which is characterized by too many ketone bodies resulting in acidic blood. 

However, findings have shown that most cases of ketoacidosis are due to high-risk situations, such as having diabetes, starvation, and alcoholism. Research shows that lactation ketoacidosis is rare in people. In fact, only 18 cases of lactation ketoacidosis have been reported since 1970, showing how rare it is. 

So is keto safe for breastfeeding moms? There is not enough evidence to say it is dangerous, and today there are perhaps more anecdotes from mothers who have had no issues with breastfeeding while adhering to a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb lifestyle.

The importance of electrolytes while breastfeeding and doing Keto

Electrolytes are especially important if you are breastfeeding on a ketogenic diet. 

What are electrolytes? 

Potassium, sodium, and magnesium are electrolytes.

Your cells require electrolytes to conduct electrical charges, which is how your muscles contract. These electrical charges aid chemical reactions, especially those concerning hydration and the equilibrium of fluids inside and outside cells.

Why are electrolytes important while breastfeeding on Keto? 

Electrolytes are important because they help transport breast milk from where it is produced to where it needs to be. Trace minerals such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium help to increase hydration and promote milk production. 

One particularly important electrolyte is sodium, which is often present in the body as sodium chloride. This is essentially salt that is found in breast milk and is crucial for the growth of the baby’s nervous system and brain. It also helps to control blood sugar. 

Since mothers typically have salt deficiencies, they may not have enough electrolytes to provide in their breast milk. It is a common misconception that salt should be avoided because it is dangerous for health. Sodium chloride is a necessary electrolyte without which it would not be possible to provide even the most basic nutrient needs such as those needed by a baby through breastmilk. 

How to maintain your electrolytes while breastfeeding

Maintaining sodium levels can be very easy since you can simply add sea salt or pink Himalayan salt to your food to taste. Use salt when you are eating fresh whole vegetables. Seasoning food this way can make it more flavorful and more enjoyable to eat. You can also try bone broths, sole water, or pickle juice. 

Getting your magnesium and potassium levels up is best done by eating dark leafy green vegetables and avocados. Drippings from roasted meats are also an excellent source of magnesium. However, do consider taking supplements for both of these minerals to keep them at good levels in your system while breastfeeding.

It is also a great idea to supplement with a hydration booster. There are only two that I’d recommend for use during breastfeeding though and only one is good for while following a Keto Diet. The first is Majka’s Hydration Booster, which is all natural and lightly tastes of coconut. It only has 2 carbs and 1 gram of sugar. Keto approved!

The second which is great for breastfeeding but not so great for keto is Hydrate by BODi. This is full of nutrients including quercetin but does also contain some added sugar. If you decide after this article that Keto is not right for you right now, adding Hydrate into your routine will still help you make more breastmilk.

Learn more reasons keeping your electrolytes up to stay hydrated is so important during breastfeeding.

Misconceptions about keto and breastfeeding

It’s easy to label a keto diet while breastfeeding as risky or even dangerous. Here are a few misconceptions about keto and breastfeeding that ought to be clarified: 

Misconception #1: Keto is a zero-carb diet

A common misconception about the ketogenic diet is that it is completely devoid of carbohydrates. When doing keto, the recommended amount of carbs that a healthy individual should consume is not more than 30 grams per day. Carbs are allowed as long as they adhere to this limitation, and it is recommended that your carbs come from healthy sources such as vegetables or low carb fruits when breastfeeding.

Misconception #2: The Keto Diet is a breastmilk diet

Going keto is not meant to change your breast milk, although some mothers will report having richer, fattier milk supplies as a result of the diet. It is simply following the a diet to lose weight while, at the same time, breastfeeding.

Misconception #3: Keto is unhealthy

The keto diet is not a fad diet nor is it unhealthy for breastfeeding. Keto is full of protein, good fats, and vegetables that makes it an overall healthy diet for both mother and baby. It is simply a different way of eating than we are used to in today’s heavily carbohydrate laden society.

Calorie Consumption While Breastfeeding on Keto


Calorie consumption is important for any breastfeeding mother, but it is especially important for moms on a keto diet. 

Keeping track of your calories, specifically, your macronutrients, will help you stay in ketosis while getting enough nutrition. 

While you are breastfeeding, your macros may be different from how they were before you started. Using a calorie and macronutrient calculator can help you figure out how many calories are required for you to maintain your weight given your age, height, and other details. Using the calculator, set your carbohydrate level to 50 grams and ensure that your fat and protein intake are much higher. 

Pay attention to how your calorie intake affects your milk supply and adjust where needed. If you’re wondering what foods are best to eat while you’re on keto and getting all the macros you need, then browse through this Costco keto grocery list to help you.

Your milk supply should not drop when going on a Keto Diet. Meats, cheeses, and low carb vegetables and fruits are all very good for milk supply.

Tips for Breastfeeding While on Keto

If you decide that a ketogenic diet will keep you healthy, give you more energy, or help you lose baby weight and are ready to give it a try, be sure to follow these steps:

Eat enough calories

Moms who are nursing need to eat a minimum of 1800 calories each day on average. Don’t take this as gospel, though; your calorie demands will vary depending on several things (such your weight and degree of activity, for example). You can prevent ketoacidosis by consuming enough calories.

Have a moderate weight loss goal

If you must lose a significant amount of weight while nursing, do it gradually to reduce your risk of ketoacidosis. You should not be trying to lose more than 2 pounds per week after the first 6 weeks postpartum.

Drink plenty of fluids

Ketosis may have a diuretic effect. This can sometimes put you at risk of dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially when you’re lactating. Aside from water, try drinking fluids that have electrolytes in them. Try adding in Majka’s Hydration Booster daily for a huge natural help and only 2g of carbohydrates– totally worth it. (Hydration boosters also help to increase your milk supply.)

Add variety to your diet

A variety of low-carb vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, fish, meat, eggs, and high-fat dairy products are all part of a diversified keto diet. Also, add supplements for the Keto Diet as necessary. You can take a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, potassium, and B-complex and there are more great resources in the article linked above..

Talk to your doctor

As with any change in your diet and activity, always update your doctor so they know how to best care for you and your baby.

The Bottom Line

Many new moms have successfully breastfed their infants and stayed on the ketogenic diet. As a result, they felt fantastic, shed weight, and witnessed all of their children’s developmental milestones. 

As with any diet, it is important to be aware of the risks. Following a ketogenic diet with enough calories, variety in diet, and the right supplements can reduce chances of conditions like ketoacidosis and nutritional deficiencies. 

If you’re looking for a way to lose weight successfully and still keep your baby healthy, then keto might just be the way to go. 

Share this!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.