Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding?

The short answer from a registered dietitian
woman and newborn baby

Q: I recently had a baby and would like to start losing some of the baby weight. Is it safe to try intermittent fasting while I am still breastfeeding?

A: Women who are breastfeeding have a need for more calories because those calories are being used to provide nutrients to the baby. If you’re low on calories, it could affect your milk supply and energy level – both of which are not good for nursing moms.

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So typically for women who are breastfeeding, I do not advise intermittent fasting

However, in the later stages of breastfeeding, say if you’re feeding in the morning and evening and you’re not the primary source of your baby’s nutrition anymore, then you could probably incorporate some fasting towards the very tail end.

But I certainly do not recommend intermittent fasting during the very active breastfeeding period where you’re providing your baby’s main source of nutrition.

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Until you’re done breastfeeding, your safest bet is to focus on a healthy diet and exercise plan.

– Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD.

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