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breast feeding and dieting


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I'll be focusing on breast feeding but I'm ready to get back in shape. My goal is strength training and building muscle instead of just trying to lose weight by pure cardio. I know this is going to require a different diet then what I'm use to but I have no idea where to start when planning it out. I've been doing some research but I haven't found much that made sense. I need something that will be effective but most of all healthy for my new born.



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I'm by no means an expert on this (as a guy), but I do have a 1 month old and my wife and I have had some conversations about this.  Our opinion is that if you are eating good healthy foods, then the baby should be getting good healthy breast milk.  
So, if you are trying to build muscle you are going to want to eat more protein and you'll probably want to keep your calories about the same (if not increase them a bit).  Good clean proteins (grass fed beef, organic chickens, organic eggs, etc.) aren't going to be bad for a new born, and in fact, might be beneficial (Diet During Breastfeeding).  That said, I would stay clear of peanuts and other nuts as some studies have shown that nut allergies can be triggered through breast milk (Nut Allergy Article), but that said, you'll find other studies (such as the next article I'm going to link) that state as long as you don't have a history of nut allergies, you probably don't have to worry too much.  
And I don't think you'll find any studies out there that will say a good amount of vegetables is bad in any diet.   :)
And as I say with pretty much anything I post, don't just take my word for it.  Talk this over with your pediatrician and your doctor.  Search more sites.  We were told at the hospital that http://kellymom.com/ is one of the best sites out there for breastfeeding information.  Here's an article from that site about diet:  KellyMom Diet Article.

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Apart from making sure you're getting enough calories and nutrients to support your baby and you (there are people much more knowledgable about that than I), one big consideration for you will be all of the non-food stressors. Eating at a deficit produces stress to your system. Strength training (or any intense exercise) produces stress. This isn't intrensically bad, and it's a necessary part of the process - we create this manageable level of stress, our body adapts to it to make us more awesome, and so on... the problem shows up when there's more stress than our body can adapt to, and often that stress comes from lack of sleep, job stress, family stress, money stress, etc. At that point, people stop seeing the results they're after. That's why when people talk about over-training, the response is that it's really more about under-recovering, and one reason why professional athletes and celebrities can train non-stop and lose weight 2 weeks after delivery - they have the ability to minimize all the other sources of stress. 


So in your case... I'm taking a wild guess that you might not be getting 8-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep a night, or finding time to meditate/relax, and just maybe you're a little stressed out already. It doesn't mean that you can't work on losing the baby weight or strength training (you absolutely should strength train if you feel ready), but you do need to figure in the extra stressors and lack of recovery time at the moment when you figure out how many calories to take out or how often you train.

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I have a bit of knowledge in the area of breastfeeding. I have two daughters, and I breast fed both of them for over a year.. As far as your diet while you are breastfeeding goes, whatever you eat, your baby eats. So as long as you are eating healthy, so is your baby. Fats, especially omega-3 fats, are really important for the brain development of your baby, common sources of this are fish oil and algae. While you are breastfeeding, it is vitally important that you are getting enough to eat. Trying to create calorie deficits is a bad idea! This will, as Vintage stated, cause stess on your body, and any form of stress on the body when you are breastfeeding can lead to a decline in breast milk production. Also, the process of making milk for your baby requires your body to use a great deal more calories while at rest than normal. So if you eat healthy, then chances are, you will notice that you will start losing the baby weight without much effort.


This being said, I am going to have to agree with Vintage. Rest is really important right now, especially if you have a newborn. Your body needs time to heal after having a baby. Although you may feel pretty good, if you try to jump on anything strenuous too soon, you risk causing damage to your body. The lactation consultant that I spoke to often while nursing recommended that you give your body at minimum three months to completely heal itself.


Hope this helps!

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