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Nutrition approach for a breastfeeding novice?

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  • Nutrition approach for a breastfeeding novice?

    My wife is now 20 weeks post-partum with our second son and is interested in doing a novice linear progression. Our son is currently exclusively breastfed. Her pre-pregnancy weight was 118lbs (5'4") and she is now at 114lbs. Our son has been tracking ~75th percentile in weight. Historically, she gets migraines when she doesn't eat enough and she has been experiencing those symptoms periodically suggesting inadequate caloric intake. After significant prodding, she is finally measuring her weight, but there is currently insufficient data to draw any pattern on how her weight is tracking. Our diet is composed of almost all single-ingredient, healthy foods, but I believe she would benefit from a more deliberate approach to her nutrition, particularly if she's about to start a NLP.

    Here are my thoughts for a starting approach, and I'd like to see if you have any thoughts or input:

    My proposed approach is to use the "To be a Beast" nutrition recommendations for a female trainee interested in muscle-gain using her weight as the patient's weight to calculate the required dose of macros. Then, I would use the baby's weight multiplied by 1.25 (to account for efficiency losses in conversion of calories to breastmilk) as the input into those same recommendations for a male interested in muscle gain and then ADD the resulting macros to get her final targets.

    This looks approximately like the following:

    Female, 115 lbs
    kCal/day: 1699
    protein g/day: 114
    Carbs g/day: 182
    Fat g/day: 57

    Male, (1.25)(~15lbs*)=(18.75lbs) (*I don't remember off the top right now, but it's too close to matter much)
    kCal/day: 317
    protein g/day: 21
    Carbs g/day: 38
    fat g/day: 9

    MY PROPOSED RECOMMENDATION:
    kCal/day: 2,015
    protein g/day: 135
    Carbs g/day: 220
    Fat g/day: 66

    I know many MD's in my experience are extremely conservative in their recommendations when they involve babies/pregnancy, even to the point of making objectively bad, non-evidence-based recommendations out of fear that their advice could otherwise be construed as the proximal cause of a negative outcome in a lawsuit, but I feel like this isn't TOO much of a stretch. Can you offer any confirmation of my nutrition design or other advice?

  • #2
    Enginerd,

    Thanks for the post and congratulations to you and your family. A few things here:

    1) I would use the NIH BW planner for her to determine calories https://www.niddk.nih.gov/bwp , set her protein to 1.6g/kg/day and let everything else be decided by her preferences. This assumes she's interested in doing this.

    2) I would not recommend NLP, as there are many drawbacks to that program including lack of variation in rep range and exercise selection, no autoregulation, no conditioning, and lack of user involvement with design. Would recommend our Beginner Prescription (free) or Template instead, again, if she's wanting to do this.

    3) You don't need to adjust calories for breastfeeding at all.

    4) None of this constitutes medical advice as I am not your provider
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