Atkins & Pregnancy

Due to the nature of the Atkins Diet, it is not suitable to be followed by pregnant women. During pregnancy it is crucial that the mother maintains and healthy, well-balanced diet. The Atkins Diet does not provide this as it works by restricting certain food groups. In particular - carbohydrates, fruits, grains and dairy products.

Atkins and New Mothers

While breast feeding, particularly a newborn baby, the mother should be very aware of her own diet as this effects that of the baby too. Medical professionals tend to agree that, while breast feeding or indeed pregnant, you should not undertake any new diet regime save that of a healthy, balanced diet. This is particularly true of Atkins as it works by restricting certain food groups. Any restriction of nutrients deemed necessary for physical and mental growth may impair the heath of your child. However, it is Dr Atkins’ assertion that his diet is safe to be followed by breast feeding mothers.

How the Atkins Diet Effects Breast Milk

If you do decide to go on the Atkins diet while nursing a newborn, you should take as many precautions as possible and make yourself aware of as much information regarding it as possible.

Atkins tends to make a person dehydrated and, in doing so, put strain upon your kidneys. This adds ketones into your breast milk which in turn is fed to your baby. As breast milk is naturally ketogenic (mainly low carbohydrate and high in fat) this is not really a problem. You should however try and keep yourself as hydrated as possible by drinking plenty of water and reducing your intake of sodium (salts).

Other Effects of Atkins while Breast Feeding

Dr Atkins notes that, if you are following the Atkins diet while breast feeding, you are likely to experience a much slower rate of weight loss than is usually predicted of the diet. This is because, while breast feeding, your hormones will be different as they alter to help your body deliver the appropriate support to your baby.

Ways to make your Atkins Diet Successful while Breast Feeding

There are a couple of ways that you can try and improve your results from the Atkins diet while breast feeding.

  • There are four clear phases to the Atkins diet – induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and maintenance. It has been found that new mothers tend to have greater success on the Atkins diet if they skip the induction phase of the diet and begin directly with the ongoing weight loss stage.
  • There is also evidence to suggest that new mothers should wait until their baby has progressed to a mixed diet of breast milk and solid foods before beginning the Atkins diet. This is more likely to allow for better results generally on this diet.

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