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Pregnancy and Keto

Many people wonder whether it’s safe to follow a ketogenic diet when trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. The answer to this question is yes, absolutely, and it’s highly recommended! There are some things to consider, but reducing carbohydrate intake can benefit both you and your baby. You can find all the details in this article.

Table of Contents:

Getting Pregnant

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If you have a desire to have a child but are not yet pregnant, this is the perfect time to transition to a ketogenic diet. This allows your body to adapt to the diet before being flooded with pregnancy hormones. Additionally, a ketogenic diet can actually aid in conception. The healthier your body, the easier it can be to become pregnant. Ketogenic eating also has a positive impact on hormone balance, contributing to a smoother conception.

During the pregnancy

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If you were already following a ketogenic diet before pregnancy, you can continue with it during your pregnancy. Your body is accustomed to a state of ketosis, which can make it healthier and better equipped to handle potential pregnancy-related issues. Most women who follow a ketogenic diet during pregnancy report stable blood sugar levels, reduced morning sickness, lower risk of high blood pressure, and protection against gestational diabetes.

It’s crucial to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients and calories during pregnancy since you’re creating a new life. Avoid creating a calorie deficit to lose weight during pregnancy. You’ll also have more flexibility in terms of carbohydrate intake during pregnancy. Eat plenty of vegetables (rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber), healthy fats, and protein, and consider adding some fruit to your diet. Be mindful of the type of fruit you choose, as some fruits, like bananas, can affect blood sugar levels. Doctors typically advise consuming up to a maximum of 75 grams of carbohydrates during pregnancy.

If you were practicing intermittent fasting, it’s best to pause this during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Aim to eat every two hours, which can include full meals or snacks between main meals. Listen to your body – if you’re hungry, eat. Focus on the primary goal of delivering a healthy baby while maintaining your own health. This is not the time to restrict food intake for the sake of appearance or weight.

Transitioning to a Ketogenic Diet During Pregnancy.

If you decide to transition to a ketogenic diet during pregnancy, whether you’re already pregnant or just starting, it’s a good choice if advised by your doctor, especially in cases of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. However, make the transition gradually to avoid any potential keto flu symptoms, as your body is already working hard during pregnancy and dealing with hormonal changes. Start by gradually reducing your carbohydrate intake, ensuring you still get enough nutrients and calories.

In addition to the previously mentioned points that are important during pregnancy in relation to a ketogenic diet, there’s an extra consideration if you want to transition to a ketogenic diet during pregnancy. This is to make the transition more gradual. Your body is already working hard due to pregnancy and experiencing hormonal changes, so it’s not ideal to add potential keto flu symptoms on top of that. Begin by gradually reducing your carbohydrate intake, ensuring that you still consume enough nutrients and calories.

Keto While Breastfeeding

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Eating a ketogenic diet while breastfeeding is an excellent choice. Besides being better for yourself, it’s even better for your baby. The quality of your breast milk is influenced to a large extent by your own diet. Breast milk primarily consists of fats, which contain essential nutrients and building blocks that your baby needs. By consuming more healthy fats, you can provide these essential nutrients to your child. It makes sense that the quality of breast milk is better when the mother eats healthily and consumes the substances her baby needs, right? 😉 However, there are a few things to consider.

If you have been following a ketogenic diet since pregnancy (or before), it’s advisable to increase your carbohydrate intake compared to before. The recommended range is at least 50 grams up to a maximum of 75 grams of carbohydrates. This ensures that you have enough nutrients, and it helps maintain milk production. Focus on carbohydrate sources from vegetables, supplemented with fruits and other carbohydrate-containing foods (such as nuts and the like).

During breastfeeding, it’s not advisable to lose a lot of weight because this process releases waste products that can be passed on to your baby through breast milk. Additionally, excessive weight loss can decrease milk production. Both of these outcomes are undesirable. So, make sure you eat sufficiently and don’t restrict carbohydrates too much. Your body expends more energy during this period, so you have more flexibility in the number of carbohydrates you can consume, and you need more calories. It is recommended not to lose more than 0.5 kg per week while breastfeeding. If you lose weight too quickly, add extra fats to your diet.

Ensure that you eat something every 2 hours, whether it’s a snack or a full meal. Your body is continuously working hard, and you need to provide both yourself and your baby with sufficient nutrients. This is not the time to starve yourself for the sake of your appearance or the number on the scale.


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