Last Updated on: August 20, 2022 at 20:32 IST
Intermittent fasting, or more popularly known as ‘IF’, seems to be a celebrity favourite in recent times–with Bollywood actors like Malaika Arora and Alia Bhatt vouching for its several benefits such as losing weight, an increase in overall fitness and simplified lifestyles. IF is typically a form of fasting which involves periods of eating followed by specific hours or days of fasting.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to be beneficial in weight loss, and can prevent obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and high blood pressure. IF is also said to improve overall mental health.
But, breastfeeding mothers can safely practice intermittent fasting.
Here are 5 reasons why intermittent fasting could negatively impact breastfeeding moms as well as babies.
- Quantity of milk – New mothers or breastfeeders need to have an extra supply of calories while lactating in order to produce adequate milk for their baby. Intermittent fasting can have an impact on the mother’s calorie intake and consequently the amount of milk. The baby would still be hungry if the mother did intermittent fasting.
- Quality of milk- IF means that a mother must skip at least two meals per day. This negatively affects the daily macronutrients and micronutrient requirements for breastfeeding mothers. This could affect the quality and quantity of breastmilk. The baby may become more lethargic as a result.
- Increased thirst and hunger- A breastfeeding mom’s body requires more nutrient and energy-dense food than usual. A new mother may experience hunger, fatigue, and low energy if she is not paying attention to IF.
- Less nutrients- Due to reduced nutrient intake, the baby’s bowel movements might be affected and in severe cases, may even lead to dehydration.
- New mothers and their babies need to breastfeed. It is also one of the best ways to maintain optimal health. IF could be a hindrance in this situation.
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