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Is breastfeeding ok during fasting?

Breastfeeding safety for the baby while on fasting has been a common question question for lactating mothers. They want to know if the increased release of toxins will hurt the baby. It is certain that fasting increases toxins in the mother’s milk and whatever is in the blood ends up in the milk in trace amounts. The baby does have an immune system. Will there be damage, possibly. But, the greater question is, why be labeled insane. Friends and family will think you are a crazy heretic who does not care about her child. That is unwise. They will not even want to understand. All your pleading for understanding and logic will fall on deaf ears. Where there is a will there is a way and you and your baby will both be blessed with the joy of health.

Fasting Recommendations

If you need to fast due to health problems, then juice fast with the addiction of 7 to 10 egg whites per day. Include 2 tablespoons of essential fatty acids, (fax and hemp mixture is good) vitamin E and a multi B vitamin.

Breastfeeding Diet Recommendations

Here is a simple method to supply the maximum amount of balanced nutrition for both you and the child and allow you to lose weight gained during pregnancy.

  • Drink fresh juice daily.
  • Have some veggie juice with 5 blended egg whites.
  • Make nut milks and drink1 glasses per day.
  • Powder some nuts and add them to the salad or add some tuna to the salad.
  • Take essential oils 2-3 tablespoons per day or make a salad dressing with it.
  • Eat one small salad with several vegetables to get a wide spectrum of nutrients.
  • Eat fruit salads daily.

Breastfeeding and Fasting Research

Breastfeeding research tells us that short-term fasting (not eating) will not decrease milk supply, but that severe dehydration can decrease milk supply.

There have been a few studies on short-term fasting and breastfeeding. Prentice et. al. studied women in West Africa who were fasting for Ramadan (no food or fluids between 5:00 am and 7:30 pm) and found that milk volume was not affected but milk composition did change to a certain extent. The researchers noted that the women appeared to super hydrate themselves overnight when fluids were allowed to lessen daytime dehydration.

Research in the United States by Neville et. al., Neville & Oliva-Rasbach and Tigas et. al. also showed no significant decrease in milk supply after a short water fast. The breastfeeding woman’s body makes several metabolic adaptations during short-term fasting to ensure that milk production is not affected.

By Tom Coghill of
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Posted on by Tom Coghill

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4 Responses to Is breastfeeding ok during fasting?

  1. Ashley S. says:


    I’m considering a few things; fasting, a juice fast or something. I’m nursing my daughter, so that complicates things… but I’m nearly always nursing or with child so waiting isn’t much of an option. I’m thinking one-two days of juice/oils/etc, a few days of raw fruits and veggies with lots of oils and then eat GREAT and minimal for two days, then repeat. One or two days juice fasting, two days off.

    I have a feeling my body is very ‘burdened’. As a family we’ve moved to eating 100% grass-fed beef and at least 50% organic, etc, BUT I think the damage from past years is still ‘hanging around’. Toxic overload. If I can fix some of the past damage, our diet now is pretty darn good!

    Would fasting/juice fasting give my thyroid a chance to balance itself (I merely suspect it’s struggling, I don’t have a medical condition or anything),and would it help at all balance other hormones? I keep looking for fasting/hormone info and I guess I don’t know where to look as I’m not finding much.

    Any thoughts?

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Ashley S,
      Yes fasting can fasting give the thyroid a chance to heal. Your program design is good. If you wanted to continue it longer you could ad some egg whites or body builder protein supplement to supply a full spectrum of nutrients for nursing.

  2. JeannieT says:

    When my daughter was one year old I wanted to do a fast but was nursing. I never found all that much info on the internet concerning it so I went for it. I did a 21 day water and/or juice fast. I can tell you that the hunger pangs never left and I was hungry for the full 21 days…. very difficult. At that time I nursed at least 5 times per day and maybe more. If I can say one thing is that when I was finished the fast I felt as though I was in serious starvation and it effected my mind and later in the year put on 15 pounds out of desperation to eat…. so as not to starve!

    On the other hand… it was an incredible experience and very life changing. I consulted God on each step and he rewarded me in many way!

    Now my daughter is 2 and yep I am still nursing her and I am on another fast. I juiced for the first 4 days and am now on a water fast for an undetermined amount of time…. guess I will let my body tell me.

    So… Yes its worth it even if you are breastfeeding.

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi JeannieT
      I am aways concerned that if the child is dependent on the breast milk for nutrition then a fast may reduce nutrition or demand the mother supply it that may be an issue. Sure this is unknown and the human body is amazing in what it can do. But the best way is juice fasts with omega 3 and 6 and a B complex vitamins with some high quailty amino acids, such as egg whites or body building protein formula. With that the baby will have an abundance of nutrients.