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I've seen lots of recommendations to incorporate mini meals or a fourth meal into your day if you are doing a Whole30 while breastfeeding (which I am). :) Because I don't find myself particularly hungry on the Whole30 usually, I'm just kind of having my mini meals based on when I'm able/in intervals between my main meals. I am already a low-supplier so I'm super nervous to under-eat but I'm also afraid that I'm not really training my body to use fat if I'm feeding it every couple hours because of the mini meals (even if they are a good combo of protein, fat, and carb). Any suggestions? Maybe I shouldn't include any carbs in the mini meals to help with blood sugar? Or maybe I should try to do a larger fourth meal rather than two mini meals? When have people found success in having this extra meal? It's also a little tricky because I usually have a mini meal essentially first thing in the morning in order to nurse my son/get to work before actually cooking/warming breakfast.

Here's what today will probably look like, I would love to hear where you think I should make tweaks. I am feeling like this schedule looks too much like a SAD day because I am eating all the time, which is not what I ultimately want. 

5:30 a.m. Mini meal of nuts, apples, coconut milk, coconut butter.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast - carnitas, sweet potatoes, avocado.

10 a.m. Mini meal: banana, coconut butter, HB egg.

12 p.m. Lunch: chicken bacon ranch salad (greens + shredded chicken + bacon + mayo + dressing).

3/4 p.m. Mini meal: strawberries, HB egg. 

6 p.m. Dinner: Probably a taco salad? Beef, peppers, onions, lettuce, avocado. 

Should I cut out the fruit and just do fat and protein? Should I just have bigger main meals and only have the mini meals if I'm actually feeling hungry?

Thanks!

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How far into the program are you? How old is your baby? Are you breastfeeding full time right now or only partly (supplementing with formula or solids)?

I have a couple of thoughts from first glance:

Definitely don't force feed yourself.  If you're satisfied with three large meals and you're hydrating well, that should be fine for your supply.

If you feel like you do need additional calories, I would ditch the fruit in your mini meals (and maybe only have two instead of three--like a half-sized regular meal) and include as close to the template as you can so you're not spiking your blood sugar, etc.

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Nice to see you again, @EmilyK!

@emilyelowe - I would sub out the contents of your minis for higher density nutrition and calories. Nuts, apples, bananas, strawberries and coconut/butter is really just a lot of sugar and less that optimal fat sources. Try for something like a small burger patty and mayo or chicken thigh and guac. 

If you're already struggling to eat enough and you're a low supplier, everything you eat should be denser nutrition and calories. Also you should be drinking a bathtub full of water.

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@EmilyK: Today is Day 7. My baby is 5.5 months old and I would LIKE to breastfeed full time but I have yet to be able to satisfy him so he usually gets one bottle of formula per day at bedtime. 

Those are great meal ideas, @ladyshanny! I've been struggling with that, so thank you!

Yes, I am really working on the water. I started like really paying attention yesterday and did a bit better. My goal today is at least 75 ounces! (I am not a big person, so that feels like A LOT). 

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4 minutes ago, emilyelowe said:

@EmilyK: Today is Day 7. My baby is 5.5 months old and I would LIKE to breastfeed full time but I have yet to be able to satisfy him so he usually gets one bottle of formula per day at bedtime. 

Those are great meal ideas, @ladyshanny! I've been struggling with that, so thank you!

Yes, I am really working on the water. I started like really paying attention yesterday and did a bit better. My goal today is at least 75 ounces! (I am not a big person, so that feels like A LOT). 

You could also experiment with including starchy veggies with each meal. Yams, potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots etc. These should help supply.

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51 minutes ago, emilyelowe said:

@EmilyK: Today is Day 7. My baby is 5.5 months old and I would LIKE to breastfeed full time but I have yet to be able to satisfy him so he usually gets one bottle of formula per day at bedtime. 

Those are great meal ideas, @ladyshanny! I've been struggling with that, so thank you!

Yes, I am really working on the water. I started like really paying attention yesterday and did a bit better. My goal today is at least 75 ounces! (I am not a big person, so that feels like A LOT). 

Yes, definitely starchy veggies and more nutrient-dense choices for your mini-meals for sure. I've found that it's easier to drink enough water if I use a straw (I'm also still a breastfeeding mama, although my baby is 14 months old now and only nursing once or twice per day)--conventional wisdom says 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight each day but that should probably be closer to 1-to-1 since you're lactating. I noticed that my hydration had the biggest effect on my supply, and if I drank an obscene amount of water I had much better pump output than if I wasn't pushing fluids like crazy. It is okay to not eat if you're not hungry, though...if you can, I would try and focus on getting larger meals overall and then adding in 1-2 mini meals if you are still hungry at any particular point throughout the day.

Also, off the topic of meal structure--any breastmilk you give your baby is a gift and please don't make yourself insane trying to cut out that one bottle of formula. I nursed my two older kids exclusively (they're 10 and 13 now) but this one has been a tank from day one (he's 32 pounds now at 14 months, if that tells you anything!) and try as I might I just couldn't keep up with his full intake. I struggled with that, and feelings of inadequacy for awhile, but the truth of the matter is that we were both happier and less stressed out once I stopped trying to eke out every last drop for him. My supply didn't take any further hits with that one bottle and once I freed myself from the expectation of EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING ONLY OR I FAIL, I was able to be a much happier mom for him which is worth more than the gold star of him never having formula. While this may not be where your head is, I know how intense the pressure to exclusively breastfeed can be and new mom's don't need any more pressure at all.  We all really need to be kinder to ourselves.  :)

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Thank you both! This is my plan for tomorrow :

- Aim for closer to 100 oz of water (I’m about 112 lbs) - I have been having headaches also so maybe this will help that too.

- Have a full breakfast first thing rather than starting with a mini meal.

- Larger overall meals.

- Potential mini meals if I find that I need them will be chicken with a  cauliflower/coconut cream sauce or HB eggs with guacamole. 

We will see how that goes! 

 

@EmilyK Thank you so much for that encouragement! It’s like God knows exactly when I need to hear these things, and that is EXACTLY where my head has been the last few days. You are so right. I so appreciate the kind words - I needed them. :wub:

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