Intermittent Fasting& Breastfeeding

Blog by: Aylin Hafeeza Hannan

(Will fasting curb your milk supply) ?

The very thought of fasting might scare some of those who know what intermittent fasting is about. But if I told you that evidence based science does not consider intermittent fasting as the evil breast milk assassin whatsoever, you would unequivocally care to hold facts up to analyse and perhaps try this methodology (IF) for all it’s brilliance with swift weight Loss. For the record, IF currently happens to be one of the most popular health/fitness based trends having passed the burnt of naysayers. So if you haven’t heard of it yet, “GOOGLE NOW”.

SURE, it’s not for everybody, but those dedicated to it have adopted it as a lifestyle, which is also more apt of way to describe intermittent fasting.

Let us unravel one mystery at a time. speaking of Intermittent fasting, it is simply a fast or having to cease food intake for a specified duration, where in the meal pattern is scheduled to suit one’s lifestyle and accommodate a convenient fast followed by categoric meals by not exceeding the caloric deficit boundary.

Considering the flexibility it offers, Intermittent fasting can be embraced in one two many ways. Some of the more popular one’s are outlined below.

Methods of IF:
16/8 Method:

Skipping breakfast, while ceasing food intake roughly up-to 6. Hours

24 hr fast, once / twice a week. ( eg: dinner or dinner)

Warrior Diet:
20 hours fast, one large meal at dinner.

Still wondering how it works?

It’s a smart strategy. By eliminating one meal, you are only able to consume the needed calories from meals extending further while maintaining the deficit on calories as you can only allow yourself to binge relatively less even cumulatively, simply because satiety from a large meal will suit one’s preference way better as opposed to being consciously worrisome about each meal and the caloric game going wrong. It’s flexible, enjoyable as well as rewarding considering the fact that you are not losing lean muscle with IF, when executed correctly.

While fasting, your body is more likely going to reap energy from stored fat instead of preying on glycogen. Fact being, our bodies are sensitive to insulin following a period of fast. So simply put, the body will utilise energy more effectively after having fasted due to its peak of insulin sensitivity. To be more precise, the body responds to food consumption with insulin production. Hence more the sensitivity more the efficiency leading to weight loss (fat loss) and muscle gains if worked for ( LIFTING WEIGHTS) . Another aspect that facilitates to act in favour of that process is the increase in growth hormone.


While the other side of fitness industry may have its own share of thumbs down for “yet another diet trend”, Intermittent fasting will stay resilient thanks to its affiliation with primordial human ways of HUNT-EAT-FAST-REPEAT.”

So raising babies by the dozen back then did happen effectively sans formula milk and the constant “6 small meals graze.”

Many religions across the globe intermittently fast periodically and Fasting as a religious protocol can be unavoidable. So many women may have apprehensions during such a time. To navigate for the impressions of  deliberately impersonating poor dietary protocols vs fasting, let’s analyse facts based on researches.

Facts based on study done on fasting women from diverse ethnicities showed no significant affects on macronutrients ,i.e (proteins, carbs and fats.) Breast milk is interestingly remarkable on its own as it retains major nutrients even during a fast. What better way to support that fact but to think of famine.

Breast milk and it’s brilliance:

 The nursing mother’s body will inherently respond to short period fasting with a decline in glucose due to early ketosis whereby the glucose supply for milk production is maintained to ensure consistency. To state simply, ketosis begins faster and milk supply is not affected. There is also a triggered response of increased rate of glucose production for a lactating mom, to meet the needs of increased glucose demands.

While all that sounds like a blessing, if eating frequently suits a specific persons lifestyle better there is no need to intervene with a different strategy. But if eating conveniently like intermittently suits one better, there is every reason to give it a shot. And as far as BREASTFEEDING while fasting is concerned, one may readily give it a try while keeping the eating phase top on nutrient replenishing.

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