Celebrate The New Whole30 with Melissa Urban! Click here to preview the book tour.

June 16, 2020

Five Tips for a Nursing Whole30

five-tips-for-a-breastfeedingwhole30 header

The information included in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation, or if you have any questions regarding your prenatal treatment plan

By Chelsea Long, sharing five tips for a nursing Whole30.

Are you planning to do a Whole30 while nursing? Here are five tips for a nursing Whole30, based on my personal experiences and advice from other parents in our Whole30 Families community.

Want a dietitian’s perspective on Nursing and Whole30? Read this article from registered dietitian, Stephanie Greunke.

Five Tips for a Nursing Whole30

Tip #1: Eat enough food

This might seem like one of those, “well, duh!” statements, but stay with me. Many nursing people have reported that they need four full-sized meals daily, following the Whole30 Meal Template, to keep up with their hunger. Now is a good time to remind yourself what the Whole30 Meal Template includes because we often find that people tend to under-eat during a Nursing Whole30.  I also like to highlight the following points:

  • If eggs are your protein of choice, as many whole eggs as you can hold in your hand, which is probably 3-4.
  • You generally want at least one fat serving in addition to the cooking fat you use, since cooking fat often remains in the pan and isn’t consumed.
  • Aim for 2-3 cups of veggies at every meal and add more if it’s all raw leafy green stuff as they tend to wilt down and aren’t very substantial. Occasionally, have some fruit–a fist-sized serving up to a couple of times a day.

If you’re balking at the idea of eating four full meals a day, remember, weight loss is not the goal during a Nursing Whole30. You can try having three full meals and one mini-meal that includes a smaller portion of protein, veggies, and fat. Experiment with eating asparagus, green beans, carrots, yam, watercress, sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, peas, beets, parsley, sesame seeds, avocados, raw almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, garlic, onion, ginger and other leafy green vegetables, as these foods may help with increasing milk supply.

The Whole30 is all about self-knowledge, so stay observant about how what you eat impacts your body. Also, stay observant about how what you eat impacts your baby. Certain veggies (such as cruciferous veggies and onions) have been known to cause gas in some sensitive babies. This doesn’t mean you need to restrict your intake of these foods.  Just watch out for any signs of uncomfortable gas or fussiness in your baby, especially if you’ve drastically increased your intake of those foods.

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

In general, we recommend that you drink a lot of water during your Whole30. You can calculate the minimal amount of water you should drink by taking your body weight, dividing it in two, and then taking that number and drinking that many ounces of water a day. (For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water a day). Remember, this is the MINIMUM. Many people report that they need to drink more than this. Consider adding Himalayan Pink Salt, Sea Salt or LMNT Recharge (Note: only their unflavored variety is Whole30-compatible) to your water to make sure that your body properly hydrates.

Easily bored with “just water”? I’m right there with you. A few ideas to help you get your recommended daily water intake:

  • Divide the number of ounces required per day by your waking hours and set a goal to drink a certain amount of water per hour.
  • Drink a glass of water before drinking any other kind of liquid (such as sparkling water or kombucha).
  • Sip on coconut water or mix it with lime sparkling water and fresh lime juice for a special treat.
  • Drink herbal teas throughout the day, especially teas that contain fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, stinging nettle, goat’s rue, alfalfa, milk thistle, anise, marshmallow root, red raspberry leaf, coriander, caraway, and verbena. Some babies may react to some of these teas, so be observant and discontinue use if it’s not working for you and your babe. Always check your labels to make sure the tea is Whole30 compatible.
  • Mix it up by making yourself a fun, hydrating mocktail like these:

Tip #3: Eat starchy vegetables

We’ve heard from lots of Whole30 community members who say eating starchy vegetables at least two of their meals per day helps them keep up their milk supply. Here are just a few yummy recipes that include starchy veggies to get your kitchen creativity going:

Tip #4: Don’t skimp on healthy fats

On the Whole30, fat is not your foe! In fact, during a Nursing Whole30, you may want to increase your intake of healthy fats. This may help keep your milk supply rich. You can sip on coconut milk throughout the day or make smoothies* that include fat-rich avocados and nuts. Try this Whole30 Coconut Blended Coffee from Amanda of the Kitcheneer. Another great idea is to add homemade (or store-bought!) mayo to your breakfast potatoes. Here’s a great recipe for one-minute mayo from Cristina of Castaway Kitchen.

Eat all of the avocados. In case you need a few ideas of what to do with avocados, here’s some recipes we love:

*Stephanie explains her strategy for creating a low-sugar, nutrient-dense smoothie in detail in this blog post.

Tip #5: Connect with our existing resources and other Whole30 community members for more support

Take comfort in the fact that others have come before you. We’re committed to giving you the best information possible. I hope these five tips for a nursing Whole30 have been helpful for you! If you’ve still got questions and concerns about Nursing and Whole30, check out these resources: