Q&A: Breastfeeding While Starting Paleo


Judging by the number of questions we received this week about breastfeeding while eating Paleo, there are a whole lot of nursing moms out there wanting to go Paleo. Here’s one of those questions and my answer to it below.

Hi Neely,

My question relates to detox & breastfeeding, my wife & I have been eating Paleo, but my concern is that whatever her body removes through detoxing is going into her breast milk.
Can you offer any insights into this? Obviously we want to be healthy but we don’t want to put any toxins into our baby.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Very good question. It’s true that toxins can exit the body through breast milk. However, you have to ask yourself if it’s better for your child to have the toxins from the foods your wife was eating or the temporary toxins from the detoxification period.

It’s hard for me to say what you guys should do at this point, not knowing your wife’s health status or your child’s. Are either of them having detox symptoms? If so, are the symptoms very intense or just uncomfortable? If they’re just uncomfortable, I’d say it’s worth it to keep going. Of course, as always, you should watch your child carefully and give him or her medical care if it’s needed.

It’s best if your wife is drinking a LOT of water to flush things out, moving around quite a bit, not wearing super tight bras (the lymphs need to be able to flow in that whole area), eating enough calories in order to keep her milk production up, eating enough carbohydrates to do the same, and eating enough fat to balance things out.

Now is not the time for a super high protein diet or for her to be restricting calories, despite the urge to do that to lose the baby weight. Breastfeeding in and of itself is going to help her lose weight, and so is being on a Paleo diet of any kind.

She should be eating lean AND fatty (pasture-raised) meats, coconut milk, coconut oil, plenty of fruit and sweet potatoes, and lots of veggies. You guys know what Paleo consists of. If you don’t, here’s a list of acceptable foods. The baby needs lots of fat and carbohydrates at this time – that’s what breast milk is mostly made of.

I’d love to hear about your own experiences with breastfeeding while eating Paleo in the comments. Please do share!

Pick up a copy of the Quickstart Guide and Paleo Challenge eBook!