Meet Meghan M. Meghan is a member of our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby pregnancy health program, and she’s also a Registered Dietician and a Certified Lactation Counselor. This is her personal #BreastfeedingWhole30 story, in her own words.
In Meghan’s own words
My husband and I have been married for four years. We live in the suburbs of Chicago and have four kids: my two step-kids (age 14 and 13), our three-year-old daughter and our one-year-old son.
My first Whole30 was in September 2014, while breastfeeding my daughter, who was just four months old at the time. I’d heard about the Whole30, but at the time I was your average dietitian promoting the standard American, low-fat, high-grain diet. I scoffed at the idea of cutting out entire food groups. I decided to do it because I felt it was important to know what was out there in terms of diet and nutrition trends.
Well, I was hooked and changed my viewpoint completely! I have been breastfeeding for three years straight, and have completed five more Whole30 resets during that time.
Weight gain was a big struggle for me during pregnancy; I gained up to 60 pounds. I ate horribly during both pregnancies and didn’t exercise much. I attempted a Whole30 with my second pregnancy, but only lasted 3 days. My morning sickness and cravings were just too much! However, the Whole30 helped me lose most of the baby weight and feel positive about eating a nutrient dense diet while breastfeeding.
Turning the Whole30 into a lifestyle
Following a Whole30 lifestyle means putting foods in my body that make me feel better. Simple as that. I know there are certain foods that trigger my autoimmune disease, zap my energy, make me feel bloated and anxious, and I try to avoid those foods as much as possible.
I’m still working on my food freedom. I struggle with sweets a lot, but I am getting better at understanding how sugar affects my body and trying to make a conscious decision when I partake in sweet treats. My favorite non-scale victories, besides excellent milk supply, are decreased belly bloat and improvement in my psoriasis, which always flairs postpartum.
I love the being a HMHB member because…
The handbook is my favorite part of the HMHB Program! It’s incredibly thorough and full of such helpful information.
I also love the private Facebook group. I am a dietician and a lactation counselor, and I love sharing my expertise in the group to support mamas in their journey to health.
There is so much pressure and judgment placed on women during pregnancy and postpartum, and it’s so helpful to be a part of a community of like-minded women in this season. The best thing about belonging to HMHB postpartum is the support and grace I’ve received in regards to body-image. I’ve learned to embrace my new body and feel fortunate to have given birth to two healthy babies.
My advice for other women tackling a #BreastfeedingWhole30
- Follow the Whole30 meal plan guide. Don’t skimp on the fat or protein portions.
- Snack! The HMHB team encourages snacking for a Whole30’ing and breastfeeding mama. I loved veggies and guac, apples and almond butter, hard boiled eggs, smoothies, compliant LaraBars … anything that had protein and fat. I always made sure to have one-handed snacks on hand. I had snacks in my purse, in the diaper bag, in a desk drawer, everywhere. That way I could still eat while stuck under a nursing baby.
- Stay hydrated. I carried a water bottle with me everywhere.
- If you feel like your supply is affected, switch your diet up. Play around with various intakes of your carbs, which are most likely to affect your supply. For me, I had to have a sweet potato every day or I noticed a decrease in my pumping output!