May 30, 2008,
J.S. asks from Newton, NJ on May 20, 2008
Breastfeeding Mom Feeling Depleted and Sickly.
Hey all. I have a gorgeous 10 1/2 month old baby girl. We are still breastfeeding. But, I feel like achy all over and I pull a muscle almost once a week. I used to be able to run 2 miles a day and do strength training 3x/week. I have no strength anymore. I went to the doctor about 3 months ago and my iron levels were at 13 when they are supposed to be at like 150!!! so, I got back on my iron supplements (Duh, should've never stopped since I am breastfeeding). I started to feel a little better, but not lately. I've been going to bed at like 9pm (used to stay up till midnight), when or if I do work out (even a little bit) it's like my immune system won't allow it and I come down with a cough or a cold or a fever:( And, I'm not running 2miles...just some 3 lb weights on a stability ball for 10 minutes and walking a mile 2-3 times a week. I'm getting kind of down because those seratonin levels that excersize gives you are gone. BTW: my baby can't have dairy, so I haven't had a slice of cheese, milk, butter daily like I used to. Once in a while I'll have a little of it, but she gets diahrea. Sorry for the typos, just sleepy. I do have soy products, and I forget to take my calcium supplement majority of the time...could that be it? Also, today, I had a bowl of oatmeal, some cashews, some pb & j on rice cracker, a leafy green salad with 1/2 avacado and carrots and a bowl of coconut rice. Is this enough? Usually that's what I eat majority of the week...then I'll have a day where I eat like shepherds pie, eggs, toast, a nice turkey sandwich, etc...it's up and down...if it's in the house I'll make it or eat it, if not, I just find what's available (without dairy of course) and eat that. BTW: I weighed 145 before I got pregnant (that was my toastidos with melted cheddar and dunkin donuts days) and now I weigh 132 lb. sometime 130 lbs. and I'm 5' 9".
Thanks for any tips on what to eat while breastfeeding.
So What Happened?™
Thank you for your much filled with love responses mamas! I took notes on a lot of your replies. I got my bloodwork back today. Everything is normal! YIPPIE! No lymes, no mono, iron levels good, thyroid good, etc. He said I'm not eating enough/drinking enough and probably going through some sort of depression/anxiety from the change of pace lifestyle (I was Corporate America big time before getting pregnant) and now a SAHM. Between my not eating enough, not getting enough sun, not drinking enough and the whole mama thing, my body is going into shock. SO< I'm taking all of your advice, eating more, going on walks in the park with other moms to socialize more and taking my supplements correctly and a good one at that! NUTRILITE:) Thanks again!
C.D. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Sounds like you are primarily vegetarian and no longer getting your main source of animal protein (dairy), so vitamin B12 deficiency is possible, which could also explain the anemia.
T.D. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Definately need more food. Try protein, and iron rich foods. Don't forget your calcium (easier said than done). The breastfeeding uses about 300+ cals. a day, and the majority of it is the nutritious part of your diet. The moms are left with whatever bad stuff we eat. Of course, you need your sleep. You may go to bed earlier, but may not be in a deep sleep for fear of not hearing the baby. Try to get a good night's sleep/ have your hubby stay with the baby. We think because they are sleeping all night that we are "super-mom", and go back to prepregnacy energy. You have alot of added stress (great stress), but it is okay to still get help. Make time for yourself/ join mommy & me groups to get together with other moms.
M.C. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I would recommend having your thyroid checked. Thyroid issues are a huge problem during pregnancy and postpartum, but they're often undiagnosed. I got to the point when my first child was about 9 or 10 months old when all I wanted to do was lie on the couch. I worried I was depressed, but really I just felt so tired I didn't want to move all die. I finally had my thyroid checked and within 2 days of going on thyroid medication, I felt like a whole new person! Good luck!
T.P. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic). I would also supplement with a cod liver oil because it is high in vitamin A and D. Lastly, try juicing atleast once a day (apples, carrots, etc). It sounds like you are nutrient deficient and need to restore what you have lost with the baby. You can also add grains like barly, oats, and brown rice. If you eat this way consitently (fruit salad for breakfast, huge romaine salad for lunch and plenty of veggies and meat for dinner), you will start to get your strength back. When you stop nursing her, take a green super food by Garden of Life. It is equal to 8 servings of greens a day. I am a holist health counselor who specializes in the health of women and children.
A.D. answers from New York on May 30, 2008
Hi J., How great that you married your best friend! I did too, only after I married the wrong guy first:-( About you now. I think if you are to continue nursing you need to eat well and take your vitamins regularly. Your baby needs you and the way nature works, the baby gets what she needs and leaves mommy washed out. You are very tall and slender (I'm jealous) and your diet sounds healthy enough but maybe you need more food and more sleep. Please take care and try seeing the Doctor again, to check if there is anything else going on. The baby is a blessing and the most important job any of us can have. I raised 5 and nursed them all! My best wishes, Grandma Mary
N.F. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I would suggest enlisting your husband or a friend to give you a day "off" or an afternoon, so you can rest, get a massage, take a long bath or whatever to help rejuevenate you. I remember feeling totally wiped out at times when my son was a babe, but I think for me it was a combination of being physically exhausted and a bit depressed. Continue to eat a well-balanced diet, drink lot of water (are you getting enough now?), seriously get some rest and take a few minutes each day to do some writing in a journal about your feelings-whatever they are. Light exercise is good, but do not jump into it, go slow an take it easy. This will pass and you will be running and working out again in no time at all. The first year and half of motherhood was extremely difficult for me, but the second year is so much fun.
Take Care of yourself.... literally.
J.R. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I will be quick because you already received many great responses and i didn't breastfeed but let me suggest that you get your thyroid level checked. If it is off it could really mess with your total well being.
E.S. answers from Richmond on May 21, 2008
are you taking a daily vitamin other than calcium supplements. i think i would be checking w/ your doctor to make sure nothing that could be serious is going on. just me opinion.
M.L. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Did you check to see if you are pregnant? The fatigue sounds similar to what you may have felt in early pregnancy. Just a thought. Otherwise, have your doctor run a full blood work panel on you. Pregnancy, birth and child rearing can change your chemistry. Hope you feel better soon.
L.D. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Congratulations on sticking with the nursing! It is a wonderful gift to your beautiful daughter. It sounds to me like you are not eating nearly enough to support yourself and your daughter. You need nutrient rich foods, fat and protien in your diet to make lots of milk and support yourself too. I had twins as my surprise 3d and 4th children at almost 40. I was tremendously drained by carrying them, and nursing them, and they became sensitive to dairy, wheat, soy, corn and nuts, so my diet was extremely limited. I follow with quite a bit of information. I hope it is not too overwhelming. It helped me tremendously:
Sheeps Milk Yogurt: Old Chatham Sheparding Farm makes it. It is quite expensive, but very worth it. Sheeps milk is very digestable - my boys who could not eat ANY dairy from cows or goats could eat it). It can be found at Whole Foods or at Health Food Stores. They can special order it if your store does not have it. It is very delicious. I ate it and my babies ate it - ALOT!
Romano Cheese/ Manchego Cheese - also made from sheep's milk and very digestable.
Coconut Milk: Whole fat - it is full of lauric acid, which is great as an antibacterial, antifungal, overall stregnthener. Put it is smoothies, in soups, anywhere you can. It is pretty delicious too.
Unsweetened coconut: sprinkle it in that yogurt I mentioned.
Coconut oil: cook your eggs in it, stir fires in it, anything you can. Also, as you regain stregnth, warm some and put a spoonful in warm water to drink before meals.
This recipe comes from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions:
Potassium Broth (a great rejuvenator):
Peelings from 4 organic potatoes
3 carrots, chopped
1 bunch parsley
4 quarts filtered water
Boil and then simmer carrots and potato peelings for 1/2 hour, then ad the parsley and simmer 5 minutes more. Cool and strain into a 2 qt container. Add one tablespoon of whey (see below) to the beverage and drink it warm, not hot. This will facilitate the absorption of minerals including calcium and iron. Drink the whole thing in a day or two and start over. It really jump-started me!
Whey -- you get this by draining the liquid from plain yogurt - you can dump plain whole milk yogurt into a colander lined with a paper towel - use the remaining yogurt as yogurt cheese. If you use the sheeps milk yogurt, you can eat the cheese, otherwise, you can give the cheese away or have your husband eat the cheese. The whey is not usually what causes sensitivity in cow's milk, but if you want to be super careful, just use the sheep's milk yogurt.
Take fish oil - cod liver oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids which your body really needs now. It can't make these itself - you have to supplement or eat a lot of wild salmon to get it. If you can't handle the taste, take the capsules. Double the dosage until you feel stronger.
Eat organic liver - chicken or cow. Choke it down if you have to or make pate (which can be really delicious and I HATE liver). It is all about rebuilding stregnth.
Eat 2 eggs per day (at least)-- if you buy organic, cage free eggs, they are one of the cheapest, wholest foods you can eat. Gone are the days when conventional wisdom believed that eggs are bad. Trans fats and processed foods are bad, whole foods like eggs are good.
Eat pastured beef, chicken, lamb, etc. If an animal grazes in a field (the way nature intended), instead of being fed corn in a pen (causes stomach ulcers and facilitates the need for antibiotics and hormones), it produces very healthy, nutrient rich meat.
Make chicken or beef stock - boil the chicken carcass with carrots, celery, onion etc. and then set it on the stove to cook on very low for a few days - yes days. Use a crock pot if you have one. The long cook will leach the minerals out of the bones. Then either just drink it, or make soups with it, or cook your brown rice in it. Broth has been used traditionally for centuries for healing and general health.
I highly suggest checking out Westin Price Foundation's website - google it. It quite literally changed how I ate and looked at food. As a result, my entire family and I am much healthier and happier.
Good luck to you. I wish you good health and happiness!
J.M. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
i know im repeating, but you need to eat more calories, your body always gives to the baby before you so your body is going to use calories for the milk and give you the leftovers, if any. so just eat more calories and drink lots. your body actually needs more extra calories for breastfeeding than it did while you were pregnant. you should eat 3 meals, but then 3 good size snacks as well. what you listed, i would consider snacks, not meals. even after you are done nursing, you will need more than that to keep up running after a toddler, lol. you might want to look into drinking an ENSURE a day as well.
i would take the calcium, but more for your own bones than anything else, women have such problems later in life, kwim.
i am curious to know if your iron levels are normal. everything you describe could be attributed to anemia. my mil was fatigued all the time and just felt overall sickly. for months she went to the doctor about her iron levels. no matter what she took, they wouldnt go up. she ended up getting iron via IV weekly. then what they did was a hysterectamy!!! it turned out that little loss of blood from her period was too much for her body to lose. since the operation, no more IV. of course, im not saying thats related to you. im just saying her body never could absorb enough iron, even with supplements. they never figured outr why. im not sure if your levels are now normal, but if you didnt get a test, make sure to do that.
just make sure you eat more mama, for both of you:)
ETA- make sure you take your prenatal vitamins(mine is 150% iron and 15% calcium), i stopped for a week to try and remedy constipation and was utterly exhausted. they have plenty of iron too so you should be set as long as your body absorbs it. without dairy, you would still need a calcium supplement though
R.L. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
First, it could be possible you're not eating enough. You need more calories when you're breastfeeding. That aside, if you're not feeling well and your ability to be active has plummeted, you should go see your doctor asap. I could be something simple to fix, so why wait? I'm glad you're taking your iron supplements. Are you still taking your prenatal? I took mine the entire time I was breastfeeding my daughter.
A.B. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
You would do well to be checked by a homeopath who does applied Kinesiology. The best person I know is out in Hauppauge and worth the trip--Dr.Bob Capuano. You probably need some B vitamins, magnesium, and such, but you may also have some food allergies and other things going on that allopathic medicine doesn't always pick up, or he may be able to desensitize your daughter to dairy. He's really wonderful (read some of my other responses for more info on him and phone number).
M.F. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I am a mom of an 11 month old baby girl who still BF about 4 x a day. I am also well below my pre-pregnancy weight due to nursing and although I do sometimes feel tired and depleted, it is nothing like what you are describing, so I wonder if you have something else medically going on unrelated to BF. I think you should probably go back to your doctor make sure nothing else is going on.
When I feel drained and depleted I usually find that I am dehydrated and that all my fluids are going right to my milk. Drink water often throughout the day. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins and keep eating as if you were pregnant ( you are still eating for two!)
It is important to eat a lot of oatmeal while breast feeding to help prevent Mastitis. I read this online and have found it to be very true. I have had Masitis 2x, both times I had stopped eating oatmeal because I wanted a change..needless to say I learned my lesson! Cook your oatmeal with a cinnamon stick, cinnamon is supposed to help regulate blood sugar ( I am not sure if this is true, but its yummy so why not?) I also add dried cranberries, raisins and apple sauce to my oatmeal for greater nutrition.
I also always keep an Edamame salad on hand for lunch/dinner/snack
Steam Edamame and remove from pods ( You can find it with the other frozen vegetables in the store)
Steam frozen corn
Cut up a red and a green bell pepper
Toss with Olive oil
I also add grated Parmesan cheese, but if you can't have dairy leave it out. Even my husband loves this salad and we both find it to be very filling and a definite power food!
Other great snacks include Avocado, Peas, Blueberries, almonds and Bananas.
I hope this helps, email me if you need more.
M.B. answers from Rochester on May 22, 2008
Go EASY on the soy, if you aren't taking vitamins - START.
Also, if you are taking vitamins - don't take them all at once. Your body will use what it can, and DUMP the rest.
IE: I have a vitamin that has 4 per serving per day. I take them 4 hours apart, usually 5-6. Sometimes I forget, and that's when I start feeling drained, tired, useless, etc. It takes a day or two to come back after forgetting to take a couple of vitamins in a row. Ugh.
I too lost weight while pregnant,then slowly gained back, then lost it (most of it) again. (the oatmeal raisin cookies my DH makes with butter are helping me keep the pounds on, but probably not a great idea!)
Drink water to flush your system, as well as replenish your milk.
Zowie, if I could get by on that kind of food, my DH would stop looking at me like I'm crazy when I sit there and say I'm hungry. I couldn't eat that little and sound coherent at the end of the day (heck, some days I don't, and those are the ones I look back and say, oh, I didn't eat so well today!)
Greens, veggies all good, meat is good, if you are truly concerned, take a calcium supplement - but DON'T EAT CHOCOLATE WITH IT because it stunts your absorption. Eat your chocolate an hour or two later. :)
G.P. answers from Utica on May 21, 2008
Sounds like you might need a steadier source of protein. Try upping your intake of things like beans, great source of protein with lots of fiber. I would also recommend a regimen of supplements. Not a ton - but some things that will hepl give your immune system a boost. I would say a good antioxidant(like OPC's) paired with Vitamin C and a good multivitmain, maybe some B vitmains thrown in as well.
Check out www.marketamerica.com They have a fantastic line of supplements called Isotonix. They're a powder you dissolve in water and drink. They taste pretty good too, believe it or not. I have been taking them for almost 5 years and I have rarely been sick and I used to get sick ALL the time. I love them. You do need to be careful what you take - check the label or consult your doctor since some supplements (especially ones specified for energy) are not recommended when breastfeeding.
Worst case is that you may need to stop breastfeeding. This was my case. I was so depleted, even with all my supplements, that I had to stop after only 6 mohts. I was sad, too, since she took to breastfeeding amazingly well. Happy to say that the baby adjusted beautifully to formula and is still very healthy.
Hope any of this helps. Keep us posted!
A.G. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Sorry you aren't feeling well. I know you said you are taking iron but are you still taking the prenatal vitamins? That helped me. I also think you may need to eat a little more since you are burning so many calories breastfeeding. 5 small meals a day may help with energy levels- definitly need some more carbs. Since your daughter is 10 months her capacity to take in milk has incrased so you may be burning more calories. This happened with me and iron and extra food helped.
K.C. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I was extremely healthy before my son was born. After he was born, I was stricken with so many cases of acute bronchitis that I had to get x-rays twice for pneumonia. I ran a constant temperature, and had mastitis 4 times in the first three months. In the midst of all of this I found myself really down in the dumps. I finally had the sense to go get a complete blood work-up and found out that I had mono/Epstein Barr. That explained so much and helped both myself and those in my lives to realize that I needed more help.
I would recommend, if you are feeling really unlike yourself (a little bit is normal for parenthood but...this sounds like more than normal) that you go and get a complete blood workup to see what might be going on/missing, etc. Especially ask for a titer for Mono-type illnesses. It can't hurt to be thorough.
I did not return to exercising until my son was about 12 months old. It was worth the wait to return to my former healthy self.
I have learned: make some time for yourself. It's hard, but try to. I have to pull myself by the ear sometimes to sit still while baby naps but...it's important.
Get some alone time when you have family to help out.
Schedule "cooking times" where you put together a bunch of meals (I do it on a Sunday) and FREEZE them. Pre-steam or cook veggies so that they are ready to eat for both mom and baby. Learn to love the crock pot. Even vegetarians can make good use of one with a good cookbook!
The more you can do to make your daily life more streamlined, the healthier you can get.
If this continues, maybe you can check in with a Naturepathic Physician or registered dietician to help find a diet that will help reboot your energy levels.
I too was a night owl but learned drastic times call for drastic measures. I go to bed sometimes as early as 9. Sleep is key.
I started taking fish oil at the suggestion of my son's pediatrician and it has helped tremendously with my memory even though we eat good fish and I eat flax meal every day.
Your body is a temple so take good care of yourself.
Hope you feel better soon,
A.T. answers from Syracuse on May 21, 2008
Most of the moms discussed already about the vitamins and supplements, but I just wanted to add my experience about eating. I have had to eat more while nursing, than any other time in my life. My daughter is now 16 months old and I am still nursing her and I have to eat almost double what I did before pregnancy and 1/3 more than while I was pregnant. I really wanted to lose my pregnancy weight when I first had my daughter so I started eating very little and low carbs, within days I was feeling so drained and sick and very tired and gross. I started upping the calories in my diet, while still eating very healthy and taking vitamins and so forth, and I felt much better. I also have friends that have to eat constantly while nursing. I know it isn't easy, but I really do feel that you need a higher caloric intake while nursing, that way your body will have plenty to give your baby and you. good luck!
R.R. answers from Rochester on May 20, 2008
I have found cooking on a cast iron pan really helps with dietary iron. I'm never low- and many of my relatives are anemic so its in my genes to have low iron. It's also a great way to have non-stick without the harmful teflon residues, since properly seasoned cast iron is non-stick.
The other thing I would suggest is do smoothies with a powdered greens supplement. Greens really give you a boost!
I use coconut milk as a base, or hemp milk for a change. Perfect Food & Barley Greens are two popular & quality green supplements that work well- my energy smoothies include base milk (coconut, hemp, etc), scoop of powdered greens, scoop of fiber (I like Superseed), scoop of powdered protein (either goat milk protein as I can't do cow's milk but tolerate goat milk, or else hemp protein powder),scoop of powdered goji berries, scoop of powdered camu camu, and 2 healthy handfuls of frozen berries/banana... I put in some stevia if I want it sweet, and raw cacao powder if I'm in a chocolate mood. Sometimes I add almond butter if I have it on hand too. MMM!
Quinoa is a grain with a very high protein content and was hailed by either the Mayans or Incas, can't remember which, as a power breastfeeding food. I love it with olive oil, lemon juice, parlsey, and tomato (salt & pepper too). Other than that, make sure you are eating enough good fats.. they stoke your inner furnace to have energy... I like to dip dates in virgin coconut oil throughout the day, what a heavenly snack! Fish oil is a must too. I am exclusively nursing an 11 month old who has little interest in food- I've tried veggie/fruit purees but he just isn't interested! So I know how draining it can be.
On the immune end of it, probiotics are great (Primal Defense is the best, albeit pricey).
K.M. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Wow, you had a very healthy active life before your baby came. I think iron is sooo important because breastfeeding is like giving your blood. Plus if you have nutrient deficiency, you're baby won't get enough nutrient. That can cause some problem in her life. I know how I become when my iron level is low. I get dizzy and my energy level goes down to zero. I think one of the reason you have no energy is lack of iron. I would suggest if you are breastfeeding, you should make it a rule to take supplement regularly (that's your food.) quite honestly, you can get enough nutrient from food. The land has been depleted (for instance, in orderand food are over processed and all other bad stuff like pesticide, preservatives and etc. Also you can take some other things like protein shake for your exercise.
S.H. answers from Albany on May 21, 2008
I have to agree with the others that you need more food and probably more fluids as well. I would recommend eating more raw fruits and have a green smoothie for breakfast or even several times a day. Add some probiotic superfood (email me for info about that if you like) to the smoothie and this will help absorption of nutrients that you need.
Vitamin pills are typically not absorbed and can cause more harm than good. See www.rawfamily.com for green smoothie info and recipes.
Have you had any dental work done lately? Mercury blocks iron absorption and when the body is detoxified of mercury, anemia can go away in a matter of a couple of weeks without dietary changes. Amalgam fillings are at least 50% mercury and drilling would have released a bunch of it into your body.
Did you have a C-section or given antibiotics for any other reason since the birth? If so, you need to supplement with good bacteria because you have candida overgrowth which can cause your tiredness.
Just a few ideas. Hope it helps and hope you get your energy back soon!
G.T. answers from Rochester on May 21, 2008
Are you giving the baby a bottle at all? If so, is it formula or breast milk? She is 10 1/2 months old, it might be time to start weaning her off breast milk and get your self back in shape. Talk to the doctors about it. It won't be long before the "baby" is a toddler and you aren't going to have the strength to chase her around if you don't start doing something now. And get your weight up a little. At 5'9" you are on the low end of the chart.
D.V. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
You need to eat more. Thats not enough food to support yourself and your breastfed baby. Don't get me wrong, the baby is fine but she is taking your nutrients and you are being left without enough to maintain your energy. You should be eating around 2500 calories per day through a balanced diet. The dairy shouldn't be such a problem (you MUST take your calcium supplement)but you need to be eating meats, veggies, carbs and fruits every day. 130lbs at 5'9" is quite thin. It means you don't have fat reserves to depend on anymore. The excercise you're doing is great but thats depleting you even more calorie wise. My advise is to eat, eat, eat until you are finished with nursing. I'm assuming you're still taking prenatal vitamins. Those are a must also. Its wonderful that you're still nursing. Its a huge gift to your child that will last a lifetime. I hope you feel better soon.
M.K. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
It sounds like you haven't been taking your prenatal vitamins. If you breastfeed, you have to continue taking them daily to keep your body in shape. Your healthy eating habits and exercise aren't enough. If you look at a prenatal vitamin bottle it says, "For pregnant or nursing/lactating women." That will help a lot with the fatigue and immune system boost that you need. You are depleted.
You didn't mention sleep, but sleep deprivation can totally deplete your body as well.
Generally, when a woman is breastfeeding she feels healthier than any other time in her life, but it sounds like there is a lot going on with you.
Feel free to email me offline. I have some great breastfeeding resources like kellymom.com or a couple of breastfeeding message boards on Yahoo!
Go get those vitamins!
L.B. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
You should still be on your pre-natal vitamins and if not, get back on them! If you are still feeling that way after a couple of weeks, do a colin cleanse and stay on those vitamins!
A.G. answers from New York on May 22, 2008
Go back to your doctor and tell him. Also insist that a full blood workup is done. Have them test your iron, calcium levels and your THYROID. Start there and make sure you tell your doctor what you eat. He may be able to determine if there is something lacking there. As for your weight, some women loose weigh just from breast feeding. I was NOT one of them but my friend is. She can eat anything she wants while breast feeding and still loose. I'm not so lucky! A.
M.N. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
Hi J. - I have 3 children -one is 5 mos baby girl and I have been careful to take good care of myself throughout and I have spend a good deal of time with an alternative doctor on my health - here is what I have learned:
1) check your thyroid levels - very imp. during and after pregnancy
2) make sure you are getting enough iron
3) take 1000mg of Vit C a day
4) take a good quality Calcium/Magnesium supplement each day while breastfeeding and keep taking your prenatal vitamins - I use one by Rainbow Light from the health food store.
5) to make sure you are getting enough protein, have a protein drink most days - I use UltraClear which is rice based.
6) fish oil is also great for you and baby
7) try some yoga - wonderful for your energy levels
8) take a nap during the day if you can - even if it is just 15 mins if you are stilling feeling drained
9) get out and expose yourself to sunlight for 15 to 30 mins each day.
10) spend time with other moms/friends when you can - it always energizes me! girl time is important!
Good luck and I hope you are feeling better soon.
C.R. answers from Syracuse on May 21, 2008
Nursing is a wonderful thing but it takes its toll on your body....I have always stayed about 10lbs heavier when I nurse where as my best friend like you is always smaller than normal and bounces back after she stops...I guess you need to choose how long you want to nurse and go from there...at 10 months you should be slowing down on the nursing(with baby eating solids) and I would suggest you go to a dr or nutr. for a diet for your daughter...I would eat a lot of avacado because it contains the good fats(and we crave this during preg/nursing...thats why we love our icecream too)...and work your vitimans and supps into your schedule....give your husband the job if you forget...my husband is charge of reminding me cause with 5 kids and him I'm lucky I don't have to remember to breathe :) Take care and remember it's not forever, best of luck!
J.S. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
I have felt like that 3 times in my life. Once, I had lymes disease. The second, my thyroid was not working correctly. The third, I had mono.
Could you be allergic to soy? There can be so many different types of reactions...try rice milk. It's the best in the chocolate kind, lolol!!! There is casein free rice cheese. Smart Balance Light has no dairy. Neither does Fleichmanns Unsalted Margerine.
Make sure you are eating tons of protein, too. I nursed my DS for a year and I ate protein all day bc otherwise I would get woosey, etc.
I am a pro at dairy adn soy free cooking and baking if you need help. My 2 kids are soy, dairy, almond and peanut allergic. Drop me a line for more ideas!
D.Z. answers from Binghamton on May 20, 2008
Good nutrition is essential while nursing. Taking the right vitamins and calcium can make or break your energy level. If you are taking store bought or doctor prescribed vitamins, you unfortunately are not absorbing much of them at all. That is just the way it is. If you want more energy, you need to take better vitamins. Check out the ones at www.melaleuca.com and then send me a message if you want to know more. I take their vitamins and many of their supplements (while nursing a baby too) and my energy level has been great since I started taking them. I highly recommend that you take a serious look at what they can offer you.
I'll check back with you to answer any questions you may have.
As for your diet...it doesn't seem like you are eating enough, but know that you need an extra 500 calories a day when nursing. So, compare what you are eating to your previous healthy intake, add 500 calories of something healthy (non dairy of course) and that is what you should be eating.
Feel free to send me a personal reply. I'd be happy to chat with you further about this. I have nursed four babies and know all about feeling depleted.
K.H. answers from New York on May 21, 2008
As you know, it is difficult to really know what is causing your exhaustion and low immune system with just a short email. That said, here is something you might want to consider. It sounds to me that you are not getting nearly enough quality protein. When I was breast-feeding I craved red meat and knew that my body was telling me something about my nutritional needs. I suggest that you up your animal protein to 2-3 times per day. Get quality protein too--organic, grass-fed. This will dramatically increase your nutrient intake and provide you with omega-3s. You may also want to include quality fats such as extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. I'm not sure where you live exactly but New Jersey is a mecca for local grass-fed animal products (eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, bison, lamb). You can also order this online. It costs more but you don't have to eat a ton of it to get the benefits. It is important to eat "clean" amimal products, free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides because all of these things can significantly interfere with your health.
If you want to ask any questions, go ahead and email me directly. I'm a holistic health counselor who works with whole foods nutrition.
Good luck and bless, K. ____@____.com
T.M. answers from New York on May 22, 2008
Hi. I was just wondering if your doctor checked your thyroid. That could really screw up your system.