During pregnancy, women need more calories and essential nutrients for the normal development of the baby and for their own body. The baby needs a wide variety of foods in order to get the essential substances so that all tissues and organs develop properly.
Be aware: The folic acid which is fundamental for the baby, is needed starting with the very first days of formation, so it would be ideal to get folic acid prior to getting pregnant.
Women are anxious to get back in shape after childbirth but they should wait at least two months postpartum to go on a diet (the ideal would be to wait until your baby starts to eat solid food). A breast feeding mother should also get a balanced and adequate nutrition to ensure a optimum nutritive milk supply for her baby and to avoid her own body resource depletion.
A low-carbs diet determines a rapid weight loss, which is not advisable for a breastfeeding mother, at least not the loss resulting after Phase 1. The weight loss should be slower, the diet should contain more fruits and starchy vegetables.
Also, the first phase may induce ketosis and so far it hasn't been established whether ketones are also present in the milk or not and what levels put the baby at risk. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may diet but they must maintain their carbs intake to the maintenance level, which is significantly higher than the weight-loss level.
The protein recommended in the diet is necessary for both mother and baby and so is fat.
The basic principles of the South Beach Diet of eating the right fats and carbs are recommendable for everyone. Choosing low glycemic foods including whole fruits and vegetables gives you the natural vitamins that are good for you and for your baby. Omega-3 oil (in fish) is particularly important for brain development in the fetus and may help prevent postpartum depression.
Dr.Arthur Agatston recommends a modification to the meal plans in South Beach diet breast feeding — three cups of 1% or fat-free milk should be added daily. South Beach diet pregnancy and breast feeding diet should start directly with Phase 2, as it is more liberal than Phase 1, but don't expect to obtain a spectacular weight loss.
During Phase 2 you will eat all the foods recommended in Phase 1 and healthy carbs from foods such as whole grain breads, cereals, fruits, dairy products, vegetables and legumes.
To use sparingly: whole grain bagels and semi-sweet chocolate, among others.
To avoid: all unfavorable carbs such as white bread, cookies, dinner rolls, honey, and ice cream.
- Make sure the calories intake is sufficient (not less than 1800/a day).
- Keep an eye on your milk supply watching your baby's weight gain.
- Lay off refined sugar and flour. Instead, use unrefined starches — real whole-grain flour, pastas and breads.
- Have regular meals and snacks whenever you get hungry.
- Eat a variety of foods from each food group.
- Check with your doctor the possibility of a strong multivitamin supplement, and some extra vitamin C.
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration, and make sure it is good water, that is, deep-well spring.
- Avoid hydrogenated fats and frying — unless you use a wok.
- Avoid all alcoholic beverages, including beer.