- advertisement -

Carbs in breastmilk

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by 5kids4me, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. 5kids4me

    5kids4me Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    727
    Having a conversation with a fellow d mom and we are curious how one would figure carbs/insulin dosage for an infant/toddler with t1d who is breastfeeding. I believe I remember someone here saying they continued to breast feed after dx.
     
  2. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    It was forever ago for me but I believe I counted 4 carbs per "side" and then adjusted if there seemed to be, um, more or less.

    When I started to wean Selah she suddenly went full-on gotta nurse all the time. Turns out she was thirsty and hungry because of onset. When she was diagnosed, they wanted me to wean her right away because it was hard to know how many carbs she got nursing. So here she was, so sick, getting shots every day, thirsty and hungry still, and the primary source of food and one source of comfort, we were supposed to yank that away at the same time, just because they didn't want to have to help me figure it out. Folks here helped me figure it out!:)

    Really, it's not that much different from other carb counts for a toddler. If you feed a toddler a dish of cereal, half winds up on the face. If you feed an older kid an apple, the sweetness and size of the apple and how much gets left on the core all vary carb counts. I didn't have any more trouble counting breastmilk carbs than I did figuring out how many carbs were in a handful of grapes, with each grape being a different size and sweetness and some winding up in the high chair next to her. :p

    Also, the amount of nutrition per ounce and the fat and protein in breastmilk, it gave a more even carb absorption than most other baby foods. A jar of baby veggies, baby fruit, baby cereal -- these were all very fast carbs, a lot at once for a small kid, and little fiber or protein to even it out. So continuing to breastfeed helped us in those early days. Also, every time she ate, she was hydrated.
    Someone with more recent experience might be able to give you a more specific answer, though!
     
  3. 5kids4me

    5kids4me Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    727
    Lisa, thank you! I thought of you when I posted this but couldn't remember for sure if I was remembering the right person! I completely agree with you on not weaning. I would have felt the same way...thank you for the reply!
     
  4. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    I wish I could find the sources that helped me three years ago, I'd link!


    Sorry for the rambling, emotional reaction! :p

    This was a big deal for me at dx, really complicated things. I was sent to a dietician in our endo office for insulin dosage changes at one point, and she was reluctant to help me adjust Lantus until I'd commit to stop breastfeeding. :( It still brings tears to my eyes.

    I personally don't think breastfeeding is a holy grail, I think you can do well with or without it. I just think making a major change like that at the same time you are getting a dx, when it's simply not necessary, is really hard.

    Knowing what I know now about carb counting, I don't know why it was ever an issue for the office. I think it was a matter of dealing with people who didn't understand either breastfeeding or diabetes in little kids (maybe diabetes at all) very well, and who were afraid of making a mistake. :( If I can help on anything, please let me know.
     
  5. 5kids4me

    5kids4me Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    727
    Thanks Lisa, my friend had actually weaned right before her son was diagnosed. We were just talking hypothetically...

    I believe the emotional aspects of weaning soon after dx would be enough of a reason to keep nursing, if I was in this position. I'm not a breastfeeding militant either...but I did breastfeed all of my kids and they really relied on it when sick with a cold. I can only imagine an infant with t1d would need the comfort (and everything good that goes along with that) even more.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. ShanaB

    ShanaB Approved members

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    900
    Emma was nursing before dx, in the ICU, and for about 4 mos post dx. We started pumping (insulin) about 6 weeks post dx. When she was on needles, we would just correct down if possible because I couldn't really bolus for breast milk as .5u would drop her like a rock. When we started pumping, I would do 5c for each 10 min block of feeding. Really I just guessed and tried to go with it. She was also on diluted insulin in the pump so looking back I have no idea really what I was bolusing for -- just did my best. To be honest it was all such a blur and frankly, I'm not sure how I survived :)

    My clinic was very supportive about continuing to nurse and said don't worry too much about the fluctuating bg's. I think for them the emotional comfort for both Emma and I outweighed worrying about every single carb. I do remember coming on here and wanting to pull my hair out about weaning her but like all kids, she stopped when it was right for her, around 14 months old.

    I found in the beginning breast milk was awesome at bringing up lows especially in the middle of the night. Near the end, I found it really didn't do much to her bg's. We know the milk changes as the child grows and I am just so grateful I could provide the carbs she needed when she was so little and low because she really had no other food/juice at that point.

    Wow, the memories. Sorry to ramble :)
     
  7. Jilleighn

    Jilleighn Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    746
    Loren was Dx at 18months and weaned at 23months. So I was breastfeeding after the DX. We did shots (novolog and lantus). I would nurse her and then feed her a meal and add roughly 10g of carbs for the breast milk to the meal. it seemed to help allot. I didnt pump at all so i didnt really know how much breastmilk she was getting. I was actually in the process of weaning when she was DX and after talking it over with our Pedi, Endo and my husband we all felt she had enough going on that to hold off a little bit before we weaned. It worked out great in the end
     
  8. bibrahim

    bibrahim Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    396
    Breastmilk averages 20 calories per ounce so it would be less than 5 carbs per ounce because part of it is fat and protien.

    Carbs and protien grams are are 4 calories per gram and fat grams are 9 calories per gram. I think there are maybe 1.5 carbs per ounce maximum. That is just an educated guess :). A person could pump and see how much they get at a pumping session and that would be close.

    You could also weigh the baby before and after a feeding and each gm of wt gain equals 1cc of breastmilk intake. There are 30cc/ounce so in order to say they have taking in an ounce of milk they would gain 30 grams.

    A Certified Lacation Consultant could help with all of that figuring as could some Public Health Nurses who have home scales for seeing babies. Hopefully I didn't get it wrong as I am not looking any of it up, just rambling but for sure and for certain if a woman wants to BF her CWD she should get the support to do so. Lisa, sorry for your experience, It makes me mad!!
     
  9. 5kids4me

    5kids4me Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    727
    Thank you all for all this info! It will help someone searching for this, I am sure!
     
  10. SarahKelly

    SarahKelly Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,147
    we had great support to continue BFing after Isaac was dx (and yes, he's still nursing now!) When he was dx he nursed a lot due to the thirst of being undx for so long and we'd treat a nursing differently depending upon the circumstances - mostly if he had eaten a lot of food before, if his BG was high, low or just right. What worked best for us was to give just a little more insulin with his meal knowing he nursed about an hour after lunch and dinner, then he'd already be covered. Now it's "free" as it's really just a short nip before bed. We estimated 10grams of carbs for both sides :) (so weird to say that!) But hey, it worked and now the kiddo that was so much trouble to get latched on at birth won't stop!
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice