Are you a breastfeeding mom wondering if you can add MCT oil to your diet?
With so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what’s safe and what’s not.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and risks of taking MCT oil while breastfeeding, and help you make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you.
From the immune-boosting properties of lauric acid to the potential risks of supplementing with MCT oil during pregnancy and nursing, we’ll cover everything you need to know.
So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s dive in!
Can You Take MCT Oil While Breastfeeding?
MCT oil, or medium-chain triglyceride oil, has become increasingly popular in recent years for its potential health benefits. But can you take MCT oil while breastfeeding?
The short answer is that there isn’t enough research on the effects of MCT oil on breastfed children. While certain types of MCTs, like lauric acid and capric acid, can protect against infection and support your baby’s immune system, evidence suggests that when used in pregnancy, MCT oil may result in the depletion of essential fatty acids in the unborn baby.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid taking MCT oil if you’re nursing or pregnant. While it’s not necessarily dangerous, supplements while breastfeeding are not thoroughly researched, and we simply don’t know enough about the impact of MCT oil on breastfed babies.
What Is MCT Oil And How Does It Work?
MCT oil is a type of oil that is derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. It contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are a type of fatty acid that is easily absorbed and metabolized by the body. MCT oil is different from other types of oils because it is metabolized differently in the body.
When you consume MCT oil, it is quickly broken down and converted into ketones, which are used as a source of energy by the body. This makes MCT oil a popular supplement for people who are looking to increase their energy levels, boost their metabolism, and improve their athletic performance.
MCT oil also has some potential health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and aiding in weight loss. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of MCT oil.
If you’re considering taking MCT oil while breastfeeding, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. While MCT oil may offer some potential health benefits, there simply isn’t enough research on the effects of MCT oil on breastfed children. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid taking MCT oil while nursing or pregnant.
Benefits Of MCT Oil For Breastfeeding Moms
While MCT oil may not be recommended for breastfeeding moms, it’s important to note the potential benefits it can offer. MCTs have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and there is some evidence that they may help balance gut bacteria and combat pathogenic bacteria. This can be especially beneficial for breastfeeding moms, as they pass on their gut bacteria to their babies through breast milk.
In addition, coconut oil (which contains MCTs) has been shown to increase the levels of lauric acid and capric acid in breast milk, creating milk rich in health-promoting nutrients. Coconut oil is also easy for an infant’s immature digestive system to absorb and utilize, providing energy in the form of medium-chain fatty acids to help the baby grow and develop properly.
However, it’s important to note that MCT oil isn’t right for everyone. It still provides significant calories and can lead to weight gain if simply added to your current diet. Additionally, experts say that MCT oil might not be safe for people that are pregnant or breastfeeding, have diabetes or people with liver disease or other issues—so be sure to consult with your doctor first.
Potential Risks Of Taking MCT Oil While Breastfeeding
While there isn’t enough research to definitively say whether or not MCT oil is safe for breastfeeding mothers, there are potential risks to consider. One concern is that consuming MCT oil can increase the amount of MCT in breast milk, which may be harmful to the baby. Additionally, research suggests that using MCT oil during pregnancy may result in the depletion of essential fatty acids in the unborn baby.
It’s also important to note that MCT oil is a supplement and should not be used as a replacement for whole foods. Breastfeeding mothers should focus on getting the nutrients they need through a variety of real, whole foods rather than relying on supplements.
If you do decide to use MCT oil while breastfeeding, it’s important to start slowly and monitor for any digestive discomfort. It’s also crucial to choose a high-quality product that doesn’t contain any contaminants from the extraction process.
In general, it’s best to consult with your doctor before adding MCT oil or any other supplement to your diet while breastfeeding. While MCT oil may offer potential health benefits, the safety of using it during breastfeeding has not been thoroughly researched, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your baby’s health.
What Do The Experts Say About MCT Oil And Breastfeeding?
According to experts, there isn’t enough research on the effects of MCT oil on breastfed children. While certain types of MCTs, like lauric acid and capric acid, can protect against infection and support your baby’s immune system, evidence suggests that when used in pregnancy, MCT oil may result in the depletion of essential fatty acids in the unborn baby.
Dr. Pedre believes that MCT oil can be a supplement worth adding to your diet, especially if you have sugar cravings, trouble with weight loss, belly fat or carb cravings. Dr. Bhatia also recommends trying MCT oil if you have these issues. However, MCT oil isn’t right for everyone. Newgent warns that even though it might be healthful with weight management, it still provides significant calories and can lead to weight gain if simply added to your current diet. She adds that MCT oil isn’t advisable for people with essential fatty acid deficiency.
Experts also caution that MCT oil might not be safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have diabetes, or people with liver disease or other issues. It’s important to consult with your doctor before adding MCT oil or any other supplement to your diet.
Dr. Pedre recommends starting slowly with MCT oil and making sure it doesn’t cause any digestive discomfort. He also advises choosing a product carefully and watching out for omega-6 “filler oils” and contaminants that may remain in the MCT oil from the extraction process called fractionation, which may use solvents like hexane.
How To Safely Incorporate MCT Oil Into Your Breastfeeding Diet
If you’re not pregnant or nursing, and you’re interested in incorporating MCT oil into your diet, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that MCT oil should not replace whole foods in your diet. Instead, it should be used to supplement your diet.
To safely incorporate MCT oil into your breastfeeding diet, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your intake. Begin with a small amount, such as half a teaspoon per day, and gradually work your way up to one or two tablespoons per day.
It’s also important to choose a high-quality MCT oil that is free from any additives or fillers. Look for a product that contains Caprylic and Capric acid, which are the most beneficial types of MCTs.
When using MCT oil, it’s best to consume it with food to help improve absorption and prevent any potential digestive issues. You can add it to smoothies, coffee, or use it as a cooking oil.
If you’re unsure about whether or not MCT oil is right for you, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
Other Natural Ways To Boost Your Milk Supply
If you’re struggling with low milk supply, there are natural ways to increase your milk production. Here are some tips that may help:
1. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining milk production. Aim to drink a glass of water with each meal and feeding, and keep a water bottle handy throughout the day.
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet: A well-balanced diet can help ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need to produce milk. Focus on eating plenty of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
3. Get enough rest: Getting enough sleep is important for maintaining milk production. While it may be difficult to get a full night’s sleep with a newborn, try to rest whenever you can and take naps during the day.
4. Reduce stress: High levels of stress can interfere with milk production. Try to find ways to relax and reduce stress, such as taking a warm bath, practicing yoga or meditation, or going for a walk.
5. Try lactation teas and supplements: There are many natural supplements and teas that can help boost milk supply, such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, and fennel. However, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before trying any new supplements.
6. Nurse frequently: The more often you nurse your baby, the more milk your body will produce. Try to nurse on demand and avoid using bottles or pacifiers.
Remember that every woman’s body is different, and some women may struggle with low milk supply despite their best efforts. If you’re concerned about your milk supply or your baby’s weight gain, talk to your healthcare provider for guidance and support.