SCD & Breastfeeding

Today I got a blog comment from a woman who's interested in trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) but has concerns about getting enough calories and nutrients to continue breastfeeding her 8-month-old daughter. Here's her blog comment and my reply, for those who are interested in this topic. Keep in mind that the food list I included in my reply is enough calories for me when breastfeeding only FOUR times a day with Cassidy eating a lot of solids too. When I was nursing Cassidy 8-10 times a day I ate more almond flour baked goods, probably 2 more muffins or what-have-you per day.

November 11, 2008 10:03:40 AM
Hi Amy,

Just found your blog on a search of "scd diet + breastfeeding" on google. I'm inspired by your story. I have ulcerative colitis and have been flaring on and off since I was diagnosed 1 1/2 years ago. I flared throughout my pregnancy, was hospitalized for a week, and then gave birth 7 weeks early after a placental abruption. Anyways, my daughter is 8 months old and healthy as can be, but I am still flaring. I'm thinking of trying the SCD diet, but not sure I'll get all the calories/nutrients required to keep breastfeeding. Are you still breast feeding Cassidy? Had you talked to your doctors about this at all? Thanks for any help you could offer.

November 11, 2008 9:01:32 PM
Hi Audra,

I'm sorry to hear about the health issues you've been having. I know how hard it can be to feel sick while taking care of a baby. I hope that I can give you some answers about my journey with SCD to help you decide if you want to try it. First off, I am still breastfeeding Cassidy four times a day, and I'm for the most part feeling great on the diet. I did have a flare several months ago when I cut down on feedings. I think this flare-up was related to hormone fluctuations. So I went back to the intro diet from "Breaking The Vicious Cycle"" (BTVC), and stayed on that for a few weeks. That got me back to a healthy place, and I've been feeling great since. I spoke with a nutritionist when I was pregnant, and she agreed that the SCD is very healthy as long as one includes enough fruits and veggies. She also said the homemade yogurt (I make it from whole milk) and the almond flour baked goods are a great source of calcium, calories, and vitamins. I also take a prenatal vitamin, calcium citrate, and Omega 3-6-9.

My doctors are all thrilled with how I'm doing and say that I'm eating healthier than most of their patients who eat a "normal" diet. I've had no trouble keeping enough weight on and actually am up about 5 lbs over my pre-SCD weight. You may lose a little weight at first with the intro diet, but once your body gets adjusted and you figure out how many calories from foods other than bread products you need to eat during the day, it should get better. Here's what I ate today as an example of what you might need to eat in order to get enough calories to breastfeed and keep your weight up (I won't include water in my list, but I do drink a lot of it all throughout the day):

2 eggs
1 cup homemade whole milk yogurt mixed with...
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
8 oz apple cider

banana with peanut butter

2 slices of Lois Lang's Luscious Bread (from BTVC) with butter & honey
1oz cheese
1-2 cups homemade tomato soup (canned tomato juice, with homemade yogurt, salt, pepper, & honey)
handful of baby carrots

cashews and raisins
dried prunes

Parmesan Walnut Encrusted Chicken from Raman Prasad's "Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet"
1 cup pureed butternut squash (with honey, butter, salt & pepper)
1/2 c applesauce

homemade Peanut Butter Brownie
1/2 c homemade yogurt

Let me know if you have any other questions about anything at all. Starting the SCD is a really big deal and it helps to have a support system, whether it be family, friends, or Internet buddies like me. :)

Take care,


I'm so proud of you big sister.

Amy, I was wondering what omega 3-6-9 you take. I think this might be a helpful addition to my daily regimen!

Hello Amy,

I am following the adventures of your beautiful family for a while now (especially since i became pregnant on SCD) but now i need a little bit of your advice.
I couldn't find your email on the blog so i am writing in the comments. I am also brestfeeding on SCD and 5 months into breastfeeding i started to flare (exactly on my 2 year SCD anniversary). It has been going on for 2 weeks now and i stayed on intro first week and now i added few simple foods but basically it is still a lot of broth, pureed vegetables and meat and fish. I also started 2 g Pentasa when consulting my doctor.
Can you share with me how your flare when you breastfed looked like (how severe it was) and how long it lasted? And what you ate because i am starting to loose weight witouth nut goodies. I am also suspecting my hormones but at the moment it is not really important, what i need is to stop the flare so that i can continue to take care and hopefully breastfeed my soon to be 6 month baby boy.
Thank you in advance for your answers,

Hi Amy,
My baby is 5 wks old and I've been breastfeeding... I have been on diet 9 years and it has been very successful for me. After I gave birht though I went into flare and I cannot tolerate much.. mostly cooked pears, squash, beans, zuchini, carrots, all meats and fish, DCCC. I just don't have enough calories for us boht... I've been actually taking the boost drinks to give me more calories cuz I"m starving! I just don't know what to do, I can't tolerate yogurt or cheese... any advise?

I know I'm joining into this conversation very late but I'm breastfeeding my 7 month old son and am just starting to have a flare up again after being completely in remission during and after my pregnancy. I was on SCD prior to being pregnant but felt so great during (and had morning sickness and cravings) that I went off of it. Now, I'm starting the diet again (reluctantly) and am wondering why you went on the intro for so long. The book suggests a couple of weeks. That diet is so unbearable, I'm hoping I can just switch to the regular SCD without having to go on it again, but not sure if that will work.

Anyways, I'm really happy I found your blog!! There's not a lot out there about UC/Chrones and pregnancy/breasfeeding, let alone those things combined with SCD. It's frustrating! I'm new to the blogging world, but started blogging my recipes in case you care to take a look!

Hello, I hope you are still reading and responding to these comments. I'm just about to begin my 2 1/2 year old son on the SCD due to chronic diarrhea since about 3-4 months old. Initially we removed milk, then soy then variable other things with no long term success. After much reading and preparing I'm trying the SCD and hoping to heal and re-balance his gut! I was wondering however if you had ever heard of a nursing mother going on the SCD to prevent her nursing child from having the tummy troubles we had when my son was younger? I don't necessarily have any major troubles myself but am fully aware that what I eat is passed onto the nursing child. In the case of both my sons at around 3-4 months nursing exclusively they both had bloody moucosy stools and ended up on a special formula where the proteins were broken down etc. Since we're introducing the diet for my 2 year old and I'm expecting again I thought it might be worth a try for me to do it as well in case my 3rd child shows similar symptoms. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this since most of the Dr.'s I've spoken with haven't been much help when it comes to managing the symptoms using food. Thank you!

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