This article will give you an in-depth perspective on the safety of mass gainer use while breastfeeding your young ones.
Yes, mass gainers can be used during lactation to fulfill the increased calorie requirements of nursing mothers and provide macronutrients, especially proteins.
But are mass gainer ingredients secreted in milk? And is it safe for my child? – These are the questions that we typically get asked around this topic.
So, today we’ve brought science-backed answers to all your queries. In addition to that, by the end of this read, you’ll also find some safe and hassle-free yet effective tips for increasing your weight while breastfeeding.
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
Is it Safe to Drink Mass Gainer While Breastfeeding?
Yes, mass gainers supplements are generally safe for nursing mothers and feeding infants. However, taking an excessive amount may adversely affect the health of the mother and baby.
It is commonly thought that the mother’s diet choices and eating habits significantly affect the quantity and quality of her breast milk.
Due to this reason, some women take supplements like MG to enhance their nutrient and calorie intake. However, scientific studies show varying observations.
Research shows that if the mother takes less than the required calories, she still produces the same quality of milk as she would when she takes enough calories.
Usually, milk is formulated in breasts using nutrients from food.
However, when adequate energy and nutrients are not present, the mother’s body utilizes its nutrient reserves to maintain the nutritional content of milk.
This may damage the health of the feeding mother, causing her to lose weight and become weaker, but her child would still get the best from her.
It is known that micronutrients like vitamins and minerals and medicinal components like caffeine, stimulants, etc., are secreted in milk. Otherwise, milk composition is almost consistent in most women, irrespective of diet.
Nonetheless, if the mother is extremely nutrition-deprived and even her body tissues cannot provide for macro and micronutrients, she won’t be able to feed her baby well.
How Safe are Mass Gainers Ingredients for Breastfeeding Mothers
Coming back to our discussion of mass gainer safety for breastfeeding, we present a breakdown of key ingredients of these supplements, analyzing their safety for mother and infant’s health.
Like most fitness supplements, mass gainers usually have some caffeine anhydrous. Though, its concentration in breast milk is not detected when a mother takes a small amount daily.
But with increased dietary intake, caffeine was found in milk and infants’ plasmic serum. And gainers usually contain a concentrated form (called caffeine anhydrous), so your caffeine dose will likely go beyond the un-transferable limit.
If the caffeine gets into the baby’s system, it can disturb his neural and hormonal pathways.
Being a psychic stimulant, it interferes with the young one’s sleeping routine and cognitive stability, making them fussy and uncomfortable.
Research on drugs and lactation published by the National Library of Medicine (US) also proves that maternal caffeine consumption increases irritability and irregular sleep patterns in breastfed children.
Another negative effect of caffeine consumption while feeding is that it reduces the amount of iron in milk.
This can lead to anemia in the baby as iron is the vital component of the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells.
Most mass gainers have artificial flavoring and sweeteners to improve the taste of supplementary shakes.
These artificial sweeteners are not easily digested in the human gut and can get absorbed into the mother’s blood. In turn, they are secreted in the milk and may adversely affect an infant’s health.
These synthetic sugars can disturb the baby’s gut, cause abdominal pain and increase the probability of gaining excessive weight.
It is an established fact that lactating mothers need more dietary protein. And mass gainers seem to be an excellent source as they contain a huge amount of protein in each serving.
However, the same feature makes these supplements unfit for most feeding mothers.
As the larger portion of this protein content comes from dairy sources, i.e., whey and casein, it causes abdominal pain and digestive problems in children with milk protein allergy (MPA).
MPA is common among babies in their early months. This allergy is provoked when the baby receives cow’s milk protein (whey ingredients) absorbed in her mother’s milk.
This effect has been reported clinically with symptoms including watery stools, crying, and regurgitation by the baby. When the mother stopped taking milk products, ailment signs disappeared.
How Can I Gain Weight While Breastfeeding Without Mass Gainers?
Consume High Protein Diet
Protein is your body’s most required nutrient when trying to gain weight. And the requirement even becomes higher for nursing women as they are secreting many amino acids in milk.
If these protein molecules are not supplied through diet, they will come from the mother’s muscle mass which in turn causes a reduction in body weight and stamina.
Hence, you need to consume a natural diet with 3x larger protein content.
One part is to save your muscle from deterioration, the second part is to provide for your babies’ growth through breast milk, and the third part is to gain weight and lean muscle mass.
However, if your baby has milk allergies, avoid using dairy products. Non-dairy protein sources include meat, poultry, eggs, leafy vegetables, beans, and lentils.
During pregnancy and lactation, your calorie intake should be high as you are responsible for providing nutrition to your baby.
However, eating large meals at once sometimes becomes hard to get the additional calories. Moreover, the nutrient absorbance ratio is lesser for large meals than for smaller ones.
Plus, you will feed more hungry when breastfeeding because your mammary glands constantly use nutrients to produce milk so your baby can feed whenever hungry.
Hence, you should eat small meals every 3-4 hours to fulfill your nutritional needs and satisfy your appetite.
But make sure you are not taking large, fatty meals very often or consuming processed junk food now and then. Otherwise, this strategy would backfire, and you will accumulate a lot of stubborn fat.
What you can eat instead is described below.
Snack on Healthy treats
The idea of replacing processed foods with healthy snacks sounds so demanding because these are easily approachable effortlessly. Just grab the packet, open it, and munch. But these are harmful both to you and your feeding baby.
So, here is a short list of healthy snacks you can prepare in minutes or eat right away;
- Fruits are an excellent food source that provides macronutrients, micronutrients, fiber, flavor, and joy. And is a variety of fruits to help you take vitamins and important ingredients for your baby and yourself.
Fruits like avocado and bananas offer energy-rich carbs and good fats that help you gain a healthy weight and add growth-promoting fatty acids to milk.
Likewise, eating dates and papaya can increase milk production in mammary glands, as proven by scientific evidence. Thus, these fruits act as a natural galactagogue.
- Nuts like almonds, pistachio, walnut, peanuts, etc., are a good snacking option to substitute mass gainers as these contain a good proportion of growth-promoting fats like omega-3 and omega-6.
- Other easy-to-make and calorie-rich include bean salads, vegetable and hummus salads, peanut butter sandwiches, and no-bake protein bars made with granola, almond flakes, oats, peanuts, and chia seeds.
Also read: 5 Dangerous Mass Gainer Side Effects
FAQs on Weight Gain While Breastfeeding
Can breastfeeding mom take whey protein?
Yes, lactating moms can take whey protein as the nutritional needs are increased while breastfeeding unless their baby has milk protein allergies. However, you should check the ingredients and make sure the whey protein powder does not contain additional sugars, artificial sweeteners, etc.
Also, if you take the supplement in large amounts, the baby’s weight increases, leading to obesity.
Can you take serious mass while breastfeeding?
Yes, Serious Mass can be used to gain weight, as many mothers experience weight loss during breastfeeding.
But it is not recommended to consume serious mass in a large amount. It also contains whey protein, so if your baby has a milk allergy, do not use serious mass.
Can I take apetito pills while breastfeeding?
No, breastfeeding moms should not consume appetito pills because the anorexic drug’s components are transferred into the breast milk and harm the baby.
Mass gainers are an instant source of calories, carbs, and proteins. This makes them an attractive supplement for meeting the high nutritional requirements of breastfeeding mothers.
However, ingredients like caffeine, sweeteners, and whey proteins render these shakes potentially harmful for the baby as they are secreted in breast milk.
The healthier alternative to mass gainers are natural food, for example, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.