Assisting your weight loss with PhenQ while you are weaning your child may not be a good idea. So, for this article, I have searched for safe ways to lose weight and the reasons why you should avoid pills right now.
- Lactating mothers should avoid PhenQ.
- The caffeine, chromium, capsimax powder, and nopal may harm the breastfed infant.
- Breastfeeding may ultimately induce weight loss, so supplements are not needed.
According to one study, roughly half of U.S. women gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. On top of that, only 47% of Americans have a healthy weight at the start of pregnancy compared to 72% of Germans. (source)
Nonetheless, gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy instead of gaining nothing at all. But it is also a healthy choice to want to get back in shape fast.
In this article, you will find out why you should keep your distance from weight loss pills, including PhenQ, and how you can safely lose pounds while breastfeeding.
So, keep reading to the end to find out more.
Are Weight Loss Pills Safe During Breastfeeding?
Slimming supplements or weight loss, in general, is not recommended during breastfeeding as it may negatively impact your infant and milk supply, respectively.
According to the CDC, nursing mothers need an additional 330 to 400 calories per day as compared to non-pregnant, non-nursing women.
For instance, the caloric requirement of nursing mothers may roughly be equivalent to 2000 to 2800 kcal per day as compared to 1600 to 2400 kcal per day for non-nursing, non-pregnant, and moderately active women.
In addition to this, most weight loss pills work by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, which on the one hand, suppresses appetite and boosts energy. Still, it also causes anxiety and triggers the release of cortisol (stress hormone) from the adrenal glands.
With reference to this effect, Dr. Shivani Patel, M.D. (obstetrics and gynecology) writes that the milk supply can get dramatically reduced due to high levels of cortisol in the blood and high stress and anxiety in the mother.
Even some FDA-approved weight loss drugs, like Phentermine, Contrive, and Qsymia, pass into the breast milk and are not recommended.
Similarly, the safety of FDA-approved slimming drugs like Saxenda, Wegovy, or Orlistat has not been evaluated in nursing mothers, so they should also be avoided.
Apart from this, the issue with herbal fat burners and weight loss supplements is that FDA does not test and regulate them.
Plus, they contain high quantities of ingredients such as Yohimbe and green tea extract and pose a serious risk to the liver, heart, and kidneys; hence, they are also unsuitable for mothers.
Taking PhenQ While Breastfeeding – The Risks Involved
PhenQ should be avoided while breastfeeding since it contains ingredients that may get released into the breast milk and harm the infant.
The PhenQ components that may harm infants include caffeine, capsimax powder, nopal, and chromium picolinate. The science-backed reasons why it is so are given below:
Your Caffeine Intake May Over-Caffeinate The Infant
Caffeine is released into breast milk and may cause infants to become fussy and jittery and cause difficulties in their sleep.
The PhenQ formulation contains approximately 150 mg of caffeine per dose to motivate you to exercise as it gives an energy boost and enhances alertness.
Considering that you have to take two doses per day so your daily caffeine intake with just PhenQ may be approximately 300 mg.
Now, according to the LactMed database, a caffeine intake between 300mg to 500 mg (3 to 5 cups) is considered safe in breastfed infants who are 3 weeks or older.
Additionally, lactating mothers should lower their caffeine intake if they are feeding younger infants.
The reason is that preterm infants who are younger than 3 weeks of age can’t effectively metabolize the caffeine, but their serum levels of caffeine and related compounds are identical to their mother’s levels.
In general, studies have found that caffeine levels peak in breast milk within 1 to 2 hours of intake, so feeding times should be spaced with approximately 4 to 7 hours of caffeine intake.
Studies have evaluated the effect of a mother’s caffeine intake on breastfed infants and reported that it makes them jittery, irritable, jumpy, fretful, poor, and weak in sleep.
For instance, in one study, a mother reported that her 6-week-old breastfed infant presented increased jitteriness and trembling. Upon questioning, the doctors found that the mother used to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine every day in the form of coffee (4 to 5 cups), cola (2 to 3 480 mL bottles), and occasional tea and chocolates.
Capsimax powder may trigger skin reactions in breastfed infants.
Capsicum components (capsaicinoids) are unsafe for the baby when taken by mouth.
Again according to LactMed, capsaicin and related compounds are released in the breastmilk of mothers who eat Capsicum species such as red pepper, which may lead to skin rashes in breastfed infants.
PhenQ contains 8 mg Capsimax powder that contains concentrated capsaicinoid compounds to trigger thermogenesis and fat burning in obese individuals.
It was documented in a case report that mothers who breastfed after eating red pepper-flavored food triggered the development of dermatitis in the 6-month-old infants, although they themselves had no history of it.
In general, it is recommended to wait at least one to two days before breastfeeding after the consumption of red peppers or capsaicin-containing spices.
Only A Narrow Range Of Chromium Safe Dose Has Been Tested In Nursing Mothers.
Chromium is required in trace quantities in the body, and you get chromium from a variety of sources, including in the air, soil, and water, so additional supplementation is rarely required.
PhenQ has 10 mcg of chromium per dose due to its potential to induce weight loss.
Now comparing this to the special precautions by Rxlist.com, chromium intake is likely safe in breastfeeding mothers if it is lower than or equal to the ‘adequate intake’ levels.
The adequate intake levels of chromium for 18–19-year-old nursing mothers are defined as 44 mcg per day, whereas for 19- to 15-year-old moms, it is 45 mcg per day. Nonetheless, to be on the safe side, it is preferred to avoid any supplementation.
The Safety Of The Nopal in Breastfed Infants is under-established.
There is no denying that the nopal is filled with nutrients, but its safety in nursing mothers and babies has not been evaluated in scientific studies.
PhenQ contains 20 mg of nopal per serving because the fiber in it may induce weight loss and fullness, and it also has a hypoglycemic effect.
However, according to this book chapter, nopal should be avoided in lactating women.
How Can I Lose Weight Fast While Breastfeeding? – The Safe Way
As mentioned in the previous sections, you require a calorie surplus while breastfeeding, and weight loss requires you to get into a calorie deficit which may adversely affect your milk supply.
Therefore, it is better to wait at least until the second month of breastfeeding to lose weight, as studies show that, by this time, the effect on milk supply is not that severe.
So, here are some ways by which you can safely shed some pounds while weaning your baby.
1. Keep up with breastfeeding, as it will eventually get you rid of your weight.
Studies report that the longer mother breastfeeds their babies, the more weight they lose.
In an extensive study on U.S. women, weight loss in non-nursing mothers and mothers who breastfed was noted.
The results showed that women who breastfed for at least 3 months lost an average of 3.2 pounds, whereas those who breastfed for 12 months had a 2.7% greater weight loss.
It was concluded that women who exclusively breastfed for at least 3 months have a 6% more chance of returning to pre-pregnancy BMI and weight than women who didn’t breastfeed or breastfed non-exclusively.
2. Gradual Weight Loss is the way to go about it.
Fad diets and rapid weight loss are big nos when you are trying to lose weight while breastfeeding.
The reason is that it can cause low energy levels, weight loss plateau, and make your body go into starvation mode, which can stop non-essential processes like milk production.
A study on 69 lactating women with high (33%-35%) fat reserves indicated that a gradual weight loss (< or = 4.4 pounds) achieved from dieting and exercise doesn’t compromise the production of breast milk.
Nonetheless, you need to be careful that you are staying hydrated, eating at least 1800 calories every day, and getting complete nutrition and micronutrients, especially iodine and choline (as recommended by CDC) from your diet.
3. Moderate exercise is the key to a well-maintained physique.
Exercise helps to preserve lean muscle mass while simultaneously triggering fat-burning and improving mood.
However, wait at least 6 to 8 weeks postpartum before picking up a light exercise for the day.
For instance, you can do cardio, which requires you to increase your pulse rate for 15 to 20 minutes by brisk walking while pushing your baby’s stroller.
Is PhenQ safe during pregnancy?
No, you should avoid PhenQ during pregnancy. The reason is that it has caffeine, chromium, and other such ingredients, which may harm the baby. So, always consult your doctor before taking supplements during pregnancy.
Can you take any weight loss pills while breastfeeding?
The safety of most weight loss supplements is under-researched, and most of them are contraindicated with breastfeeding, so it is better to avoid them.