Can I Do GAPS if I’m Breastfeeding?
This question comes up nearly every time I write about GAPS – so all the time!
What is die off?
- Cultured/fermented foods
- Coconut products
- Fresh Pressed juices
- Apples and peanutbutter or other nut butter
- Yogurt with berries and/or coconut
- Savory yogurt with avocado, dill, and cubed meat
- Dried fruit
- Smoothies made with yogurt, frozen fruit, and a couple tablespoons of coconut oil blended in (buy healthy coconut oil here)
- Cheese and grain free crackers
What if the rest of the family needs Intro?
It seems to me that so many of you nursing moms want to add one more thing to your full full plate! I generally encourage moms to focus on the breastfeeding relationship for the full first year of the baby’s life, or until they have started to go longer between nursing and are starting a bit of solid food. But really, mamas, for the newborn period please try to relax and enjoy the baby if at all possible!
The GAPS introduction diet is a lot of cooking, cleaning, and feeding. I have tried to help the best I can by making the 30 days on GAPS Intro Ebook, but it still is a lot of cooking!
That said, in some cases it is best for the family to start the GAPS intro while mom is exclusively breastfeeding the baby. Maybe there is a sibling with autism or hyperactivity that could greatly benefit from the diet and make the baby’s newborn period much more calm, or another family member’s daily life is being affected by a GAPS condition.
In that case, I would recommend that mom eat the intro foods with the family, but add in some extras like cooked fruit and nutbutters or smoothies for easy calories. This can be done in a couple snacks a day- perhaps a smoothie mid morning and some apple sauce and a handful of nuts after the kids go to bed in the evening.
I personally feel it’s too much work for you to be cooking two separate meals, and it would be hard on the kids if you were snacking on food that they couldn’t have all throughout the day.
What if my baby is allergic to dairy/nuts/fruit/etc?
If you’re already basically limited to the GAPS intro foods by your or your little one’s food allergies, you may have no choice but to just go ahead and go on. You can still be very careful to reduce die off as much as possible, even putting off probiotics completely until the baby is eating more solids and very gradually introducing cultured veggies. Epsom salt baths should help with detoxifying, and drinking lots of gelatinous broth should help heal your gut quickly and provide your baby with much needed amino acids.
I hope this has helped answer some questions about GAPS and breastfeeding!
I have done the GAPS intro twice while breastfeeding- I did intro while nursing a toddler (he was 2 and was on intro too) and it wasn’t an issue at all. I did a ‘modified’ intro when he was 11 months old and still pretty much exclusively breastfeeding (I added cooked apples and coconut oil after a couple days).
I’d love to hear your experience, have you done GAPS while breastfeeding?
This is all just opinion and not intended as medical advice. I have no credentials, and am just a mom myself! Please check with your healthcare provider for your and your nursling’s specific needs.
Where to find the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book
Meal Plans for the Full GAPS Diet (which includes nuts, optional cultured dairy, and fruits)
What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Intro Handbook
Starting Solids with a GAPS baby or in a GAPS Family
5 Delicious Keto FatBombs
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I did the intro diet for one day and continued onto the full gaps diet for three months after, while nursing my 10 month old. He is my only child that doesn’t have eczema. It really helped my brain to heal from postpartum depression as well.
What do you think about detox baths? We’ve been on full gaps for a year (all while nursing my toddler) and i’ve been wanting to do the baths again but hesitant to start…
Just start small :) I can do detox baths no problem, but I usually advise anyone starting to start with just a tablespoon of epsom salts (rather than the 1 cup recommended in the GAPS book)
I’m interested in doing the GAPS diet for leaky gut, as my 6 month old is suffering terribly from my milk (cough since birth that the doc can’t figure out and really bad eczema). I have a list of about 10 foods I can eat because I’ve noticed that when I take certain things out of my diet, he does better, but still has horrible flare-ups of eczema and bloody diaper rash. After reading this, however, I’m thinking that I now need to eat way less fermented foods for now. Basically I eat paleo (primal, I suppose, because we eat a lot of grassfed butter), because we’ve been able to eradicate asthma, eczema, croup, sinus infections, etc with that particular diet, but I eliminated eggs and butter after my little guy wasn’t getting better. It seems like I shouldn’t go any further, but perhaps should just add broth to every meal and between meals for the gut healing? What is your opinion?
I would do the broth at every meal, I’d temporarily stop the butter too and see if that helped as well.
I’ve had to do the GAPS diet with each of my four babies that I nursed. My babies had progressively worse reactions to the food I ate (in other words, the fourth baby had the worst reactions). I ended up going on the intro for my last baby, and I eventually could only eat any meat, broth, and three different cooked veggies. Later I could eat three different raw fruits, including avocado. It was very hard, and I did it for three months, but I would do it all again for her.
I came across te GAPS diet because I was searching for a way to help my son with some serious issues, mainly digestive. He was just over a year when he started the diet and breast milk was about 80-90% of his food intake. The diet was for him but since I was nursing I had to follow the intro too. Neither of us suffered any die off effect but started seeing improvements 2 weeks after starting the diet! The hardest part was staying up to cook food for us when I was already sleep deprived…
We did GAPS for a year starting while breastfeeding a 3 month old. I did Epsom salt baths with b. soda. He is almost 2 years old now and is healthy. He gets sick less than any of my other children. One of our children had a health problem and once we found out about GAPS it couldn’t wait until timing was better. I didn’t eat extra snacks but spent more time laying down and resting. I cut a lot out of my schedule to be sure I could rest.
I started GAPS for myself and my 6 moonth old. We suspected she had autism after a round of 10days of antibiotics and 5 vaccines. Avoided eye contact, in her own world, unaware of anything else, played alone. I was nursing and we had just started solids. We saw an immediate change in her – within 24 hours of cutting out gluten and dairy she was a different baby. We are now 6 months in and stilldoing great but Intro has been tough. Do you have tips for putting a baby (12 moonths old now) on GAPS due to their gut problems. Or how it works through my breastmilk. I did a stool test to her and myself. Mine came backnormal, her pathogenic bacteria is way too high and several other issues. Any advice would be helpfu. Thanks!
This is so encouraging to read! Kudos to you for taking charge of your infant’s health. You can absolutely transition from breastfeeding to GAPS, I’ll link to a few articles:
Hi! So I’m needing some serious gut healing as is my family, especially my toddler who’s behavior has become worse and worse over time. I know you aren’t supposed to do intro while breastfeeding, but I already take a good probiotic, eat fermented veggies, and occasionally consume cultured dairy. Since these are the things you are supposed to be careful with/avoid, would I be in the clear to do GAPS intro? My baby is 9 months old but still gets most of her nutrients and calories from breastfeeding.