This is a really hard topic to write about, because I don’t want anyone to feel judged for their decisions, and its not a fun topic to discuss at all.
Many mums that begin TED’s come from a vegetarian or vegan back ground. In essence due to the high allergenic risk of dairy and eggs, both groups often start out on a Vegan TED. Which is completely understandable. If it is possible for you to maintain your health and your child’s health while upholding your own moral convictions then fantastic.
Some Mamas find that although it may be possible to maintain these restrictions on a TED that their health can go seriously into decline and for this reason many face the decision to either continue with the addition of animal protein trials, wean because their body can’t handle the stress any more or continue nursing despite the extreme toll it is putting on their body potentially causing or exacerbating long term health concerns from chronic malnutrition. Although it will not typically impact the the nutritional content of their breastmilk immediately. Long term malnourishment will deplete mama which will eventually pass on milk that no longer maintains the optimal nutrition because it can only take from what a mama has. This is why nutritional deficits are anecdotally connected with a reduction of supply. The body tried to make our blood, and breastmilk as a blood product, the best it can be to maintain our life and our child’s.
- Are animals lives more important to you than your child’s nutrition and your own health?
- Is it possible to look into more sustainable, free range, well treated farms near you to find an animal protein source that has come from a better life that you can consume in better conscience?
- Is it possible to try less farmed animals like game, deer, rabbits, elk, etc.?
- Could fish be a worth while food to trial?*
- Do you know someone who eats organic meat that could make you a simple meat broth that you could supplement your own meals with for increasing nutrition?
- Could you trial an organic bone broth or gelatine protein powder, or offal like liver to supplement your nutrition?
- Could camel milk be a worthwhile trial?
It may not be ideal to eat animal protein or produce, nor is it especially healthy or sustainable to eat it in larger amounts, that are so common in the vast majority of western diets. Animal protein is an extremely compact and nutritionally complex food source and introducing it into your diet, or your TED child’s diet, even in a small moderation of a couple of times a week could make a tremendous difference in providing essential nutrients to support your own and your child’s health and healing.
Just because it is possible to do a TED with very little safe foods for a long period of time, it doesn’t mean its healthy. It also doesn’t necessarily make it wise to further restrict the possible foods that could be included when your own and your child’s health is at stake. We have had mamas in our Facebook community group who go from decades of being vegetarian or vegan, to introducing animal protein because it was what their body and their child needed.
There is no shame in that. Some may not be able to tolerate animal protein due to histamine issues or alpha-gal allergies, but we don’t know these things until we try.
Hoping and praying, for clarity and discernment, for all Mamas having to make these kinds of challenging decisions for themselves and their TED tots.
Selecting fish can be a really difficult decision as “wild caught sustainable” would typically be best but isn’t always viable. Here is some info on considerations when looking at picking and sourcing fish: