Is It Safe to Be in Ketosis If Pregnant or Breastfeeding

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

When you’re growing a new person, you want to ensure you’re eating optimally for your health as well as your baby’s.

Since keto helps fix a broken metabolism and can reverse Fat Storing Hormone resistance, both of which can negatively affect a fetus, and it emphasizes nutrient-dense food, you’d think it would be a no-brainer to be on a low-carb ketogenic diet during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

But, curiously, this isn’t the case according to some mainstream medical providers.

Let’s dig in to see why.

In This Article:

  1. Claims that Keto is Dangerous
  2. Yet Healthy KetoTM Emphasizes Nutrient-Dense Foods
  3. The True Shocker
  4. Keto Will Nourish Your Baby Along With You

Claims That Keto Is Dangerous

There’s conflicting information floating around about the safety of the keto diet while you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. Particularly online; you can find information stating that keto is dangerous during these times because it causes alterations in embryonic organs.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? The keto way of eating could damage your baby!

Not so fast.

If you read the study this statement is based on, you’ll discover it was done on mice. And you have to dig deep to get details about what the mice were fed. The diet is referred to as The Ketogenic Diet TD 96355. Here’s what it included:

  • Casein: a protein found in cow’s milk
  • Vegetable shortening (hydrogenated Crisco): a trans fat that is harmful to your health
  • Corn oil: which should be limited in your diet because it’s highly refined and contains high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats.
  • Vitamin mix: this mix contained synthetic vitamins, which are filled with chemicals and aren’t very bio-available for your body to use as nature intended.

Does this sound like the kind of food you’d eat if you were following the ketogenic diet? (Please say no!) If you did, you’d probably have alterations in your organs too. These ingredients are debilitating.

(And if you do have pet mice, don’t feed them this!)

picture of a woman's pregnant belly in profile

Yet Healthy KetoTM Emphasizes Nutrient-Dense Foods

Keto is typically a very nutrient-dense diet filled with healthy fats and moderate protein. The version I recommend, my Healthy KetoTM, has lots of vegetables in addition to fats and protein, to ensure you’re consuming an adequate amount of essential nutrients.

How could eating this way be unhealthy for a fetus or infant?

On the keto diet, your focus is on reducing carbs to keep your blood sugar and Fat Storing Hormone levels low. Doing so potentially sets up your baby’s body to be able to regulate their own blood sugar and Fat Storing Hormone levels, lower their potential of being too large because of maternal diabetes, and reduce their risk of obesity.

Yes, there are articles stating that a low-carbohydrate diet is dangerous to a fetus; however, if you read the details you’ll discover that the articles mostly regurgitate outdated nutrition advice based on the guidelines in the food pyramid that have been shown to be unhealthy. They recommend far too many servings of carbs and dairy, and far too little healthy fat.

Plus, of course, the pyramid contradicts a healthy ketogenic diet.

When I dug into the research, I discovered that most of the articles assumed you were going on keto while pregnant to try to lose weight, something I think we can all agree is the wrong focus.

Instead, when you're pregnant, your focus understandably is on ensuring you eat nutritious food to support both your health and your baby's. Because a healthy ketogenic diet is based on high-quality whole foods that are nutrient-dense, it's ideal for both of your nutritional needs.

Let me also reassure you that the warnings you find which state that ketones could be an issue when they cross the placenta are unfounded. Ketones are naturally produced by your body when it uses fat for energy instead of sugar, as happens on a low-carb diet such as keto. They're nothing to be concerned about, but you'll find many misconceptions about them.

And you know something? There’s a recommended food for your baby that’s actually harmful. Keep reading; this may surprise you.


The True Shocker

To me, a total shocker is a recommendation to feed a baby infant formula. Do you know what the ingredients are?

  • 56 grams of corn syrup solids; this amount contains as much sugar as a 16 ounce Coca Cola
  • Corn maltodextrin, which is exceptionally high on the glycemic index
  • Sucrose, a fancy word for sugar. This type of sugar is likely beet sugar not cane sugar.

These ingredients are likely all GMO (genetically modified organisms) that are laden with glyphosate (known as RoundUp). The long-term effects on human health of organisms that have been artificially modified are mostly unknown, but preliminary research suggests there is potential for harm.

And RoundUp is a suspected carcinogen.

How can the formula be deemed safe for babies yet a keto diet emphasizing high-quality food rich in nutrients be considered unsafe?

I should do a video asking if it’s safe to feed your baby infant formula, instead of whether it’s safe to be in ketosis if you’re breastfeeding!


Keto Will Nourish Your Baby Along With You

Yes, the high-fat keto diet is safe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

When you follow my Healthy KetoTM way of eating, you’ll be providing yourself with nutritious food that will support your pregnancy and the growth of your baby. Then, when you’re breastfeeding, you’ll get the added benefit of weight loss from the keto diet so you can remain healthy while shedding your baby weight.

You can thrive on keto - and so too can your precious baby.

a picture of a variety of keto foods

Focus on high-quality food that’s laden with nutrients. You can’t go wrong.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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