Cambridge Diet: Dieting and Breastfeeding My Dilemma

ist2_5415608-stethoscope-and-apple-on-a-white-backgroundI’m facing a dilemma. I really, really want to lose weight post baby. Christmas has been and gone, and I have reached the avoiding mirrors and cameras and hating half my wardrobe stage. Something needs to be done. I’m so unhappy, with my size.

Now, think what you will of shake diets, I have tried lots of diets and the Cambridge Diet is one that I know really works for me. Before babies I lost weight well on it and maintained that loss too. It’s drastic, but effective. I don’t intend for this post to be a for or against shake diets, more of a I don’t know what to do next.

I also qualified as a Cambridge Consultant before my daughter was born, this is my plan to earn some money around my children now that I have given up work. My maternity money has finished now, so this is becoming an issue. We are far from dire straits, but that extra money would be useful.

My dilemma is this, as I mentioned in my post last week, my daughter is allergic to milk (My Experience of a Cow’s Milk Allergy Baby), she’s had issues and I have worked around these by cutting dairy out of my diet while breastfeeding her. I have tried introducing dairy free formula to her, but she really doesn’t like it, she turns her head, refuses it and sometimes spits it out. I’ve tasted it myself and it tastes sour, so I can’t blame her.

I’ve got two options, be tough and try and transition her over to the formula – vanilla essence and even Nesquik has been suggested to sweeten the flavour. Or… breastfeed her until she is 12 months.

But… If I breastfeed her I cannot go back on the Cambridge Diet, no steps at all are suitable and this is quite a big deal for me at the moment.

Another option is to carrying on breastfeeding until she reaches a year old, and in the interim try a different diet so I am at least loosing some weight in this time. Slimming World has been suggested. I do much better on structured diets, trying to cut things out at home doesn’t really work for me. Then at this point I could move her happily over to soy or oat milk and bypass the horrid formula all together.

My concern with this is that part of my business strategy for attracting new business was to go on the Cambridge Diet post baby and demonstrate how effective it is by doing it myself. I was hoping I could attract new clients from baby classes and pre-school. It’s not as effective if I am doing another diet. But I guess I could start off on another diet and then move across?

As a Mum it is my job to put my child’s interests above my own is it not? But I am really struggling with this decision. I think because your weight it such a personal and all consuming issue. But also because it is part of my business plan. It inevitably has financial implications. I could start taking clients now I guess, but would you want to work with an overweight consultant? I was going to breastfeed for 6 months and then go on the diet. Mind you, life has a way of laughing at our plans does it not?

As I write this, I think I have pretty much come to the conclusion that I must put my daughter first. But, please tell me, quite honestly – what would you do?



16 thoughts on “Cambridge Diet: Dieting and Breastfeeding My Dilemma”

  1. Weight Watchers is great whilst breastfeeding and I still really think that the combination of WW and bfing really helped me lose weight. I don’t think a diet choice should be a reason to stop bfing. You could do Cambridge from a year and still attract new clients I’m sure x

  2. I’m really fat. Not trying to deny it, and I’m really unhappy about it. I was quite slim before my first baby 3 years ago and have just ballooned. Especially since my second baby.
    I tried WW again (previously lost 5 stone on it pre-babies) and I found that I was still so hungry on it when BFing. WW tends to work by restricting calories, and SW by restricting fat. I started on SW and lost weight, but then fell pregnant again and HG did the work for me! I soon gained it back, went back down to pre-second pregnancy weight and then gained 2 more stone. I’d do SW again, but it’s a money issue and the sessions are bang on kids dinner time so trying to work around it.

    I still breastfeed my 3 year old as well as my 1 year old, so I wouldn’t stop breastfeeding to diet. There’s still so many benefits to breastfeeding until 12 months (and beyond) nutritional and emotional, and that would outweigh it for me, on a personal level. Especially when the alternative formula doesn’t taste as good. I tried adding vanilla essence to get my 3 year old to try drink cows milk, but it didn’t work! She’s super fussy though! I wouldn’t fancy using nesquik on a long term basis, isn’t there a lot of sugar/sweetener? Could she have soya/almond milk?

    Saying that though, I am not in your position. Being dairy free must be really really hard, and I’m not sure I could have done it for so long, I think you’ve done really well! As she’s over 6 months she wouldn’t be having it that often though, would she?

    When do you plan to take up being a consultant?
    Personally I think I would maybe take up SW or WW whilst continuing to BF for a bit longer. As a consultant, play on your loss with the Cambridge diet before baby and omit any other diet as it was for reasons beyond your control. You need to do what is right for you and A.
    I hope this makes sense, I’m just typing away quickly before bed so I don’t think I’ve been very eloquent!

  3. This a is a difficult choice – of course you want to do the best you can for Aria, but as someone who has struggled with weight all my life I know how important it is to be really wanting to do it – missing that motivational zone could make it much harder for you if you put it off. I think it is worth persevering with the formula – maybe try the vanilla, although I would be wary of Nesquik because of the sugar. After all,. she has to stop breastfeeding eventually, and there is no guarantee she will take to soys or almond milk any more easily than formula. Also, if it was any other food, I know you would persevere and offer it several times before admitting she does not like it. I know you have done this with Logan, to differentiate between a genuine dislike of a taste (fair enough!) and a n initially negative reaction to a strange taste. If you really feel that it is the former case with the formula, then maybe you will decide to carry on BF until 12 months. We all put our children’s needs first (rightly) but remember that the best mums are happy mums, and you might find the next three months quite frustrating if the time for you to stop has really come.

  4. @Donna yes that is pretty much the conclusion I am coming to, it’s not the right reason to give up even if I am not enjoying it that much. I have tried Weightwatchers before and had mixed success. I can’t decide between that and slimming world.

    @Cheryl thanks so much for your comment. I keep going backwards and forwards on it as I don’t really enjoy breastfeeding – dare I say it – but do it because I think it’s right for my child. Dairy free has been tough, but easier once I’m doing it. Dieting and dairy free and breastfeeding I really am not looking forward to that in the slightest and I personally find dieting harder breastfeeding. But I have to do something. In terms of being a consultant I am going to call my sponsor for advice several people have suggested that I could start doing it as long as I was honest about trying to lose weight now and my reasons etc. Also my hat off to you for feeding for 3 years! X

    @Hilary I just can’t decide! But I do keep coming back to the fact that I am being selfish with the formula when she obviously dislikes it so much. I am very reticent to try nesquik. Aria is fussy, but there is a difference to how she is with foods she’s not sure of and this formula. She is taking oat milk in her cereal now so I am hopeful she will take it at one. I am at the stage where I am not sure so I am carrying on as I mull it all over. X

  5. Hi, can i ask why you cant breastfeed at all and do the cambridge diet? I have waited for my little one to reach 1, which he has now, but he still feeds to get him to sleep. Would i still be able to follow the plan. Desperate to loose weight but cant have an unhappy little one! Thanks in advance

  6. I’m so pleased I came across your post. My daughter is 6 months. Just before falling pregnant I was on the Cambridge diet. Everyone told me I was mad for doing it, but as you works.
    Like you, my daughter is cows milk intolerant, ive been expressing for the last 6 months as she wouldn’t latch, I feel like I’ve spent her whole life attached to a breast pump…my partner calls me daisy the cow
    I’ve tried her on all formulas, and the gp finally prescribed a prescription formula which ive been told she will hate.
    As a last resort, I bought Nanny care (goats milk) which has just been authorised for use in babies in this country. It’s sold at waitrose.
    Touch wood with every bone in my body, she seems ok on it, I’m weaning her on to it very very slowly mixing it with breast milk…so I’m managing to reduce my pumping!! So now this leads me on to Cambridge.
    I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. It’s made me a bit of a recluse. I won’t go anywhere where I will bump into people I know from years ago. I’m not on Facebook. I’ve even stopped seeing distant family members.
    My sister is getting married in December so I can’t put it off any longer. I need to do this Now. I’m sorry for my rambling on, but your post was sooo similar to what I’m going through. I just hope she manages with this goats milk, so I can start Cambridge again. I’m not looking forward to it, as my only social network is other mummy’s and all we do is lunch!!!

    • I personally wouldn’t try the goats milk – are you under a dietitian? As it contains very similar proteins to cow’s milk as there is a good chance your daughter will react to it. I finally got my daughter to take the prescription formula by adding vanilla essence (dietitian’s recommendation) and also try mixing it with your breastmilk at first to slowly get her used to it. Good luck x

  7. Hi there, I’m pleased to of come across you’re post as I too am so so torn between Cambridge diet or breastfeeding. My little girl is 5 and a half months and initially I wanted to bf until she was 1 year.
    But my weight is totally out of control and something needs to be done. I have been on Cambridge diet before and found it worked really well for me. I have been doing slimming world but it’s not doing very much because also like you I think I do better on a more structured diet. I’m so torn!
    Would it really dry up my milk……could I perhaps try 2 shakes and a protein don’t a day?

    • It really would dry up your milk & a consultant won’t take you if you’re breastfeeding. I persevered and breastfeed my daughter until she was 11 months in the end as in my heart I felt it was the right thing. Maybe try my fitness pal and calorie count for a while. I have been there so I know what it’s like xx

  8. Needed to read this. I’m breastfeeding but it’s time to shed the pounds (there’s a lot of them to lose). My baby isn’t opposed to formula or intolerant so bye bye booby baby. I don’t like bf, i get chronic back ache and my baby feeds through the night (nightmare) and I’m at the unfortunate stage of one breast being bigger than the other, so I’m ready to move on. There is this niggling element of guilt in the back of my mind though. Plus my weight is making me really unhappy and i don’t win with other diets. I’m not the type to look down on other women (my friends) for not breastfeeding and as I wasn’t breast fed and had no issues growing up i’m convinced it’ll be fine. My first won’t drink milk at all, he was breastfed until one and is two and a half now, he gets his calcium through cereal and yoghurts. At least this one won’t go without. Thanks for sharing, loved your vulnerability and respect your choice!

  9. Hi Laura, How did you go in the end? I have just (5 weeks ago) finished breastfeeding my little one when he hit 12 months. I’m a consultant too and started back on Cambridge within a couple of days of stopping….7.5kg down in 5 weeks so far, feeling great. I can understand how hard a decision you had to make – I was consulting all the way through the first year but I wasn’t loving my body so that’s not a great place to be! I wanted to make it to a year though and we got there! Tonight was my first dinner doing step 2, hallelujah! 5 weeks is about my limit for step 1! Hope you got on alright anyway!


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