NOTE ON MEDICAL ADVICE: This article is not written to provide specific medical advice to treat any medical condition. That conversation needs to happen between you and your medical care team.
Congratulations! You just had a baby, and now you’re in the postpartum phase; maybe you’re breastfeeding, or maybe you’re just recovering. Either way, you want to know how to use beef organ supplements during this beautiful (and demanding) phase of life. Let’s dive in…
What this article covers…
- Are beef organ supplements safe for breastfeeding mothers?
- Our suggested “Postpartum Stack” of supplements
- Proper postpartum nutrition: Protein, Fat, And Carbohydrate Consumption
- Why it’s so important to eat meat from grass-fed ruminant animals
- The importance of Glycine and Calcium
- Which foods to stay away from
- Other critical nutrients for postpartum health
The Safety of Organ Supplements For Breastfeeding Mothers
More than most people, nursing mothers understand the important role that diet plays in health and quality of life. A nursing infant’s digestive tract isn’t fully developed enough to break down certain substances. When those substances make their way into the bloodstream and mammary glands from the mother’s gut, problems can arise. It’s common for nursing mothers to temporarily eliminate foods one by one until they identify the root cause of their baby’s discomfort.
It stands to reason that if the foods you consume can make their way into your breastmilk, then any supplements you take will also be present at some level, which begs the question, “Are Heart & Soil beef organ supplements safe for me and my breastfeeding child?”
In short, we have many clients who have used our beef organ supplements while nursing and not only found them to be safe, but beneficial. In this article, we’ll explore the supplements we suggest for postpartum mothers and the thinking behind those suggestions.
At Heart and Soil, we believe that taking ownership of your health and the health of your family is one of the most radical and important steps you can take. We believe that in order to optimally nourish your nursing infant, you need to focus on your health first.
To be clear, we do NOT suggest administering our supplements directly to your infant. Grass-fed organs and meats are an excellent way to supply your body with critical nutrients during the postpartum (i.e., post birth.) phase – some mothers even refer to it as the “fourth trimester” because of the intense changes and demands your body experiences. We’re here to help you on that journey no matter what you end up deciding is right for you and your baby.
Although our suggestions may differ from those of the mainstream medical community — rest assured that our supplements and our suggestions are grounded in science-based evidence and a bias towards “evolutionarily consistent” animal-based nutrition. We’re inherently skeptical of trends created by industrial food corporations and pharmaceutical companies. Many retail supplements use synthetic compounds at concentrations much higher than you’d find in your food. Heart & Soil supplements are essentially a shelf-stable, highly bioavailable, encapsulated form of food, so the risk of overdosing or reaching a toxic level in your bloodstream is extremely low.
All our supplements are sourced from cattle that have been grass-fed and finished, ensuring the absolute highest quality and lowest incidence of emergent chemical substances, such as synthetic hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides. They’re raised on regenerative farms in New Zealand, which creates optimal quality of life for the animals and sequesters carbon in the soil (learn more in Paul Saladino, MD’s article on regenerative agriculture).
What We Suggest: The “Postpartum Stack” of Supplements
The first supplement in our postpartum stack is the Mood, Memory & Brain complex. If you only pick one Heart & Soil supplement to take postpartum, this is the one. It contains beef brain, including the cortex, hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal gland, as well as bone marrow and liver. As a result, it’s a great source of DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids to support the healthy development of your baby’s nervous and immune systems. The grass-fed liver contained in Mood, Memory & Brain offers a number of important fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K2. As an added benefit, this blend of nutrients and peptides is critical for better learning, focus, mood, and mental acuity, making it great for mother and child.
2. Beef Organs
Next is the Beef Organs supplement. This blend contains vital nutrients and peptides to support overall health, vitality, and energy for you and your nursing infant. By combining beef liver, heart, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys, we’ve created a complex that benefits those same systems in your body and your baby’s body. Beef Organs provides your body with the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), anserine, taurine, and carnitine, along with peptides such as splenin, tuftsin, and splenopentin. It also contains critical B vitamins, such as folate, riboflavin, biotin, B6, and B12, as well as the minerals selenium, heme iron, and iodine – all necessary for the production of nutrient-rich breastmilk. Ingesting these nutrients provides essential building blocks for growth and tissue repair, supporting your health as a mother.
Finally, we suggest the Firestarter complex. Despite what you may have heard, consuming high-quality fat is essential* for the healthy function of many bodily systems. This supplement contains rendered beef suet, a form of fat that contains stearic acid, pentadecanoic acid, and many others essential for healthy skin, the immune system, and infant brain development. Firestarter also helps increase your absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins found in our other beef organ supplements – making it a supplement “booster.”
*If you’d like to learn how recent scientific research has confirmed the importance of fatty acids and saturated fats, check out this paper published in the journal Nature and this paper from the National Library of Medicine.
Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate Consumption
In addition to organs, consuming lots of protein in the form of sustainably raised meat is essential for breastfeeding mothers. You also need sufficient fat and carbohydrates to achieve the best nutrition possible. The following formulas will help you assess the right macronutrient ratios for your body type. Only you and your medical care team can decide the exact ratios for your optimal health and happiness.
- Protein = range of 1-1.2 grams x current body weight
- Fat = 0.8-1 grams x current body weight
- Carbs = 0.7-1.2 grams x current body weight
Current body weight = 150lbs
Protein = 150-180 grams
Fat = 120-150 grams
Carbohydrates = 105-180 grams
Regarding your fat and carbohydrate intake, if your total activity level is on the lower end of the spectrum, you should experiment with the lower end of the range, but if you are more active, try the higher end of the range. For carbohydrates, stick with minimally toxic plant foods such as berries, avocados, olives, squash, and seasonal fruit (often what we call vegetables are just unsweet fruit) and especially honey. Locally sourced, raw honey is an amazing source of carbohydrates and other micronutrients.
Remember, you just had a baby. Don’t be afraid to bump up your intake of fat and/or carbohydrates if you feel like you need more calories! Finding that sweet spot takes time and experimentation within the recommended range — be gracious with yourself as you explore what works for you.
Focus on Meat From Grass-Fed Ruminant Animals
Aside from supplementation, incorporating unprocessed meats into your diet can be a delightful way to get the macro (protein, fat) and micro (vitamins, minerals, peptides) nutrients your postpartum body needs. We suggest you focus on meat and organs from grass-fed ruminant animals such as cattle, buffalo, goats, lamb, and deer.
Avoid eating animals that are fed conventional or “industrial” diets of corn and soy. Even certified organic animals are often fed organic corn and soy to cut costs. Choose wild or free-range fowl and pigs whenever possible. These monogastric animals can’t eliminate the high levels of linoleic acid that accumulate when eating diets high in corn and soy.
While western culture encourages the exclusive consumption of muscle meat, the justification for eating organ meats is overwhelmingly strong. Organs such as the liver, brain, heart, spleen, pancreas, and bone marrow contain nutrient concentrations that muscle meat doesn’t. Dr. Saladino explores this topic in chapter eight of his book, The Carnivore Code.
Fresh organs are amazing, but getting enough of them into your diet is challenging. Some people don’t like the taste or texture, while others have trouble sourcing them or traveling with them. We created Heart & Soil supplements for this exact reason: to help people benefit from the complex nutrition contained within animals, nose to tail.
Bone Broth for Glycine and Calcium
Glycine is an important amino acid that balances out the amino acid methionine. Methionine is abundant in muscle meats, glycine is not. Consuming bone broth or hydrolyzed collagen powder is a good way to obtain glycine. If you’d like to learn more about the relationship between glycine and methionine, check out this article.
High-quality bone broth can be difficult to find in stores or expensive. Fortunately, you can make it easily using a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. Making it at home also allows you to use only high-quality ingredients.
After cooking, some bones become soft enough to eat and provide a good source of calcium. You can also try our Bone Matrix supplement if you’re looking to get extra calcium and minerals.
Foods You Should Avoid
We believe that consuming a strategic blend of nutrients is a major priority for women recovering from birth, and especially breastfeeding mothers. That said, we also believe that eliminating certain foods or ingredients plays an equally critical role in postpartum health.
We encourage you to eliminate substances that are immunogenic (i.e., activate your immune system negatively), damaging to your gut, or metabolically compromising.
This includes harmful* seed oils:
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Canola (rapeseed) oil
- Peanut oil
- Grapeseed oil
It’s also best if you avoid toxic plants and plant components which are known to contain plant defense chemical that can be harmful to humans. These include foods like:
- The leaves, stems, and seeds of virtually all plants
- Seeds, specifically:
- Tree and ground nuts
- Legumes (beans, peas, soy, etc.)
- Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, etc.)
*Some plant oils such as olive, avocado, and coconut are not derived from the seed at all or are considered safe and healthy for regular consumption. This is a complex topic that includes factors such as the chemical composition of the oil, its shelf stability, and the refining process. Dr. Saladino has a number of podcasts and articles on the subject. In general, animal-based fats are preferable to plant-derived fats.
Critical Nutrients for Postpartum Health
Organs have long been prized by our ancestors as beneficial for general health and specific applications such as fertility, pregnancy, and infant development. Modern science has allowed us to confirm this benefit by assessing the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other critical nutrients present in beef organs.
Heart & Soil supplements are a highly stable and bio-available form of food, which explains why the daily serving size (6 capsules) may seem higher than other supplements you’ve taken – it’s equivalent to 0.5-1 ounces of organs. Most multivitamins contain a synthetic mix of B Vitamin enantiomers (another way to say “molecule structure”) that are significantly less absorbable/usable and may even be problematic for human physiology.
More Than Just Vitamins and Minerals
Our female ancestors have been eating liver for millions of years, and this organ is universally prized across indigenous groups today. The bioavailable B vitamins found in liver (like folate, riboflavin, B6, etc.) and other organs are also critical for postpartum moms. They’re also difficult to obtain from other foods. Grass-fed liver provides the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, as well as several crucial peptides and growth factors. We believe that consuming 1-2 oz of organs per day is totally safe and healthy while breastfeeding. This will allow for a robust intake of valuable nutrients and still allow you to stay below the 10,000 IU Vitamin A threshold broadly recommended by the medical establishment.
It’s also good to consume the peptides, growth factors, and other signaling molecules used by our body’s immune system, which foster growth, repair, and development. Unfortunately, these are not found in the standard “multivitamin” purchased from the store. They are found in organs.
Brain and bone marrow are some of the best-known sources of DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids, which are absolutely critical to healthy nervous system development. Bone marrow contains vital fats and fat-soluble vitamins and has been similarly prized by our ancestors for generations. There is a long history of indigenous groups feeding organs like liver and bone marrow to young women and men hoping to conceive a child.
In addition to the nutrients in Mood, Memory & Brain, Beef Organs contains heart, liver, kidney, spleen, and pancreas with more CoQ10, anserine, taurine, and carnitine along with unique peptides like splenin, tuftsin, and splenopentin, all of which are involved in growth and tissue repair. Firestarter also provides treasured animal fats from rendered suet with valuable fatty acids like stearic acid, pentadecanoic acid, and others essential for healthy skin, immune systems, and nervous system development.
In summary, we believe that in order to produce the healthiest breastmilk possible, women should focus on their own health first and be sure to include lots of nutrient-rich organs and meat in their diet.
Want to Learn More? Try These Helpful Resources…
Optimizing your health postpartum can be a huge challenge, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Finding foods that work for you and, subsequently, your baby can feel like a burden and steal from the joy of this beautiful life stage. Here are several resources that may offer helpful information for your postpartum strategy:
1. Film: Nourished (21 minutes, YouTube)
This short documentary is our effort to inspire men and women that an animal-based diet can offer a more joyful, healthy experience from pre-conception to postpartum. It features interviews with mothers who had pregnancies with and without using animal-based nutrition.
2. Podcast: Fertility, Pre-natal, Pregnancy, Breast Feeding and Peri-menopause with Jaime Seeman, MD (89 minutes, YouTube)
In this episode, Dr. Seeman and Dr. Saladino discuss hormones, nutrition, breastfeeding, and along with many other pregnancy-related topics. Dr. Jaime Seeman is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Omaha, Nebraska. She is currently in private practice at Mid City OBGYN, offering a full range of services in obstetrics, gynecology, robotic surgery, and primary care. She is a fellow in Integrative Medicine at The University of Arizona School of Medicine. She is also one of the first board-certified ketogenic nutrition specialists in the country.
3. Podcast: Using an Animal-Based Diet to Optimize Fertility and Pregnancy with Lindsey Meehleis (102 minutes, YouTube)
In this episode, Lindsey Meehleis and Dr. Saladino discuss fertility, natural birth control, prenatal care, placental health, labor and delivery, and postpartum recovery. Lindsey Meehleis, LM, CPM, offers wisdom that has been passed down through many different lineages of midwives. In addition to being a midwife and graduating from the only California State accredited midwifery school, Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery, Lindsey is a Doula, Lactation Consultant, Prenatal Yoga Instructor, CPR Instructor, and an Emergency Medical Technician providing Neonatal Resuscitation.
We’d love to see you on Instagram or in our Facebook group. You’ll find recipe ideas, short educational videos, and lots of encouragement from other moms and animal-based fans.
5. Paul Saladino, MD’s cookbook: The Carnivore Code Cookbook ($18, Amazon)
Published in 2022, this book holds more than 100 recipes to help you crush animal-based eating and enjoy every bite.
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