As you may already know, we began our blog series “Getting Real About Breastfeeding” back in January as a way to provide our audience with information, tips, and experiences from real nursing mothers. Our ultimate goal is to shine a light on the struggles and successes of parenthood in order to inspire and support one another on the journey of breastfeeding.
This month, we spotlighted a health guru and first-time mom, GiGi Dubois of GiGi Eats Celebrities! GiGi is a former competitive snowboarder and horseback rider that has since become a popular allergen-friendly cook and certified nutritionist with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Communications. At 15 years old, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s and Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBS. Then at 21 years old, her entire large intestine was removed because of said conditions. Gigi gladly accepted her dietary limitations and started a humorous weekly blog/vlog so people with diet concerns similar to hers can receive advice, nutrition services and entertainment, all at the same time! Now, GiGi is on track to releasing her first ever book, “She Does Keto.” She lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and son.
Give us a little bit of background about yourself, your baby, and breastfeeding.
I live in L.A. and started my YouTube channel in 2012 as a “celebrity eater,” which is basically debunking celebrity diets. Getting pregnant was a complete surprise since I didn’t think I could even do so, thanks to my various health complications. However, on December 29, 2018, I gave birth to my son.
Prior to giving birth, I didn’t think I’d be breastfeeding as I do have breast implants. I never did any research about it and when I finally gave birth, the nurse provided me with little to no information on the steps and tips to make the breastfeeding experience easier.
I am currently doing a combination of nursing and pumping, and have plans to continue until next month, which will put me at the recommended six months of breastfeeding an infant.
Your blog and social media make our mouths water! Tell us how you got into your healthy lifestyle and wanting to share it with others.
I have always been passionate about health and nutrition. Having Colitis, Crohn’s and Celiac Disease, plus extensive food allergies and intolerances, made me very aware of the effects food can have on your body.
I originally started my YouTube channel in 2012 to debunk celebrity food trends, but my audience seemed to be more interested in my personal lifestyle and diet rather than a celebrity’s! Ever since, I morphed my blog into sharing the unique foods I eat and how I make them, I’ve been able to relate to so many different people and it’s grown to the point where this is now my full-time job!
Prior to giving birth, what were your thoughts on nutrition while breastfeeding?
As I was in denial for most of my pregnancy, lack of research was a huge factor in my unpreparedness on breastfeeding. However, I have always been a very healthy eater and I made sure to keep my diet as normal as possible while pregnant. For example, I continued to eat lots of salmon and other atypical foods during my pregnancy as I knew they were okay for me personally. As for other women, everyone’s body is different, and a doctor should always be consulted first.
What was your actual breastfeeding experience?
In one word: Terrible. The main reason being that my son wasn’t latching, and I could never tell how much milk he was actually getting. I was simply not educated on pumping and couldn’t handle the pain it was causing me at first. I got mastitis twice and clogged ducts constantly reappeared. When I finally met with a lactation counselor, she said mine was the worst case of mastitis she had ever seen! However, I’m not a quitter and I’ve continued pumping to this day
How has your diet/health changed since becoming pregnant and then postpartum?
My dietary limitations made me eat extremely clean, so even if I had decided to change anything, there wasn’t much to alter. I did some research on the foods I was used to eating so I knew it was safe to continue, but I am happy to say that my diet pretty much remained the same.
What are some of your health tips and advice for new and breastfeeding moms? For example, foods to eat and/or motivational tips.
For breastfeeding and producing milk, fenugreek pills are amazing. You can take three in the morning and three at night to help you better maintain milk supply. Lactation tea was a lifesaver as well. It’s also recommended to continue taking your prenatal pills after giving birth, especially if you are breastfeeding, to take in those extra vitamins and minerals.
My general advice to pregnant women is to have a conversation with yourself about what will be best for your breastfeeding journey. It’s a work in progress for most of us, so don’t knock yourself down or be upset if you fail at first.
Tell us about your inspiration for writing a book and any details you can share about your new one!
Of course! So, a publishing company who saw my YT channel, blog, and Instagram asked me if I wanted to write a cookbook on the keto diet and why it’s beneficial to women. Being that I have a Master’s in Nutrition and have been eating this way for 17 years, I knew I wanted to share my knowledge with others. People see me as the happy-go-lucky girl on Instagram and it’s nice to be able to showcase this other side of me!
What I aspire to do every day is to motivate and help people through comedy and information, or as I call it, “Info-tainment.” The book is all about the ketogenic diet and its benefits, as well as meal plans and grocery lists. There 116 recipes throughout the book and some of them can be made vegetarian/vegan too.
How can our readers get in touch with you, follow you, or see more of your awesome recipes and content?
I am always on email for those who have comments or concerns ([email protected]).
No one knows better than Imalac that every breastfeeding journey is unique and not always easy. However, there are plenty of tools and resources, such as GiGi Dubois and Imalac’s team of Certified Lactation Counselors, who understand the challenges and are always available to lend an ear. Whether it be on nutrition, encouragement, or a simple question. Stay connected with Imalac through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.