fbpx Skip to main content

Babies in Ketosis

By February 26, 2013January 1st, 2021Baby and Kids


Breast milk is naturally very high in fat. If a newborn is breastfed, it spends a lot of time in ketosis and is therefore keto-adapted. Keto-adapted babies can efficiently turn ketone bodies into acetyl-coA and myelin. Ketosis helps babies develop and build their brains. Click HERE to read a great article about Babies in Ketosis.

The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein (broken down by calories). Fats are a structural part of every human cell and are the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth. Many studies done on pregnant pigs that are placed on ketogenic diets show fetuses with increased fetal brain weight, cell size, and protein content. In the early stages of pregnancy, there is an upsurge in body fat accumulation, which is connected to hyperphagia and increased lipogenesis. In the later stages of pregnancy, there is an accelerated breakdown of fat depots, which plays an important role in fetal development. The fetus uses fatty acids from the placenta as well as two other products, glycerol and ketone bodies. Even though glycerol goes through the placenta in small proportions, it is a superior substrate for “maternal gluconeogenesis.” Heightened ketogenesis in fasting conditions, or with the addition of MCT oils, create an easy transference of ketones to the fetus. This transfer allows maternal ketone bodies to reach the fetus, where the ketones can be used as fuels for oxidative metabolism as well as lipogenic substrates.

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K which are essential in the formation of healthy fetuses. Full fat dairy is also filled with healthy cholesterol, but I do find some clients to be dairy sensitive. For those particular clients, I suggest finding other sources of saturated fats such as coconut oil and quality animal fats, seafood, egg yolks and bone marrow!



I know it sounds crazy, but this was one of the first foods I fed my boys when we brought them home from Ethiopia. If your kids aren’t ready to eat bone marrow on their own, I suggest mixing it into chili, meatballs, meatloaf or make a puree of “baby food” by pureeing it with avocado. Here’s to happy and healthy babies!

To read more tips on the benefits of a ketogenic diet, check out my book, Keto-Adapted.
babies in ketosis

Click HERE to get a limited edition of the Hard Cover.

Click HERE to get a soft cover.

Thank you for your love and support!
Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Teresa says:

    So if I start a keto diet while my baby is 4 months old will baby go thru any kind of withdrawl or anything? Is it okay for baby while I do a keto diet?

  • Teresa says:

    Sorry I am exclusively breastfeeding

  • Steve Stephenson says:

    From “The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse” by Maria Emmerich (at Kindle location 460 of 7134):

    Human “breast milk is the best food for a growing baby. Since breast milk is 60 percent fat, babies are in a ketogenic state.” “Babies have the highest protein requirement per kilogram of body weight” and breast milk provides “1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This is nature’s protein intake at its highest time of need. Fully grown adults need even less.”

    BUT from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/392766, “Mature human milk contains 3%-5% fat 0.8%-0.9% protein, 6.9%-7.2% carbohydrate calculated as lactose, and 0.2% mineral constituents expressed as ash.”

    How do you reconcile the two? 3%-5% seems to be a LOT different than 60%.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Free Email Updates

Don't miss any of our free content or sales!

We respect your privacy. We never share your information with anyone.