Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Breastfeeding Caloric Requirements & Postpartum Weightloss

I've had a few emails come in regarding caloric & nutritional intake requirements while Breastfeeding and also what I've been eating and how many calories I've personally been taking in.

I've also had a few questions regarding postpartum weigtloss while trying to breastfeed, which is a great topic!

When I was pregnant, I was eating around 2,300 calories daily for mostly all 3 trimesters. Some days, I would even eat up to 2,500-especially in the third trimester when I had a lot less energy and was hungrier! While Breastfeeding, you need 500 extra calories tagged into your daily value to makeup for the amount of calories being burned throughout the day from feeding your baby. Isn't it crazy that Breastfeeding burns that much! 

To figure out the minimum of daily calories that you specifically need when Breastfeeding, use this calculator HERE

My number was in the 1800s for my minimum daily intake. If I go below this number, I could risk losing my milk production.  So I took this number and automatically tagged 500 onto that, and that basically let's me know how much I can consume on a daily basis.

But wait-what if I am working out? Here's where the numbers get tricky because everyone is so different-so is every internet calculator you find. Seeing a dietician is the best thing you can do throughout your pregnancy and postpartum to find the perfect number for you, but if you want to figure it out on your own, I suggest going by the Breastfeeding calculator's minimum requirement, then adding the extra 500, and then using something such as MyFitnessPal to track not only your calories being consumed, but your calories from activities that are being burned-this way, you can eat back what you burn OR make sure you do not dip below the minimum caloric requirement that you need for Breastfeeding, ensuring you have enough for lactation. 

Make sense? 

Next topic, postpartum weightloss while Breastfeeding. This tends to be slightly controversial because in order to lose weight, it usually means cutting back calories, right? Right! But, that's not a bad thing. 

Some postpartum Breastfeeding women will notice that they keep a bit of a softer figure while they are lactating. This makes sense because you are eating to keep up with those lost calories. Is it possible to lose weight and still breastfeed? Absolutely! So, how? 

Remember those calculators mentioned above? Take the minimum amount of calories needed to ensure lactation and tag on that 500 extra calories that you may consume. Workout and burn those calories-but don't let your daily intake slip below the minimum line. There you have it! Is it really that simple? Well, it depends on you. Every body is different. You may notice a change in your milk production though if you decrease your calories or you may still be golden. One thing I would recommend is no drastic drops in calories-slowly burn more at a time. When in doubt-speak to a nutritionist or a dietitian!

I will be building muscle and toning up when given the clear in a month so I personally won't be lowering my calories to lose weight. I will be upping my calories to put on that lean muscle and to get rid of my softness that I have. I have cellulite. I have a little flab. Since I have birth, my butt is virtually FLAT! Lol, I miss my preggo behind. I promise, I am human and I am NOT perfect at all.

No matter what your weightloss or weight gain goals are, we are all in this together. Breastfeeding is the best thing you can give your child (if you are able) and losing a few pounds isn't worth the risk in losing your milk production so take it easy, listen to your body, and definitely consult with your doctor.

Here is my personal recipe for my favorite lactation cookie that helps boost milk supply! The key ingredients that support breastfeeding are oats, brewers yeast, and flax. Also, here are some foods to boost your milk supply :)


Lactation cookie recipe for nursing mothers

Diary of a Fit Mommy: Best Foods for Nursing Mothers - Foods that Boost Milk Supply

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