eastbaymomma

Thursday Thoughts: March 29, 2012: How Many Calories When Nursing?

In Thursday: Outside Thoughts on March 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I really have no idea if I am eating too much or too little.  I want to make sure I lose weight but I also want to make sure I consume enough calories so my body feels like it isn’t in starvation mode and can produce enough milk for my sweet baby girl.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics a nursing Mom should consume 300-500 calories more a day.

HealthyChildren.org – Eating for Two: Your Diet And Breastfeeding.

I found this great tool online to find out how many calories I should be consuming per day (if I weren’t breast-feeding).

http://nutrition.about.com/od/changeyourdiet/a/calguide.htm

It has a calculator on there that asks you for your gender, your height, your current weight, and your desired weight.  It then gives you results detailing how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight, to lose a pound a week with exercise, to lose a pound a week without exercise, to gain a pound a week, etc, etc.  What a great tool!

I am focusing on this result: “If you reduce your current caloric intake to 1668.6 calories per day you will lose one pound per week without exercise.”

So, if I add the calories I should be eating to lose one pound a week to the additional calories I should be eating for breasting (I’ll use an average of 400 additional calories) then ballpark, I should be consuming approximately 2000 calories per day.

Am I?  I really have no idea.  So I decided to find out how much today’s menu’s caloric intake is:

Breakfast:

Yogurt 130 with blueberries 84; oatmeal 102 with cinnamon

Lunch:

Sausage 240, bun 190, spinach 77, apple 95

Teatime (optional):

Oatmeal  300 with raisins 100 and milk 43

Dinner:

Meatballs 200, broccoli 60, rice 216, salad 34

Total for today: 1871

So, my menu is definitely within the weight loss range but also I am getting enough caloric intake for breast-feeding! Yay!

I also checked out a few other articles for safety on weight loss after pregnancy.  They are written by lactation consultants but it is hard to tell if they are based on science or are mostly anecdotal:

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mothers-diet/mom-weightloss/

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-try-to-lose-weight-while-breastfeeding_2602.bc

http://www.llli.org/faq/diet.html

After reading these articles, it is super helpful to know that my current caloric intake is enough for my milk supply and that women in famine conditions can produce perfectly nutritious milk so I have not jeopardized my sweet baby.  BUT, I sure wish I had read these articles before.  It would have saved me a whole lot of fretting, especially since they say to wait until after the second month to diet in order to establish good milk supply… I had a lot of weird body issues and shame over how much weight I had gained.  I was really caught up in what people would think of me, especially at work!  What a waste of time and mental energy (not to mention negative energy) when I have a new babe at home.  I hope some other woman will read this one day and it will save her some of the agony I put myself through!!

Thanks for reading this and I wish you much luck on your own healthy journey!

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  1. […] Final Thought of the Day:  It was such a relief eating my food today and knowing that it was in a healthy caloric range for breast-feeding and for losing a pound a week.  See today’s post on the great info I found: https://losingthatpregnancyweight.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/thursday-thoughts-march-29-2012-how-many-c… […]

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