How many calories do I REALLY need for breastfeeding?
Asked by denee85 on Nov 30, 2008
in Family & Pregnancy
I am 23 years old and 5'5". When I gave birth, I weighed 246 lb but I got down to 225 lb when I started my diet and fitness plan at 6 weeks postpartum. I started out eating 1800 calories and was doing okay, but I felt that the calories were too much. So now I eat 1500 calories and am down to 189 lb but my weight loss has slowed down a lot and I feel hungry all the time!! I'm still breastfeeding full time, I have a physical part-time job, and I work out everyday for 30-45 minutes. What, if anything, should I change?
You need to eat 1800 - 1900 calories a day and to limit your weight loss to one pound a week. Your extreme hunger is a sign that you are not eating enough to maintain milk production and support your active lifestyle. Ideally, you need 1900 calories a day to maintain your ideal weight of 135 lb plus 500 extra calories to get the nutrients you and your baby need. If you assume that the extra 500 calories will come from stored fat, you still need a base of 1800 – 1900 calories for good nutrition. Breastfeeding mothers need additional protein, calcium, B-vitamins, iron and zinc. Learn how to plan a nutritious diet for breastfeeding at My Pyramid for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding.