Pregnant - Nursing - Breastfeeding & Calories

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01-11-2011, 06:51 PM
Just curious about how many calories you're consuming while breastfeeding...? I'm going between 1600 & 1700. From what I've read, 1500-1800 calories a day is safe, but I just read something that said I should eat like 2229 per day - I'd gain eating that many & I need to get out of the obese category.

01-11-2011, 07:59 PM
I eat between 1700 and 2100 per day. I aim to be closer to 1700, but some days aren't so. I lose about 2 lbs per week on that.

01-17-2011, 10:30 AM
I eat 1500. Up until the last month or two, I've been losing 11-12 pounds per month. My baby is almost 1 and I've been eating this way since she was 5 months.

01-17-2011, 12:50 PM
I've seen sites that say I should eat ridiculous amounts too. From my books for school, it says you shouldn't go much below 1800, but as long as its not effecting your milk supply, why not. I was eating between 1700 and 1900 with my last, haven't started counting calories this time, just focusing on eating healthy until he is a little older.

01-18-2011, 03:46 AM
My baby just turned 8 weeks old. I'm breastfeeding exclusively. I lost 30 pounds without much effort the first 5 weeks, but now my weight hasn't budged in the last 3 weeks.

I started a lower calorie diet a few days ago. I ate 1200, then 1500, then 1700 calories in the last three days. I wasn't sure how much to consume. My milk supply is normally okay, but tonight it seemed like baby emptied breasts quickly and kept sucking his fingers and wanting to nurse for the last 3 hours before falling asleep. I really worry about supply issues developing. I might try staying around 1700, but increasing if needed. I'm also in the obese category and really want to lose more than 1 pound per week.

I'm really glad to have found other BF'ing women who are trying to lose weight as well.

Mad. Ave. member- please keep posting and let us know how you are doing. I would love to know how many calories you are consuming and how much you are losing each week. I'm curious to know how old your baby is and if you are supplementing at all.

Liz- I sure wish I could stay at 1500 also. I'm just so worried about supply. The extra weight loss each week would be soo nice. Did you ever have any supply issues at 1500?

Gale- Good going. Sounds like you have a nice weight loss rhythm. Hoping I can find a nice balance.

ToriLeigh- Good for you. I have such a hard time 'just eating healthier'. I always blow it. Years of bad eating habits I'm really struggling hard to break.

Thank you, Ladies.

01-18-2011, 02:25 PM
kifli - 1500 has been really good for me, no issues with supply. I was breastfeeding exclusively until about 6 1/2 months, and then started solids with her - she's now on three meals a day of solids and breastfeeds probably 5-6 times through the day and once through the night still. I was really worried about supply too but everything's been OK. I didn't start eating low calorie until she was 5 months, so my supply was really well established as well - I might be more concerned before the 3-4 month mark. If I were you, I think I'd stay at the higher range for a month or two longer (like 1800?) and then lower it a bit. The extra weight loss is nice but I would be cautious for the first little bit if I were you.

01-20-2011, 02:34 AM
Thank you so much for your response, Liz. I'm going to stay between 1700-1800 cals, but will keep it closer to 1800 like you suggested. I'm still nursing exclusively, but my extra am & pm pump volumes are down. Also, baby has been nursing frequently, like he needs more than he's getting. We'll see how this number of calories goes.

01-20-2011, 10:49 AM
How old is he now? Maybe it's a growth spurt. For pumping, just remember, the baby is much more efficient than the pump at getting the milk out. As your supply gets established to what he needs, sometimes I think pumping output can go down. I never really pumped too often so I'm no expert, but just thought I'd throw that out there.

01-20-2011, 11:42 AM
I exclusively pumped. Pumping doesn't provide nearly as much as the baby's sucking so you really need to be careful with your calories if you choose to pump. I'm no longer nursing and now eat 1600! I was up around 2000-2200 when exclusively pumping (I was around 145lbs then)

01-20-2011, 11:59 AM
I can go as low as 1500 calories and it doesn't affect my supply. I usually keep it higher because I can and still lose.

I am an exclusive pumper as well; I went one year pumping with my first child and am nearing the 5 month mark with my second.

Around 1700 calories a day (I'm not a dedicated calorie counter but check occasionally doing SBD) I can usually pump 11-12 ounces first thing in the morning then 8 ounces at 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm. This allows plenty for daily bottles and enough to continue to build up my freezer stash. :)

If it goes below this, I usually need more water!

01-20-2011, 01:31 PM
Your supply is impressive :) Mine was sadly quite poor :(

01-20-2011, 01:50 PM
I feel like a freakin cow and can't wait for the 1 year mark. :)

I was actually really nervous in the beginning with my second. While pumping for my 1st, I got an awful case of mastitis. It didn't affect my supply at the time but I guess it caused scar tissue and once I dried up ducts closed up. This time around I only produced 1/3 of the amount on that breast that I did prevously or what the other can make this time.

So, my first child, I was pumping about 10 ounces every 3-4 hours. I felt like I needed to be called Bessie with a cowbell around my neck.

There are downsides: My feezer in the garage is so full of frozen milk I had to take over my mom's. Doh! :dizzy:

01-20-2011, 03:04 PM
Wow that's amazing!!! I had to pump because my son was injured in the labour. Unfortunately I never had enough for him (he had severe reflux and I could not keep up with the amounts he was vomiting) :(

01-20-2011, 04:03 PM
Yikes! That's awful. Makes me count my blessings that both my children have been relatively easy when it comes to feedings.

Has it improved as he's gotten older and onto solids? Both of my children were "spit-uppers." They would spit up after every feeding, sometimes a significant amount, but it was never reflux and never hindered their growth. My son's improved once he started solids. Hope it's the same for you.

01-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Yes, it's practically gone now since we began baby-led weaning. Thanks :)

01-21-2011, 01:34 PM
I'm at around 1500 also and my supply is fine. I remember seeing those recommendations and thinking "You're nuts!" LOL I just stuck to whatever calorie recommendations I got after entering my weight on my "lose it" app on my iPhone and just went from there every week when I lost weight. Like I said, I'm at 1500 right now at my current weight and my son (6 months old) is getting all that he needs.

01-24-2011, 08:13 AM
I spent about 6 weeks doing about 1900 -2000 cals/day, but lost weight VERY slowly. I think in all that time I lost 7 pounds or so. So now that my baby is 20 months and down to 3 feedings a day, I'm coming back after a couple of months off - and I'm going down to 1500 as well. I'm tired of not making much progress!

I think some people lose weight easily while breastfeeding, while others seem to 'hold onto' their weight. I'm in that last category for sure. But I'm going to be really consistent with the 1500 and exercising 1/2 hour a day and see if I can't change that!!

GL to you too!

01-24-2011, 03:23 PM
You go Girls! =)

I took a short trip for the first time this weekend with some girlfriends as a small break, so I had to exclusively pump (every 3 hours and once in the middle of the night). Kudos to you exclusively breastpumping mamas! That was so hard! Also, I can't always let down, so I was really worried about developing mastitis. I was getting blocked ducts after the first day. Painful. It took me a long time to pump one feeding. I really respect you exclusive pumpers.

I normally bf the baby, but try to get a morning and evening pump in, to keep some in the freezer and also to try to keep my supply slightly up. Anyway, the double pumping really helped as I had pumped more than my husband was feeding baby from frozen breastmilk at home. I also came down with a head cold while I was away, so maybe my supply dipped with the onset of it.
I was feeling really bummed out since I thought my supply was down and that I couldn't continue to lose weight. I guess we will see how things go this next week with weight loss and milk supply. Baby is only 9 weeks now, so supply is more important to keep established.

Liz - Thank you for the nice advice and for sharing your personal info. I'm going to stay b/w 1700-1800 and see what happens. I'm doing Bistro MD with my own snacks added.

Talk again soon.

01-25-2011, 03:57 AM
I'm loving this thread, I kept thinking should I really be eating 2300 calories??? I'm going to go for 1800 and see what happens because so far I haven't lost anything (but I have gotten fitter so yay).

To all those pumping, congrats! It is dedication, I don't know if I could do it if I couldn't BF. I have to pump when I go back to work and know how time consuming it can feel mooooooooo. Luckily both my kids have been super eaters (my lil boy's last weigh in at his 7week check he was the size of an average 3mos old!), no reflux or anything.

01-25-2011, 02:40 PM
After reading this I think I may switch down my calories from 1800 to 1500 since my daughter is already a year old and loves food :)

Of course the hard part is staying under the 1500, I keep going over with 1800 lol

01-25-2011, 02:46 PM
I agree about the pumping - I hated pumping when I had to do it with DS...we had such latch problems. Luckily I'm home for maternity leave for the year, and now I'm back at work...but I work at home, so either my mom or DH brings DD to me when she's ready to nurse. I'm really lucky.

kifli - No problem! :) Hope you had a fun trip!

kirsteng - I'm pretty sure BF has helped me...but I've also really stuck at the 1500 calories, I almost never go over. Anyways good luck!

Ahzuri - You can do it! Once your body get used to the new calorie level, it'll be easy breezy. :)