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Does anybody nurse and calorie count?

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Default Does anybody nurse and calorie count?

I'm still nursing my 20 month old and plan to continue until she's at leasts 2 (we're reevaluate when we get there). She nurses quite a bit still and doesn't sleep through the night yet.

Anyways, I keep thinking about calorie counting. I don't actually want to do it but it might help. So I'm wondering if anybody is nursing and calorie counting and if so how's your experience with that? Most sites say that you can't go there if you're nursing or pregnant (but I think they tend to assume you're nursing a young baby...). Plus I never know how to factor in the calories from nursing to find out my daily burn. I also work out about 4x per week...
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'm still nursing my 15 month old and I plan on letting him go until he decides to quit and I am doing WW now (was calorie counting for a short bit) and working out 6 days a week. WW gives me some additional pts for nursing, and I think you're right, I think most programs figure you're nursing a young baby who is nursing round the clock.

DS hasn't shown any signs of changed milk supply. He still nurses as often as he usually does, and I've lost 5 lbs so far.

I had a hard time wanting to jump back on the calorie count wagon too. I don't know why, but it was much easier to jump back into WW than it was to cal count again.

I'm more at ease reading your post... Mine nurses frequently too, and doesn't sleep through the night. He used to 6 months ago, I guess he outgrew it :P
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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I nurse my 17m old, I count calories, and while I'm sure someone out there would think "NOOOOO you can't restrict calories and nurse!" They haven't met me. I still have oodles of milk. On days when DS finds a new toy or game and doesn't want to nurse, I have to practically beg him to nurse before I explode. It's more about being hydrated.

I will admit, that I was nervous and unsure about how to count calories when he was little and 100% dependent on me for nutrition.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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Can't say from experience as mine is only 4 months, but if you are nursing a toddler, I'm sure your body and supply is well adapted and will handle it just fine! The general rule is about 500 extra calories dedicated solely to milk production. Weight loss is around 10-12x per lb bodyweight (so 2,120 calories + 500 calories for nursing, 2,620 total) at 212lbs and you can re-evaluate/go lower as your weight drops. Make sure to keep your calories higher, too many women drop their calories far too low - and you esp don't want that when nursing!
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julie99s View Post
I'm still nursing my 15 month old and I plan on letting him go until he decides to quit and I am doing WW now (was calorie counting for a short bit) and working out 6 days a week. WW gives me some additional pts for nursing, and I think you're right, I think most programs figure you're nursing a young baby who is nursing round the clock.

DS hasn't shown any signs of changed milk supply. He still nurses as often as he usually does, and I've lost 5 lbs so far.

I had a hard time wanting to jump back on the calorie count wagon too. I don't know why, but it was much easier to jump back into WW than it was to cal count again.

I'm more at ease reading your post... Mine nurses frequently too, and doesn't sleep through the night. He used to 6 months ago, I guess he outgrew it :P
I've thought about weight watchers before but then it completely slipped my mind. How hard is it if you have to travel a lot? Do you know if they adjust for older toddlers (like do you have less points or something?)

Yeah, sleeping through the night is a pipe dream at this point! We'Ve tried night weaning her a handful of times but she's just not ready yet. Hopefully soon!!! She also outgrew it but she's much better on days where we can get her to eat more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriket84 View Post
I nurse my 17m old, I count calories, and while I'm sure someone out there would think "NOOOOO you can't restrict calories and nurse!" They haven't met me. I still have oodles of milk. On days when DS finds a new toy or game and doesn't want to nurse, I have to practically beg him to nurse before I explode. It's more about being hydrated.

I will admit, that I was nervous and unsure about how to count calories when he was little and 100% dependent on me for nutrition.
Oh, so how do you do it?? Do you count the full 500 or less? Ha, and I know what you mean about begging them to nurse! On the rare days that DD actually does sleep through the night it hurts!!

Hydration is definitely NOT a problem here. I drink a tons of water... plus, I've alway had an oversupply so maybe I might be ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
Can't say from experience as mine is only 4 months, but if you are nursing a toddler, I'm sure your body and supply is well adapted and will handle it just fine! The general rule is about 500 extra calories dedicated solely to milk production. Weight loss is around 10-12x per lb bodyweight (so 2,120 calories + 500 calories for nursing, 2,620 total) at 212lbs and you can re-evaluate/go lower as your weight drops. Make sure to keep your calories higher, too many women drop their calories far too low - and you esp don't want that when nursing!

Good luck with the baby! It's fun then because they are starting to get so much more aware.

Yeah, I just can't seem to figure out if I do the full 500 or not? Also, do I need to take my daily exercise into account (as in eat 1000 less than 2620+daily exercise if I want to try for 2lbs/week)? I really need to get my butt over to a nutritionist and talk to them about this. I looked at My Plate at livestrong and also on sparkpeople and they don't have anything for nursing moms to calculate the calories.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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I've thought about weight watchers before but then it completely slipped my mind. How hard is it if you have to travel a lot? Do you know if they adjust for older toddlers (like do you have less points or something?)

Yeah, sleeping through the night is a pipe dream at this point! We'Ve tried night weaning her a handful of times but she's just not ready yet. Hopefully soon!!! She also outgrew it but she's much better on days where we can get her to eat more.

I do ww online, and I guess they have a mobile version, though I havent tried it. There are calculators all over the net. They do factor in if you're solely nursing, or supplementing with formula or solids. But he is still nursing so often and I am producing so much I take the full nursing pts (the exclusive bf option) because I was starving otherwise, and I'm still losing weight with those extra pts, so I'll roll with it for the time being.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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I lost the first 50 lbs nursing a toddler. All of it after she was a year old. I had to force wean her, even with the reduction in my supply! It can be done, though!

Since she wasn't really using nursing for nutrition, more for a comfort blanket at that point... I didn't take it into account when counting my calories. I honestly wouldn't have lost any weight if I had. My body is super cruel like that. Nursing makes me gain weight if I'm not careful.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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Oh, so how do you do it?? Do you count the full 500 or less?
Well, I don't know. I lost 50+lbs before I had DS doing 1200 cal (bumped to 1400 when I would plateau) So that's what I went back to. Realistically, I should be doing 1400-1500. I've noticed when I actually eat 1400, I can keep going w/o binging for longer (I am a binge eater ) When I stick to 1200, it only takes about 4 days before my binge brain takes over and I eat a refrigerator.

So, to answer your question I think I add about 200 calories because of the nursing. I have far from figured it out yet, I have lost the same 50lbs, this will be the 3rd time and last time damnit. lol
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:15 PM   #9
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I am ebf a one month old and doing WW. I also did WW while nursing my first son (although I am a one year nurser, so have never nursed a toddler.) It doesn't seem to affect my supply.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
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I nursed while on the WW plan. I did not use the extra points they gave me for nursing. Just beware - - nursing does a body good for keeping the pounds off. When I stopped nursing, I gained 50 lbs in the next 3 years. Maybe it won't happen to you. Hopefully it won't.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
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RhondaLynn,
I learned that a little with my first one... when I stop nursing I have to decrease calories accordingly! I got pregnant a month after I stopped nursing him, but I gained a couple of pounds in that month since I was still eating the same number of calories. :/
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:12 PM   #12
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I'm counting calories and nursing my 3 month old. Until recently I kept my calories around 1700 and I was losing 1 lb a week. My milk supply was also great. However my appetite has spiked recently and I've fallen off the wagon a bit and gained some back. I think it's totally possible!

My SIL did WW after she had her 2nd kid and she's 20 lbs smaller than she was before having kids, and she wasn't chubby to begin with. I think either method will give you good results.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:27 PM   #13
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I'm nursing my 8 month old and counting calories. I've been counting calories since she was 4 months old - I stay around 1500 calories per day. I was worried about supply so a bit more careful in the beginning but I've had absolutely no problems, tons of milk and we're doing great. If you have a supply issue I would definitely be more cautious but if you start slowly and make sure things aren't affected I would say go for it!
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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I am also nursing a toddler. He's 17 months old and nurses about 3x a day now. I'm using livestrong to count cals, and I just ignored the breastfeeding part of it. I typed in my age and activity level, and said I wanted to lose 3 pounds a week, and it put me at about 1875 cals at the moment. I'm in my 3rd week and have lost 6 pounds or so, so I'd say it's dead on for me at the moment. I have had no reduction in supply. Once I've lost my first 10 or so, I'm going to put my goals at 2 pounds a week and take it slower.. I just wanted to test it for now to see where I need to be as far as cals go.

This is my third baby, and I've nursed all 3 for 18 months or so. I think every body is different.. for me, I don't seem to use up extra cals to produce milk, and when I stop, I always seem to LOSE an extra 5 pounds. For some reason, nursing makes me hold on to my weight. I have a friend who's exactly the same...
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:43 AM   #15
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Heck, I'm nursing my one month old and have been counting calories since he was two weeks old, it hasn't impacted my supply any. I keep it at around 2000-2200 calories a day and lose on that. For a toddler, who is generally nursing with much less frequency than a newborn, yup can probably drop your calories closer to 1800 without issue. It just depends on your individual metabolism and start weight.

But I counted calories before, during, and after my pregnancy. It's not the counting that is the problem, but the amount being too low. There is nothing inherently problematic with food journalling and a calorie budget, just be sensible and keep it on the high side for the first few weeks. See what you're losing and adjust the amount accordingly after a few weeks to see the loss amount you're comfortable with.
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