Nursing Diet: How Many Calories Do You Need?

Each breastfed little bundle of joy takes in approximately 650 calories per day from mother’s breast milk.  This means that a nursing mother requires a nursing diet, and she will need to consume 500 calories above her pre-pregnancy recommended daily allowance.  This is why nursing women loose weight quicker after delivery; they automatically loose approximately 150 calories per day and still maintain a healthy and nutritious milk flow for their infant.  Women who are nursing twins will have to consume more than the extra 500 calories per day.

What Nursing Women Should Consume

Nursing mothers produce 23 to 27 ounces of milk per day on average, so you want to make sure that you are drinking at least 3 quarts of caffeine free fluids per day. 

Protein intake should equal approximately one gram for every pound of body weight.  Make sure that you consume high calcium foods on a daily basis such as:

  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • milk 

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, with the goal being to consume fruits having as many colors of the rainbow as possible. Carbohydrates should come in the form of whole grain breads and cereals as much as possible. Junk foods are empty calories and provide no nutrition for your growing infant so they should be avoided.


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