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TOPIC: Breastfeeding and calorie intake

 
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October 2, 2013 11:27 PM
I am breastfeeding, gaining weight, and can't figure out how many net calories I need. I have read that breast feeding burns 20 cal an ounce. I am keeping track of my pumped ounces and log them as exercise. Do I eat those calories back for a net around 1500 calories? Or is 1500 net even correct? I am 5'6", 158lbs and sedentary job. Thank you!
October 2, 2013 11:42 PM
QUOTE:

I am breastfeeding, gaining weight, and can't figure out how many net calories I need. I have read that breast feeding burns 20 cal an ounce. I am keeping track of my pumped ounces and log them as exercise. Do I eat those calories back for a net around 1500 calories? Or is 1500 net even correct? I am 5'6", 158lbs and sedentary job. Thank you!


your primary health care provider would probably be a good port of call, because you don't want to deprive your baby of nutrients. Generally I would say that if you are consistently gaining weight (keeping in mind that your hormones are still adjusting themselves and you'll have more water at different stages) then you are taking in too many calories overall, but your babies needs come first, so perhaps your doctor/dietician could assess both your babies and your own health and then give you a better estimate.
  48916023
October 3, 2013 7:14 AM
I am breastfeeding but I didn't start cutting calories until my son was 10 months old. Even now I am eating between 1800-2000 a day. There is a way to add breastfeeding in to you mfp app. Do a search on breastfeeding and it will come up with different ages and amount of times breastfed per day. It will then subtract those calories. So if you were using a 1500 deficit you would then minus say 500 for breastfeeding and really end up eating 2000 per day. This was how it was explained to me, but I tried to simplify it.

I am not sure how old your little one is, but if breast milk is the only source of food right now I would definitely talk to your doctor or midwife first. I know if I don't eat enough my supply suffers.
  6737078
October 3, 2013 7:19 AM
The advice to talk to your doctor is a good one in theory but in my experience they don't get into the nitty gritty of how many cals you should eat. Worth a try though. What I did after the first few weeks is shoot for a net of 1300 (so actually 1800, because 500 were burned through BF). This worked for me and my supply was fine. Maybe you can start gradually decreasing by about 50 for a few days and see how your supply is. If it's still fine, decrease by another 50 until you find an amount that lets you lose and still keep your supply up.
  3872484
October 3, 2013 7:25 AM
I think the PP had a good idea, drop your intake slightly each day to see how it affects your supply. I read breastfeeding can burn between 500-800 calories daily. You could also try fenugreek supplements to try to increase your supply if you notice a drop. Goat's Rue was also recommended to me by the lactation consultant at my hospital.
October 3, 2013 7:28 AM
I started logging when my son was about 3.5 months. He was exclusively BF, so I added 500 calories a day, and still lost about a lb/week. Once he started taking in solids, and I saw my weight loss level out, I decreased the additional calories a day till I started losing again. I averaged between 1800-2000 gross calories a day (before exercise) You need to play with it, but I found it better to add it to my diary rather than through exercise. Feel free to add me as a friend and you can check out my diary to see how I add it. At 13.5 months, he is nursing once a day so I add 200 calories. But always discuss with your doctor, there may be other underlying issues as to why you are gaining...your thyroid can be majorly out of wack after giving birth.
October 3, 2013 7:29 AM
In my 2 experience, I found that I lost a good amount of weight initially without trying very hard while breast-feeding, but then I got to a point where the scale wouldn't budge no matter what I did. My doctor said that with some woman, the body will hold onto a little extra fat while your still breastfeeding (sort of an evolutionary emergency preparedness thing for famines). In any event, you might get better advice from a lactation consultant than from an MD.I love love love and respect my doctor, but when it came to all things breast-feeding, my LC just knew more. This is the one I went to because it's close to me, but they are happy to answer questions over the phone. http://breastfeedingcenter.org/

Also, KellyMom is a fantastic resource! Take a look at this article: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mothers-diet/mom-calories-fluids/
  22080513
October 3, 2013 7:34 AM
I just want you to know that you are not alone. I am nursing my third child, and I have never experienced that magical weight loss from breastfeeding. A lactation specialist could probably help you the most. Good luck!
  11960075
October 3, 2013 11:51 PM
This is all very helpful, thank you! My son is almost 3 months. I lost 30 of my 40 pounds without watching my calories within the first six weeks. Ever since then I have either been stuck or gaining a pound here and there.
October 4, 2013 12:48 PM
flowerforyou Hi ladies. Any of you can add me if you'd like. Glad to know I'm not alone in trying to figure out a healthy balance with my calories. I started losing in January of 2012 then found out in December that I was pregnant. My doctor was adamant that I shouldn't worry about my weight until after I had the baby (he's now 9 weeks old). Now that I've had him, I've lost the 22 pounds I gained plus another 9. I just started back to work this week and this is really the first time I've had to pump on any consistent basis and I'M STARVING!! LOL I adjusted my calories down to 2000 (from 2300 while pregnant) and I've just resumed exercising a couple of days a week. I drink tons of water and I'm trying to get my milk supply to increase. I added oatmeal, ground flax and nuts to my diet everyday. I've also just added supplements to help -- fenugreek and brewer's yeast - in addition to my daily prenatals. My diary is open if you'd like to take a look. I welcome any feedback. Good luck!
  570893
October 4, 2013 3:53 PM
QUOTE:

flowerforyou Hi ladies. Any of you can add me if you'd like. Glad to know I'm not alone in trying to figure out a healthy balance with my calories. I started losing in January of 2012 then found out in December that I was pregnant. My doctor was adamant that I shouldn't worry about my weight until after I had the baby (he's now 9 weeks old). Now that I've had him, I've lost the 22 pounds I gained plus another 9. I just started back to work this week and this is really the first time I've had to pump on any consistent basis and I'M STARVING!! LOL I adjusted my calories down to 2000 (from 2300 while pregnant) and I've just resumed exercising a couple of days a week. I drink tons of water and I'm trying to get my milk supply to increase. I added oatmeal, ground flax and nuts to my diet everyday. I've also just added supplements to help -- fenugreek and brewer's yeast - in addition to my daily prenatals. My diary is open if you'd like to take a look. I welcome any feedback. Good luck!


If you are trying to increase supply, one herb that works wonders is moringa (or mulungay). It is great for giving you extra energy. I was told to take this at the International Breastfeeding Center, Jack Newman's clinic (if you don't know who he is Google him, his website has tons of great info on it). You have to be careful that fenugreek doesn't mess up you blood sugar levels.

Good for you, you have lost a great deal of weight already! How amazing.
  6737078
October 4, 2013 3:54 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

flowerforyou Hi ladies. Any of you can add me if you'd like. Glad to know I'm not alone in trying to figure out a healthy balance with my calories. I started losing in January of 2012 then found out in December that I was pregnant. My doctor was adamant that I shouldn't worry about my weight until after I had the baby (he's now 9 weeks old). Now that I've had him, I've lost the 22 pounds I gained plus another 9. I just started back to work this week and this is really the first time I've had to pump on any consistent basis and I'M STARVING!! LOL I adjusted my calories down to 2000 (from 2300 while pregnant) and I've just resumed exercising a couple of days a week. I drink tons of water and I'm trying to get my milk supply to increase. I added oatmeal, ground flax and nuts to my diet everyday. I've also just added supplements to help -- fenugreek and brewer's yeast - in addition to my daily prenatals. My diary is open if you'd like to take a look. I welcome any feedback. Good luck!


If you are trying to increase supply, one herb that works wonders is moringa (or mulungay). It is great for giving you extra energy. I was told to take this at the International Breastfeeding Center, Jack Newman's clinic (if you don't know who he is Google him, his website has tons of great info on it). You have to be careful that fenugreek doesn't mess up you blood sugar levels.

Good for you, you have lost a great deal of weight already! How amazing.


Just curious, what does fenugreek do to blood sugar?
  3872484
October 4, 2013 3:59 PM
Eat the calories gained from pumping. You need that nutrition in order to keep your supply up and to ensure that your milk is nutritionally adequate. You can eat a calorie deficit if you want, adjust that as needed if you see it affecting your supply.

I pump about 60oz a day and absolutely have to eat back those calories. I'm not counting calories just yet since I'm not really focused on losing weight at this point, but my baby weight came off in just about 6 weeks.
  2469411
October 4, 2013 4:46 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

flowerforyou Hi ladies. Any of you can add me if you'd like. Glad to know I'm not alone in trying to figure out a healthy balance with my calories. I started losing in January of 2012 then found out in December that I was pregnant. My doctor was adamant that I shouldn't worry about my weight until after I had the baby (he's now 9 weeks old). Now that I've had him, I've lost the 22 pounds I gained plus another 9. I just started back to work this week and this is really the first time I've had to pump on any consistent basis and I'M STARVING!! LOL I adjusted my calories down to 2000 (from 2300 while pregnant) and I've just resumed exercising a couple of days a week. I drink tons of water and I'm trying to get my milk supply to increase. I added oatmeal, ground flax and nuts to my diet everyday. I've also just added supplements to help -- fenugreek and brewer's yeast - in addition to my daily prenatals. My diary is open if you'd like to take a look. I welcome any feedback. Good luck!


If you are trying to increase supply, one herb that works wonders is moringa (or mulungay). It is great for giving you extra energy. I was told to take this at the International Breastfeeding Center, Jack Newman's clinic (if you don't know who he is Google him, his website has tons of great info on it). You have to be careful that fenugreek doesn't mess up you blood sugar levels.

Good for you, you have lost a great deal of weight already! How amazing.


Just curious, what does fenugreek do to blood sugar?

It lowers it. For some people it isn't an issue, but for some (especially prolonged use) it can be dangerous. I took it, but I had blood work done. It worked well for a while then just kind of stopped working.
  6737078

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