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TOPIC: Calories burned Breast-feeding???

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March 6, 2010 10:06 PM
How many Calories do you burn breast-feeding??? Anyone know? I hope a lot, cause I sure can use the help!!!! I hope someone has an idea. It sure would help me out. Thanks
March 6, 2010 10:11 PM
I was told around 400 a day. however I have nothing to prove that and it makes sence that it would change as your baby's eating habits change. I'm breast feeding as well, but have to suppliment with formula so I am very likely not buring that many calories. Good Luck to you and congrats on the new baby !
March 6, 2010 11:08 PM
Realistically there is no way of quantifying just how many calories are burned during breastfeeding.

Here's why. Your body puts about 22 calories per ounce of breastmilk. Do a google search, you can find many numbers. 22 was the number provided by the milk bank that analyzed my milk. BUT-There is no way to tell just how many calories you burned just to make the milk.

I pump off extra milk every day, so I count how many calories are (likely) in the extra ounces, and count this against my food total (I entered breastmilk as a negative calorie food in the database). If you don't pump off extra, consider this. Most human milk is 22 calories per ounce, and most babies drink their weight times three (in ounces) per day.

So my 12 pound milk monster drinks 36 ounces per day. (times 22 is 792)

But don't quote me. If you want to lose weight, don't put yourself in a deficit on MFP. Start playing with the numbers. You're already in a deficit by breastfeeding.

I eat around 2500 calories a day and I'm losing like mad. I hit my prepregnancy weight in 10 weeks (38 pound gain during pregnancy). But I'm also exercising 200-500 calories a day on average and eating those calories. At one point I estimated that I could eat about 3000 calories a day if I didn't want to lose weight. Check my diary, you'll see what I mean.
March 8, 2010 10:38 AM
I didn't know that there was so much to learn!! You guys have been very helpful and I hope I can nurse the weight right off of me!!!!! Thankshappy
March 11, 2010 12:58 PM

So my 12 pound milk monster drinks 36 ounces per day. (times 22 is 792)

Wow, if I did that, I'd be like 1300 calories for my 20 lb baby! LOL. I looked up some info on and found that babies tend to take in the same amount of milk from 1-6 months of age, so it doesn't seem to correlate so much with their size. Here's the page I found:

Below the pictures of the bottles, there's a section titled "What if baby is eating solid foods?" Here's part of it:

Because of the great variability in the amount of solids that babies take during the second six months, the amount of milk will vary, too. One study found average breastmilk intake to be 30 oz per day (875 ml/day; 93% of total intake) at 7 months and 19 oz (550 ml/day; 50% of total energy intake) at 11-16 months.

So I figure 30oz/day is probably about what my 20 lb 9.5 month old is taking in, which gives me about 660 extra calories? Not bad. :) I'm so not in a hurry for him to eat more solid food. :)
March 11, 2010 1:05 PM
Thanks for the extra info. I used a different source, which appears to have different values.

I disagree with the "same amount of milk from ages 1-6mo." Both of mine increased the amount they were drinking during this time from 3 oz a feeding upward.
March 11, 2010 1:40 PM
I'm sure it varies by baby. :)
March 9, 2012 7:14 AM
This thread has been very helpful!! Thank you all!!!
January 17, 2014 10:42 AM
I am soley pumping and just decided to account for 22 calories per ounce I pump...thanks for the info!


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