Nursing mothers...calorie intake

Old 06-14-2010, 03:07 PM
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Default Nursing mothers...calorie intake


First post since my introduction a second ago

I am nursing! I *believe* I am suppose to be eating a tad more? I hate to do this but dont want to mess with my supply. I am well established and EBFing (exclusively breast feeding). I plan to keep my calories between 1200 and 1400. Closer to 1200 if I can. In the past I have found I need to "dramatically" cut calories to see a difference in weight.

Just wondering how many calories other BFing mothers are adding to their daily intake...and...if you are NOT adding any extra, did it negatively impact your supply?

And no, unfortunately the weight did not "drop off" as everyone says when you nurse. It did not last pregnancy and did not so far this pregnancy (even with the "big eater" I have now). My theory is if you were skinny to begin with...then the weight falls off nursing. I was 5'4 and 154 lbs. Overweight for my height. I am 160 lbs now but some of it is in my chest (DDD/"F"). I just want to be a healthy 145lbs...not asking much here...
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:44 PM
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I have been where you are!! My weight did not drop off either, but I had one mean sweet tooth (I downed a entire box of cookies a couple of times a week)... It was really hard because my girlfriend had lost all of her baby weight in 2 months, so I thought I should too.

I found that if I lowered my calorie intake too much my milk supply would dwindle. I breastfed until my youngest was 15 months old, and could only do a calorie deficit of about 700 calories max. I discovered if I felt hungry, I needed to eat and if I didn't, my supply would drop. I found that if I cut my water intake, it would also dwindle...

It was trial and error, but I found that if I added 300 calories to the calculated BMR it worked great. However, I didn't start until my baby was a year old, so it might have been different if he was younger (especially since he had a growth spurt from 5 to 6 months - for the entire month).

So, that meant my BMR was 1300 + 300 = 1600. I have an active lifestyle which meant that I burned about 2300 a day (including sleep). So I ended up eating about 1700 calories every day. I'm 34, started out at 5'5", 150 lb, and am now at my goal of 135 lb and it took me 6 months.

I hope that helps. I also found that my body really wanted to hold on to the fat. It was when I introduced strength training that I started losing the fat. It really is trial and error since everyone is different.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:49 PM
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My little one is 4 month and I haven't dropped anything since he was born. As soon as I started trying to cut calories and exercise, my supply dropped, and I have not been able to get it back up. I'm not supplementing way more that I ever wanted to. I'm still trying to lose weight, but instead of worrying so much about calorie count I have been focusing on making sure there are no emply calories. I'm trying to replace all the junk I cut with healthy choices.

Any suggestions on getting my supply back up?
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:36 AM
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With both my kids, I gained more weight while breastfeeding than I did while pregnant. My youngest just turned 2, I've been serious about the weight loss for about 6 or 7 months now, and have lost 33 lbs. Most of what I read said to add 250-300 calories to make up for the breast milk. Hydration is very important. As for supply, the best way for me to increase production was to increase frequency of feeding. It would take 2 or 3 days to really make a noticeable change. Because for me frequeny was so important, I did have to supplement when I went back to work, never could get decent let-down with a pump. My boy was a very hearty eater, I'd get low blood sugar if I tried to diet while nursing him. So I'd end up scarfing a bunch of junk and eating more calories if I didn't just go ahead and eat beforehand.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:27 PM
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I know exactly what you mean!! I had two different experiences with breastfeeding. I swear my son inhaled my thighs and I lost weight (with exercise and watching what I eat). With my last, Carly, I couldn't lose. I didn't start really losing until after I stopped with her. It was frustrating.

I wouldn't add too much and see where it takes you. If your supply seems to drop, then add oatmeal or something that is supposed to help with supply. Oatmeal always seem to double my supply. On the other side, I would not go below the 1200 mark, at all. Exercise is great, but I do remember being soooo tired while breastfeeding. Not as tired as while I was preggers, but tired, just the same. I feel for you, girl. It is a double edged sword. I LOVED breastfeeding, but was soooo frustrated with the last experience. I was sooo jealous of the other moms who would say, "OH, breastfeeding caused me to lose ALL the baby weight and I ate whatever I want!!" ICK. So jealous of them.
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