Breastfeeding calories?

Hi Guys,

How many extra calories are you supposed to eat a day if you're breastfeeding? I am exclusively breastfeeding a 3 month old.




  • From

    Six guidelines for safe dieting during lactation
    Wait until your baby is two months old before dieting
    It’s best not to do anything consciously to lose weight until after the second month. This gives your body enough time to successfully establish a healthy milk supply that is less likely to be adversely affected if your caloric intake is restricted. Breastfeeding your baby, on average, burns 200-500 calories per day (above what you needed to maintain your pre-pregnancy weight) — so keep in mind that even without a weight loss program you are burning extra calories.

    Breastfeed without restriction
    Research tells us that both more frequent breastfeeding and breastfeeding longer than six months increases maternal weight loss.

    Eat at least 1500-1800 calories per day
    While nursing, you should not consume less than 1500-1800 calories per day, and most women should stay at the high end of this range. Some mothers will require much more than this, but studies show that going below this number may put supply at risk.

    Keep weight loss at less than 1.5 pounds per week
    Most moms can safely lose up to 1.5 pounds per week or 6 pounds per month after the second month and not affect milk supply or baby’s well being. One study has suggested that short-term weight loss of 2.2 pounds (1 kg) per week is not a problem (in this study, moms dieted for 11 days).

    Decrease the calories gradually
    A sudden drop in calories can reduce milk supply. Some moms notice this during an illness, although dehydration and/or medication use could also be a factor in reduced milk supply when mom is sick. It has been hypothesized that a sudden calorie decrease can cause mom’s body to go into “starvation mode” and cut nonessential resources such as milk production.

    Avoid quick-fix solutions
    Liquid diets, low-carb diets, fad diets, weight loss medication, etc. are not recommended while breastfeeding.

    What might happen if a nursing mother loses weight too quickly?
    In most instances of too-rapid weight loss, it is not the breastmilk (composition or supply) that would suffer, but mom’s nutrition and/or health.
    Excessive dieting can result in a reduced milk supply.
  • mrskristinlang
    mrskristinlang Posts: 22 Member
    I have a 3 month old too, when was your LO born? Mine was born June 19th. I allow 500 extra calories for breastfeeding and also drink lots of extra water.
  • blondieellie
    blondieellie Posts: 46 Member
    Hi, I allow an extra 500 per day to be safe. I also usually eat back some exercise calories. And try to have 10 glasses of water. :)