C section, breastfeeding, and caloric needs of a second time mom

Hi everyone ! I’m currently in bed recovering from my second unplanned c section, wondering how a breastfeeding mom who is not allowed to exercise until cleared by her doctor should go about calculating caloric needs. Thanks for reading! We can do this!


  • pennyks88
    pennyks88 Posts: 167 Member
    Congratulations on your new baby! I hope for a speedy recovery for you! I have an almost 3 year old and a 5 month old. I've never had a C-section, so I can't really advise you much on that aspect. From everything I've read, breastfeeding mamas need about 500 extra calories a day to keep up milk supply. That's what I've been doing. I'm losing weight but it's veryyyy slow. I know some moms say the weight melted right off while breastfeeding, but 5 months in that has not been the case for me.
  • DomesticKat
    DomesticKat Posts: 565 Member
    Congratulations on your baby! I recommend not attempting to cut calories or intentionally lose weight until your body is recovered several weeks/months from now. With a newborn immediately post-partum, your hormones are telling your breasts to make far more milk than your baby will ever need because the biological imperative is to keep the baby alive. That means you could be burning upwards of 1000 calories a day from breastfeeding alone. Let your hormones do their thing, and over time your milk supply will regulate. You will be losing various bodily fluids and fat stores without even trying, and will likely see a large drop in weight once you're six weeks post-partum.

    Once you've been cleared for physical activity and feel sufficiently recovered to focus more on your diet, set your account to maintenance for your current weight and let breastfeeding create your deficit. No one can tell you how many calories breastfeeding burns because it's dependent on how your baby nurses. Five hundred calories is an estimate. Eating at maintenance will give you the best opportunity to determine how many calories you're burning from breastfeeding as you track your rate of loss, and you can adjust your calories accordingly. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to lose no more than one pound per week.

    Of course, this all depends on how accurate you are with logging, and a food scale can help with that. It also depends on how much weight you need to lose. The closer you are to a healthy weight, the slower your rate of loss should be. Use a weight trending app (like Libra) to help determine your daily deficit from breastfeeding.
  • Chantelle9112
    Chantelle9112 Posts: 16 Member
    edited January 2019
    I’m so sorry your birth didn’t go as planned I can’t imagine how that feels. Mine were born at home. I would recommend focusing on eating as healthy as possible with enough calories to heal and feed your baby, I’m still breastfeeding I find I naturally eat enough for that don’t restrict at first. Go slow do what feels right for your body with exercise. A c section is a serious surgery,