ask an expert

What is the minimum number of calories I need to consume while breastfeeding?

I am trying to start losing the baby weight and I want to make sure I eat enough calories to keep up my milk supply.

What is the minimum number of calories I need to consume? Also, would a couple of days of a protein heavy diet affect the baby or my milk? My little one is 5 1/2 months.

McKenzie Jones | Other Provider

McKenzie Jones

The recommendation is to eat 400 to 500 more calories a day than what you would otherwise normally eat to stay healthy. Modest weight loss (approximately 1 lb/week) has no adverse effect on the quantity or quality of breastmilk.

There is no need to stick to a rigid diet of the “right foods” in order to breastfeed. And a balance of exercise with the food eaten will help you reach your goal.

The diet should also contain 25gm/day of dietary fiber. The average daily dietary protein requirement is influenced by many factors such as age, digestibility, rate of protein synthesis and carbohydrate and fat levels. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.  Carbohydrates are the main energy source for all body functions and a low carb intake is associated with fatigue, dehydration, and energy loss. Carbohydrates should make up 55% of total calories, with a minimum intake of 100 gm/day for lactating women. 

Read more answers by McKenzie Jones