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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Calories Burned: Breastfeeding, Baby, and You

Calories Burned: Breastfeeding, Baby, and You   - #weightloss #diet #nursingBreastfeeding has a lengthy list of benefits for both mother and child ranging from antibody protection to cancer prevention, but one not soon to be forgotten by new moms is the extra calories burned breastfeeding. Many women have asked, exactly how many calories are burned breastfeeding? Well, every woman who has nursed a baby knows that it is a physically demanding task, and all that extra energy expelled isn’t going to waste. Each calorie-laden ounce of breast milk made to nourish your baby is burning extra calories for mom.

While there are many reasons to breastfeed your baby, one that many moms find to be an added bonus is the extra calories burned. This extra caloric output helps many moms to slowly shed the excess weight gained during pregnancy.

Let’s break it down to see how those extra calories are being burned.

Calories Burned: Breastfeeding, Baby, and You

  • Each ounce of breast milk produced helps mom to burn around 20 calories
  • Typically, babies consume 20-30 ounces of milk per day
  • This typically results in 400-600 calories burned breastfeeding each day

The Institute of Medicine recommends nursing mothers consume an additional 500 calories per day to help supplement her nutritional needs. Typically, this is a greater caloric need than even for pregnant women. In most cases, a healthy, pregnant mother is encouraged to eat an additional 350 calories per day to meet her nutritional needs. Nursing mothers will use the extra 500 calories to produce milk, and then will pull any additionally needed calories from the fat stores built up during pregnancy. This will help moms to slowly but surely lose the weight gained during pregnancy. This need for extra calories is often felt by mother’s through hunger. Most nursing moms find themselves consuming extra snacks and portions at the dinner table to help reach their caloric goals for the day.

While exercise, under the supervision of your doctor, is a great way to burn calories, breastfeeding is another way to burn calories. New moms can feel confident that they are not only providing nourishment for their babies, but they are also burning calories in a healthy way that is beneficial to both mother and baby.

What has been your experience with calories burned breastfeeding?

Ashley is a stay-at-home-mom and a former English teacher. Ashley and her husband, Jeramey, have two young sons and one angel daughter. Ashley loves to chat about breastfeeding, babywearing, and blogging. Connect with Ashley at her personal blog, Hiccups and Heels where she writes about topics such as parenting, miscarriage, relationships, and humor.


  1. Great article!! How true, I can definitely feel the need to consume more calories while breastfeeding my son, and who doesnt love to eat! Ha 😉 I have also been able to slowly drop that extra weight,and thank God for that because he knows I don’t have the extra time to workout right now!

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