How many calories does breastfeeding really burn?
Asked by safirawilliams on Sep 12, 2008 in Family & Pregnancy

I've heard that one burns between 500 and 800 calories by breastfeeding.  Is it really true?


It is true. To produce about 25 ounces of milk a day, it costs the nursing mother about 650 calories above her usual requirements.  To meet this energy need, the Institute of Medicine recommends eating 500 calories extra calories a day.  The remaining 150 calories are drawn from fat stores accumulated during pregnancy. It is important that the calories come from nutritious foods, especially meat-type foods for protein and iron and dairy products for calcium.  Breastfeeding mothers usually lose 1 to 4 pounds per month without restricting their calorie intake.  Read about nutrition for nursing moms at

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