5 Reasons to Use a Breastfeeding Calorie Calculator

A breastfeeding calorie calculator can ensure moms are getting enough nutrition to maintain milk supply and good health. Women who don’t get enough calories when breastfeeding may get sick, feel fatigued, or pass less nutrients to their babies.

breastfeeding mom in chair with baby
Breastfeeding moms need to ensure they are eating enough for their health.

I don’t think there is a single postpartum woman who doesn’t want to lose weight after having a baby. But your body has gone through a lot and needs solid nutrition to recover, and meet the demands of caring for a baby. If you are breastfeeding, your nutritional needs are higher. And, if you’re running, the need for nutrition is even higher. This is where a breastfeeding calorie calculator can help.

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 You may think you need to start cutting calories to lose the weight you gained when you were pregnant. But for breastfeeding mamas especially, this is false. You will need to eat roughly 500 calories more than you normally would to create milk for your baby, studies show.

At the bare minimum, non-active (not exercising) breastfeeding moms should be eating at least 1800 calories a day. On average, non-active breastfeeding moms should be eating 2,500 calories per day.

Related: 8 Clever Tips for Breastfeeding Mother Runners

If you’re burning calories running, you need to eat even more—500 plus whatever you burn running. If you’re running 5 miles a day—that’s 1,000 more calories a day—and around 3,000 calories or more a day!

You may think the consequence of being in an extra calorie deficit is losing weight faster, but you are wrong. The consequences could be to you and your baby’s health.

New moms are so busy putting the needs of others, including their new baby, in front of their own. This is where a breastfeeding mom calorie calculator becomes a useful tool as it can help you ensure you’re getting enough fuel to do all your body needs to do.

breastfeeding calorie calculator pin
A breastfeeding calorie calculator can keep you healthy. Pin the reasons to use one.

Related: Is 6 Weeks Too Soon to Start Running Postpartum?

Let’s look at 5 reasons to use a breastfeeding calorie calculator.

1. Keep up milk supply.

Not eating enough calories can hurt your milk supply. Your body needs extra calories for milk production. The old adage that you’re eating for two when pregnant is a misconception BUT when you’re breastfeeding, it’s somewhat true.

You need those extra 400-500 calories to make food for your baby. If you’re not getting enough, your body will conserve energy where it can, including by stopping producing milk. A breastfeeding calorie calculator can ensure you’re getting enough nourishment.

2. Have more energy.

Not having enough fuel means your body is running out of gas (to keep the car metaphor going). You’ll be running on fumes (still going…), and feel much more tired. This is obviously, less than ideal since sleep is already at a premium. Cut your body some slack by giving it energy where it can—your plate!

Related: Can Running Help Postpartum Depression?

3. Sustainable weight loss.

Just as you probably know diet fads don’t work. Cutting calories when you’re breastfeeding is basically another diet fad that’s unsustainable. If you end up losing weight quickly while breastfeeding because you aren’t eating enough, your body will most likely play catch-up to get back to a normal balance.

Eating nutrient-dense food to support the demands of your life is a better way to healthily lose weight. And guess? You’ll have more energy and motivation to do things like run, too!

Related: Run to Lose Weight Safety (Top Tips)

4. More nutrients for your baby.

By looking at calories for breastfeeding calculator, you’ll ensure your baby is getting the nutrients he or she needs, too. If your diet is poor, the levels of micronutrients in the breastmilk will go down.

Every mom wants their babies to be strong and nourished. If you’re breastfeeding, and restricting yourself—you could be restricting your baby, too.

5. You (and your baby) can stay healthy.

Using a breastfeeding calorie calculator can make sure you stay healthy. How? Because when your body is deprived your immune system isn’t working optimally, putting you (and your baby) at risk for illness. Furthermore, malnutrition can put you at risk for injury.

Breastfeeding moms are already at a higher risk for bone injuries. If you aren’t getting the calcium and protein your body needs, you could be sidelining yourself before you even get to start really running. Not good.

Related: Can Running Lead to Bone Injuries Postpartum?

A breastfeeding calorie calculator  pin2
A breastfeeding calorie calculator can keep you healthy. Pin the reasons to use one.

So how do you use a breastfeeding calorie calculator?

 I like the Lactation Nutritionist Breastfeeding Calorie Calculator because it incorporates how much you are breastfeeding, your weight goals, and your activity level.

You input your age, height, weight, activity level, breastfeeding amount, and pregnancy status. The breastfeeding calorie calculator then estimates your individual calorie needs while breastfeeding. This calculator uses the Mifflin-St.Jeor Equation to give you estimates of the sufficient amount of calories you need maintain milk supply and good health.

I am not a fan of calorie counting in general but during this stage, getting a rough idea of your calorie intake per meal and snack can ensure you’re getting enough for your health and your baby’s.

Of course, always talk to your doctor if you have any concerns!

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If you’d like assistance with your postpartum running journey, check out my run coaching services and my other free training plans:




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