Calories for Breastfeeding

Gluten Free breakfast bagel at New Cascadia in Portland, Oregon


This is part two in my what worked to increase my milk supply series.  Part one is on fluid intake.

While breastfeeding (nursing or exclusive pumping), the recommendation is that you will need an extra 300-500 calories per day in order to make enough milk for your little one. This correlates to two cups of raw, whole, organic milk (decaf latte please!) and a medium sized sweet potato with healthy fat of choice (raw butter, coconut oil, olive oil). That’s not a lot of extra food and if, like me, you are starving all the time while producing milk, you should listen to your body while attempting to make good quality food choices.

Some women easily lose weight while breastfeeding.  Others (like me) cannot lose an ounce and actually gain weight while breastfeeding (this was my experience while nursing and exclusively pumping). I had to make a conscious decision to not stress about weight until after we are done with our milk making journey.

Historically, I have done the absolute best regarding weight and adequate milk supply when following a lacto-paleo diet.  Really, I should be off all dairy but it’s nearly impossible for me to manage to eat with my dietary restrictions if I give up hard, aged, raw cheeses, a little real butter, and when I’m lucky- a little raw milk or cream for my decaf coffee.  I’m in the process of making this change again- it’s more challenging this time because of extreme budget restrictions (I had to close my business due to Elizabeth’s super early arrival) and my growing number of food intolerance.  Baby steps. The trick here is to fight what works for you- your body, your baby, and your budget. For dairy free mamas, there are so many options out



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