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How Many Calories Do I Need While Nursing?

By Sylvanas Jayde

The most natural way to feed a baby is breastfeeding. Healthy mothers can provide their baby with all the nutrients needed in the right amounts. Meeting the food demands of a nursing infant can be a challenging, but rewarding experience. In order to keep up with the demands of a nursing child. It is essential that the breastfeeding mother makes sure she is eating nutritious meals, to ensure she is receiving enough calories to sustain herself with adequate nutrition.

How Many Calories Do Breastfeeding Mothers Need?

Mothers that exclusively breastfeed their babies might experience increased appetite, this is normal. Breastfeeding moms should consume at least 1,800 calories daily to maintain an abundant milk supply, According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Moms of older babies can experience an increased appetite as the babies appetite increase, or when the baby experiences a growth spurt. Breastfeeding moms usually do not need to count calories consumed. The exception being, mothers who have problems gaining weight. If the mother is not receiving enough calories, it can affect the mother's breast milk supply.

Needs Vary

Not all nursing moms require the same amount of calories. Mothers, exclusively breastfeeding, should eat more calories to meet nutritional needs. The exceptions are babies supplemented with infant formula or food, mothers will not need more calories.

Babies Nutritional Needs Met if Mother Has An Unhealthy Diet?

Nursing moms can have all their nutritional needs met, if they follow a healthy diet; however, even mothers eating unhealthy foods provide their babies with similar nutrition as a mom who eats a healthy balanced diet. Nutrients stored in her body and the food eating by the mom creates breast milk. Those unable to meet a babies nutritional needs are severely malnourished mothers.

Ideal Diet For Nursing Mom

The ideal diet is a healthy balanced diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables, variety of grains (wheat, rice, barley), animal based protein foods (meat, dairy, eggs) for vegetarians or vegans select plant based protein foods (beans, lentils, soy), and small quantities of fat (preferably uncooked vegetable oils.)

Do Nursing Moms Require Additional Fluids?

Nursing mothers do not require extra fluids. The exception is severe dehydration. Possible symptoms of dehydration include strong-smelling urine, dry stool, and constipation. Nursing moms sometimes forget to eat, for those experiencing this issue try drinking your meals. Pay attention to your body, keep fluids available while nursing; bottled water, fruit juice, vegetable juices, etc. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are healthy, tasty, and are an excellent way to receive additional calories.

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