The average nursing mom produces about 25 ounces a day of breast milk, which costs the lactating mom about 500 calories a day. During the first six months of breastfeeding, the nursing mom will be able to use ~100-150kcal/day of maternal fat stores from pregnancy for energy, but will need to consume an extra 330 calories than her daily recommended calories, with an additional 400 calories over recommended calories needed for the second six months of breastfeeding.
In addition, lactating moms should consume an additional 25g of protein a day over their daily recommended, about 70g protein per day. Consumption of low fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean meats every day through meals and snacks can provide a nursing mom with the additional calories she needs during this time. Finally, for any lactating mom, it is also recommended to drink 32 ounces over daily recommended fluid intake to stay adequately hydrated.
The extra calories could come from a variety of options:
-parfait: 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup diced fruit, ¼ cup granola; layer and enjoy! ( ~400 calories)
-chocolate banana smoothie: 1 cup milk or ½ cup frozen yogurt, 1 diced banana, 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup, ice: blend and enjoy! (~300 calories)
Add in snacks throughout the day:
-1 oz string cheese (100 calories)
– ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with 1 cup diced fruit (~200 calories)
-add 1oz cheese cubes to a salad or pasta dish: 1oz cheese (~100 calories)
-8oz low fat milk or chocolate milk after a workout (~100 calories)
-½ cup low fat yogurt for a midday snack(~100 calories)
-½ cup frozen yogurt after a long day (~150 calories)
*It is recommended that lactating moms limit intake of nut products to decrease risk of baby developing an allergy.
*Also, consumption of iron rich foods such as animal products and leafy green vegetables are recommended to prevent development of iron-deficiency anemia in breastfeeding moms.
Nursing mom or not, here are some tips to get your prepregnancy shape back:
1.) Stick to whole foods such as fruits and vegetables as the primary source for snacks and side dishes in meal planning.
2.) Choose 1% or skim milk and milk products when consuming dairy.
3.) Stay hydrated with at least 8 cups of fluid, mostly water, each day.
4.) Use mid meal snacks as an opportunity to get your dairy or fruit servings in for the day. Grab a piece of fruit or a cup of yogurt to hold you off until your next meal instead of grabbinga salty or sweet snack.
5.) Stay active every day for at least 30 minutes. Take a class at the gym or local recreation center such as yoga, which can be a healthy form of exercise for both the mind and body for mom and baby.