How Many Extra Calories Do You Burn Breastfeeding?

There is a reason why pregnant women become ravenously hungry. The biological processes taking place in their bodies require an enormous amount of extra energy. One of the ways in which this energy is expended is through the production of breast milk. Human breast milk (colostrum) contains a large amount of IgA – a type of immunoglobulin found in the digestive system. The purpose of this antibody is to begin to build up the immune system of the infant. So how many extra calories do you burn breastfeeding? Keep reading our article below to find out.

Calories Burned Breastfeeding

If you are asked: how many calories do you burn while breastfeeding, it is important to begin by defining terms. For instance, the actual act of breastfeeding will not burn a measurable amount of calories during the transfer of milk from the mother to the baby. Rather the extra calories are consumed in the processes that generate and store the milk in the mother’s breast. The amount of milk needed by the toddler will increase with advancing months and then taper off at a later stage when solid foods are introduced into the diet and the baby is weaned of its dependence on breast milk.

Some estimates state that producing one ounce of breast milk requires 24-28 calories and the average mother will produce 23-27 ounces of new milk a day. So how many calories do you burn breastfeeding a day? Taking the above values, the value seems to lie between 550-750 kcal per day. However, doctors recommend that women should consume approximately only 500 kcal above normal dietary requirements during the breastfeeding months. The remaining calories will be drawn from the fat stored during the final months before birth. This will provide a healthy balance of energy for the child, and allow the mother to efficiently lose the weight gained during pregnancy.

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