According to the University Family Medicine Center, breast milk is believed to take 25% of the body’s energy to produce. So, does breastfeeding make you hungry? Yes, in other words, because you are working extra hard to ensure the survival of all your other biological functions.
Thus, it’s no wonder you’re so hungry and thirsty. Breastfeeding mothers require more nutrients; therefore, they feel hungry and thirsty. It is unfortunate that many nursing moms satisfy their hunger with high-carb and high-fat foods.
Even lactation snacks such as brownies and cookies have a high carbohydrate and a high-fat content. These foods cause blood sugar levels to spike and then drop. They lack fiber and protein to keep you satisfied.
Reason you Are Hungry all the Time While Breastfeeding
When breastfeeding, many women experience increased hunger, also known as breastfeeding hunger that they are unaccustomed to. The feeling can strike you out of the blue, turning you into a hangry mom who needs food NOW. When you experience this, it can feel scary and unfamiliar in your body.
Breastfeeding may make you feel hungrier since your body is working so hard to make all the breast milk
Breastfeeding mothers typically require an additional 500 calories per day, but the exact amount depends on many factors
- Your weight
- Exercise routine
- Your metabolism
- Breastfeeding frequency
Eating More While Breastfeeding
Your body produces food (breast milk) for your baby. Breastfeeding is a big energy expenditure, which may explain why you’re always hungry
While nursing, it is possible to be hungrier than usual. It is estimated that your body needs about 400-500 extra calories each day to meet your needs and your child’s needs, so you are likely to feel a greater need for food to accommodate the extra calories.
To ensure that you are eating well for your health and that of your baby, make sure that you eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats to get the extra calories you need for milk production.
For a healthy milk supply, it is also vital to eat enough. It is important that you listen to and understand your body’s hunger cues.
How Often should you Eat while Breastfeeding?
Because your body still has increased needs, it is not the time for strict dieting. Rather, focus on foods rich in nutrients to support breastfeeding. Honor your hunger, do not deny your body food when you’re hungry but make sure to eat nutritious food to satisfy your hunger.
Not Eating Enough While Breastfeeding?
It takes a lot of effort to breastfeed! Keeping you and your baby nourished and healthy requires more calories and nutrients. It can adversely affect your breast milk quality if you don’t consume enough calories and nutrient-rich foods. In addition, it can affect your health as well.
Breastfeeding can be seen as a way to help a child grow. Growing another person requires a lot of energy. You need more energy when you are breastfeeding or pregnant to support your body and the baby.
How Much Should you Eat while Breastfeeding?
Follow your hunger as a guide and pay attention to what your body is telling you.
In order to feel full and to provide nutrients for your body, it is important to eat three meals a day as well as snacks. You need to eat foods that are high in nutrients to feel full.
You should ensure that you are eating foods that will help your baby develop as they are getting all the nutrients from breast milk while they are developing. Worry less about weight loss and focus more on eating healthy.
Best Food to Eat while Breastfeeding
Maintain a healthy diet while breastfeeding, just as you did when you were pregnant. As your baby grows, it is important that you have enough energy to keep up with them.
If you can afford it, or whenever you can, eat;
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Grass fed organic meats
- BPA free canned food
Your Baby Eats what you Eat
It’s essential that you have a really good selection of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, you should consume lots of dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and milk.
If you cannot drink milk, then you should select foods high in calcium or those that are calcium-fortified. This is because you need calcium to ensure that your bones are intact while breastfeeding and that your baby’s bones remain intact as well.
Meat or meat products are another important food to consume. They contribute to the health of nerves and red blood cells. It is very significant to consume some meat.
Alternatives to meat include legumes and lentils. As breastfeeding moms, these will help give us the energy we need.
Also, you should eat a lot of grain and drink a lot of water.
Foods to avoid whilst Breast-feeding
You will want to avoid most of the foods you avoided when you were pregnant.
Avoid food that is;
- Too high in sugar
- High in sodium
- Minimize or eliminate any alcohol beverages
- Processed foods
- Keep a healthy diet. If you notice that your baby gets fussy one day, you may want to look at what you ate. This will help you to see if it’s something that could be bothering him.
- It is likely that broccoli and other foods of that nature will upset your baby’s stomach, as they tend to cause gas.
- Make sure you eat healthy and organic food and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Should you avoid Coffee and Tea?
Although caffeine helps to keep you awake, if it passes through the breastmilk to the baby, it may increase their irritability and crankiness. Watch your baby’s reaction after you have had some coffee, and use your best judgment.
How much Water to Drink while Breastfeeding
How much water you should be drinking has no definitive answer. As a general guide, you may want to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Breastmilk is 87% water, so to be able to produce breastmilk and to replace the fluid in your body that’s used to make breastmilk, you need water.
Make drinking water a priority.
Losing Weight After Pregnancy
There is a lot of pressure on moms to lose weight quickly after giving birth. Remember that breastfeeding requires a lot of energy, so most women feel more hungry while breastfeeding.
It is wise not to worry about your weight while breastfeeding. It may cause you to deny yourself the nutrients you need to produce milk. A registered dietician would be able to help you come up with a healthy meal plan so you are still eating enough while breastfeeding if you are very concerned about your weight
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your weight or diet while nursing. Remember that calorie recommendation are only general guidelines.
Does breastfeeding make you Hungry? Yes, and it may be necessary for you to eat more or less depending on your situation
Last but not least, don’t compare yourself to other mothers. Everybody has a different lifestyle and a body that functions differently.
Keep your stress levels low and enjoy this beautiful phase of motherhood. Your baby’s health and happiness are the most crucial things to ensure.