Do you know what the recommendation is for increasing your calorie intake while breastfeeding? I bet you won’t believe it when I tell you…

Hold on tight!

It’s not the equivalent of pancakes with bacon and sausage smothered in maple syrup, followed by a giant chicken parmigiana and spaghetti dinner (for lunch) and a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake for dinner. Oh, and dessert after every meal…

We learned already that prolactin, which is responsible for the production of breastmilk is also an appetite stimulant. But did you know you would be THIS hungry while breastfeeding? I certainly didn’t. I thought my calorie intake while breastfeeding should be at least an extra 2,500 based on how STARVING I was…

But the truth is the recommendation for increasing your calorie intake while breastfeeding is only an additional 400-500 per day.

Yup… that’s all.

Basically, they say that a person who is lactating (that’s fancy for breastfeeding) should increase their overall caloric intake by about 20%.

So what foods cost about 400-500 calories? At Northeast Doulas, we have some ideas for you!

Try a veggie and hummus sandwich, a pita pizza, a greek salad wrap, a garden salad with chicken, a cucumber turkey sub sandwich, or an apple and cheddar pita pocket!

The trick to increasing calorie intake while breastfeeding is to keep it balanced! Instead of using those extra calories on a few gooey chocolate chip cookies or a decadent bowl of ice cream, consider a varied diet rich in protein, grains, fruits n’ veggies and fats. These will sustain you longer and contribute to your overall well balanced nutrition.

But let’s face it, we’re only human and sometimes absolutely nothing but a couple of slices of pizza and a side of chocolate cake will suffice.

And breastfeeding human, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!