Does Breastfeeding Really Burn That Many Calories? Mila's Keeper

Does Breastfeeding Really Burn That Many Calories?

New mamas understandably have plenty of questions, one of which includes how many calories breastfeeding actually burns. Keep reading to find out.

Some of the best parts of childbirth and motherhood are our beautiful changing bodies and inevitable weight fluctuations. Mamas know that, as females, our bodies undergo many changes during this time.


  • Breastfeeding burns on average of 500 calories per day
  • Breastfeeding mothers can lose up to 1 to 2 lbs. per month just by nursing
  • To safely lose pounds, make sure you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet
  • We're all different - the number of calories you burn can depend on many different factors
  • You can estimate that each ounce of milk takes 20 calories to make
  • Regardless of your journey, love your body!

And each day, we learn something new about ourselves because of it!

If you're a new mama, you may wonder how many calories (if any) you can burn while breastfeeding. In fact, there are a lot of questions that can arise when you make that step into motherhood.

Keep reading, and we'll answer all the questions you may have and more.

See Related: Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding?

    How Many Calories Does Breastfeeding Burn?

    A huge question that mamas consider when it comes to breastfeeding is whether or not it burns calories. And the simple answer is, yes!

    When it comes down to it, breastfeeding burns calories. But this discussion isn't as straightforward as it may seem.

    When it comes to our bodies, none of us are the same. And that's the beautiful part of motherhood!

    As breastfeeding mothers, it's OK to wonder if you can simultaneously nurse your little one while making strides to regain your pre-pregnancy weight (if that's the path you choose). But figuring out the number of calories burned while breastfeeding can be slightly challenging.

    Countless factors come into play when it comes to calculating calories. We're all different, and all of our bodies are unique. Either way, that's something to be celebrated!

    The amount of calories you can burn while breastfeeding can depend on your diet, level of physical activity, and weight pre-pregnancy. But even with that in mind, there are still dozens of other variables in this equation.

    Still, breast milk production takes energy, which means it takes calories to create your liquid gold. It's estimated that breastfeeding moms burn around 500 to 700 calories daily to produce milk daily.

    Again, this number can be affected by any myriad of factors. We'll let you in on the details!

    How many calories does breast pumping burn?

    This question comes up often as more breastfeeding moms are pumping and often times, exclusively pumping to produce breast milk. Another common related question that moms ask is does pumping burn as many calories as nursing?  The answer to this helps answer the first question, which is a resounding Yes! 

    Burning calories happen when your body produces milk, not necessarily how you eject it from your body!  So if you were to compare the same amount that is produced via breastfeeding, you will be burning the same amount of calories while pumping.  Some lactating moms are able to produce more milk either breastfeeding or pumping based on their individual success.  So there may be a difference in amount of calories  burned between pumping and nursing, based on how much you as an individual can produce using different techniques. 

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    Can I Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?

    Becoming a mama is a beautiful journey full of new adventures and learning experiences. Throughout our lives, we spend countless hours trying to understand ourselves. And just when we think we really understand our bodies, pregnancy, and all that comes after, changes our entire view of ourselves.

    Sometimes, that can seem a little intimidating. But how our bodies change is the unique part of our transition into parenthood.

    As a society, there's an unrealistic standard that new mamas need to "bounce back" after childbirth and return to their pre-pregnancy body. But instead, accepting your body and all it can do is a much healthier and far more wonderful choice!

    As females, we have the amazing superpower of being able to give birth to and even feed our little ones. And so the way our bodies change during these processes is something to be proud of, as it shows our incredible strength and power!

    Regardless, losing weight is still OK - any choice is yours to make! And for any path you decide on for your weight journey, we're here to cheer you on.

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    What's The Best Way To Shed Weight As A Breastfeeding Mom?

    So, now that we know we can burn calories while breastfeeding, it's natural to wonder if these extra calories burned are enough to help in a postpartum weight loss journey.

    Though breastfeeding can burn some extra calories, it typically isn't enough to contribute to significant weight loss. Exclusively breastfeeding will burn fewer calories than a more intensive workout regime, but it can still burn calories nonetheless.

    It's important to note that your milk supply doesn't magically appear in your breasts - your body needs to create it! So any calories burned while breastfeeding will need to be replaced to maintain your health and wellness.

    But the extra caloric intake you'll need to account for milk production depends on many factors, including breastfeeding frequency, age, and physical activity level. However, if you'll need 500 extra calories a day just for milk production, adding at least 500 calories to your daily diet is a good idea.

    Looking to put a figure to it all? On average, mamas can lose one to two pounds per month by just breastfeeding.

    But as a mama, you have a responsibility to not only the health of your little one but to yourself as well. So if you want to start losing weight, it's essential to go about it the right way.

    It can come down to the same lifelong basics if you're looking to lose the baby weight. This includes avoiding junk food or sugary drinks, not drinking alcohol, and indulging in nutritious and healthy meals.

    Keeping both you and your baby healthy starts with acknowledging your tremendous responsibility as a mama. So make sure you maintain a healthy daily calorie intake and pay attention to your body's signals. After all, you know your body better than anyone!

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    Bonus: 6 Tips On Choosing When To Start Your Maternity Leave

    Can Losing Weight Affect My Breast Milk?

    A common question that breastfeeding moms have is whether or not losing extra weight will affect their breast milk in some way or another. After all, you burn calories to produce breastmilk!

    Experts agree that you can safely lose weight while breastfeeding as long as it's done reliably and responsibly. You shouldn't drastically decrease your body's calorie intake or resort to unhealthy dietary habits.

    Make sure you're eating enough calories to stay healthy!

    When it comes down to it, losing any weight while breastfeeding is easier than it sounds. But either way, the extra calories burned while nursing can help fuel gradual weight loss.

    If you want to avoid high-intensity workouts, make sure you stick to nutritious and healthy foods. You can also safely exercise while breastfeeding if you want more help shedding some extra weight.

    And low- or mid-intensity exercise shouldn't bear any adverse side effects on your liquid gold.

    Just remember to pump and store your breast milk before you venture away from home for some physical activity. But if you need to pump on the go, here at Mila's Keeper, we designed our revolutionary insulated coolers perfect for storing your liquid gold.

    Our coolers make it possible to keep your breast milk cold for up to 20 hours, so you can rest assured, knowing that by the time you're back at your fridge, your milk will still be cold. Dropping weight is not an easy path, so make it a little easier for yourself by feeling the peace of mind of knowing your milk is safe.

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    How Much Breast Milk Am I Producing?

    With all this talk of milk production, you're probably wondering exactly how many calories you burn by breastfeeding.

    By tracking how much milk you pump, you can know precisely how many ounces of milk you produce daily. And you can use that figure to determine how many calories you burn by exclusively breastfeeding.

    There's a simple math trick to figure this out - each ounce of breast milk takes about 20 calories to make. So if you pump twenty ounces of breast milk daily, you burn 400 calories from producing breast milk.

    Calculating calories burned by breastfeeding is as simple as measuring your milk supply output. At Mila's Keeper, we make glass breast milk storage bottles that are perfect for keeping your liquid gold protected and healthy. Plus, the convenient sizing of these containers makes it that much easier to track how much milk you are making!

    Can I Try To Get Back To My Pre-Pregnancy Weight?

    As mamas, we genuinely have some unique superpowers. Our bodies are exceptional at many things, including making breast milk!

    But producing milk doesn't come without a price. Now we know that breast milk production requires burning some calories to get the job done. And the more calories you burn, the more calories you'll need to eat.

    Another big question you might have is whether or not it's safe to try to lose that baby weight. After all, our bodies have changed quite a bit throughout the beautiful pregnancy journey!

    The key to losing a few extra pounds is maintaining a healthy diet with foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. Also, make sure you start with low-intensity workouts like yoga and drink water frequently!

    So when it comes down to it, yes! It's OK to work to shed that extra baby weight and curb postpartum weight gain. But it's essential to ensure you go about it safely and healthily. Now's not the time for taking risks.

    However, it's also important to remember that your body after pregnancy will never return to being the same as it was. Nevertheless, our female bodies can do many things - so let's celebrate that!

    Keep Reading: 7 Foods To Avoid If You're Breastfeeding A Gassy Newborn


    A female-designed and female-run company, Mila's Keeper is on a mission to empower women to thrive during their breastfeeding journey by offering reusable, eco-friendly breast milk storage solutions for their day-to-day needs. Get the latest tips and info on Mila's Keeper products by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

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