“I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to lose my milk supply.”
We get so many emails from postpartum moms with these exact words. Our nutrition program has become home to many postpartum, breastfeeding moms and today, we want to go over some macro basics that we implement when serving breastfeeding moms.
How Long Should I Wait Before Tracking Macros?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby! The newborn phase is fleeting and we highly recommend soaking up those first few weeks with baby as your family adjusts to a new addition. How soon to start is completely up to you. Personally, I started tracking my own macros 4-6 weeks postpartum. Some women have started back as soon as 3 weeks postpartum.
Always consult your health care provider regarding your exercise and nutrition routine postpartum. We share with our readers what has been successful for us in our own lives.
What Should My Calories Be While Nursing?
As with any client, every person’s calories should be individualized, but never more important than when nursing. Some women are able to produce a large milk supply independent from any specific calorie goal, while others consume upwards of 3500 calories and struggle to produce.
As a macro coach, we need a solid idea of how much food you’re consuming to keep up with the demands of your baby. We require that all nursing moms track their food intake for a minimum of three days, preferably one week, so that we can determine caloric averages. After that we typically increase anywhere from 100-300 calories on a starting macro count depending on what the nursing mom reports. We NEVER decrease caloric intake when putting together a starting macro count for a nursing mom.
What Should My Macros Be While Nursing?
Just as we mentioned above, macros should be individualized. We typically give nursing moms a higher fat intake percentage (33-38% of total caloric intake depending on the mom) than the non-nursing mom to ensure healthy hormones. Protein intake we typically manage the same as any other client (working towards the very general “goal” 1g of protein for every pound). Each week we adjust the macros of the nursing mama like we would any other client, however we take into account milk supply as a measure of biofeedback. The nursing mom reports every week if she’s noticed any changes in milk supply. We also encourage immediate communication (within 24 hours) if milk supply dip is concerning.
Tips for Increasing Milk Supply
- Get maximal amount of rest.
- Nurse more frequently.
- Increase water intake, drinking at least ½ body weight in ounces, plus an additional 20 ounces.
- Focus on food quality and micronutrients.
- Some of our clients have recommended Fenugreek, lactation teas, and lactation cookies
- Take your vitamins.
How Much Weight Can I Expect To Lose Tracking My Macros While Nursing?
This is the million dollar question everyone wants to know when they start macro counting, but the truth is, nursing or not, weight loss is so different for everyone. I will say if you’re nursing you’ll need to be even more patient than most, for the simple fact that feeding your baby without dipping in milk supply is top priority. The great news is that while other programs might encourage big calorie deficits or eliminating food groups, our macros program doesn’t. Eating a balanced macronutrient diet is such a great thing to do for both you AND baby. Having one of our coaches help monitor your macronutrient intake while nursing is a wonderful way to stay on top of your nutrition while breastfeeding.
The best piece of advice I want to relay to postpartum mamas is to enjoy the moment. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a phase of your life that will go by in a blink of an eye. You WILL get your body back. There is no prize awarded to moms that do it the quickest. You can listen to us discuss this and what you can expect postpartum while counting macros HERE.
Interested in joining our coaching program? We’d love to help you on your postpartum journey.
You can read more about our coaching program here.
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