In the world of motherhood, every milestone brings joy, challenges, and countless questions. In addition to the many chores you go through every day that consumes your energy, there is also the work of breastfeeding. This might take more calories than we have ever imagined.
We have created the “Calorie Burnt in Breastfeeding Calculator” to help you estimate how many calories you burn by breastfeeding.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Breastfeeding?
Many resources and articles online have claimed that Moms burn about 500 calories while breastfeeding.
This is quite generic and does not take into account:
- the quantity of breast milk that the baby sucks
- the number of children being fed (some moms have multiple children)
- the frequency of breastfeeding
- whether the mom is on exclusive breastfeeding or not.
All of these points back to the amount of milk produced every day, whether the one pumped or the one baby sucks directly.
The first step to determining the number of Calories burnt in breastfeeding is determining is figuring out the average quantity of breast you produce every day.
How to Measure How Much Milk Baby Takes per Day
The easiest way to know how much breast milk you produce daily is to pump the breast milk into a storage container that has some measurements. Even if you don’t pump exclusively, pumping for a few days will help you figure out how much milk your baby takes on a daily basis.
What You Will Need
To measure how much milk your baby takes per day by pumping breast milk in a container, you will need a few essential items. Here are the things you should have on hand:
You will need a breast pump to extract the milk from your breasts. There are several types of breast pumps available, including manual and electric pumps. Manual pumps are hand-operated and less expensive than electric pumps, but they require more effort and time. Electric pumps are more efficient and faster, but they are also more expensive. Choose the type of pump that suits your needs and budget.
You will need a container to collect the milk. You can use any clean, sterile container that is suitable for storing breast milk. Some mothers prefer to use special breast milk storage bags that are designed for this purpose. These bags are convenient and space-saving, but they can be more expensive than using a regular container.
Label or Marker
You will need a label or marker to write down the date and time of the milk collection. This information is important for tracking how much milk your baby takes per day and for ensuring that the milk is used before it expires. You can use any type of label or marker that is safe for use on the container.
It is important to note that all the items you use should be clean and sterilized before use. You can sterilize the pump, container, and other items by boiling them in water for a few minutes or by using a sterilizer. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and sterilizing the items to ensure that they are safe for your baby.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to pump milk for your baby.
Before you begin pumping, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This will help prevent the transfer of germs to your baby.
Prepare Pump and Container
Next, prepare your pump and container. Make sure that your pump is clean and assembled correctly. Choose a container that is safe for storing breast milk, such as a BPA-free plastic bottle or a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Once your pump and container are ready, it is time to begin pumping. Position the breast shield over your nipple and turn on the pump. You can adjust the suction and speed settings to your comfort level.
When you are finished pumping, turn off the pump and remove the breast shield from your breast. If you are pumping both breasts, repeat the process on the other side.
Measure the amount of milk that you have pumped. You can use a measuring cup or a measuring container that is marked with ounces or milliliters. Record the amount of milk that you have pumped.
Label and Store Milk
Label the container with the date and time that the milk was pumped. If you are storing the milk in the refrigerator, make sure that it is placed in the back of the refrigerator where it is coldest. If you are freezing the milk, make sure that the container is placed in the back of the freezer where the temperature is most consistent.
Calculating Milk Intake
To calculate how much milk the baby is taking per day, measure the amount of milk pumped in a 24-hour period. Record this amount and divide it by the number of feedings per day to determine the average amount of milk the baby is taking per feeding. This is an estimate, as milk intake can vary from feeding to feeding.
How to Measure the Calories in the Milk
The act of breastfeeding requires energy as your body produces milk for your baby. The more frequent and longer the breastfeeding sessions, the more calories you are likely to burn.
If the breast milk contains about 20-22 calories per ounce then the total amount of calories in the breast milk will be –
Calories in milk = 20 * amount of breast milk in ounces.Calorie Burnt in Breastfeeding Calculator
FAQs about Calories in Breast Milk
1. Do I burn 500 calories a day breastfeeding?
The 500-calorie estimate is an average approximation and may not apply to everyone. That’s because the amount of calories you burn depends on your sessions, the ounces of milk you pump, breastfeeding twins, and other factors.
2. How many calories do I burn each time I breastfeed?
The number of calories burned during each breastfeeding session can vary depending on factors such as the duration of the feeding. Although it’s challenging to provide an exact figure, it’s estimated that a breastfeeding session can burn around 20-22 calories per ounce of breast milk consumed by your baby. And since an ounce contains about 30 ml, it’s easier to calculate.
3. How do I know the exact amount of breast milk my baby consumed to calculate the calories?
It’s easier if you are exclusively pumping. That’s mainly because you can easily know the amount of breast milk you’ve produced by measuring it either in milliliters or ounces. However, it’s harder if you are not exclusively pumping. But here’s a cheat from exclusivepumping.com, you can simply take out one day to weigh your baby before and after breastfeeding. After weighing both, simply subtract them. By the end of the day, you should have the total amount of calories. If not, you can pump for a day to know the amount of calories you lose.
You might be wondering if it’s that easy to get the total amount of calories. Let’s check out the formula.
The formula for Calculating Calorie Burnt in Breastfeeding/ Pumping
The formula for calculating the calorie burn during breastfeeding is quite simple and straightforward.
- Calculate the number of ounces of breast milk consumed—for instance, 20 ounces, 50 ounces, etc. You can do this by keeping track of your sessions.
- Determine the average calorie content per ounce of breast milk. As we mentioned, an ounce contains around 20 – 22 calories on average.
- Multiply the number of ounces (oz) by the calorie content per ounce. This will give you an estimate of the calories burnt in a day.
Here’s a simple formula:
Number of ounces by the Number of calorie content= total number of calories burnt in a day. For example, let’s say you breastfeed your baby around 30 ounces per day and your milk has around 20 calories per ounce.
That will be 30 oz by 20 calories = 600.
We mentioned earlier that you can also lose calories while producing your breast milk which adds to the total amount of calories you’ll lose. So, how do we get that?
All you need to do is divide the above formula by 0.8 to add up the calories used in producing milk. So, like our example, 30 oz by 20 calories/ 0.8= 750 calories.
This means the total amount of calories used in breastfeeding and producing milk daily is 750 calories.
That can be a whole lot of stress, right? Yeah, we are aware and that’s where our calculator comes in. It goes further in calculating your total amount of calories in day(s), weeks, and months. Fascinating! Let’s dive straight into how it works.
How Does the Calorie Burnt in Breastfeeding Calculator Work?
The calculator uses both ounces and ml. You can decide to go with whichever you are familiar with.
Choose the form of measurement you will like to go with (ml or oz).
Enter the amount of breast milk you produce per day.
Use the slider to determine the amount of calories per ounce of your breast milk. Although we recommend 20, it can be up to 22. So go ahead and make your choice.
Your results on the number of calories, calories burnt in producing milk, and a total of both should be seen below.
Go ahead to input the number of day(s), week(s) and month(s) you want to calculate.
The total amount of calories will appear in the box provided.
Curious to find out the amount of calories you burn from breastfeeding? Find out by using the calculator.
Not Just Calorie Burnt but the Joy of Breastfeeding
As you embark on this incredible journey, remember that breastfeeding is not just about calorie burn but also about the beautiful bond you share with your baby. Embrace the joy of nourishing and nurturing your little one, knowing that each feeding session brings benefits for both of you.