pregnant+nursing:how many calories do I need? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-10-2003, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I am 12 weeks and nursing my 18 month old around 5 times a day (give or take depending on the day) and 2-4 times in the night (give or take again, depending on the night...she is sick right now...) I don't think I am eating enough simply because I don't eat much. i honestly ate more before I was pregnant. But I don't really feel hungry. Tired, yes, but not passing out, and not really hungry.
For example on a typical day I'll eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich and a few chips or something for lunch, most likely a snack of fruit in there somewhere and then a regular serving of whatever we are having for dinner, main course, veggie and rolls, then late in the evening, near 10 or so I wil have a couple of peices of toast or something.
Ok, what are the rest of you eating? Should I be eating more? Is there a nutritionist here? How many calories do i technically "need" to support lactation and pregnancy?
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#2 of 4 Old 07-10-2003, 07:11 PM
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Unless your baby is under 12 months of age and/or not yet eating solids, you really do not need to worry about additional calories to support BF while you are pregnant. Most women notice a significant change/drop in their milk supply anyway, so within a month of two your toddler may be nursing more for comfort. You may want to be aware of this possible change and provide more liquids/food to your toddler.

I am still nursing (and nursing frequently!) my 25 month old and I am due next month. I have found that I have gained less and have less of an appetite this pregnancy, but I think it is due to more healthful eating and to chasing after my dd! That said, as the weeks pass and if you fail to gain an appropriate amount of weight, you may indeed need to add in a couple of hundred extra calories.

Good luck and don't worry!

Happy pregnancy and birth wishes!
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#3 of 4 Old 07-10-2003, 07:42 PM
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My lay midwives and my gynecologist (who is also a CNM) both recommended an extra 300-500 calories since I'm still nursing my 27 months old. That's not a whole lot, a glass of OJ and a cup of yogurt would get you that much. I think every one is different, though. I like to eat a little more protein when I'm pregnant, so I just try to add a serving of cottage cheese or be sure to make some kind of beans and rice dish. If you are into the whole Bradley birth philosophy, they really push eating eggs, I think 2 a day.
Every pregnant body is different, though, so as far as how many total calories, I would just take your noraml diet and add an extra snack or two. Of course, if you feel fine and your nursing baby is happy and your baby is growing well, maybe you don't need to change anything!!
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#4 of 4 Old 07-10-2003, 08:04 PM
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I think your energy level should tell you if you are eating enough - also if you are not gaining enough weight. My immediate thought when reading your daily menu was that you might want to add some protein to your "fruit" snack. Maybe make a smoothie and add some tahini, nuts or seeds, tofu, yogurt or something like that. Or eat fruit and yogurt.

Also, you should watch your mineral intake since you are supporting two extra's - particularly calcium and iron. Maybe adding sea veggies, nuts and seeds, fish, etc. if you are not eating them already. Also, I love Red Raspberry tea - it has very absorable calcium plus is a uterine toner.

Perhaps to increase the nutrition in your morning bowl of cereal: Grind up flax seeds (omega-3's), sesames seeds or almonds (calcium), and pumpkin seeds (iron) plus they have protein and good fat. (I use a coffee grinder.) Then sprinkle them over your cereal.

Good luck!

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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