Monday, October 20, 2008

Calories Burned While Feeding The Baby

Last night I had to find something positive about the situation I am in. Caleb nurses every two hours All Day and ALL NIGHT! Last night I saw 11:00PM, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7AM. It seems completely insane that I put up with it. Trust me, I know! However, my kid's are unusual nursers. They only nurse for up to 10 minutes tops. That means it's possible that they are only getting one to three ounces per feeding. That burns up pretty quickly. Which means that they are hungry again. I can understand the feeling. Making the milk makes me just as hungry, just as often.

So I was sitting there at 3:AM wondering what possibly could be good about this. I had tried to let him cry it out, but it takes less time to just get up and nurse him then to let him cry. I came up with this conclusion: I sleep better (when I sleep) because of the hormones that are released while nursing. But the best benefit is the calories that I burn throughout the night! I started wondering just how many calories I burn... It looks like it's a lot!

I found a woman who has done her research and she's come up with this; "it is generally said that breastfeeding burns 200-500 calories per day. I think you can convert breastfeeding to a calorie burning on AVERAGE, and you can convert it to an hourly scale, as in 1 hour of breastfeeding=x calories burned. Usually a newborn baby will consume 2 ounces of milk every 2 hours or so if the milk is breast milk. That is 1 ounce every hour, 24 ounces every 24 hours (while the baby is a newborn). Breast milk burns very quickly once the baby drinks it, thus the reason for the constant eating...the baby is always hungry! 1 ounce of breast milk burns approximately 20 calories i believe... so that is 20 calories burned for every hour of breastfeeding, which averages to 280 calories per day in the beginning. I suppose that is about average between 200 and 500 more or less (the actual average is 350 but for estimation purposes of a baby consuming 24 ounces of breast milk per day 280 is enough). So that is breastfeeding 1 ounce of milk per hour burns 20 calories per hour. Breastfeeding 2 ounces of milk per hour burns 40 calories per hour. Breastfeeding 3 ounces of milk per hour burns 60 calories per hour, and so forth and so on. 1 ounce of breast milk=20 calories burned. If your baby drank 4 ounces of breast milk per hour, you burn 80 calories making breast milk per hour."

My guess is that I burn around 80-160 calories throughout the night. That's a low calorie meal or a dessert. It's possible to think that I am burning an average of 800 calories throughout a 24 hour day. Motivation enough for me! That is MY kind of exercise! Stop, Sit, Feed and Loose Weight!


Sandra said...

Thats a great way to look at it. I can't wait till I'll be burning calories again in the night he he.

Melonee said...

One of the many, many reasons to breastfeed! We moved the glider out of Cooper's room and it makes me sad to think about... I guess I need another baby to nurse!

You're a stronger woman than I though- If my baby was waking up every two hours through the night, I'd be co-sleeping so I didn't have to get out of bed!!

Harmony said...

I loved your last comment on this blog! That is my kind of exercise too it made me smile thanks.

Steph said...

It's probably bad that I want to have a baby to be able to nurse to burn calories from nursing. It would probably take less effort, time, money and sleep to just exercise.

Doing_it_write! said...

There you are!

Guess who this is. . .

Do you remember a certain gal who helped you take care of Jakob when he was 19 months old?

You, Leif and Jakob picked her up at the airport and she lived with you for a month or so while doing some temporary nanny jobs, now and then?

I'd take Jakob out in the stroller and walk along Waikiki Beach while you and Leif took a much-needed break from your business. . .

Yes, it's Shirley! How I've wondered and wondered about you and your family. . .and then, just a few minutes ago, I discovered your BEAUTIFUL, heart-warming and informative blog.

It's one of the most attractive and well-done blogs I've ever seen. I kid you not!

How thrilled I am to be back in touch with you! My heart goes out to you because I've been reading about some of what you've been going through. . .and some thoughts came to my mind. . .

I've got an idea. . .and if you'll contact me, I'll tell you what it is.

How's THAT for tempting your curiosity?

Hope to hear from you, soon!


Lena Baron said...

Hi Shirley, it is good to hear from you. I've wondered about you as well. I hope you're well and happy! I tried to click on your blog to get in touch and it didn't give me any information. I don't have your email address. So hopefully you get this and you can email me at mammabaron at

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