How many calories can you burn breastfeeding? The answer may surprise you…

The answer may well surprise you...

How many calories can you burn breastfeeding? Well, the answer from the American Pregnancy Association may well surprise you.

There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but we bet you never thought it would be burning off that third chocolate biscuit you treated yourself to without even standing up. It is a celebrated perk for breastfeeding - or breast pumping -  mums that feeding your baby straight from the breast actually burns calories. 

Especially with a newborn, many mums find that they spend a lot of time at home, so knowing that you can burn calories without exercising is definitely a positive of breastfeeding if you are able to.

But, exactly how many calories can you burn breastfeeding? Well, the American Pregnancy Association have revealed their estimate – and you might be shocked at the result. Worked out based on the calculation that 28mls of breast milk contains approximately 20 calories, and babies can consume an average of 710mls of breast milk every single day, the APA estimates that new mum’s could burn between 425 to 700 calories per day. That's the equivalent of half a tub of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Not that anyone is encouraging you to replace the calories you can burn breastfeeding with sugary foods – but it does mean that you shouldn't feel guilty for allowing yourself a treat when you want one!

There are of course foods to avoid when breastfeeding your baby, such as chocolate, which some mothers find can unsettle their babies and even act as a laxative.

However starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are encouraged – so you can indulge in a guilt-free spaghetti carbonara, knowing that you will burn the calories off when you breastfeed your baby the next day.

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.