When you’re breastfeeding, your body burns more calories than usual. That’s because it takes much of your body’s energy to produce milk for your baby. So it’s not surprising that you might feel constant hunger or increased hunger.
Why You Feel Constant Hunger While Breastfeeding
It’s not uncommon for breastfeeding mothers to feel ravenous all the time. In fact, it’s actually quite normal. Here we will explore and explain the reasons behind this seemingly insatiable hunger.
Higher Calorie Needs
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that when you are breastfeeding, you are essentially using extra calories to produce milk for your baby. So, it’s no surprise you would need to replenish those lost calories by eating more. In fact, it is recommended that breastfeeding mothers consume an extra 500 calories a day, on top of their regular daily caloric intake, in order to maintain their milk supply.
Another reason you constantly feel hungry while breastfeeding is because your baby is likely nursing very often. Newborns typically eat 8-12 times per day, which means you are probably spending a good chunk of your day attached to a breast pump or nursing your little one. That can definitely take a toll on your energy levels and leave you feeling ravenous.
To feed a constantly nursing baby, your body works hard to produce milk around the clock. That requires a lot of energy and nutrients, which is why you might find yourself snacking more often than usual. If you’re struggling to get enough calories during the day, try eating some high-calorie snacks like nuts or cheese, or drink a glass of whole milk.
Another reason for your increased hunger could be due to the hormonal changes that are taking place in your body post-pregnancy. In the first few weeks after giving birth, your body is going through a lot of changes as it adjusts to no longer being pregnant. These hormonal changes can result in mood swings, fatigue, and, yes, increased hunger.
It’s essential to be aware of the fact that some women simply have a hard time resisting the urge to eat when they’re bored. If you find yourself snacking more often than you’d like while breastfeeding, it may be helpful to take a closer look at your overall diet and ensure you’re getting enough nutrients.
Finding ways to occupy your time is essential, so you’re not just sitting around snacking out of boredom. Maybe try reading a book, taking a walk, or watching a movie while you nurse. Anything to take your mind off food!
Mistaking Thirst for Hunger
Sometimes, when you feel hunger pangs, all you really need is a glass of water. When you’re breastfeeding, you can become dehydrated quickly, which can make you feel hungry. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and carry a water bottle when you’re out and about.
Dehydration can also lead to headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, so drink up if you’re feeling any of these symptoms! Drinking plenty of fluids will help you to stay hydrated and may help to stave off some of your hunger pangs.
So, if you feel extra hungry while breastfeeding, know that it is perfectly normal. Just be sure to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of fluids, and find ways to occupy your time, so you’re not snacking out of boredom. And if all else fails, remember that this phase won’t last forever, and eventually, your hunger will subside.
Fortunately, there are some things new moms can do to help manage your breastfeeding hunger and make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
Tuning into your hunger cues is an important part of controlling intense hunger. If you’re not sure when you’re hungry, try this simple trick:
Before you eat, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry after that, then it’s time to eat. Remember, you should not ignore hunger and eat according to the energy demand of your own body.
Some Eating Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
The good news is that there are some things you can do to help manage your breastfeeding hunger and make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
Breastfeeding mothers need to eat more often than they did before they had their baby. That means eating every three to four hours rather than waiting until intense hunger strikes. It is vital to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.
Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods
To keep your energy up, choose foods high in nutrients and low in empty calories. Good options include lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Caffeine can be dehydrating and may interfere with your baby’s sleep. So it’s a good idea to limit caffeine while you’re breastfeeding.
Get Plenty of Rest
It’s important to get enough rest when you’re breastfeeding. When you’re tired, you are more likely to crave unhealthy foods. You might also have trouble sticking to a healthy eating plan.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated is important for both you and your baby. So be sure to drink plenty of fluids, including water, throughout the day.
Eat Small and Frequent Portions
One of the best ways to control hunger and weight gain as a breastfeeding mom is to eat small meals or snacks every three to four hours. This helps keep your metabolism going and stabilizes blood sugar levels. It also provides a steady stream of nutrients to your body and helps stave off cravings.
Choose High-Quality Foods
The quality of the food you eat can also affect how hungry you feel. Eating processed foods and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, leaving you tired and hungry.
Talk to Your Doctor
Moms often underestimate how hungry breastfeeding makes them. If you’re struggling to control your hunger, talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out if there’s an underlying cause. For example, you might have hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. Or you might have an overactive thyroid.
It’s also important to talk to your doctor if you need to lose weight or have too much weight loss.
Get Support from Fellow Mothers
If you find it hard to stick to a healthy diet, reach out to other mothers for support. There are many online communities and forums where you can connect with other parents.
You can also join a local breastfeeding support group. These groups can provide both practical and emotional support. And they can be a great way to make new friends.
Best Foods to Curb Hunger While Breastfeeding
If you’re looking for some foods that will help to curb your hunger while breastfeeding, here are a few of our favorites:
Oats are a great source of fiber, which can help you feel full. They’re also rich in nutrients like iron and B vitamins. It is a great food for breakfast or as a snack during breastfeeding.
Yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium for breastfeeding moms. It’s also easy to digest and can be a soothing food for an upset stomach.
But yogurt can also be a common source of food sensitivities in babies. If your baby is fussy or has gas after eating, try eliminating yogurt from your diet for a few days to see if it makes a difference.
Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development. However, fish can also contain mercury. Mercury is a toxic metal that can damage the nervous system.
Pregnant women and young children should avoid fish with high mercury levels, such as swordfish, shark, and king mackerel.
Eggs are a good source of protein, choline, and vitamin D. Choline is an important nutrient for brain development.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They can help you feel full and satisfied. Just be sure to choose unsalted varieties, as salt can cause dehydration.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and folic acid.
How to Add Healthy Fats to Curb Hunger While Breastfeeding
Healthy fats are an important part of a breastfeeding diet. Not only do they help you feel full and satisfied, but they also provide essential nutrients for both you and your baby.
Some great sources of healthy fat include:
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, as well as fiber and vitamins C, K, and B6.
They are also thought to help increase milk production.
Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts and nut butter are a great source of healthy fats and protein. They can help you feel full and satisfied and are also a good source of minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Dried Fruit and Seeds
Dried fruits and seeds are other great sources of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins. They’re a good source of iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Healthy oils are another great way to add healthy fats to your diet while breastfeeding. Some good options include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. You can use these healthy oils in cooking or add them to salads and other dishes. Healthy fats will help you feel full and satisfied after eating, making you less likely to overeat.
Protein is an important nutrient for both you and your baby. It’s essential for growth and development and can also help you feel full and satisfied after eating.
Some good sources of protein include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your hunger while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you create a meal plan that meets your needs and provides the nutrients you and your baby need.
As a new mom, you might be finding it difficult to manage your hunger while breastfeeding. Or you might be worried about gaining weight. It’s important to remember that you need to eat enough calories to support both your own health and your baby’s.
Make sure you’re eating enough calories and nutrients. It’s important to eat nutrient-rich foods to boost your health. Remember, a healthy diet will help you have more energy and you will be better able to take care of your baby.