Breastfeeding and HUNGRY

Updated on April 08, 2010
J.E. asks from Middleton, WI
16 answers

I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 5 1/2 months now and I am hungrier than ever. Does any one else have this issue? Is this Normal? Any suggestions to curb the 'old appetite?

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answers from Lincoln on

I had the same problem. At first I knew it was because the baby was eating all the time, but then I think it just became habit. I found that if I eat 5 smaller meals throughout the day that really helped. My daughter is almost 1, and we are beginning the weaning process, and I can already feel the difference in needing/wanting food. At first I lost a lot of weight after she was born, but now it seems that I have gained some weight because I was so hungry. Hopefully now that the sun is out, and the hunger has died down, I can lose a few extra pounds. I would try the several small healthy meals and see if that helps.

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Yep starving all the time when I was breastfeeding. Now that your daughter is bigger she is eating more therefore you are probably producing more but might not notice it. Try to snack throughout the day instead of just eating at meal time and make sure to drink plenty of water! My hunger didn't really go away until I stopped BF around 17months.

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answers from Grand Rapids on

Nobody ever talks about this!!! They only talk about how breastfeeding helps you lose weight. Not when it makes you feel like you haven't eaten in a week! My sister and I had our babies the same day... over the next year she lost 20 pounds, I gained 20 pounds. Eventually, I learned to drink a glass of water before and after to curb the hunger. Exercise will also help curb your appetite for about an hour after finishing too. The only other thing I can recommend is that you just really watch your food choices until you stop nursing.

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answers from Portland on

I ate and ate and ate while I was breastfeeding! It was endless! Even more than while pregnant. I just tried to eat healthy, and did not worry about eating too much. The extra "baby weight" seemed to fly off of me after my daughter was weaned. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned, but I can tell you a voracious appetite it totally normal!

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answers from Chicago on

You should be hungry while breastfeeding! You need to take in about 500 extra calories a day, so eat up! Just make sure you're eating healthy, nutritious food.

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answers from San Francisco on

It could be that she is taking all of your nutrients more now than before. Get into more veggies, yogurt, even snacks. Just don't overdo it. Once you get used to these foods you don't want to give them up. Its hard. Eat cheese and crackers, peanutbutter, all the good stuff that your daughter needs. I honestly think your hungry because like I said she is now drinking more and you are losing. Keep eating what you did prior to but increase your intake. See how that works for you. If your eating healthy snacks you need not worry about gaining. Good luck!! Your a normal mom, but baby is taking it away from you.

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answers from Boise on

Oh yea, I was ALWAYS hungry. I loved breastfeeding as it helped me to lose the 50 lbs I gained during pregnancy, and another 15 pounds on top of that. I can't wait to start again!! :)

Are you losing weight or just hungry? Make sure that you are drinking enough water. Sometimes thirst makes you think you are hungry. I always had things around, like string cheese, granola bars, chips, etc. and put them where I fed. I didn't feel the need to NOT eat, as I was losing weight, and I knew that I needed to keep my strength up to feed my son. I also did more meals throughout the day to help me not feel so hungry all the time and raid the pantry.

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi J.,

It's perfectly normal because the baby is taking all the nutrition you are getting and your body craves it as well. Are you still on your prenatal vitamin? If not, start back. If you are, it might not be absorbing into you system. Doctor's are not the best people to ask for nutritional counseling so you may need to shop for another option. I take one that is guaranteed to absorb.

Congratulations on your little one! Enjoy!


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answers from Duluth on

this is normal. just eat healthy foods and remember to include fiber and water to keep you feeling fuller longer. even oranges and apples have fiber in them ;)



answers from Des Moines on

TOTALLY normal, there is NO hunger like nursing hunger! Concentrate on getting fluids, fiber and protien!



answers from St. Cloud on

Hi J.! I recommend upping your protein intake. Protein will help keep your blood sugars stable for a longer period of time and thus keep your hunger level down.
It's totally okay to eat several snacks during the day as long as they are healthy snacks that your body can use for immediate energy. It also helps to pair a protein with a fruit or vegetable to keep you from getting hungry right away.



answers from Omaha on

Yes, this is normal. I'm currently breastfeeding my 5th child. I've breastfed for years! If you continue to nurse into the toddler years this hungriness will decrease.
I recommend you eat a lean protein with a complex carb in between meals or whenever you're hungry. I also recommend that you keep healthy fats on hand to grab, like almonds. You need to eat to have a good milk production.
I like to eat a whole wheat wrap (low calorie) with peanut butter or deli meat as a snack. Sometimes I eat a 1/2 c. cottage cheese with a fruit.
Every morning I eat a hearty bowl of oatmeal that I put ground flax seeds and a 1/4 c. oatbran in it before I cook it. This sustains me all morning. In the afternoon I will often make myself a 300 calorie protein shake. This will sustain me until dinner.

I hope this helps!



answers from Minneapolis on

I was always ravenous too. My advice to avoid putting ON weight (as I did, despite everyone telling me that the baby weight just melts away from breastfeeding) is to keep full glasses of water nearby all day long, and healthy snacks nearby - nuts, fruits, vegetables. Fill up on good stuff so you don't just shove whatever's nearby in your mouth.


answers from Fargo on

Oatmeal for breakfast. And a banana. And maybe some yogurt. :) I don't even especially like oatmeal, but it changes my whole day to get filled up first thing and I stayed filled up at least half way to lunch.



answers from Minneapolis on

I was told that I needed to eat 1,000 calories per day more while breastfeeding.



answers from Duluth on

Yes, it's totally normal to be hungry while breastfeeding! That said, if you are losing weight left and right, definitely eat, sensible, healthy choices. If you are like me, and gain weight because you are so hungry during breastfeeding, the best thing I can say is, try NOW to curb it! I didn't gain much my first 6 months feeding my boys, but boy, my appetite stayed the same but my nursing output did not, and I've gained almost 30 pounds with each boy--not from pregnancy, but from weaning! Maybe, if we have a third, I'll know to cut back RIGHT AWAY? Who knows...good luck!

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