How Many Calories Do You Burn Pumping? Weight Loss & Milk Supply

How Many Calories Do You Burn Pumping

The production of breast milk and pumping breast milk, and nursing your baby all burn calories. Creating a healthy milk supply takes a higher number of calories consumed, but pumping breast milk and feeding your baby also burns many calories.

It’s nearly impossible to quantify how many calories you will burn while pumping, but rest assured that creating a milk supply and feeding your baby from what your own body is able to make takes a lot of energy.

So, how many calories do you burn pumping? This article will discuss how many calories, on average, you burn when you are pumping breast milk, approximately how many calories breastfeeding burns, and how involved the process of producing breast milk and feeding your little one is.

If you want to lose weight while breastfeeding

First of all, if you are breastfeeding your baby, then milk supply and ingesting the number of calories needed to do that is far more important than losing weight, burning calories, or getting rid of the extra baby weight.

How many calories you burn or the approximate number of calories you burn should instead help to guide you when trying to create a healthy diet, explain why you are hungry more often, and how to burn fewer calories if you are not able to snack several times a day to keep your milk supply up.

Losing weight safely

If you want to lose weight while pumping breast milk or nursing your baby, you need to do so carefully. That baby weight can go so long as your milk production isn’t taking a hit in the process.

It takes a more significant number of calories to produce milk for your baby, and skimping out on those extra calories can negatively affect how much milk you are able to produce.

How many more calories do you need to breastfeed?

Breastfeeding mothers usually require around 500 extra calories each day to keep up with milk production to sufficiently feed an infant from birth to six months of age. If you want to consistently produce milk for your baby or even want to increase milk production, you should not deprive yourself of the extra calories needed.

Losing weight without losing milk supply

Weight loss occurs when we burn more calories than we ingest. Calories burned when we pump breast milk or nurse count as overall calories burned. Therefore, the only safe way to attempt a healthy weight loss is by consuming more calories to keep up the level of milk produced by your body by replacing your unhealthy food choices with a more nutritious diet.

A lot of factors can decrease how much breast milk you can produce. Sleep-deprived moms, stressed moms, and dehydrated moms can all attest to the fact that you can consume as many calories as you want and still have trouble with breast milk production.

Adding intentional weight loss to the mix can be challenging to control and maintain. Always consult your doctor before starting on any diet or exercise regime, especially if you are breastfeeding or postpartum.

It is estimated that four pounds per month are as many calories as you can stand to sacrifice and maintain your health and your ability to nurse or pump efficiently enough to feed your baby. This equates to one pound a week. Because pumping milk burns calories, you need to be very careful and slow-paced.

Burn pumping breast milk

Confidence is key

Due to the fact that breastfeeding burns more calories than moms who feed by formula feeding, it is more common for a breastfeeding mother to lose weight more easily than a mother who formula feeds.

However, if this is not you, and you aren’t shedding the weight even though you are exclusively breastfeeding, that’s okay.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. Look in the mirror and see the woman who brought life into this world, rather than any flaws you perceive. Confidence and body positivity are more important to fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans. If you have a body and a bikini, then you have a bikini body.

If you feel depressed or are often sad due to your weight, please reach out to your doctor.

How many calories does breastfeeding burn?

It is nearly impossible to put an exact number on how many calories you burn when breastfeeding. The number of calories can vary from woman to woman.

However, there are estimates and averages, so to give you a better idea of why you feel hungry all the time, consider that many calories go into feeding breast milk to your little one.

Zero to six months

Does pumping breast milk burn calories? The answer is a resounding yes. It takes many calories to run a milk factory, which is sort of what you are when you are a nursing mama. How many calories can depend upon how much milk you pump and produce.

The estimated number of calories burned when your infant is a newborn up to six months is approximately 500 per day.

When you compare calories burned to how many extra calories you need to produce the milk, you’re basically breaking even. This number can be slightly higher or lower depending on the number of pumping sessions you have each day.

Seven to twelve months

When you have an older infant within the age bracket of seven months to twelve months, pumping milk burns about 400 calories per day.

This is because your little one is probably nursing less often by now, and unless you are pumping to store breast milk at the same pace you were feeding your infant before this age bracket began, your breast milk levels will have slowed down a bit, but not by much.

However, these numbers are dependent upon more than just the factor of your baby’s age. You should also consider things like how many ounces you are pumping.

Back to math class

If you want to be more exact, you need to ask more specific questions than; How many calories does pumping burn? If your feeding method is exclusive pumping, a math equation can help you narrow down things like calories per ounce rather than a rough estimate based on averages.

If you pump milk rather than nursing or formula feeding, then you can see exactly how many ounces you are producing with each pumping session. Knowing this number will get you started if you want to find out how many calories you are burning.

The equation

There are about 20 calories in an ounce of breast milk. Therefore, if you are one of the many pumping mothers out there, you can figure out how many extra calories you burned in a pumping session by plugging that number into a simple equation.

Pumping moms can simply take the number of ounces they produced exclusively pumping and multiply it by 20.


Jane pumped enough milk to bottle feed her little one in one pumping session. Her child regularly consumes 5 ounces per feeding, which is exactly what she pumped. So how many calories did she burn pumping milk?

5 x 20 = 100 calories burned. This is because Jane burned 20 calories per ounce of breast milk. And she was able to pump 5 ounces.

How many calories does breastfeeding twins burn?

If you have two babies or twins simultaneously, your body will have to make more milk. This means that you will need to be producing milk in higher quantities. Human milk is the best thing you can feed your little ones, and it can double your baby’s body weight within just a few short months.

This is especially great for twins, who are often born early and often of lower birth weights than single births.

Your calorie intake will need to be double what the mother of one baby would be to produce enough milk to feed two little ones at once.

Producing more milk means burning more calories, though. So in the case of moms of multiples, you need to be especially careful and make sure that you consume enough to produce enough.

The number of calories per ounce that you burn doesn’t change, but the number of ounces that you produce and calories burnt will most certainly jump up.

Don't eat fewer calories when breast feeding

Pumping schedule newborn

Suppose you are breastfeeding or pumping for your newborn and want to be able to produce enough milk so that baby eats enough to ensure weight gain and positive results on that baby scale at the doctor’s office at their next well check. In that case, you need to have a pumping schedule or nursing schedule in place.

Breastfeeding your little one until they are old enough to start eating solid foods (around six months or older) means that you will have to be pumping regularly, as you will be the sole source of nutrition for your little one.

This is no small task. The milk that you make will only be sufficient for your baby if you get enough calories throughout the day. Breastfeeding and pumping take a lot of energy, and when you aren’t getting enough energy from the foods you eat, then the fat stores in your body kick into overdrive and try to make up the difference.

This can negatively impact your production of milk. Sticking to a routine schedule will help you to not only make sure that you are able to produce the same amount of milk each time you are breastfeeding or pumping but that you can also schedule or plan time to eat between those breastfeeding and pumping sessions.

Setting a schedule

In the first few months of life, when your baby cannot eat solids and is entirely dependent upon you for breastfeeding, you should try to pump seven to ten times each day.

The calories you burn breastfeeding should be replenished through healthy and hearty snacks between breastfeeding and pumping sessions so that you are able to produce the same amount each time you pump.

How long should you pump?

You should be pumping for two hours total each day. This amount of time should not be shortened, even if you stop making milk and see no output at a certain point.

This is because your body will produce milk on a supply and demand basis. So if you aren’t getting anything when you pump, but you keep going for the planned time, it can help stimulate the breasts to get back to work and make more.

How often should you pump?

It is recommended that breastfeeding moms of newborns and young infants pump every two to three hours. If you are nursing and breastfeeding, you just need to make sure that you are either nursing or pumping every two to three hours.

Skipping a pumping or nursing session can dry up your supply, and getting it back is a lot more work than you may think. If you’re a busy mom or have to go back to work, there are great automatic pumps that you can wear throughout your day.

Many moms also like to pump in the car on the way to or from work, using a car adapter to run their electric breast pump.

How many calories do you burn pumping?

As discussed in this article, the only way to know for sure how many calories you burn when pumping is to multiply the number of ounces pumped by 20, which is the estimated number of calories in each ounce of breast milk.

On average, pumping moms burn about 500 calories per day when breastfeeding their young infants from ages newborn to six months, and only slightly less than that at 400 per day on average for babies ages seven months to one year of age.

If you want to lose weight, it should be done slowly without sacrificing your health, your baby’s health, or your milk supply. Adopting a healthy diet of foods rich in nutrients rather than junk food will help you lose weight while on your breastfeeding journey. However, you should never lose more than four pounds per month.

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