Exercising while Breastfeeding

Exercising while Breastfeeding

This Boobie Blog is one that gets asked about a lot.
Can I exercise while breastfeeding?
Here is what you need to know.

 

Exercise is incredibly motivating and can help immensely with Mothers mental health. Also, a great way for Mothers to meet other Mums and form friendships. A lot of gyms or classes offer childcare these days, so do some research and ask around if there are any child friendly gyms, classes or walking groups around your area.


Other benefits from exercise are: 
-improves heart health and general fitness
-improve mental health
-reduce stress levels
- assist with weight control
-improve bone strength
-assists with treatment of postnatal depression

 

Walking is probably the most common form of exercise post baby. Its easy to get out and about, and its also low impact. A great start for Mums easing their way to back to movement.
Although, some mothers may find their body is capable of returning to their usual workout routines that they were doing while pregnant. 
If this is the case, be sure to check with your midwife or OB to ensure your body is fit to exercise. Also, finding a trainer who is experienced with postpartum and is going to guide you with the right movements to suit your needs.
You body is healing, and this takes some time.
Please do not put pressure on yourself if your body needs more time to ease it's way back into intense workout or heavy weights.



Lactic acid:
Working out has it benefits, but it can also cause muscle soreness.

If you know that aching pain the following days after a good workout then you know you have got your lactic acid flowing.
Lactic acid is a build up in your muscles and what causes the soreness but we get asked if the build up of lactic acid can transfer into their milk.
Although lactic acid can increase in Breastmilk following maximal exercise, studies show there is no evidence to
suggest that Breastmilk with increased lactic acid levels harms a baby in any
way.

Will exercise decrease my milk supply?

One of the most questions I get asked is will exercise decrease my supply?
Studies show that moderate exercise does not affect:

  • Breastmilk supply
  • Immune factors in Breastmilk
  • Major minerals in Breastmilk
  • Major nutrients in Breastmilk

Research suggests that mothers can exercise and breastfeed without affecting the growth of their babies or their supply. Research also suggests that once Breastmilk is established, women may do moderate exercise 4 days per week to promote a weight loss of 0.5kg per week without affecting supply.

Although studies show this, we get a lot of women noticing a dip in their supply once they return to exercise.
Keep in mind, your body is already burning up to 500 calories a day from breastfeeding ALONE.
Adding high intensity workouts to your routine means you are burning more calories. This means you need to be adding nutrients to your body to ensure it sustains a healthy level of nutrients to be able to burn all these calories.


FOOD IS YOUR NUTRIENTS!!!

Exercising is fantastic and we encourage women to get up and move for all the benefits listed above. But ensure you are finding a healthy balance for both yourself and your milk supply.
This is a time when you are healing your body and nourishing your child.
Please talk to a trained nutritionist to find a healthy diet and know the right foods to incorporate.
This is not a time to start the newest diet trend or skipping meals.
Women find adding Boobie Blend to their smoothies or meals a great additive to ensure they are incorporating Galactagogues into their diet.


Exercise & breastfeeding tips
- Breastfeed prior to exercising for comfort
- Wear a supportive bra.
- Drink water – stay hydrated! 
- Shower prior to breastfeeding – some babies don’t like the salty taste (sweat) post exercise.
- If you regularly lift weights or do other exercises involving repetitive arm
movements and you develop blocked ducts, cut back and start again more
slowly.

Blog written by
Julia Daly - IBCLC
More than Milk

Extra info added by 
Renee Ball
Founder of The Lactation Station.

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