Breastfeeding is amazing.
There are so many benefits breastfeeding is providing for the baby and for the mother.
Breastfeeding is providing your baby with all essential nutrients for the most part of their first year. It protects her from diseases and help to prevents them.
It is also very important in the emotional development of your baby, giving them reassurance when needed.
Breastfeeding has many medical benefits for the mothers too but is with no doubt, one of the most difficult jobs our body needs to do.
After we give birth, many new moms want to start exercising and get into some kind of fitness, but they are often unsure is it safe to workout while breastfeeding or what kind of exercises they can do?
Here is all you need to know about fitness and breastfeeding.
It is safe to workout and breastfeed!
Yes! It is completely safe to breastfeed and exercise. Exercising will do no harm to the baby and will have a big positive impact on moms.
Regular exercise is increasing levels of serotonin – the hormone of happiness. This will have a positive impact on mom’s mood and can help in the prevention of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.
Don’t forget: “Happy mom, happy baby!”
There are studies saying that there can be increased levels of lactic acid in breastmilk when exercising and that the same can affect a baby.
It is important to know that lactic acid will appear in breastmilk only after vigorous exercise or when exercising until exhaustion.
Most of the breastfeeding moms starting with working out will not exercise until exhaustion.
In case you do and lactic acid does appear in your breastmilk, it is important to know that it’s completely safe to breastfeed your baby and lactic acid is not the reason not to breastfeed or delay feeding.
There is a possibility that the baby will refuse breastmilk because of the different taste caused by lactic acid, but this is happening very rarely.
You can solve this to take it slowly when you exercise or to just wait 20-30 minutes after exercise to breastfeed until lactic acid disappears from your milk.
Exercising has no effect on your supply
Exercising will not make you lose your supply because breastmilk is made on rules of demand. How much milk is taken out of the breast, that amount is produced once again.
So, as long as your baby is breastfeeding regularly, on-demand, your supply will not drop.
But, it is very important for breastfeeding moms to take care of their nutrition so they can provide their body enough nutrients to function properly.
Breastfeeding alone has a big demand for women’s body, and when you add exercise, you realize that your body is doing even greater tasks.
A balanced diet will suffice in that the body will have all it needs for normal operation.
Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, eat a balanced diet, increase your protein intake and don’t forget to drink enough water so you can stay hydrated.
It is too easy to forget to drink, and with all breastfeeding and sweating caused from exercising, you can easily become dehydrated.
Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day so you are well hydrated.
Try to get rest as often as you can and follow the cues of your body. Don’t overdo in your fitness regimen.
Invest in a good bra
One of the most important things for breastfeeding moms getting back to exercise is a good and supportive bra.
A good bra will make all the difference for your comfort while exercising supporting your breasts and it will help to prevent mastitis or plugged ducts. Also, it is very important to take it off after a workout.
For your own comfort, try to breastfeed your baby before you start working out. You will have empty breasts and it will be easier to move around, and your baby will have full tummy while you do your thing.
Breastfeeding will help with weight loss!
Breastfeeding is a demanding job.
Your body is burning up to 600 extra calories per day while breastfeeding. That is why breastfeeding can also be a great ally in getting back to your desired weight.
Be aware that while your body is burning extra calories on breastfeeding it’s not the best time to do any kind of dieting and cutting daily calorie intake. While breastfeeding you shouldn’t eat less than 2000 calories per day.
To be sure that you are losing fat choose whole, healthy food, avoid junk food, sweets and treats and avoid drinking sugary drinks.
Can I take supplements while breastfeeding?
While exercising and breastfeeding is completely compatible, not all fitness supplements are. Before you decide to take any supplement just remember that it could affect your baby too.
In rare occasions, supplements are needed to achieve good results in fitness. You can achieve excellent results with no supplements, just by eating healthy and working hard.
Supplements that are common and are mostly safe are multivitamins, omega 3, magnesium oil for muscles and some basic protein powder.
Remember to check for hidden ingredients and don’t be afraid to skip your supplements regimen, or just wait for a while.
So, you can start exercising while breastfeeding your baby whenever you’re ready, just remember:
- Follow your body’s cues while working out, don’t overdo it
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet, choose whole foods and avoid junk food
- Don’t do strict dieting while breastfeeding
- Stay hydrated, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day
- Breastfeed before your workout to prevent hard breast while exercising and possible plugged ducts
- Buy a good and supportive bra
- Be careful with supplements you’re taking before you decide to take any check if it’s compatible with breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is not something that should affect your normal activities and there is no reason not to work out and exercise.
With a little bit of planning, you can start exercising with no fear for your baby.
USEFUL TO READ: Supplements in pregnancy – all you need to know