Breastfeeding is a wonderful natural function of the female body, a great way to bond with your new born baby and the absolute best start in their development. Tons of wives tales discourage mothers from exercise during this precious stage of motherhood, but don’t despair – I’m here to dispel any myths about postpartum exercise.
While there’s no evidence to suggest that exercise affects your ability to breastfeed effectively, there are a few things you might need to consider.
Firstly, for up to an hour and a half after maximal exercise, the lactic acid content of your breast milk may increase. This could potentially affect the taste for your baby – but this isn’t permanent and definitely shouldn’t discourage you from getting in your morning run.
Post-workout you might want to rinse your breast in order to eliminate the salty taste of sweat. Some babies are put off by it, which is perhaps responsible for the myth that exercise incites a sour taste to your milk.
Besides this, you shouldn’t worry about the effect of exercise on your milk. Now let’s focus on you, for once!
For your own comfort, you might want to nurse or pump your breastmilk prior to a workout. Primarily because we all know how uncomfortable it is to get about your daily business while your breasts are full.
You ought to ease yourself into exercise just after giving birth. Remember that your body has been through a lot, and you need to work yourself back into heavy exercise. Start with some low-impact exercise like yoga or Pilates.
Often new mothers feel the need to restore their pre-baby body, and given that breastfeeding burns around 500 calories per day – don’t feel the need to cut back on calories. If you’re committing yourself to high intensity workouts, or working out regularly, remember that you need to replace these lost calories. Breastfeeding is the big push in your child’s development, and you need the right nutrition in order to give them the best start. Try to avoid empty calories, but there’s no need to start calorie counting.
A top tip for exercise whilst breastfeeding is to increase water intake prior to a workout. Remember that you require a fully functioning body in order to supply a new born baby with your breast milk, and a dehydrated body is not a fully functioning body. If you’re sick and tired of water, consider nutritious alternatives and fun fruit infusions – your body and your baby will appreciate the additional vitamins.
Invest in a great sports bra, a lot of women are concerned with the effects that breastfeeding will have on the breasts appearance – a genuinely supportive bra will reduce sagging. If you’re looking for additional support, visit theboobuddy.com and purchase a Boobuddy. this band eliminates breast bouncing and helps promote comfort during your workout (as well as maintaining a nice perky appearance). In efforts to avoid any sneaky leaking mishaps, be sure to wear a couple of absorbent breast pads in your sports bra. Also, remember to remove your sports bra post-workout to prevent plugged ducts.
On the whole though, remember that exercise is a great way to catch a little bit of you-time during your busy baby schedule. The workouts will get your endorphins flowing and will give you body confidence at a time that can sometimes be a struggle for new mothers. Love your body and have a great time doing it.