8 Fitness TIPS When you are Breastfeeding
Congrats! You want to get back into the FITNESS after having a baby and you don’t want to compromise your milk-supply. We hear you. We don’t want that either! You’ll be happy to know that research shows moderate exercise does NOT directly affect your milk supply or quality. YAY!
1. GET THE MILK OUT: Nurse or pump milk BEFORE exercise. The main reason is YOUR comfort. Your breast might be “filled” with milk and certain impact exercises may make you uncomfortable. Having a supportive high-impact bra is helpful, even if you didn’t need one prior to pregnancy.
2. SUPPORT THE GIRLS: Invest in a supportive fitness bra. I know it’s hard to find a bra that support the girls while you do jumping jacks and want to nurse on demand. I recommend Moving Comfort’s “Fiona” bra. While it’s not a nursing bra, the fact that it has adjustable Velcro straps, it can work for nursing. It’s not the easiest to reassemble one-handed, but gives you the support and access needed during nursing. Check out the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5Hf7Zx8y5k
3. TASTES SALTY: You’ve gotten your sweat on (YAY!) and well, you’re sweat and yes, salty. Baby might be refusing to nurse after a workout because of the salt or sweat on the skin. Nursing prior to workout gives you a peace of mind if this happens. Most likely, if you have a “good” nurser, it won’t matter and it’s likely just a coincidence. Babies tend to know your smell, even if it’s post-workout smell.
4. BE READY to NURSE: While exercising does NOT decrease milk supply, being away from your baby for long periods of time without pumping/nursing can affect milk supply. Creating milk is a supply and demand response. If you stop or go too long between feeding, it signals your body the milk isn’t needed; therefore it will start producing less. This doesn’t mean you can’t be away from your baby or prevent you from exercising, but something to be mindful of when you are at they gym or going for a long run without baby. Working out with your baby in our FIT4MOM Stroller Strides or Stroller Barre classes makes this point not such an issue because you can tend to your baby whenever you need.
5. EAT! Make sure you eat balanced meals. This is not the time to go on a diet, but it’s the time to continue eating healthy from your pregnancy or if you are like me, finally after the nausea stopped and I could start to enjoy foods without being repulsed by smells and tastes of foods again. It’s not the time to cut out carbohydrates and fats. Opt for healthy whole foods. Nursing can expend 300 to 500 calories a day. Some moms take advantage of this caloric burn to loss weight. I say, eat so you don’t feel hungry.
6. SNACKS: Along with gear for your baby in the diaper bag, add a few protein bars. I personally like LUNA bars (it’s great that they are one of FIT4MOM Partners), Kind Bars, and Larabars (usually two ingredients, no sugar, but still tastes like a candy bar to me. Ok My husband says it never tastes like a candy bar). Can’t go wrong having some protein bars, you won’t have to worry about a smashed banana days later or searching for a spoon to eat that yogurt.
7. HYDRATE: Make sure to stay hydrate. Drink water before your workouts, during and after. This is a general rule for EVERYONE, not just postpartum and nursing mothers. Increasing beyond your regular baseline for water won’t have you producing more breastmilk, but let’s face it, most of us could just use more water everyday.
8. SWEAT: The “smells” generated by you is something your baby is familiar with. Likely chance , you were sweaty at some point during labor and delivery, this is something your baby can identity.'
Working out and exercising won't compromise your milk supply. So don’t be afraid to move and exercise, work at your level that you’re comfortable.