• Denise A Olson

5 Things You Need To Know About Working Out While Breastfeeding

On the heels of World Breastfeeding Week, let’s talk about working out while nursing. A common concern of nursing moms is whether or not working out will affect milk supply. This is a completely valid concern-your supply, your baby’s weight gain, how long they’ve nursed for and how frequently….these are the things we OBSESS over as breastfeeding moms, particularly in those first few months. So it makes sense that we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the breastfeeding journey. Here are six things you need to know about working out while breastfeeding:

1. Strenuous exercise is not advised until breastfeeding has been established and your baby is gaining weight appropriately. This is usually the case by 6-8 weeks (which is when you should be having your first postpartum visit with your OB/midwife.)

2. There is no correlation between moderate exercise and breast milk supply. More so, studies have shown that there is no difference in milk production or nutrient composition in moms who are working out, and those who are not. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the positive effects fitness has on all mothers-breastfeeding, or not:

  1. stress reduction

  2. improved cardiovascular endurance

  3. improved symptoms of depression in those with major depressive disorders

  4. improved core stability

  5. increased confidence and overall happiness

3. While weight loss may be a goal, putting yourself into a severe calorie deficit will not support you or your breastfeeding journey. Instead, focus on whole, unprocessed foods, eat something before and after your workout, and eat every 3-4 hours over the course of the day.

4. Your baby may not like the taste of salt on your skin! If you’re nursing after you’ve worked out-you might want to hop in a quick shower or wipe down your breast.

5. Nurse or pump before working out to prevent feeling uncomfortable….burpees + a full chest don’t go well together. Wear a sports bra that gives you good support! Keep in mind you won’t want to hang out in it all day-a tight fitting bra can be pretty uncomfortable, and the damp/sweaty bra could set you up for an infection.

Fitness is vital in the initial postpartum period-for the emotional benefits as well as the physical ones. Taking the time to restore your core strength will save you from dealing with complications of core/pelvic floor dysfunction in the years to come. Are you a new mom? The first Monday of each month kicks off a new session of Dumbbells & Diapers remote [virtual] training. Join us for a safe and effective approach to postpartum fitness.

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