New moms often have many questions about breastfeeding and milk production. I often get asked whether exercise can affect breastfeeding moms in the form of energy, fitness levels, body comfort and most imprtantly to them – their milk production.
There are so many articles and sights offering different information about this topic, but all in all, the general premise is that exercise can only help during the breastfeeding period.
My first rule for new mommies is to have permission from their doctor to go ahead and start with some LOW INTENSITY exercise. A woman’s body goes through a huge transition and needs the correct amount of time to heal before needing to get back into shape. The biggest concern for new mothers is whether exercise will decrease their milk production. Research has shown that moderate exercise does not affect milk production and that milk production is more affected by the Caloric intake. Just remember – a good rule of thumb is to take in 200-500 calories in exess of what you needed to maintain your weight before you were pregnant while you are nursing.
Breastfeeding does not make you gain weight because you use up calories when you nurse and you may actually shed those extra pounds more quickly when you are nursing.
WHY should a Breastfeeding mommy exercise:
1. Improve health and well being
2. Endorphins- our natural HAPPY DRUG which is needed for sleep deprived
3. Prolactin increase- which helps milk production
4. Positive attitude and energy needed as a stress reliever
5. Lose the post preggy bump
Exercise TIPS for breastfeeding mommies:
1. FUEL UP– the first two months of breastfeeding is not the time to
diet or restrict your caloric intake. Consuming too few calories can
impact your milk supply, so don’t dip below 1500-1800 calories per day.
2. Vitamins- speak to your doctor about the correct vitamins and
nutrients to take in whilst exercising and breast feeding
3. BRA KNOWLEDGE– Support support support! keep yourself feeling as
comfortable as possible by wearing a padded and secure bra. make sure to
pump or feed before exercising and not train with full breasts. Change
out of bra quickly after exercising and make sure to clean your girls
3. HYDRATE– always have extra water with you.
4. STRETCH– releasing muscle tension from breast feeding positions is
essential to prevent head aches and back pain. New mommies must focus on
stretching their necks and upper backs to help with muscle strain.
5. PELVIC FLOOR– get back into those KEGALS and pelvic floor exercises
from pregnancy times to reconnect the pelvic floor muscle group.