A top pre and post-natal PT has shared some of her top tips for exercising while breastfeeding, and dispelled some common myths.
Sarah Campus, founder of LDN MUMS FITNESS, is a mum of three children all under 5, including a 7 week old daughter whom she is currently breastfeeding.
It's National Breast Feeding Week, so let’s talk about exercising whilst breastfeeding!
Studies have repeatedly shown that regular exercise can reduce stress and help with any possibly postpartum depression. Paired with a healthy diet, exercise can promote mental and physical wellness without diminishing your milk supply! To help you on your fitness journey, here are some tips to help you exercise while breastfeeding.
First things first, despite rumours and myths to the contrary, exercise does not impact your milk production. You're free to break a sweat to your heart's content without fear that exercise will impact your breast milk supply.
Some old wife's tales caution against too much exercise because it will make it sour due to lactic acid. Lactic acid levels in breast milk are significantly elevated for up to 90 minutes after maximal exercise, which may alter the flavour of the milk.
However, there is no such elevation in lactic acid levels after moderate activity, so as long as you keep your aerobic exercise in the 80% of maximal heart rate range, your baby won’t notice a difference. Since you may sweat while working out, be sure to shower or at least wipe off your nipples or they may taste salty!
Nursing mothers can return to exercise when they have been signed off by their health care professionals - usually from 6 weeks after vaginal birth and 10-12 weeks after a c-section.
Tips for exercising when breastfeeding
1. Start with low-impact exercises.
2. Avoid losing weight rapidly as you want to fuel your body to ensure you fuel your baby.
3. Consume at least 1,800 calories per day.
4. Drink water... and then drink more water.
5. Consider getting a supportive, high-impact bra. I have a lot on my profile about brands that I swear by.
6. Try breastfeeding or pumping before exercising as it’s a lot more comfortable.
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