Exercising while breastfeeding

 

Can I follow my same exercise routine if I am breastfeeding? If you are a breastfeeding mom, or considering breastfeeding, questions like these often get asked.  I’m here to help answer them for you.

Can I still exercise and run while breastfeeding? Good question! Of course you can exercise while breastfeeding.  Studies have shown that there is no difference in milk supply for women who exercised regularly.  Exercise improves a mother’s heath and has a positive effect on her emotional well-being.

Are there any disadvantages to exercising while breastfeeding? When a mother exercises at 100% intensity or works out until exhaustion, some studies show a decrease in IgA levels for 10-30 minutes after your workout.  IgA’s are the immunologic factors in a mother’s milk.  The IgA’s are not reduced enough to have any effects on your baby, but pumping before your heavy exercise is an option while your body restores itself.

My baby doesn’t want to nurse after I’ve been working out. Why? This could be as simple as sweat! Make sure that you shower before trying to feed your baby.  They often do not like the salty taste of the sweat on your breast.

It hurts when I run……help! For any women with large breasts out there you know this feeling, but this can be magnified when breastfeed.  Nursing or pumping before your workout will certainly help this issue. If running, jumping etc., the proper support is definitely a must.  If you are still uncomfortable, try lower impact exercises or swimming! It’s a great workout and less strenuous on your chest.  As with a regular workout, I would suggest showering after swimming.  Public pools and the taste of chlorine might not be favorable for your baby.

Since I’ve been working out, I have lumps around my breasts that are painful. What is this? Don’t panic! This is most likely a blocked or plugged duct.  If you lift weights often or do any other excises that involve repetitive arm movement, you are at risk of developing a plugged duct. Just cut back on your weight lifting and start again more slowly once the duct is clear. As always, if you have any concerns that there is a bigger issue, please see your physician.

Final tip! Stay hydrated. Your body is producing a lot of fluid during this special time.  Remember to replenish those important fluids that you lose during your work out.

Working out is fun, makes you feel great, and is healthy for your body and mind.  So take a class, go for a swim, get out that jogging stroller or take a ride on your bike. Have a great time!

-bizzy babee

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