When it comes to exercise and breastfeeding, it's common for mamas to have some questions about it. Everything you need to know is right here.
Mothers go through a lot, from the beautiful journey of childbirth to breastfeeding their baby. One of the most important things to take care of, for both a mama and her little one, is their health.
If you're a breastfeeding mom, it's normal to feel overwhelmed by things that were once regular to you. So when you're ready to start exercising again, it can seem like you're doing it for the first time.
It can feel like there's a lot to consider, but we promise, it's not as complicated as it may seem. Keep reading - we'll tell you everything you need to know.
See Related: Benefits Of Breastfeeding From Month To Month
1. Make Sure To Stay Hydrated
Staying plenty hydrated while exercising is the number rule for physical activity. But when it comes to working out while breastfeeding, hydration becomes a whole lot more important.
Your body sets aside a whole lot of H2O when making breast milk. Research shows that your milk is about 90% water. So even if you're not exercising, it's important to drink plenty of fluids for both your health and your breast milk.
One of the best ways to avoid dehydration is by "drinking to your thirst" - if your body is telling you you need water, then drink some water. It's that simple!
If you have a bad habit of not being able to stay hydrated, sometimes it can be hard to know if you're drinking enough water. Many people set water intake goals to help themselves drink enough fluids throughout the day.
Even just having easy access to water can help. Sometimes keeping a water bottle nearby is enough to remind you to drink some water.
At Mila's Keeper, our insulated travel coolers aren't only designed for breast milk storage. You can also use it as a reusable bottle for your water! Whether it's full of fresh H2O or your own liquid gold, our coolers keep its contents cold for up to 20 hours.
2. Exercising While Breastfeeding Brings Amazing Benefits
Especially in the first few weeks of motherhood, it's important to consistently find ways to replenish your energy. Mamas deserve to take some time for themselves to focus on their health and fitness goals.
Exercise is a key factor in maintaining your overall well-being. Staying active can bring many benefits to both moms and their little ones.
You'll Get a Mood Boost and Increased Energy Levels
When you take care of your body and health, your mind will take care of you. Regular exercise routines can help boost your mood, give you energy, and relieve stress. It's a great way to just help yourself feel good again.
A daily routine containing consistent exercise can benefit many women. It doesn't need to be anything crazy - sometimes something simple is better. Even just taking a stroll outside in the fresh air can give a hearty boost to your serotonin levels.
When you're going away from home for your workout, you'll likely need to take a breast pump and milk storage container with you. We've got you covered there - our portable breast milk coolers can keep your liquid gold up to 20 hours, and are amazingly easy to travel with!
It Can Help With Losing That Stubborn Postpartum Weight
Gaining some postpartum weight is more than normal for new mamas. Adopting a fitness routine is a great method for weight management and losing that extra pregnancy weight.
Something to keep in mind, however, is to avoid any rapid weight loss. Losing body fat too quickly can lead to a disproportional amount of toxins entering your bloodstream and breast milk.
Stick to a low-intensity workout and gradually increase to moderate exercise when you feel ready. Make sure you're comfortable with your exercise routine before taking it a step further.
Pair any exercise routine with an abundance of nutritious foods. A balanced and healthy diet is the real key when you're trying to lose any extra pregnancy weight.
When it comes down to it, just listen to your body. Don't push yourself too hard if you're not ready for it - you've already accomplished so much as a mom!
3. Wear An Unrestricting and Supportive Sports Bra
One of the most beautiful parts of motherhood is how our bodies change. During breastfeeding, our breasts can change a lot from how they were during pregnancy.
If you're ready to start exercising again, dressing comfortably is a great and reliable way to make it a bit more enjoyable. And one of the keys is to pick the right sports bra.
For breastfeeding moms, it's essential to invest in a sports bra that is supportive without being too restrictive. If your bra is too compressive, it can potentially lead to mastitis.
When choosing a sports bra, adjustable straps can be a lifesaver in making it fit just right. And if you're worried about the possibility of your milk leaking, it's also a good idea to wear breast pads. Find what works for you!
4. Don't Get Spooked By Myths - Know The Facts
If you're a breastfeeding mom, exercise and breastfeeding can truly go hand-in-hand. Whether your goal is to lose weight after your pregnancy or just to get moving, a new exercise routine can offer plenty of advantages.
However, many moms can sometimes feel nervous about what side effects working out can have on their milk supply. There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to exercise while breastfeeding - so let's break them down.
Exercise Won't Diminish Your Breast Milk Supply
For nursing mothers, it's normal to sometimes feel worried about their breast milk. Each mama wants to be feeding their baby only the most healthy and nutritious milk.
But does exercise affect your milk supply? It's a common misconception for new moms that physical activity can lead to a decrease in milk production. Fortunately, that's not quite true.
Your body takes energy to produce milk, so as long as you have a full and healthy diet, exercising won't affect your milk supply. It's also okay to add some extra calories to your diet if you are going a little hard on your workout.
Just make sure you're eating enough to maintain your level of physical activity and keep yourself healthy.
The Taste of Your Breast Milk Won't Change
Sometimes nursing moms get worried that after exercising, their little ones might object to breastfeeding. Many mamas think that breast milk will taste sour after working out due to a heightened presence of lactic acid.
However, this doesn't happen the way you might think it does.
Studies show that for low or moderate exercise, there is no noticeable increase in lactic acid levels. The only time there is a slight increase is when mamas engage in strenuous exercise. But even in that case, lactic acid levels never really become significantly elevated.
If you do decide to go for some vigorous exercise, after a couple of hours your lactic acid levels will return to normal. If your baby seems to object to feeding after you worked out, it is likely because they aren't a fan of the salty taste of your sweat. Just hop in the shower to quickly wash off before breastfeeding.
In conclusion, avoid maximal exercise if you want to steer clear of the possibility of increased lactic acid in your milk supply. Stick to a low- or moderate-intensity workout routine until you feel comfortable taking it up a notch.
5. It's Best To Start With Low-Impact Activities
If you're a new mom, your body has gone through a lot lately. When you're ready to begin an exercise program, it's a good idea to start slow and listen to your body!
Activities like swimming and walking are great ways to reintroduce your body to a workout while boosting your cardiovascular fitness.
Just don't forget to have a way to pump and store your breast milk if you are working out away from home. You can use our breast milk containers and insulated coolers as either an amazing portable storage container for your breast milk or as a reusable bottle for your water.
Eventually, you can delve into some aerobic exercise and or a higher-intensity fitness routine. But don't dive headfirst into any strenuous workout before you're ready. Pushing your body too hard can cause more harm than good to your overall health.
To all our breastfeeding mamas, don't be afraid to get active and exercise. You've got this!
A female-designed and female-run company, Mila's Keeper is on a mission to empower women to thrive during their breastfeeding journey by offering reusable, eco-friendly breast milk storage solutions for their day-to-day needs. Get the latest tips and info on Mila's Keeper products by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.