Breastfeeding and exercise
If you have been used to exercising a lot before you had your baby, you may wonder whether breastfeeding is compatible with exercise.
Is it possible to start exercising again, or will it affect your milk supply?
Studies have shown that exercise has tremendous benefits for both your emotional and your physical well-being as well as reducing stress and helping with weight loss.
Research has also shown that moderate exercise does not affect the composition of your milk or your milk supply although some studies show that strenuous exercise may temporarily increase the lactic acid content of your breast milk.
Years ago it was thought that this would cause babies to reject the milk, but later studies have shown that even after breastfeeding mothers have done strenuous exercise, babies still accept the breast and it doesn’t appear to have any detrimental effect.
It is important, however, before you embark on exercising after you’ve given birth to your baby, to wait for about six weeks.
It is important to have your six-week medical check with your family doctor and discuss your desire to exercise.
Start off with gentle exercise at first, such as brisk walking or mild aerobic exercise, nothing too strenuous at first and gradually build up the exercise according to your own limits.
It can also be useful to feed your baby before exercising and wear a good, supportive bra.
You may also wish to rinse your breasts after exercising, and before feeding your baby.
During exercise keep yourself well hydrated, and most of all, enjoy!
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Version 1.1 published in March 2019. Next review date: Jan 2022
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