What about exercise and breastfeeding?
Is breast milk altered by exercise?
When you exercise your body releases lactic acid, this lactic acid is then found in your breast milk. Some babies have been found to be less enthusiastic about drinking after mom has exercised; this is due to the lactic acid changing the taste of the milk, giving it a bitter sour flavor.
There are no harmful effects in baby when baby drinks the lactic acid. Exercise will also never have an effect on the quality or quantity of breast milk. Some studies even show that many moms have a slight increase in breast milk supply when they exercise regularly.
What are the benefits of exercise if mom is breastfeeding
- Mom can lose weight with breastfeeding and exercise
- Mom feels happier and has a lower chance of getting PPD
- Exercise increases bone density, which is sometimes a problem for breastfeeding moms who lose a lot of their calcium stores through breastfeeding.
- Post exercise accelerates post natal recovery
- Exercise gets mom feeling more energetic during the day and sleeping better at night.
Tips when exercising if you breastfeed
- Drink plenty of water to flush out any extra toxins and keep you hydrated
- Start slowly. Don’t try losing the weight too quickly.
- Wear a good sports bra that will give extra support
- If baby does seem to dislike the breast milk after exercise, try exercising immediately after a breastfeeding session, this way the lactic acid that is formed during exercise will be gone by the time you need to breastfeed again. If you are worried about the aerobic exercise why not find a group of ladies that take walks with their strollers or do some Yoga.
- Mom should eat a good diet… breastfeeding diet guidelines
- Rinse your breasts or take a shower before breastfeeding baby after an exercise session. Most babies won’t like the extra saltiness ;-)
Exercise and breastfeeding ~Interesting fact ~ Mom can always breastfeed an hour after exercising, by then the lactic acid won’t be present in the breast milk.
- If baby does refuse to drink, you can hand express some breast milk and throw it away…then try to breastfeed again.
- Moms can pump and freeze their milk for these times too.
- You are more likely to stick with exercise that you enjoy!
- Get motivated by getting a friend to exercise with you
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