In this blog, I cover some of the myths about breastfeeding and exercise and some tips to help you exercise comfortably as a nursing mum.
There are many benefits of exercise for mums including:
- Improve mood and energy levels
- Relieve stress
- Improve fitness – helping you to meet the demands of motherhood
But does exercise affect breastmilk? Yes, there is some evidence to suggest that moderate exercise can alter the composition of breast milk by increasing the amount of lactic acid. This increase in lactic acid may alter the taste and some babies may reject the breast after exercise. But, It is important to understand that every woman and baby is different, so if you are experiencing rejection after exercise, it doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising, just lowering the intensity might help.
Does exercise reduce your supply? No, researchers have found that exercise does not effect the volume or energy composition of breast milk. So, weighing up the research and the benefits, exercise is great for breastfeeding mums!
Here are some tips to help you exercise more comfortably:
- Wear a supportive bra. Exercise can be a good reminder that your breasts have changed and things may feel different when starting exercise for the first time. A supportive bra will make the transition into exercise more comfortable. Nursing sports bra’s are available – I’ve heard great things about Cadenshae and have experience with the Brooks Juno sports bra but I’m sure there are other options out there too.
- Feed baby or express milk prior to exercise. Fuller breasts may feel heavier and uncomfortable.
- Stay well hydrated – before, during and after your exercise session.
- Avoid uncomfortable positions. If an exercise feels uncomfortable, modify it or don’t do it. Choose something you enjoy & you are more likely to stick to it.
If you have any more questions about breastfeeding and exercise, please do let me know.