The issue of breastfeeding and exercise is something many physically active moms often worry about. The question is: should breastfeeding cause you to put your fitness exercises on hold? The short answer is no. You can still work out even as you continue to nourish your little one. But even then, there are some things you should look out for as an exercise buff who also needs to nurse a baby using your own breast milk. So, below are some ways exercise can affect breastfeeding.
Make Sure Your Workouts Don’t Tire You
“Basically, you cannot go all the way when it comes to workouts as you did before you had a baby. You have to roll back on both duration and intensity of your workouts, the simple reason being that fatigue will cause a dip in your milk supply.” said Tommy Cole, from Woodlands Strength a woodlands personal training in Texas. “Initially, mild workouts will get you tired pretty fast, which will obviously limit your ability to have meaningful exercises. However, over time, you will be able to do more workouts without wearing yourself out to the point of causing a decrease in your breast milk supply.”
Don’t Give Up On Exercise Completely
Although going easy on yourself is recommended when it comes to physical workouts, by no means should you think that taking a complete break from regular exercises is an acceptable situation. You should strive to do some moderate exercises. This is because such exercises increase the levels of prolactin in the body. Prolactin is the hormone that facilitates milk production.
Exercise Can Relieve Stress
In case you are wondering what exercise and its ability to overcome stress has to do with breastfeeding, you ought to know that stress results in reduced milk production. Having a baby comes with its fair share of stressors: being up all night to tend a crying toddler and so forth. Exercises can help in this scenario as they promotes the release of endorphins, or the “feel-good” hormones, which reduce stress and therefore ensure that your milk supply does not suffer.
Exercise Prevents Excess Weight, Which Negatively Affects Breastfeeding
Putting on excess weight during and after having a baby is quite common. Unfortunately, the excess weight can make breastfeeding a nightmare for your child since the milk production process will be hampered. So, by using workouts that help you lose the excess fat, you can have enough milk for your baby.
To summarize, you do not need to give up on exercising just because you are breastfeeding. As a matter of fact, it is recommended that you work out during this critical period in your child’s life so that your baby can breastfeed better. That said, it is always important to check with specialists before embarking on a postnatal fitness program. First of all, if you had any form of surgery during delivery, for instance a C-section, a doctor’s greenlight is critical. Additionally, after determining that you can engage in some workouts, it is highly recommended you work with a personal trainer to avoid hurting yourself or exceeding your physical limits.