Exercise and Breastfeeding
Walking is probably the most common form of exercise post baby. It's easy to get out and about, and it's also low impact. Exercise is incredibly motivating.
Exercise assists with mothers wellbeing and in turn:
-improves heart health and general fitness
-improve mental health
-reduce stress levels
- assist with weight control
-improve bone strength
-assists with treatment of postnatal depression
Lactic acid is a by product of high intensity exercise. There is no evidence to
suggest that Breastmilk with increased lactic acid levels harms a baby in any
way. Lactic acid can increase in Breastmilk following maximal exercise.
Mild to moderate exercise does not cause lactic acid to increase in Breastmilk and does not affect a baby breastfeeding.
One of the most questions I get asked is will exercise decrease my supply?
Moderate exercise does not affect:
- Breastmilk supply
- Immune factors in BM
- Major minerals in BM
- Major nutrients in BM
Research suggests that mothers can exercise and breastfeed without affecting the growth of their babies or their supply. Research also suggests that once breastfeeding is established, women may do moderate exercise 4 days per week to promote a weight loss of 0.5kg per week without affecting supply.
- BF prior to exercising for comfort
- Wear a supportive bra
- Drink water – stay hydrated
- shower prior to BF – some babies don’t like the salty taste (sweat) post
- if you regularly lift weights or do other exercises involving repetitive arm
movements and you develop blocked ducts, cut back and start again more