If you’re a new mom and have concerns about resuming your exercise post-delivery, you are not alone. Many women have doubts, concerns, and questions regarding exercise during breastfeeding. Will exercise affect milk supply? Will it change the taste of breast milk? Will exercise affect the baby? These are the most common concerns of almost every new mom who wants to shed extra pounds with exercise.
While exercise during pregnancy is considered good for the health of the mother and fetus, staying active and working out after pregnancy can also be beneficial. Let’s talk about some important facts regarding breastfeeding and exercise that will put your mind at ease.
Exercise Won’t Decrease Your Milk Supply or Change its Taste
Exercising won’t impact your milk supply as long as you take in a balanced diet. Studies have shown that exercising doesn’t reduce milk supply. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), regular aerobic exercise during lactation does not affect milk production, composition, or growth of an infant but improves maternal cardiovascular health.
It is crucial to make sure that you’re drinking enough water before and after exercise during lactation. It is also recommended to breastfeed your infant before working out to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of fullness.
Although light to moderate exercise is safe and healthy during lactation, vigorous exercise can change milk taste. The taste of milk changes, because strenuous exercise increases lactic acid in your body, which gives originally sweet milk a bitter taste. If you keep your aerobic exercise in the 80% of maximal heart rate, the change in milk taste will be minimal, and your baby won’t notice a difference in taste.
It is also recommended to wait for 90 minutes after strenuous exercise before breastfeeding.
Your Breast Milk is Still as Nutritious
While engaging in strenuous exercise can temporarily change the taste of your milk, it won’t affect the nutritional value of it. Moderate exercise can benefit children in the long run. Researchers found that exercise causes adaptations in the breast milk of the lactating mother. These adaptations include an increase in the level of a beneficial compound responsible for developing immune-protective effects in the infant.
Start with Low Impact Activities
After having a baby, your body needs to recover for up to four months. Therefore, you should slowly start partaking in physical activities. Walking with your baby in a stroller is something you can do right away.
Experts recommend moderate aerobic exercise for 150 minutes per week. You can begin with 10-15 minutes of low-impact cardio activities, such as walking and swimming. You can increase duration and intensity gradually. You can also join “mommy and me” exercise groups that can help ease you back into your exercise routine.
Lactation Center in Palm Harbor, Trinity, and Westchase, Florida
If you want to know more about exercise during breastfeeding and how a lactation consultant can support you, contact the experienced lactation consultants at Children’s Medical Center. We are dedicated to helping new moms resume their lifestyle of choice successfully while breastfeeding their babies. Our lactation consultant can offer you the personalized support you need.
If you want learn more about our lactation center or any other services such as prenatal and newborn care, contact us at one of our four convenient office locations. Our friendly staff is waiting to hear from you!