Breastfeeding & Exercise

Will my milk supply dip if I exercise? This is a question I heard repeatedly at 8 months postpartum. I didn’t get it. Why would your milk supply drop because you are exercising? It didn’t make sense. Recently, I did some research on why this belief was floating around. I wanted to get it straight once and for all.

Ah ha, I finally found out why. Small studies show that level of intensity in your workouts can alter the lactic acid levels in your breast milk, which could affect the taste. If you engage in exercises at 100% intensity, lactic acid levels in the breast milk change. Engaging in low intensity workouts or bringing your high intensity workouts down a notch can make a difference in how baby may reacts to your milk. It doesn’t mean your milk is bad or harmful to baby, it just means you may have to wait a bit before beginning the next feeding session and preferably rinse off the sweat to avoid baby tasting salty milk. Other low intensity workouts include yoga, Pilates, swimming, brisk walking, strength training.

So what are some tips for breastfeeding with confidence?

  • as mentioned above, take precaution while exercising so you are not discouraged that baby is rejecting your breast milk (just for the period of time the lactic levels are changing). Taking simple precautions like feeding baby before you exercise and others listed above can go a long way in making your breastfeeding sessions a pleasant experience.
  • surround yourself with a strong support system. You want to have the right energy that will allow you breastfeed for as long as you want.
  • eating the right foods help with nourishing you and baby. In my Nutrition Book, LIM Guide, I talk about the types of foods that are great for breastfeeding.
  • join support groups that have similar interests and experiences like you.
  • exercise as often as you can to help build up endorphins that help improve your mental health and mood. Visit the website to access simple home workouts that you can complete at your schedule

I hope these tips helped. Wishing you all the best in your breastfeeding journey as a first or second time mama. The month of August honors and recognizes both World Breastfeeding and Black Breastfeeding Weeks to create more awareness on the benefits and importance of breastfeeding.

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