Exercise and Breastfeeding

You Can Exercise and Breastfeed

New mom’s have a million questions about what to do after they have their baby. One of these questions is if you can exercise while you are breastfeeding. Will it hurt your baby? Will it slow down your milk production? Will it take too much of a toll on your body? As long as there aren’t any medical complications to be addressed, the answer to all of these questions is no. Exercise is actually great for new moms and will help with your recovery!

It Won’t Hurt You or Your Baby

The biggest question is, will exercise hurt your baby? The good news is… no! Studies have found that exercise doesn’t cause any significant changes in milk production or taste. The body is excellent at producing what your baby needs even if you are exercising or on a calorie deficit. In underdeveloped countries where nutrients from food are scarce, a mother’s body can still pull what she need from stored nutrient reserves. In addition, studies have found that, since the babies are getting what they need, there isn’t any difference in growth rate with mom’s that exercise while breastfeeding.

Speed Up Weight Loss and Help You Recover

The body requires an extra 500 calories for breastfeeding. This means that you will naturally burn more calories just by breastfeeding. If you want to speed up postpartum weight loss even more, exercise can get you there. Weight loss occurs when you are consuming less calories than you are burning. By exercising, you are increasing your daily calorie burn. Exercise also helps reduce bone mineral density loss and lean body mass loss. This will keep the body strong and protect against osteoporosis later on. In addition, you know that back pain that you were feeling from all of the changes your body went through? Exercise will help strengthen the muscles that you need for support.

What Kind of Exercise is Best?

So what kind of exercise should you do? The honest answer is, whatever you prefer! Ideally, you want to do some form of strength training and some form of cardiovascular conditioning. Strength training is a way to improve muscular strength through weight bearing activities with various forms of resistance. You can use anything from resistance bands to dumbbells and weighted cables. Cardiovascular conditioning, on the other hand, is anything that gets your heart rate up. This could be taking a class or even joining a mom’s stroller walking group.

Now You Know

Never fear, exercise is here! It is a great way to speed up your recovery without harming your baby. Exercise will increase your calorie burn without reducing the quality and quantity of milk that your baby receives while breastfeeding. It is a great tool that will help you not only stay healthier, but get back to your pre-baby body. Talk to a trainer today about which exercise program is right for you!

 

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