Exercising Whilst Breastfeeding

November 17, 2022

Exercising while you breastfeed is perfectly safe and healthy for you and baby. Studies have found that regular exercise does not alter the amount of milk produced nor the composition of the milk produced. However, there are certainly some considerations when it comes to exercises while breastfeeding.

Exercising with full breasts

it is recommended to feed just before a workout in order to reduce the pressure in your breasts and reduce discomfort. Most women will not be comfortable at all laying on their bellies/breasts especially in those early months of breastfeeding so make sure you alter anything that would have you put pressure on your breasts.

Hormonal changes as you breastfeed

Relaxin was around in pregnancy and can linger postnatally if breastfeeding, however increased levels of prolactin inhibit estrogen production which also softens the connective tissues, possibly leading to joint pains and injury in severe cases. In response to these hormonal changes we should be careful to not push ourselves with excessive weights or movements that put your joints at risk. Instead take the time to make sure you have good form and keep weights challenging but manageable.

Blocked ducts and mastitis

Exercising while you have a blocked duct is totally safe and while you may experience localised pain and discomfort adjusting the exercises to make sure nothing puts pressure on the affected area is usually a solid answer. In the case of Mastitis however you will have a fever and flu-like symptoms which means you need to rest and focus on healing and light mobility work if you can. Return to exercise once you have recovered and feel 100% again.

Stay Hydrated

Your hydration needs do rise slightly when breastfeeding but for the most part mothers with newborns will often struggle to stay fully hydrated as there is often so much else going on they can easily forget and not have water close by. When exercising make sure to take frequent small sips of water throughout and drink enough water after to help make sure you are replacing water used within that session and your day.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY OUR RESIDENT PRE AND POST NATAL TRAINER BROOK FROM BUMP OUT FITNESS.

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