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Exercises And Breastfeeding - Myths Busted

Updated on June 20, 2012

Many breastfeeding mothers have a lot of wrong notions. One among them is about exercises. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you may also think like many other women that you should not exercise at all. But, the real fact is that appropriate exercises will help you to control the weight increase that may happen during the postpartum period. Your overall strength may improve also. If you consult your doctor and have an appropriate exercises regimen and also make it a point to eat healthy foods, you may not face any difficulty in breastfeeding your child. There may not be any changes in the taste and composition of the milk also.

It is true that breastfeeding mothers face a few problems like disturbed sleep, fatigue, etc. But, experts advise that you should do your exercises in the morning hours before you begin the scheduled feeding of your child. You should learn to take short naps to compensate for the loss of sleep and for overcoming fatigue. These short naps will help you to get adequate rest to replenish the loss of energy due to your workouts.

A point to remember is that a few women may find it uncomfortable to do exercises because the weights of their breast tissues may have increased due to milk production and the over-active mammary glands. So, it is better you should wear a bra that is both comfortable and supportive while you do your exercises. There are special sports bras available in the market and you can buy them so that your breast ligaments do not get over-stretched. You can get them designed to suit you also.

You may also be worried if the milk will turn sour in taste due to production of lactic acid during your exercising. But, a study conducted has revealed that the amount of lactic acid will not increase much if you do moderate exercises. Only if you do strenuous and high-intensity exercises, the amount of lactic acid will be more and the child may refuse to breastfeed. You are advised to wait for about 1 hour to breastfeed your child after doing your exercises. You are advised to drink lots of fluids before and after doing your exercises.

When you begin your exercises regimens, you should begin slowly. You should never attempt to do strenuous and high-intensity exercises in the initial stages. If you exert yourself and allow fatigue and stress to affect you, there may be depletion in the milk supply. There are chances of your breasts being affected by mastitis. But, if you design a moderate exercises regimen in consultation with your doctor, you can derive many benefits. Let us look at some of the benefits:

- You will have an improvement in your overall health and energy level.

- Since release of endorphins is stimulated, you will feel happy and be able to maintain a good mood. So, you will be able to overcome stress.

- Moderate exercises can improve the prolactin levels in your body and hence, there will be increased production of milk.

- Since there will be improvement in the quality of your sleep, you will feel fit. You can gradually reduce your pregnancy weight also.

Considering these benefits, you should begin an appropriate exercises regimen in consultation with your doctor.


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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      6 years ago

      You make great points. Thanks for the hub.


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