Is Working Out OK While Breastfeeding?
As if breastfeeding didn't already make you feel like a supermom, now you want to head back into the gym. Whether you're picking up a routine you maintained during pregnancy or starting new on the fitness train, you probably want to know if working out is OK while breastfeeding, or if you're stuck making laps around the house with a cranky baby as your only form of exercise?
Unfortunately for me, I can't use exercise being unsafe as an excuse to keep plugging away at Netflix while breastfeeding. According to KellyMom, there are no studies that prove moderate exercise has any affect on your breast milk supply or its composition. In fact, because exercise is so great for your health and overall well-being, Baby Center noted that working out is actually recommended for all mothers, including those who breastfeed.
Years ago, a study found that your breast milk's lactic-acid levels could increase after working out, giving your milk a bitter taste that your newborn could refuse. According to Parenting, this study has been debunked a bit and researchers now think that's only possible if you are pushing yourself in a workout to the point of exhaustion.
But it's still no reason to give up exercise. If your baby doesn't seem to enjoy the taste of milk right after you exercise, just give them a little bit of time and try again. Some moms prefer to shower before breastfeeding, as KellyMom noted that some babies may not be crazy about the salty taste of sweat on your breasts. But in general your milk is totally fine, no matter what kind of exercising you do.
As with any fitness routine, make sure you're being safe for your own well-being, not necessarily because of your breast milk. Parenting noted that it's best to stay hydrated and that you may want to feed your baby or pump before a workout so your breasts aren't engorged or painful during exercise. Also, be sure to wear a supportive sports bra that fits and is comfortable — too tight of a bra can lead to clogged ducts and nobody wants that, especially if you're working on your fitness.