Of all things that are concerning when being a Mom to a new baby, one of the top things is milk supply. And what's worse is when you're trying to start working out to feel better but you have to navigate around the fear and heart of what exercises kill the supply. Well I'm about to spill all that you need to know about exercise and milk supply.
For starters, exercise itself does not reduce your milk supply. So you can breathe a little better now...
However, you still need to have a healthy relationship with exercise to not dry up. And there are three things you need to be mindful of when considering returning to exercise while breastfeeding.
Hydration - being hydrated ensures that you have enough liquid to not only keep your organs healthy and running smoothly (like your kidneys) but it also is needed for creating milk. Therefore, when exercising it is important to replenish your hydration with water and electrolytes. When becoming dehydrated, milk supply may decrease. Definitely be mindful of this during different seasons and temperature.
Caloric Intake- Exercising will require a caloric intake to ensureproper athletic performance and muscle recovery. If dropping below your body’s caloric needs, you could reduce your milk supply and athletic performance, response to exercise, and increase Risk of injury, burnout or REDs.
Stimulus - Exercising for greater lengths of time can reduce the stimulus to the nipple causing a positive feedback loop to the brain. That signal is necessary for the brain to send the need for milk production. If you have exercise regimen that requires long duration of exercise, consider taking quick breaks to pump or nurse.
While yes, Exercise itself does not dry you up but if you don't hydrate and replenish calories to meet your exercise demand then you can have a negative effect on breastmilk production.
Do you have any questions? Find this helpful? Be sure to comment below!
Your Pre/Postnatal Strength Coach - Dani Jones