Breastfeeding Mama Workout Guide
Congrats on giving birth! Been thinking about getting back to your workout routine and getting rid of that fat on your girdle? You’re not alone, same thought here! But before you hit the gym, make sure you read through this post and know what to expect and do to make sure you’re having the right balance between breastfeeding and exercising.
You might be a very active woman, hitting the gym 3-4 times a week, enjoy doing some high-intensity workouts including HIIT. You feel strong and happy when exercising so you want to get back to your usual routine ASAP and lose the extra weight you put on while pregnant.
However, you must understand that your body needs some time to heal and adjust to postpartum life. Giving birth does a big change to your body so be patient and take baby steps when you’re introducing workouts back again to your life. It’s wise to start with some low impact workouts before stepping in high-intensity workouts to prevent hurting your body, feeling fatigued, and changing your milk supply.
Always listens to your body, if your body is telling you it can’t take anymore, just rest. You don’t need to hit every goal set up, it’s alright to take rest and skip your exercise routine sometimes.
You should eat and drink enough. Many people worried too much about overeating and gaining weight so they tend to eat less. But don’t forget! If you’re breastfeeding AND exercising, you will need extra energy to cover both, since both nursing and working out requires good energy.
Drink More Water
If you’re feeling the milk supply has dropped since you started exercising, try to drink more water. The drop might be due to insufficient fluid intake. When you’re exercising you’re sweating a lot so bring a flask with you and drink plenty of water before, after, and during workout intervals.
Make sure you’re having enough electrolytes in your diet as well. Some signs you’re experiencing low electrolytes - nausea, fatigue, cramping, higher/ irregular heartbeat, etc. If you’re feeling super duper tired, rest and have more electrolytes. Some electrolytes-rich drinks include - coconut water, milk, fruit juices. Or blend them all together - smoothies. Drink it post-workout to compensate those you lose while exercising.
Read more about the benefits of coconut water here.
Having a balanced diet and sufficient fluid intake is one of the keys to securing a stable milk supply.
Lactic Acid & Nursing
While you’re exercising, lactic acid builds up gradually in your body muscles. An interesting fact - lactic acid can pass and get into your breast milk. When lactic acid comes in, it will change the taste of your milk and make it a bit bitter. Sweat on your chest will also make your nipple taste a bit salty. Some babies do not fancy the taste change and will turn their heads away or try to push your boob away.
You can try to switch to a lower impact workout as a high impact workout or HIIT contributes more lactic acid accumulation. Wiping your breasts before nursing can easily remove the sweat and salty taste.