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  1. #1
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    Default breast milk and exercise question

    I'm thinking about returning to the gym after a long hiatus to try to get myself back into shape. My son is almost 6 months now and I am still breastfeeding him. I'm not in a hurry to wean but have heard that moderate-intense exercise can change the quality/quantity of breastmilk.

    Has anyone had any positive or negative experience with breastfeeding since starting a workout routine? I'm thinking of getting a personal trainer so would like to know as much as possible before I make the commitment

  2. #2
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    From kellymom:

    Exercise and Breastfeeding

    By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC


    Does exercise affect milk supply or nutrient content?

    No. Studies have shown no difference in the volume or composition of the milk or babies' weight gain. One study showed a slight increase in milk supply for the women who exercised regularly, but because of the small size of the study this increase may not be significant.

    Does lactic acid increase in breastmilk after exercise?

    Research has not shown a noticable increase in lactic acid buildup after moderate exercise (50% & 75% intensity). The lactic acid in breastmilk does increase somewhat if mom exercises to maximum (100%) intensity, also described as exhaustive exercise. This increase may be present up to 90 minutes post-exercise. There are no known harmful effects for the baby.

    Will baby refuse the breast after mom exercises?

    Most studies have found no difference in acceptance of the breast, even after maximum intensity exercise.
    Although a highly publicized 1992 study indicated that baby might fuss or refuse expressed milk from a mom who had been exercising at 100% intensity, the results were questionable because the babies were fed the milk by dropper (unfamiliar to these babies), and the mothers reported that the babies had not had problems with nursing after exercise in the past. A more recent study showed no change in infants' acceptable of mom's milk an hour after exercise, even for the moms who exercised at maximum intensity (and thus did have a slight increase in lactic acid in their milk).
    Dr. Ruth Lawrence, in her most recent volume (Breastfeeding, A Guide for the Medical Profession, 1999 edition) says that there is no reason to wait to nurse after exercising.

    Exercise guidelines for breastfeeding mothers


    • For your own comfort, you may wish to nurse before exercising and wear a good, supportive bra (especially during strenuous exercises such as running, jumping, etc).
    • Some babies don't like nursing when mom has been sweating (due to the salt on mom's skin) so you may wish to rinse your breasts or take a shower before nursing.
    • If you regularly lift weights or do other exercises involving repetitive arm movement and you develop plugged ducts, cut back and start again more slowly.
    • Keep yourself hydrated.

    HTH

    MM
    *sigh*



    Breastfeeding Success Essentials:
    SUPPORT ~ EDUCATION ~ DETERMINATION

    Beat the "Booby Traps" to Breastfeeding Success!


    ~The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'~

    ~Do or Do Not. There is no try.~
    Yoda

  3. #3
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    Nah, I've never had any problem. I do hot yoga and it's pretty intense, and neither DD has indicated any kind of problem. I usually bf my DD as soon as she gets home too, no fussing or starving.

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    My DS always seemed to puke more after I had exercised. It never affected DD at all.

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    Never affected DS or DD and I used to go 3-4 times a week for 1.5 hours.
    Mommy to three adorable kids!

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    I swim or go for a walk or hike while I was/am breastfeeding both my DS's. I had no problems. I just nursed before I exercise and then usually nursed afterwards again and both kids were fine with that. I use a personal trainer at the Y downtown since I have a family membership so that is included.
    Last edited by Granola; 12-26-2008 at 07:37 PM.
    Granola is a Mum to 2 wonderful boys

  7. #7
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    I was working out pretty much every day since my DS was 6 weeks (weight train, cardio and yoga) up until I had surgery a few weeks ago, and I didn't notice a difference in supply or how my DS nursed. Just make sure you wear a great bra or two!! LOL! and drink a lot of water and eat more! Figure out how many calories you need/burning, remember you burn more calories sitting/sleeping after you excersize, especially if you weight train. Your baby will take 300-500 calories out of you in a day, and depending on the excersize, you could end up burning 1000+ calories in a day with nursing. So if you don't eat enough, you could end up loosing too much weight too quickly. Try to stick to 1-2 lbs per week. Do a search on how many calories you need with nursing (everyone is different) and figure out how many calories you will end up burning in a day/week. It takes 3500 calories to loose a pound of fat. A personal trainer should be able to help you with all of this.

    Good luck!


  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for the info. I think I will start my search for a trainer today!

  9. #9
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    Yup, no problems here with working out. Through the summer I did one yoga class per week, one cardio class per week and ran the other 3 days of the week. My supply was A-OK and DS never refused or seemed to have a problem. Good luck!!!





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