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EXERCISE AND BREASTFEEDING - what every mum needs to know.

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Hats off to those mums prioritising their health and well-being with little bubs. One of the many reasons I created the Freedom for Mums program in Hobart was to provide an opportunity for mums to safely exercise and feel supported whilst under the guidance of a qualified Women’s Fitness Specialist.

Community is everything, particularly in the first year of motherhood and with COVID-19 impacting the running of local mother’s groups, having other options available to new mums is so important!

Child-friendly gym classes, Women's fitness, Mum's gym class

Top tips to successfully return to exercise when breastfeeding:

  • It’s really helpful to ensure that breastfeeding is well established before starting any form of moderate exercise.

  • Find yourself a supportive bra. Client recommendations include – The Milk Boutique, Cadenshae and Kiss Active but there are HEAPS of other options.

  • Breastfeed or express prior to exercise for comfort.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Avoid exercises lying on your chest particularly in the first 8-12 weeks (due to discomfort).

  • Avoid high impact (think running and jumping) due to load/support of larger breasts. There are heaps of alternate cardio options.

What else do we need to know?

Does exercise affect supply?

The simple answer is no.

Moderate exercise will not affect your supply or change the “make up” of your milk with regard to nutrients, lactic acid, and minerals.

High intensity (maximal) exercise may increase lactic acid levels but there is no evidence to suggest that these increased levels will harm your baby.

Bub may or may not like your sweaty skin though! Hence (sudden) difficulty in latching on/feeding.

Does Breastfeeding cause loose ligaments?

There is no evidence to suggest that breastfeeding plays a part in “loose” or unstable ligaments. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and childbirth allow the ligaments in your pelvis to loosen so that your baby can be born. These hormone levels decline after birth. The discomfort and pain felt post birth is usually a combination of postural and muscular changes and weakness in the pelvic floor, abdominal wall and back.

There is no evidence to suggest that breastfeeding makes any of these conditions any worse.

Research has also found that breastfeeding after vaginal childbirth does not increase the development of incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.

Regular, moderate exercise has so many benefits to mums, socially, emotionally and physically. Whether it be a walk with friends or a group activity there is something for everyone. Look for the MumSafe™️ logo to know that you are in the best hands.

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