When we took a breastfeeding class back in April, we were given a ton of information. We were told to eat well, stay hydrated and to go very light on exercise because it could cause a decrease in the nutrients in breast milk. I remember finding that fact a little alarming and noting it for future reference. While the rest of that class was kind of a bust since my baby won’t breastfeed, I had been holding onto the eating, drinking and exercising suggestions while pumping.
A new study shows that the exercise recommendations are probably incorrect.
The study, which was conducted at the University of Birmingham in England, looked at the weight gain of babies being breastfed by mothers who exercise and mothers who were relatively inactive. The previous claims that mothers who exercise had less fat content in their breast milk and higher levels of lactic acid, which is unappealing to babies, seem at odds with the results.
The study found that breastfed babies of mothers who exercised gained as much weight as those who didn’t, even a little bit more, though it was within the range of normal deviations between groups. The researchers concluded that there isn’t any notable danger to babies of mothers who exercise while breastfeeding, though the nutrition and hydration recommendations should still be monitored.
For mothers who are breastfeeding and interesting in initiating exercise, the researchers suggested waiting a little while to establish your breastfeeding and breast milk supply and then start slow and gradually increase the intensity/duration of your workouts. For us, we’re up to 30 minutes of walking with the stroller, and given how inactive I let myself get during pregnancy, it’s a hearty workout. The 90 degree heat doesn’t help much either.
It’s nice to know that trying to get my pre-baby body back won’t come at the detriment of my child!
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