Another amazing day in Sydney! Does this mean summer has arrived? I hope so, there is nothing better than starting the day with some exercise in the warm morning sun, you always feel so much better for the day ahead - I find I look better too, I think its the extra bit of colour in my face and the skip in my step that comes from getting the blood pumping. Always a good thing, especially given Marley has taken to waking up for an extra feed the last few nights!
My husband and I have been running a Saturday morning group fitness session for the last 5 months, we began in the depths of winter (and my pregnancy) and are now relishing coming out the other side with a bunch of participants who didn’t drop their form despite the cold months and will soon be bikini ready and hitting the beach. This morning I greeted my group in Centennial Park ready to go, the sun on our backs, beginning the weekend in the best possible way and enjoyed an awesome sweat session! Well done guys.
So today I wanted to touch on a question that is often asked by postnatal women when commencing an exercise program;
Will exercise affect my ability to breastfeed?
Straight up and the short answer to this question for the everyday exerciser is ‘no’. Participating in a moderate level of exercise should not affect your ability to breastfeed your baby. However we are all different and it would be wise to monitor how different intensity of training effects your milk supply and ensure you are consuming enough calories to compensate. Keeping a food and exercise diary is a fantastic tool both to keep you on track and to look back at later on. The benefits of regular exercise not only include increased cardiovascular fitness and maintenance or increase of Lean Muscle Mass but it has also been shown to have a positive effect on mental health and mood which I myself know is of great importance after the birth of a new baby.
There have been various studies on the affects of exercise on breastfeeding, I have provided relevant links on this page so you can read more for yourself.
From a personal point of view I do believe that exercise should always be accompanied by a healthy eating plan or vice versa. If you are spending more energy you need to consume more energy. A healthy weight loss nutrition plan (I chose not to use the word ‘diet’, the goal is to create an eating plan you can comfortably maintain for life) for a breastfeeding woman would include more calories than that of a non breastfeeding woman. I will touch upon this more when I talk about my own eating plan in upcoming days.
Until then, enjoy the sun and eat well