Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jeans, breastmilk and steps

You know it sucks having a wardrobe full of clothes most of which you can't wear, they either don't fit at all or don't look quiet right. I am also avoiding going shopping as I don't want to end up with another wardrobe of clothes that hopefully I won't want to wear in a few months. This week mind you I have managed to squeeze into another couple of pairs of jeans - yay!!!

I wanted to go back and touch upon a subject that I spoke about early in my blog - the breastfeeding and exercise subject. I would be really interested to find out what your individual experience has been. Has exercise affected the quantity of milk you produce? Does breastfeeding effect your exercise in any other way? I did my reading and looked at the research, you can find some of this research in the links section on the left of this page, the general conclusion is that moderate exercise does not effect milk production.

Having begun to gain knowledge from my own experience I would suggest that exercise does effect the quantity of milk my body produces. I keep a food diary and I know on days that I don't quite eat enough my supply can drop a little. In order to compensate for this I will allow my son to stay longer at the breast in order to stimulate more production. It is interesting that all the literature maintains that supply will not be effected by exercise when, in the event of low supply we are urged to rest up to encourage more milk production. To me, it would then make sense that a highly active person's milk supply might be effected.

The effects of exercise on a postnatal woman (and everyone else for that matter) are more positive than negative, strength and stamina are increased along with our ability to carryout everyday activities whilst avoiding injury - especially when carrying of growing babies. Chances of age and weight related diseases are reduced and the mental benefits, especially for women suffering from postnatal depression, are fantastic with the release of endorphins during exercise. With this in mind I definitely don't believe that breastfeeding is a reason not to exercise but I would recommend being in tune with your body, be aware of what you are doing and how you respond. Be aware that a potential assumption that your supply has dropped could also be due to the faster feeding of your baby as they are growing and the fact that your body is becoming more efficient at producing the 'right' amount of milk for your little one therefore the huge breasts that you may have been blessed with(or not) when your child was first born by now would also be calming and adjusting.

But..... be conscious of what you are putting in your mouth, if you are increasing your movement you may need to increase your intake of healthy calories. Going for a run or hitting the gym isn't an excuse to indulge in that chocolate cake but you may benefit from an extra couple of hundred 'healthy' calories.

I am also coming to realise that I may not reach my goal in my given time frame, this is not to say I am going to take my eye off the ball but I am aware that I want to provide my son's nutritional needs through breastfeeding for at least the first six months of his life. I have to be patient and adapt to what is best for both of us. This is not an excuse or cop out and I will continue to train hard and eat well and to share my journey with you. Its my reality and my journey and I urge you to figure out what works best for you by being in tune with your body and your babies needs.

On that note I'm off to get an early night before our Saturday morning group session tomorrow where we are off to conquer the Cairo street steps in Coogee - come along!!!!

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