An active lifestyle while pumping breast milk prevents several breast issues like increased milk production, preventing infection, etc.
Maintaining an active lifestyle while pumping breast milk can be difficult, especially for 1 to 6 months after delivery.
An active lifestyle means that going exercises include yoga, frequently, with healthy eating (1)
Many women want to try physical activity and other activities after birth but worry about the effects on milk secretion stop them.
We know that breastfeeding is an essential part of infants’ growth, fulfilling their nutrients need, and for other reasons.
Stop worrying about the effect on feeding, just make sure to do in the limit, like avoiding heavy lifting, staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, etc.
If you experience any issues like dizziness, breast-related issues, and any changes in infants consult your doctor.
Tips for keeping an active lifestyle while pumping breast milk
Here are some tips that you can apply during the breastfeeding period which will save you time include:
Buy Breast Pump
Pumping is a process where breast milk is extracted through the breast pump, which can be stored and drunk later.
As we know pumping is an alternative option to feeding milk to a baby, just remember that the baby gets enough milk.
Consult your lactation provider because not buying the ideal pump may create sucking issues and leads to pain and discomfort.
Make a pumping timetable
Estable a regular pumping timetable that fits with your exercise routine, and make sure both are important feeding and exercise.
So make a schedule that fits both, and you can take the help of your partner.
In addition, less milk secretion is triggered by stress, fatigue, dehydration, and some other reasons so make consult the doctor.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes while workout it easily allows you to breastfeed and shoes lower your impact on bones.
Unsupportive bras are the main reason for breastfeeding women for breast pain, so make sure to avoid wire bras and wear a supportive bra.
During exercise wear sports, and a supportive bra, which will also prevent breast issues like breast engorgement, etc (2)
Keep yourself hydrate
It is very important for a breastfeeding woman to keep herself hydrated because milk needs water to make, especially during exercise.
During exercise, the body loses more water, so make sure to drink enough water, and drink coconut water to increase electrolytes.
Not drinking enough water, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding leads to dehydration, dizziness, and other issues (3)
Eat healthy diet
Just drinking water isn’t enough, make sure to follow a healthy diet plan, especially till the 1st year (4)
Breastfeeding requires more energy, and above all exercise, so you need to consume more calories and water to keep you healthy.
Here is some eating that should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding (5) include:
- Avoid processed food
- excessive caffeine
- spicy food
- raw food
- fish that are high in mercury (swordfish, tilefish, shark)
- supplement whether it is herbal because it can pass through the milk to the baby which may affect the baby’s health negatively.
Go with baby
Exercise with a baby or involving a baby in your active lifestyle while pumping breast milk brings several other benefits such as:
- Make an emotional bond strong
- promote physical and mental health in both
- help mom to keep an eye on their baby all time
- promote overall health in both mom and baby
- may create explore and adventure feeling
- promote breastfeeding experience
While exercising with your baby make safety your first priority and comfort.
Make sure to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise and therapy and about your and your baby’s health.
Use hands-free pumping bras
This means a hands-free bra can help you to free your hands so that you can exercise, and allow you to pump milk.
Make sure to do lightweight exercises, and keep yourself and your baby hydrated, for this you can try other beverages like coconut, and lemon juice.
Listen to your body
It is important to listen to your body and monitor your baby’s feeding time and needs because feeding is a calorie-burn condition (6)
So take a break from breastfeeding and exercise, when you feel stressed, discomfort, or pain and go with pumping and formula milk.
Make sure listen your body, and monitor your baby health, if you experience pain and discomfort then consult to your doctor.
Points That Should Be Noted
Here are some points that should be noted while exercising or following an active lifestyle which includes:
Increase Gradually: Whether it is exercise or food go slow and then gradually increase to prevent damage.
Make sure to do low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking, it won’t impact your breast just like other exercises like running.
Pump Before Exercise: It helps you to relieve discomfort and heaviness, which makes your exercise more comfortable.
Also, you can do more things comfortably like running, jumping, etc.
You can also pump after exercise because after exercise the body needs to replace water that is lost (7)
Pump In Public: This means, finding a spot that is a private place like a nursing room, or family restroom for breastfeeding or pumping milk.
A few things are consider for pumping or breastfeeding public which include:
- Use a cover or a cloth as a shield to cover your baby
- find a private spot like a nursing room or restroom, or if you are in the park then make sure to use a cover
- bring everything you need like cloth, bottles, and toys that keep the baby keep quiet.
- don’t be shy about breastfeeding is not an illegal
If you are a working woman, you can pump or breastfeed, most companies allow women to breastfeed.
Benefits of an Active Lifestyle on Breastfeeding Moms
There are several benefits of adopting an active lifestyle while breast pumping breast milk such as:
May help in losing weight: Exercise and with healthy eat diet women can lose weight, just remember to keep yourself hydrated.
Reduce stress: An active lifestyle like exercise helps in reducing stress by releasing endorphins (a feel-good hormone)
Many studies showed that a healthy diet and an active lifestyle during the first year of childbirth bring many benefits to women.
Improve mood: As we said triggering endorphins (feel-good hormones) reduces stress, which improves overall mood.
Another study showed that in the first 6 months after delivery, physical activity can enhance mood, and energy levels, and reduce stress.
Improve sleep: Physical activity brings tiredness by triggering the tired hormone, which promotes sleep, but frequently milk needs may disturb sleep (8)
While breastfeeding exercise can improve sleep quality, boost energy and reduce postpartum tiredness in mothers (9)
Make you aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day, it will help in reducing stress, and promote overall well-being.
Decrease risk of chronic illness: We know that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast pain, engorgement, and even cancer.
A 2020 study revealed that moderate exercise during breastfeeding and pregnancy can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.
Boost immunity: Exercise boosts immunity which will prevent you from several diseases, and may transfer to baby.
Not just exercise is enough, add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are able to resolve the nutrient deficiency.
Promote overall health: Apart from specific benefits, exercises promote overall health in both moms and babies through the transfer of milk.
Other benefits of an Active Lifestyle While Pumping Breast Milk include:
- Stable mood by reducing emotional stress
- promote stronger bones by increasing calcium absorption
- increase milk secretion by triggering milk production hormones
It is vital to listen to your body, everybody is different, so if you face any discomfort then consult your healthcare provider.
Make sure to go with safe limits such as avoiding heavy exercise, don’t do too much, whether it is exercise or a diet.
If you face any discomfort while pumping breast milk, or baby latching issues, then consult your healthcare provider.
Make sure your exercise and diet plan increases gradually, and if you go with the baby then safety should be your first priority.
Pumping or breastfeeding in public is not a shameful thing, just remember to bring a cloth to cover, a bottle, and find a private place.