|Go run, Mommy, and have fun-|
I'll be here when you get back! :-)
|Sometimes bike trainer is just easier than running! Out on|
our balcony I get fresh air but don't have to leave my baby,
and she loves watching Mommy and Daddy ride!
This is especially for running (may not be necessary for swimming or biking depending on your workout clothes and how uncomfortable you feel when your breasts are full). It feels different, but I can bike and swim without pumping beforehand. However, by the end of the workout, I am looking for my baby or breast pump because it does become quite uncomfortable.
All kinds of things are rubbing together that maybe didn't rub together before, so use Body Glide or Chamois butter, just sayin'. Please check out this blog on maternity workout gear that may be helpful for thinking about postpartum workout gear. This is my favorite sports bra super comfy for the nursing mom's boobies and great for coming in and nursing right after exercise thanks to the handy front zipper.
|Happy and fed baby, icing-knee mommy :)|
7. Feed or pump post-exercise.
Your baby may be ready to eat again when you get back. If not, you don't have to pump again unless it is time for you to do so. You might not have made very much milk during your workout, so now is the time to replenish fluids and nutrition and rest, so you can fuel up for the next feed. That being said, I have definitely come back from running and fed Violet while still sweaty. She seems a little confused at first but doesn't care when she's hungry. Some women say that babies like that taste of salt. There's no medical reason not to go ahead and feed if your baby wants to eat, and there's no greater motivation to get home from your run/workout than knowing your baby is waiting for you. If you are trying to increase supply, it might help to have whoever is watching the baby wait to feed until you are back, so baby is hungry and you can stimulate more milk production...but more on that in Part 2.
It's worth mentioning again. Hydrate with every feed, hydrate when you first wake up in the morning, hydrate pre- and post-workout. Depending on how long you are going for, you may need to bring fluids with you, but let your thirst be the judge of that. If you are a nursing mom, and you are doing something at any point in the day that does not involve a cup of fluids, think again- and grab something to drink.
Really? Amazing stuff. The one study* I did find was a literature review citing 6 other studies (who knows where they are because I didn't come across them) concluding that "weight management interventions which include an energy-restricted diet may play a key role in successful postpartum weight loss for breastfeeding mothers." Well, zippidy-doo-da. Obviously this is the case, but no one knows the specifics of how many calories lactating mothers need and it's even more complicated throwing exercise into the mix, and there are no studies on this AT ALL. Bummer. But more on that in our next blog post.
I don't know about this, ladies. It's not a real study, so this is just women saying that they felt that their lactation improved with endurance training and some lactation consultants saying that they have noticed this in their practice with their patients. So really just take it with a grain of salt. My personal opinion (I can do this because this is my blog yay!) is that these endurance athletes who continued to train heavily while they were nursing were 1- doing so when they're children were already eating solids and therefore not needing as much breast milk or as frequent feeds, and 2- women who already had an abnormally high supply of milk to begin with. Some women just have a ton of milk. Yay for them. Can you tell I'm bitter? Moving on to our next segment on staying fit as a nursing mom, we'll talk about the challenges with maintaining milk supply while staying fit.
Need a Pep-Talk?
You can do it! How was that? ;-) Honestly, after writing all of this, I kind of need a pep-talk myself. It's important to realize that it's all worth it. It's worth it to feed your baby and help your baby fight infections and give him/her something that is very easy to digest and to have that mother-infant bond that everyone goes gah-gah about (It's actually really beautiful and amazing. I love nursing, which is why I'm writing 3 blogs on ways to continue to do it while you stay active). It's worth it to be healthy and exercise and to do something to take care of yourself when you aren't otherwise doing so these days. But, on the days that it's not worth it, when you haven't slept and you can't calm down and you've had an awful day, just go home and hold, walk, or play with your baby...
or, just sleep. Sleep is golden.
*Neville et al. The Effectiveness of Weight Management Intervention in Breastfeeding Women-A Systematic Review and Criticial Evaluation. Birth. 2014 Apr 21.