Protecting Your Milk Supply When Starting To Workout Postpartum
This is a guest post by my friend and fellow mom blogger, Katie Pickett. Katie runs the blog, Joyful Messes, and is a pre and postnatal exercise specialist. She’s the creator of the Belly Only Pregnancy Program, The Postpartum Cure, and Milk Dust Protein Powder. She’s a mom to three little boys and loves helping women feel healthy during and after pregnancy.
Beginning to workout with a new baby can feel daunting, especially if you’ve experienced any sort issues with milk supply, then you may be scared to start working out again. The truth is, your milk supply should not be affected by your workout, and there are some steps you can take to make sure your milk supply doesn’t drop when you start working out.
To make sure you milk supply doesn’t drop, you want to look at your nutrition because what goes into the body is really important to how your body functions. You also want to consider the type of workout you are starting, to make sure it is safe and effective for the 4th trimester. Step by step, let’s dive into how to protect your milk supply when working out again:
Start using Lactation-Boosters
It is a really good idea to give your milk-makers some support as you transition into your workout routine. Drinking or taking lactation herbs is the most popular way to do this, and there are many out there that are very potent and easy to drink. From teas, to powdered drinks, to this protein powder, you can add in lots of milk-boosting herbs to give your supply a natural boost. Fenugreek is one of the most studied herbs that has the most success for breastfeeding mamas. Some others include fennel, milk thistle, brewer’s yeast and red raspberry leaf. By adding these to your breastfeeding diet, you can ensure your milk supply will stay up, or even increase as you add in more workouts.
Drink a Post-Workout Protein Shake
This protein powder is specifically made to give postpartum mamas the protein they need, as well as the nutrients that are essential for new mothers to heal and thrive postpartum. Specifically, nutrients like folate, chromium, magnesium and vitamin B12 give new mothers a boost of energy. Because this protein powder is specifically made for breastfeeding mothers, it also has all the lactation-boosting herbs you need to ensure your milk supply stays where you need it for baby.
Add in More Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are going to have many of the micronutrients that are essential for health while breastfeeding. Protein shakes offer a fast option to add fruits and veggies into one quick meal. Frozen cauliflower, spinach, frozen berries and avocado all blend really well with protein powder, and taste like a milk shake! Avocados also provide some of the essential fatty acids that get into the breast milk and to baby. Fat is water soluble, so it can pass through to your breast milk, which is great for baby!
Stick to Low-Impact Workouts in the Beginning
Focusing on lower-impact workouts will help keep your body from producing more cortisol. Cardio and HIIT workouts are very effective for weight loss, but can also throw hormonal and chemical balance off in the beginning. This is because your body is under cardiovascular stress, which can increase cortisol, your stress hormone. Starting with workouts that are restorative like Pilates, body-weight strength, and walking is the best way to ensure your milk supply isn’t affected, but you are still gaining fitness. This will also help rebuild your abs to prevent diastasis recti from getting worse rather than better.
Wear Baby More Often, or Add in More Skin to Skin
Your milk supply is dependent on your baby’s needs, and the chemical reactions from the pheromones occur when baby is skin-to-skin with mama. This is essential to a healthy milk supply, and you can add more skin-to-skin contact by simply wearing baby more. There are many low-impact, baby-wearing exercise routines that focus on building strength. This is a great place to start if you’ve had trouble with your milk supply and working out in the past. Some easy moves involve squats, lunges, walking and bicep curls that you can do while wearing your baby! This also keeps baby happy while mama gets her workout in!
Increase your Fluids and Electrolytes
Many mamas have read that you need to increase your water intake when starting to workout again, which is true, but not enough. There needs to be a good balance of potassium, magnesium and sodium to ensure your water intake doesn’t just run right through you. This is really important for your milk supply, and low potassium intake has been associated with low milk supply. You can keep your electrolytes in check by adding some sea salt to meals and drinking a low-sugar Powerade or Gatorade drink. Milk Dust protein powder also has some potassium and magnesium, which contribute to keeping your electrolytes in check. Throw in some sea salt to your shake with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder, and it is a chocolate sea salt shake!
With these tips, you can ensure that your milk supply is protected as a new mommy. Always remember as you start to workout to protect your core with a good core warm up to ensure your abs are engaged. This will help with healing and repairing after pregnancy.
If you want to try Milk Dust please use code: LACTATION for 10% off your first order!