Ever since I started sharing my postpartum fitness journey on IG, questions I get asked often is “Are you still breastfeeding?” “Has working out decreased your milk supply?” Being a big cheerleader for breastfeeding (no knocking on you if you don’t, I’m too cheap for formula), this was a concern to me in the beginning as well. Yes, aside from a slow introduction to solids, I am still breastfeeding. No, it has not affected my supply. Since this is an issue of concern to a lot of new mama’s like myself, I’ve decided to write this post about how to keep up your milk supply while breastfeeding.
- Establish Good Supply. I knew from the beginning that I would resume workouts after a few months, and most importantly that I wanted to BF for as long as I could. So I established a good milk supply. Whether you are EBF or EP, feed that baby on demand or pump as often as you are able to. I realize this might be tough for working mama’s and I’m sorry that I don’t have any tips on that. Lauren at laurenmcbrideblog.com has some great resources from her experience with exclusively pumping and being a working mom.
- Stay Hydrated. The first week or so after returning to workouts, I thought that my supply was dropping. What I began to realize is that working out wasn’t the culprit, it was dehydration. So drink drink drink. If you think you’ve had enough, drink a couple of more cups. One drink mix I swear by right now is Milkflow by Upspring Baby. They sent me samples a couple of months ago to try out and I have been ordering it ever since. It has fenugreek & blessed thistle which is amazing for boosting milk supply. It’s vegan and helps keep you hydrated. I mix it with water and drink twice a day in the morning and at night.
- Eat! Now is not the time to start counting calories. Did you know that you can burn up to 500 calories a day just from breastfeeding alone? You need to maintain a balanced diet to support a healthy milk supply as well as promote weight loss & muscle growth. I practice intuitive eating – when I’m hungry, I eat. Listen to your body.
- Rolled Oats. Gosh I hate oatmeal. But it is so damn good for milk production. I eat it every day either in the form of overnight oats, granola or in cookies. Just don’t eat ALL the cookies in one sitting like I tend to do.
- Rest. Being a mama, I know that is easier said than done. But rest when you are able. Rest days from workouts are also necessary to help your body recover. In the first few weeks of exercise, it’s easy to get excited and want to workout all the time when you can. Allow two days of rest from workouts a week, it’s vital. It’s also a stress reliever and babies can sense stress and refuse to nurse.
There you have it. I am no expert in everything milk production. These are just tips that have been working for me for the last few months since getting active again. Let me know what works for you! I’d love to hear it.