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Exercising Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

breastfeeding and exercise

Figuring out the right time to resume post-pregnancy fitness is challenging for most new mothers. This becomes additionally complicated for breastfeeding mothers. While you might be feeling physically fit, you should choose exercises cautiously. Ideally, light to moderate exercise is safe and benefits breastfeeding moms. It doesn't affect the composition, taste, and amount of breast milk. Exercise and the right medication are effective if you have been looking for how to get rid of mastitis. Below are a few things you should know about exercises for breastfeeding moms.

1. Exercising Doesn't Affect Breast Milk Supply

Exercising while breastfeeding doesn't affect milk supply. However, you should maintain a healthy balanced diet to maintain your milk supply. The body burns approximately 500 calories daily to produce enough milk for the baby. If you exercise a lot, you should feed well to compensate for the lost extra calories.

Similarly, exercising won't change the taste of breast milk. Some old tales caution breastfeeding mothers against exercise, claiming it makes the milk sour and babies won't feed on it. Some studies have shown that intense exercises lasting more than 90 minutes increase lactic acid levels, which can affect the flavor of breast milk. However, such elevation of lactic acid won't occur with moderate activities. You should maintain your aerobic exercise below 80% of your heart rate range.

2. Timing Is Crucial

Planning your physical workout while breastfeeding is challenging as you should consider the baby's feeding schedule. While making time for both is difficult, it isn't impossible. If you nurse frequently, you should work out immediately after pumping or feeding because your breasts are empty.

Your preferred exercise and duration are important factors that can affect your schedule. For instance, you should schedule nursing breaks or pump milk before and after if you prefer long outdoor runs. On the other hand, you can complete a short strength training session while your baby is taking a nap.

3. Ease Into the Fitness Routine

Ideal workouts for nursing mothers should be low-impact activities, such as circuit training, pilates, water aerobics, and yoga. However, it depends on personal ability. For instance, some mothers can start jogging or running slowly while in their first months of breastfeeding. Some even try out marathons while nursing. You should consider the type of exercises you did before and during the pregnancy period. You should also consult your physician to clear your chosen fitness program.

4. Stay Hydrated

Apart from dieting, nursing mothers should drink a lot of water. While this doesn't mean overdoing it, nursing mothers are busy and can easily forget to hydrate. Proper hydration helps nursing mothers maintain their energy levels and sufficient milk supply. Poor hydration affects the mothers' ability to produce enough breast milk. Nursing mothers should increase their water intake before exercising.


While exercising is beneficial to nursing mothers, you shouldn't overdo it. Stress and fatigue decrease breast milk supply and can cause breast issues. If you feel tired and overwhelmed, take a break. Remember to wear a properly fitting and supportive bra.

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