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Pregnant mum of 1

I’m exclusively breastfeeding and have heard how exercise can change the milk. I want to start exercising but I’m not sure if it will affect my breast milk, or what kind of exercises I should be doing. I had my baby girl via C-section and she’s now three months old.

I’m sure you are aware you should be building exercise slowly after a C-section. Ensure you have been signed off by a doctor and, if you are not sure what to do, get a postnatally trained specialist to guide you. I am happy to offer some tips.

For your own comfort, you may wish to nurse before exercising and wear a good, supportive bra (especially during strenuous exercises such as running, jumping, etc).

Some babies don’t like nursing when mum has been sweating (due to the salt on mum’s skin) so you may wish to rinse your breasts or take a shower before nursing.

If you regularly lift weights or do other exercises involving repetitive arm movement and you develop plugged ducts, cut back and start again more slowly.

Keep yourself hydrated.

And regarding breastfeeding I think it is perfectly safe. There is a little evidence to say that exhaustive exercise (something I’m sure you won’t be doing) can reduce the levels of IGA (the immunoglobulin to help with immunity) but that it also increases again after emptying the breast. You won’t be working at that level anyway for a long time.

Good luck and enjoy returning to sport.

Octavia, Tinto Expert