Common issues faced by mums when returning to impact exercise, HIIT and running are:
- soreness in the boobs
- boobs feeling too full and heavy with milk
- blocked milk ducts and mastitis
- not having time to pump and run before work
- finding time that fits around the ‘on demand irregular’ feeds
DRAIN THE BOOBS
Both breasts should be as empty as possible before you run so if exclusively feeding from the breast try to make sure both boobs rather than just one are drained as much as possible. If you are pumping then its recommended to pump a little longer that you think you need to. Try pumping for 2 mins longer after last jet of milk before trying the exercise.
IF PRONE TO BLOCKED MILK DUCTS AND MASTITIS
Seek help from a physio who can do ultrasound and lymphatic massage for blocked milk ducts and mastitis. Attached is also tips on preventing these issues from happening.
INVEST IN A NEW SPORTS BRA
Often mums increase by at least a cup size when are pregnant and then another cup size after delivery so 2 cup sizes!!!! Try not to rely on your old sports bra but buy one which fits your new breastfeeding size. It needs to be supportive but not too restricting or tight so to not cause issues for the nipples and possibly bring on the onset of block milked ducts which in turn can lead to mastitis.
Water is important for making milk and to keep your water intake up. You will also lose water in exercise through sweat so try to keep hydrated before, through and after the exercise. Try to drink a minimum 2 litres a day and purchase a running mini water bottle you can carry in your hand easily or you can try a water bottle carrying belt.
KEEP YOUR ENERGY INTAKE UP
You need energy for milk to be made. Eating more protein ie. meats, eggs, protein shakes, milk, meat free protein alternatives is a good way to increase milk without adding too many excess calories. If you are overweight or gained too much weight during your pregnancy then there is no need to increase your calorie intake as there will be energy reserves in your body to use. If you had a BMI in the normal or below range and only put on the recommended weight for pregnancy then you just need to aim for an extra 500 calories a day to provide enough energy for the demands of breastfeeding.
KEEP YOUR CALCIUM INTAKE UP
There is a lot of calcium drawn from your body to make the milk and some mums can become osteopenic if breastfeeding for up to and over a year if not taking in enough calcium. Ideally need to be aiming for 1000mg or over intake of calcium a day.