milk supply dip after exercise? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 06-12-2011, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas,

This has happened the last 3 times I went to the gym (1x per week).  Each time, I nursed my little one, went to gym, and went on an eliptical trainer for 20-30 minutes.  Didn't even work out that hard as I am starting to get back into it.  I drink a whole bottle of water (16oz?) trying to keep hydrated.  When I come back from the gym, I feel great, but my breasts totally feel empty!  All three times it took a good 5 hours or so until I felt like my breasts were getting any milk in them.  DS felt it, too, poor thing.  I also snack before (a yogurt or a granola bar) and after (cheese stick, fruit, etc.).  I am NOT dieting at all.  The machine says I burned 200 calories or whatever, which I think is not that much.  I wear a nice sports bra that's not too tight.  So why is this happening?  I read other threads where people say they can exercise and have no supply issues.  But I am sure my supply is affected right after.  My overall supply is not affected.  Anything I'm missing here?  I am going again tomorrow morning and really hope it doesn't happen again cuz it's so hard when the baby cries and we both know there's no milk!

 


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#2 of 4 Old 06-12-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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All the research that's been done has shown no impact on milk production or babies' acceptance of the milk even after extreme exercise.  Is it just that your breasts feel empty (not a good indicator of supply, BTW)?  How does your DS act when you nurse him?  Or are you avoiding nursing until your breasts feel full?  That can impact supply. 

 

You mention drinking water while exercising.  2 cups in 20 minutes sounds like a lot.  Are you drinking to thirst, or are you trying to push extra fluids to avoid dehydration?  Drinking extra water beyond what you feel thirsty for is not only unnecessary, it can actually impact supply as your body focuses blood flow on eliminating the excess fluids.  So you might try drinking slightly more throughout the day on the days you exercise, but not trying to drink a large amount at once.

 

Your at about the stage postpartum when milk supply and baby's needs should be right in line with each other, so it's completely normal for your breasts to no longer feel "full" and to have stopped leaking, for baby to shorten nursing sessions, for letdown to feel less strong.  Could it be that you're noticing these normal changes that are happening, but you're more aware/worried when you're exercising?

 

If your baby is refusing your breast after you exercise, it could also be some product you're using, like soap or deoderant, especially if you don't normally sweat, shower, or put on body care products immediately before nursing.  It could also be that your baby is upset and fussy because he's old enough to realize that Mom was GONE for an hour and is reacting to that.  If he's on/off the breast for many short nursing sessions when you get back, it may seem like he's nursing a lot because he's not getting milk when in fact he's nursing a lot to reconnect after you're gone.

 

Exercise is so valuable for moms - time alone, taking care of your body, helps w/ stress & avoiding depression, keeps you healthy, sets a good example for your little ones. . . Hope something starts to make sense! 

 

 


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#3 of 4 Old 06-12-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheriK View Post

All the research that's been done has shown no impact on milk production or babies' acceptance of the milk even after extreme exercise.  Is it just that your breasts feel empty (not a good indicator of supply, BTW)?  How does your DS act when you nurse him?  Or are you avoiding nursing until your breasts feel full?  That can impact supply. 

 

You mention drinking water while exercising.  2 cups in 20 minutes sounds like a lot.  Are you drinking to thirst, or are you trying to push extra fluids to avoid dehydration?  Drinking extra water beyond what you feel thirsty for is not only unnecessary, it can actually impact supply as your body focuses blood flow on eliminating the excess fluids.  So you might try drinking slightly more throughout the day on the days you exercise, but not trying to drink a large amount at once.

 

Your at about the stage postpartum when milk supply and baby's needs should be right in line with each other, so it's completely normal for your breasts to no longer feel "full" and to have stopped leaking, for baby to shorten nursing sessions, for letdown to feel less strong.  Could it be that you're noticing these normal changes that are happening, but you're more aware/worried when you're exercising?

 

If your baby is refusing your breast after you exercise, it could also be some product you're using, like soap or deoderant, especially if you don't normally sweat, shower, or put on body care products immediately before nursing.  It could also be that your baby is upset and fussy because he's old enough to realize that Mom was GONE for an hour and is reacting to that.  If he's on/off the breast for many short nursing sessions when you get back, it may seem like he's nursing a lot because he's not getting milk when in fact he's nursing a lot to reconnect after you're gone.

 

Exercise is so valuable for moms - time alone, taking care of your body, helps w/ stress & avoiding depression, keeps you healthy, sets a good example for your little ones. . . Hope something starts to make sense! 

 

 

 

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ITA. DD is 4.5 months and I've been training for a half marathon that takes place when she is 6 months since 6 weeks PP. My breasts no longer feel full or leak, especially after exercise, but my supply is fine. Excessive drinking makes your body re-focus on using fluids instead of making milk and can affect your supply. It can also make you feel a little light headed because your blood moves slower - less oxygen to the brain. 

 

DD would get mad and refuse if I didn't clean off well enough before nursing her - I think the sweat smell/taste/texture surrounding her made her mad. So I always change into dry clothes and wipe off first, if I don't have a chance to shower (i.e my run was an hour and a half and she's ready to eat as soon as she sees me!). 

 

Just try to keep in mind that the exercise is probably NOT the problem, if the problem truly exists, but is more likely your babe's reaction to a new situation and/or smell (could also be soap as mentioned above). Stay encouraged, Mama! Exercise is great for you AND for your baby - happy mama leads to happy munchkin! :)


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#4 of 4 Old 06-14-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the encouragement to keep exercising.  I know I need it for many reasons, including the extra 20+ pounds on me!   Anyways, I wanted to report back that after my workout on Sunday (went to cardio kickboxing class), my boobs stayed feeling normal, so yay!  I do think the supply was having "issues" when I wrote the original post.  My breasts felt totally empty (like after I weaned my DD!) for several hours.  And there was no milk coming out - didn't see milk in DS' mouth, didn't hear him swallow, DS would frantically suck for a minute and then cry, and continue.  I drank the 16 oz before, during, and after workout, so I don't think I overdid it by that much.  Maybe shower?  Maybe separation?  Though, I do leave him at preschool nursery for 2 hours during DD's school regularly and DS didn't have separation induced nursing issues there... 

 

Anyways, even if I never figure it out, I guess I won't have to.  Things are A-OK now (hopefully they will continue to be) and I am definitely continuing to exercise. 

 

BTW, I'm totally inspired by marathon training PP!  ;-)


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