One of the most common reasons why postpartum mothers choose not to exercise is because they are worried about their milk supply decreasing. This is how you feed your baby and that is a totally valid concern! But it is not entirely true that exercising causes a decrease in your milk supply. There are 3 likely causes that coincide with exercise that can be fixed!
But first we need to remember 3 things that largely impact your milk supply (outside of genetics and hormones of course):
Water, Water, Water
Hydration is a huge part of your milk production! If you are dehydrated you are going to see a decrease in your milk supply. Not drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout can cause issues with your supply. So make sure to drink lots of water!
When you workout you are burning calories and you need those calories when breastfeeding. I don't know about you but I was always hungry while breastfeeding! So try to remember to eat an extra snack or two to help replace those calories you just burned.
Unfortunately there is no exact amount of calories I can tell you to eat to make up for an exercise session. Everyones body reacts differently so some might just need a snack and some might need a whole meal. This is where you might have to do a little trial and error. If you feel like you are seeing a drop in supply with exercise but are plenty hydrated and have had a snack, try to eat a little more. My favorite after workout lactation snack was the oatmeal protein balls! Oatmeal is a food that has shown to help increase milk supply in many women. I also loved to add a little Chai seeds to mine!
When you workout and are breastfeeding, you definitely need a really good tight supportive sports bra, trust me! But wearing the constrictive sports bra for longer than you need to can also cause a lot of uncomfortableness and could potentially cause clogged ducts. So it's super important to take that sports bra off once you are done. Get back into that comfy nursing bra!
If you are wanting to try a workout class meant for postpartum mothers you can always try a StrollerBurn class at FitFam Kenosha!