Effect of Exercise on Breast milk

So with all this running I’ve been doing it got me wondering if I am negatively affecting my milk supply and if my baby was still receiving adequate nourishment (I think I was just looking for reasons NOT to train for this half marathon). This led me to do some research! Yes, I know… of course I’m a nerd like that but I didn’t become an evidence-based practitioner for nothing…this is how we roll! So let me share with you bits and pieces of what I learned.

women after long run

In summary, breastfeeding is not negatively affected by exercise whether it be prolonged cardiovascular exercise or moderate to high intensity training. There is some evidence that lactic acid levels increase if you feed your baby immediately after a high intensity workout (Carey & Quinn, 2001), which could cause a change in the taste of the milk but has no negative effects on the baby and most of the time they don’t notice. Even then, you would have to REALLY exert yourself to see this kind of change in milk composition.

In terms of milk supply, as long as adequate fluid and calorie intake is achieved exercise has no negative effect on milk supply (Dewy et al., 1994). This is what I was most worried about because after my long run last week I tried to pump afterwards and got very little! Which was stressful obviously! Of course I panicked, and then my husband reminded me that I just fed her before I left so it had only been a little over an hour and a half. Duh, that makes sense. Also, my own personal hypothesis is this… your body probably puts milk production on hold while exercising because it is using the energy for your muscles, BUT most likely makes up for it later in the day.

When the composition of breast milk was studied it was also found that there was no change in immune factors (such as SigA, lactoferrin, and lysozyme), major minerals (calcium, phosphorus, etc) and major nutrients (fat, protein, lactose) (Fly, Uhlin, Wallace, 1998).

I also found this to be super interesting ….

“ recreational athletes who performed an average of 88 minutes per day of aerobic exercise during the 6 months of breastfeeding had less body fat and produced a slightly greater quality and quantity of milk than postpartum non-exercising women” (Lovelady et al., 1990)

So pretty much because I am exercising I am producing higher quality and quantity of milk as well as reaping all the other benefits of postpartum exercise such as; decreased incidence of depression, decreased stress, improved mood and behaviour and increased weight loss. Guess this half- marathon training is paying off for everyone, including my baby & husband!

Now I have to add, after my quick literature review I did find there is definitely  room for further research on the subject, a lot of the studies were from the 90’s and came from the same few researchers, but it’s just not a very highly studied topic so have to take what I could get!

So there is it, you can put your mind at rest…. breastfeeding and exercise are actually a good combo! Few things to remember…be sure to keep your fluid intake up, especially if it is a hot day out! It’s crucial to replace everything that you sweat out to avoid dehydration. I aim for 16 cups of water a day, and I usually have a coconut water or electrolyte beverage if it’s a day where I particularly sweat a lot. Also, losing 0.5-1lb a week while breastfeeding is perfectly healthy but you don’t want to lose too much weight too fast so be sure to replace some of the calories burned by exercise by having an extra snack afterwards.

In fitness & good health,

Natasha

Sources

Carey GB, Quinn TJ 2001, Exercise and lactation: are they compatible? Can J Appl Phys 26(1): 55–74.

Dewy K, Lovelady C, Nommsen–Rivers L, McCrory M, Lonnerdal B 1994, A randomised study of the effects of aerobic exercise by lactating women on breast-milk volume and composition. New Engl J Med 330: 449–453.

Fly AD, Uhlin KL, Wallace JP 1998, Major mineral concentrations in human milk do not change after maximal exercise testing. Am J Clin Nutr 68(2):345–9.

Lovelady C, Lonnerdal B, Dewey K. Lactation performance of exercising women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;52:103–9.

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Santa Barbara Hikes

So there are only a few days left in March! Crazy how the time flies. In terms of how I am doing with my March Madness personal challenge, I am pretty happy where I stand right now! I have been continuing to eat fairly clean, been working out 4-5x/week and getting walks in on my off days.

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to explore different areas of Santa Barbara, this week we went for walks at Shoreline Park down to east beach, met some clients at La Mesa Park, and did a hike in Montecito! Really hoping to finish this month strong and make these last few days count.

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What’s on the agenda tomorrow? 6 mile run. This should be interesting. My swolemate convinced me that I should sign up for a half marathon with her on Mothers Day. I am not much of a runner, but I must admit I feel different now, running has become slightly easier. Mind you, running after having a baby still feels strange ‘down below’ but I think that’s due to my core still needing some work. I used to HATE running because my hips would hurt, my lungs would hurt, and it was just an awful experience, there was no runners high for me! So this is definitely a new challenge.  If tomorrow’s run goes well I will be on track to finish 13 miles at the beginning of May!

family hiking in montecito

santa barbara beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy the pictures! 3 MORE DAYS of March, I will check in with my final measurements and set new goals for April!

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Product Review: Mika Yoga Wear

Product Review:

Mika Yoga Clothing

mika yoga wear

So I will start by saying I am a very loyal Lululemon customer. I blame it on the fact that I am from Canada, working in the fitness industry for so long, and taking advantage of the 15% discount. This has left me with quite the collection of workout clothes! That being said, my ‘after baby’ body is a little different so some of my stuff wasn’t fitting right. I decided to branch out and try something new, and hey, it’s an excuse to buy new stuff!

After seeing it on instagram I looked into this new(er) brand, Mika. You can check our their website here. After stalking their website for a couple weeks I decided to finally take the plunge and order something! I immediately regretted it, how could I ever love other yoga clothes as much as I love my lulus? On a side note, I tell my husband about this ‘new brand’ and he informs me that his friend and his wife just randomly happen to be the people behind it! Small world…I feel like I personally know a celebrity now! Haha, so let me start off by saying Mr. S, you and your wife have definitely impressed me. Here is my honest review of the Mika yoga clothes I purchased.

First off I bought the Aerial Capri in size M/L in Amazonite (teal), and the Tula Top in pink ribbon (hot pink). The price point is amazing, most items range from $15-70, which means I can get an entire outfit for the price of one pair of lulu pants, AND things actually go on sale! I was pleasantly surprised with the fast shipping, nice quality fabric, and good workmanship of the clothes as I took them out of the package.

mika yoga wear

What I love

– Great colors and prints, I am OBSESSED with teal blue so the pants were the perfect color.
– Good stretch to the fabric, held up well in the wash, looks clean and professional
– Pants are not see through! They are a heavy but comfy material that doesn’t stretch too much and show through when you bend over.
– Top can double as a bathing suit! How awesome. I should mention that a lot of their clothes are designed for hot yoga, so this is a great feature!
– Got me through my workout wicking away sweat and looking cute to boot.
– Free shipping over $100
– Love that they take customer feedback and make changes accordingly! I ordered the old style Tula top, but there was feedback that it wasn’t suitable for large breasted women so they revamped it and released a new style…how great!
– Top is adjustable and ties in the back! This is great for a perfect fit every time (which I have noticed is a problem with other tops since I have been nursing).
– These clothes are not just for yoga, definitely suitable for all kinds of activities.

What I don’t love…

– The sizing is kind of funky. I am usually a size 6, so I looked at their size chart and ordered the size M/L pants accordingly. Maybe it’s just my body shape but I found them to fit quite small (felt like they were pulling down the back a little) so I would probably go with a L/XL, but then that just makes me feel bad since I’ve never been an XL in my life!
– I liked the idea of wearing the top as a bathing suit but didn’t see any bottoms on the site that would be suitable to match. Now this may be just me because I’m picky like that.
– Lastly, the colors were slightly different than what I expected from the online pictures… but I loved them more in person!

Overall I give them two thumbs up. Love the product, love the price. Just ordered myself some more! I’m excited to add some variety to my workout wardrobe, and im loving the bright colors for spring!

Check them out on instagram #MikaYogaWear they have awesome yogi ambassadors showing off their clothes!!

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Protect Your Back – Vol 3. Posture and Positioning

Okay, for my last blog post in the protect your back series, I wanted to focus on preventative care, and the importance changing habits to prevent pain and future problems!

‘Posture’

is a big word we hear a lot but never think much about. How do you stand? sit? walk? What is your posture like? Staying in the same position for long periods of time (such as sitting all day at work) can put added strain and stress on your spine and cause big problems down the line!

bad posture (click image for source)
Some common postures that are problematic to new mothers include
– Breastfeeding (hunched over, looking down)
– Cradling the baby (standing, forward head, rounded shoulders)
– Holding the baby (swayed back, hip bones forward, forward head)

Some Tips To Try
– Use a nursing pillow, this personally never worked for me, but it does for some people!
– Recline back while feeding to relax your shoulders.
– Prop your elbow up on a pillow or armrest for support while holding the baby.
– Be aware of your posture, set visual cues around the house, for example everytime you walk by a mirror you pull your shoulders back.
– While standing with the baby keep moving, static standing is worse than walking around.
– Get in your stretches daily!

How can this be fixed?!

Seek our a professional to assist with correcting your posture and teaching you ways to work on this at home. Bad posture is a bad habit and can take a lot of work, concentration, and time to correct.

I highly recommend Chiropractic care, check out these great resources from Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic. If you are in the Santa Barbara area Dr. Nick is excellent and I highly recommend him! He helped me greatly throughout my pregnancy and is consistently working to expand his knowledge to help others. He offers wellness chiropractic, pain relief, chiropractic for kids, nutritional counselling, and prenatal chiropractic. Contact them today to set up a consultation!

The following was used with permission from SBFC!

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SPINE BY REPLACING BAD HABITS WITH GOOD!

Replacing bad habits is an important step in holding your healthier chiropractic adjustment patterns longer = better results faster.

Action Step #1: Have a co-worker/friend/family member take 2-4 pics of you at your work/hobby station in any position you are in for more than 2 hours /day (one picture from side and one from behind – per position)

Action Step #2: Email pictures to support@sb-fc.com so that Dr. Nick will make notes and review with you!

Action Step #3: Watch the following videos.

HOW TO SIT/DRIVE:

https://yourhealthbuddy.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/you-can-drive-4000-miles-without-back-pain/

HOW TO SLEEP

https://sbfamilychiro.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/restful-sleep-isnt-a-myth-just-do-it-right/

HOW TO LIFT SAFELY

https://sbfamilychiro.wordpress.com/tag/good-posture/

Action Step #4: Practice! Begin replacing unsafe movement/postures with good movement/postures. Remember this takes time and awareness is the first step!

Health = Freedom
Nicholas Araza DC CCWP CFL1; Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic; 805-682-4620 / www.santabarbarafamilychiropractic.com

 

In fitness & good health,

Natasha

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Mommy Thumb

DeQuervain’s Tendinitis (Mommy Thumb)

mommy thumb kinesiotaping
Many of my postpartum mama’s have a difficult time working out after pregnancy due to pain in their wrists! Some people have lingering carpal tunnel symptoms due to swelling during pregnancy while others develop DeQuervain’s Tendonitis. What is this? It is a “painful inflammation of tendons in the thumb that extend to the wrist…The result is pain at the base of the thumb and extending into the lower arm”(WebMD).

What Causes This?

Residual swelling from pregnancy, overuse, direct injury, repetitive grasping (such as lifting up your baby) can all cause pain and inflammation in the tendons. It affects women more than men 80% of the time.

Symptoms

Pain along the back of the thumb and into the forearm.
Swelling or pain at the wrist
Difficulty picking up or grasping items
Pain when moving thumb
mommy thumb

How Can this be Helped?

– A wrist splint can be worn in order to immobilize the affected area and allow the tendon to heal.
– A splint should only be worn in severe cases as 4-6 weeks of immobilization will result in weakness and need for rehabilitation afterwards.
– Ice can be applied for swelling and pain relief
– Kinesiotape can be applied to increase blood flow, promote healing, and offload the tension on the tendon. See my video below on how to apply the tape! Be sure to check out my previous Kinesiotaping video here before you begin for additional information.

Instructions
– Cut a piece of Kinesiotape (you can buy some here) approximately 6” long in half and round off the edges, make a hole in one end.
– Cut a shorter piece (3” long) and round off the edges, cut a slit in one half to make two tails.
– With no tension apply end with hole to the nailbed of the thumb.
– With wrist abducted (UP from table) apply other end to forearm.
– Bring wrist into a neutral position, relax the thumb and press down the rest of the tape.
– Take your second piece and apply the fat side to the inside of your wrist
– With 50% tension pull each tail around your wrist to the other side, being sure to not apply tension to the end of the tape.
– Take a piece of paper and rub it along all of the tape to activate the adhesive.
– Word of advice – much better if you shave your arm first!

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