How To Protect Your Milk Supply When Starting To Workout Postpartum

How To Protect Your Milk Supply When Starting To Workout Postpartum

Working out postpartum is essential for rebuilding your body, improving your mood and feeling healthy again after baby arrives. Many new mamas fear that their workouts are going to affect their milk supply, or have experienced a drop in milk supply once they started working out. If you have a low milk supply naturally, you may think working out is out of the question all together.

If you are looking for the post-workout lactation shake, scroll to the bottom for the recipe!

At Milk Dust, we aim to help new mommies not only boost their milk supply, but also properly nourish their bodies to function and thrive postpartum.

We have some of the best tips to help you protect your milk supply while starting your workout routine – so you can workout, and have your milk too.

Start using milk supply boosters:

One of the best things you can do if you are planning on working out is to use milk-supply boosters to encourage your supply while you start working out. There are many milk-supply boosters on the market, and finding the best one for you is going to be key.

Some things to look for in a milk-supply booster:

  • Fenugreek: for most women, and according to studies, Fenugreek is one of the top herbs for milk supply. Of course everyone has different reactions, but this is a great herb to start with.
  • Fennel Seed: Another great herb used for centuries to encourage milk supply and breast health
  • Red Raspberry Leaf: Promotes hormonal health, which is the center of a thriving milk supply
  • Brewers Yeast: This is high in B vitamins, which has been linked to a higher milk supply
  • Milk Thistle: Another herb that has been used to increase milk supply for centuries, in addition to promoting breast health.

Of course, Milk Dust has all these herbs, in addition to micro and macro nutrients a postpartum mama needs. If you find ways to increase your milk supply as you start working out, this will help prevent a drop in supply with added exercise.

Start with low-impact strength training:

Low-impact strength training like Pilates-based workouts are going to increase muscle and stamina, without the added cortisol increase that can happen with cardio or HIIT workouts. When cortisol increases in our bodies due to stress, both physical and mental, it can throw off some of our other hormones and chemical balances needed for lactation.

Jumping into an intense HIIT or cardio program can alter your chemical balances and increase stress in your body, thus making it harder to produce milk.

Start by adding Pilates work and walking for the first month or so of your workout routine. This will build back your muscle, help you heal your abdominal muscles and still give your body the activity it needs.

Eat a nutrient-dense diet with milk-boosting foods:

The foundation of our theory is that nutrition and nutrients are essential to healing postpartum and producing a healthy milk supply. Milk Dust offers specific nutrients like L-Methylfolate and vitamin B12 to encourage healing and energy, and there are many foods that are very helpful for your milk supply. Focusing on foods with lots of antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and fiber are going to keep you full, satisfied and encourage your milk supply while you work out.

Some awesome foods to promote your milk supply while working out:

  • Avocado: These blend SO WELL with Milk Dust, and also make a great post-workout snack to give your body fiber, healthy fats and a creamy satisfaction.
  • Sweet potato: Full of beta-carotene, healthy fiber, low-sugar carbs and a very satisfying snack when roasted with salt and pepper.
  • Berries: All your berries are full of antioxidants and nutrients that are wonderful for breastfeeding. Throw them in a smoothie with avocado and Milk Dust, and it is so quick and delicious!
  • Lean protein: Lean protein is the cornerstone to staying full and maintaining muscle. Milk Dust is a great source of lean protein, as well as ground turkey and chicken. Milk Dust offers a source of protein that allows you to satisfy those sweet cravings that are so difficult while nursing.

By filling your daily diet with healthy smoothies, salads and nutrient-dense foods, you are supporting your milk supply, as well as combating postnatal depletion.

If you want more information on nutrition during breastfeeding, we have a free ebook that goes into more detail on what to eat, what nutrients you need and how to properly nourish yourself postpartum.

Add in some baby-carrying workouts:

Believe it or not, having baby close to you, and skin-to-skin is one way to help increase your milk supply. By incorporating your baby into your workout, you are keeping the skin-to-skin contact necessary to keep the pheromones thriving and working strong.

There are many exercises you can do with baby in a wrap or carrier, and the added weight makes for a perfect strength workout. Some of these moves include squats, lunges, arm weights with dumbbells, marching in place for heart rate and walking.

Add in more feeding sessions:

If you add more feeding sessions with your new workout plan, you are increasing your demand. This will increase your supply as you begin your workout plan. We suggest adding more skin-to-skin feeding sessions, rather than pump sessions if possible to really encourage that milk supply to pump up.

By feeding more as you begin your workout routine, you can ensure your milk supply gets a boost as you start. Depending on your baby and body, it may be necessary that you keep these extra feedings for a while, as your body adjusts to the extra physical activity.

Never skip your post-workout snack:

We highly suggest our Milk Dust smoothies as your post-workout meal or snack, and we never want you to skip this important meal. Especially if you’ve experienced a low milk supply before, or struggled with working out and breastfeeding.

The perfect post-workout snack for breastfeeding mamas includes:

  • Healthy fruits and veggies for fiber, nutrients and antioxidants
  • Lean protein like Milk Dust, clean deli meat, lean ground turkey or chicken
  • High-fiber carbs like roasted sweet potato, quinoa and oatmeal
  • Healthy fats like avocado, nuts and beans

It can be hard to combine all these foods into the perfect snack, which is why we suggest this post-workout smoothie for breastfeeding mamas.

The Perfect Post-Workout Shake for Breastfeeding Mamas

Perfect Post-Workout Lactation Smoothie

This is the perfect post-workout shake for breastfeeding mamas wanting to start their workout routine, but also protect their milk supply.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lactation, lactation shake, lactation smoothie, post-workout smoothie

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Milk Dust
  • 1 cup Frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 cup Milk of choice

Instructions

  • Blend together and enjoy immediately.

Notes

lactation smoothie post-workout

This is an awesome, simple smoothie that blends super creamy, has all the nutrients you need after a workout, and will protect your milk supply when you start working out again. 

Use code LACTATION for 10% off your first order, and make sure to follow all of these tips to keep your milk supply up and thriving as you begin your postpartum workout routine.

The 5 Best Postpartum Abs Exercises To Correct Diastasis Recti

The 5 Best Postpartum Abs Exercises To Correct Diastasis Recti

Postpartum exercises are very important to healing and correcting the ab separation that is natural during pregnancy. Many mothers are sent home from the hospital with a sheet of simple exercises with little explanation.

As new research and expertise develops in the field of postpartum recovery, new exercises emerge as the top exercises you can do at home to help you heal your mommy pooch. Here at Milk Dust, we encourage healing postpartum through supporting your body with proper nutrition. We also believe firmly in a well-rounded approach to healing that involves caring for your body through healing and corrective movements. Correcting diastasis recti isn’t the full store of getting rid of the mommy pooch. Much of the pooch is also losing weight while breastfeeding, which we have an in-depth post on how to do that as well.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Before we get started on the moves to correct diastasis recti, it is important to fully understand what it is. During pregnancy, the ab muscles separate to allow room for the growing uterus and baby. After the baby is born, breastfeeding stimulates the uterus to contract back to its normal size. As the uterus contracts, the ab muscles can come back together as well. This process takes time, and it is normal to have separation in the first few months of the fourth trimester. During this time, there are some amazing exercises you can do to help repair the ab separation and encourage them to come back together.

Multiple pregnancies means you need these exercises even more:

Having multiple pregnancies causes the thin tissue or fascia that holds your abs together to weaken. Because the fascia gets stretched it isn’t able to hold your abdominal muscles together as closely. Without the extra pull of the mesh between your inner abs, there can be a remaining pooch after multiple babies. This can be rectified to a smaller gap with continuous posture and exercise work, and it is most beneficial to do these in the beginning.

The Top 5 Postpartum Abdominal Exercises To Close The Gap

Standing Vacuum Breaths:

It is very important to practice these vacuum breaths while standing because standing is a functional position. Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and relaxed shoulders. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale pull your abs in as far as you can and hold. Hold as long as you before taking another inhale. Relax on the inhale, pull your abs in on the exhale. Make sure you are filling your lungs in your rib cage with air when you inhale. Perform 10-20 of these every morning. You can do them in the shower or while watching TV.

Pelvic Tilts:

Pelvic tilts are very helpful to retraining the abdominal muscles to come back together. Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Let your arms lie next to your sides. Take a deep breath in, then as you exhale, pull your abs in and tuck your pelvis in. Think of zipping up your abs and hold. Then relax your pelvis back down as you inhale again. The key is to contract your abs as you exhale on all the moves. Do 10-20 of these every morning.

Heel Slides:

After your pelvic tilts, while still lying on your back, slide one heel out, so your leg is straight. This is done on the exhale. Inhale as you bring your heel back in. While you exhale and extend the other heel, pull your abs in and control your pelvis. You can use a towel or wear socks to make the heel slide easier. Do 10 slides on each leg.

Bridges:

Continuing on your back, after your heel slides, you can go right into bridges. Start exactly as you are doing a pelvic tilt, but as you tilt bridge your hips up into the air and hold there. You can inhale at the top, keeping your hips up, then exhale, pull your abs in and slowly bring your body back down, one vertebrae at a time. Moving slowly back down allows you to practice controlling the movement with your abs. This is reinforcing the mind-muscle connection that is essential for repair.

Posture Work Against Wall:

For this exercise, you want to go back to standing and use a wall to help. Learning proper posture again after baby arrives is really important to strengthening the abs. When standing against the wall, slide your heels back so they are touching the wall, Roll your shoulders back to touch the wall as well. Pull your upper abdominal muscles in, but do not tuck your pelvis under. There should be a small gap between the wall and your lower back where there is a natural arch. Practice your vacuum breaths in this position. Make sure the back of your head is back touching the wall as well. During pregnancy and holding a new baby tends to pull our necks and shoulders forward and encourage a slouch and pooch. This helps correct that.

Consistency is key with these exercises.

The only way for these exercises to be truly beneficial is to be done consistently over weeks and months. It was 9 months of stretching, and more if you’ve had more babies. This is a natural trauma to the abs, that requires consistent restorative work. Adding this work into your workout routine as a warm up will bring the best results. If you are newly postpartum, creating a morning routine with these exercises will help repair the separation faster and develop more strength for exercising again after 6 weeks.

Losing fat is also essential to reducing the pooch.

If you don’t lose the extra weight gained during pregnancy, the ab separation will repair, but there will still be a pooch of extra fat and skin. The skin won’t go away, but the fat can, and it is possible to lose weight while breastfeeding. Milk Dust is the perfect protein powder to help you lose the weight and keep up your milk supply.