One of the most common questions I get asked is - “Am I OK to be doing high intensity fitness training when I’m nursing?”
My quick answer is “Yes!” I personally have two super healthy “fat” babies that were exclusively breast fed until 7/8 months old.
The longer answer, however, is going to have to come from you - for you. Always do what makes sense and feels right. Keeping in mind that every body is different and it is imperative that you learn to listen to yours. Having said that, I am going to share a bit more information about my experience in hopes of helping you choose what’s right for you and your baby.
My first thought after having my son and getting back into exercise was lactic acid production. Like pretty much everything in mama’s body, lactic acid can find its way into our milk. And for me, not wanting a gassy baby (who ever would) was important, so my workouts are always timed around baby’s feeding schedule.
Next was identifying my “why” - I had just grown and given birth to the most beautiful human, so I knew my body was amazing. This was the first time in my life I was absolutely sure there was nothing wrong with my body, and it did not need to change to look a certain way.
Fitness is more about capability as opposed to vanity. As a mama, I want to feel strong and confident in my ability to take care of my family. I want to be resilient and healthy, not skinny. This means there is no need to be stressing or spending hours trying to burn fat in a gym. My workouts are strength based and generally 30 minutes or less. I focus on getting stronger, fueling my body as needed, and the getting fit part just happens.
Now fueling with good quality food and again listening to your body is essential. Breast milk is basically fat, so it’s important that you keep up your intake. Your body will be craving it, using it and wanting more.
Like any other time in life, if you focus on the quality of your food (nutrient dense) then there is no need to count calories. This of course is even more relative here. If your body wants fat, eat it. Just make sure that what you are consuming is something you want to be the building blocks of your baby’s growth.
So here is a quick run down of my typical day with respect to fitness and nutrition from the time baby is 6 weeks old until present...yes, I’m still nursing at 16 months old! 🙂
WAKE UP - my babies are naturally early risers
While nursing baby, I start my day with about 750ml water plus 1/2 cup orange juice, trace minerals and himalayan salt
615am (ish) - my babies are fed
WORKOUT - ELXFIT in my living room most days
BREAKFAST - Some sort of homemade cereal (muesli) mixture (whole grains/sprouted nuts and seeds) with homemade cream kefir (about 40% milk fat) and homemade yogurt
BREAKFAST Round 2 - 2 pasture raised eggs + homemade sauerkraut + yams (cooked in
LUNCH / SNACK - Leftovers from dinner the night before or high fat homemade muffins with butter and veggies
FAMILY DINNER - Often a large salad with roast chicken (and, yes, I do rip off the skin and eat all the crispy skin piece by piece with my little guy while it cools - YUMMY!). And of course fat,
Fat and more fat - all of my salads are likely to include a whole avocado (per serving), feta
cheese (the real Greek - sheep stuff), dates and nuts or seeds (sprouted). Another typical dinner would be homemade hamburgers on sourdough buns with a salad.
Dark chocolate and homemade kombucha.
**I always eat more if I’m hungry**
That’s pretty much it - Eat, Feed, Workout, Live Life and Repeat....