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Breastfeeding and Exercise: Here’s Everything a Breastfeeding Mom Needs to Know

It is a known fact that breastfeeding provides complete nutrition for infants up to 6 months of age, which is why WHO and other medical bodies recommend exclusive breastfeeding during this period and continued breastfeeding until 2 years old.

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As a nurse and first-time mother, you should know some health benefits of breastfeeding. According to Dr. Sreenath Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatologist, Kauvery Hospital, Electronic City, Bangalore, breastfeeding can reduce vaginal bleeding and hasten the contraction of the uterus to pre-pregnancy size.

“The energy used to produce breastmilk accelerated weightloss and a return to pre-pregnancy weight. Natural fertility is reduced, which temporarily reduces (but does not eliminate) the likelihood of another pregnancy. Breastfeeding also creates a strong mother-baby bond,” he says.

The doctor adds that breastfeeding also benefits the baby. “Nutritional quantity and quality are assured because all nutrients are present in the most appropriate and easily digestible form,” he says, adding that the temperature of breast milk is suitable for the baby and that there is little or no risk of bacteria. contamination.

“Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of infections like gastroenteritis, ear infections, pneumonia. The infant controls intake through responsive feeding and this decreases the risk of allergy and eczema.

But what role does exercise play when it comes to breastfeeding?

Explain the benefits of exercise while breastfeeding, Dr. Manikanti says that the mother has more energy. “Being a new mom can be exhausting, and moderate exercise helps build energy reserves when you’re nursing into the wee hours of the night.”

The next thing to know is that exercise “improves a mother’s health and has a positive effect on her emotional well-being.” According to the doctor, it can help prevent postpartum depressionwhich affects 1 in 9 mothers, according to the CDC.

Exercise can also increase the production of ‘prolactin’, the hormone responsible for the production of breast milk. “Studies have shown that calorie-restricted exercise is associated with weight loss and fat loss in lactating females. It helps mothers return to pre-pregnancy weight faster. It also improves bone health by decreasing bone loss.

Staying hydrated is also important for breastfeeding mothers. They need to make sure they drink enough water before and after training, the doctor concludes.

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