Breastfeeding and sport

PUBLISHED 1 August 2021

5 minutes reading

Doing sport and breastfeeding is possible!

misconception number 2: If I breastfeed, I'll have to say goodbye to my favourite activities.

If you are a young, sporty, energetic woman with activities and passions, you may think that breastfeeding is not a good idea. This is another misconception about breastfeeding.

Physiologically, there is nothing to prevent you from being active while breastfeeding

Physical activity does not affect the quality, quantity or taste of breast milk.

One study addressed this issue and assessed the impact of exercise in breastfeeding women (Dewey et al, 1994). Women were randomly assigned to a control group and a regular moderate exercise group for twelve weeks. The study showed that there was no difference between the two groups in terms of milk composition or infant growth.

If you are playing sport, you just need to make sure you are sufficiently hydrated, but this applies whether you are breastfeeding or not.

sport and breastfeeding

According to Léa Bertrand, a gynaecologist in Brest, breastfeeding and sport are two completely compatible activities and there are no adverse effects. It can even indirectly contribute to reducing the risk of post-partum depression, since doing an activity you enjoy will generate pleasure and release endorphins. This will act as a virtuous circle since breastfeeding, when it goes well, is as positive for the mother as for her baby.

Doing your favourite activity during pregnancy and after giving birth is a really good idea

Indeed, combining sport and breastfeeding has many benefits. First of all, it is good for your morale.

Of course, it is advisable to start gradually and to move towards gentle activities such as swimming, yoga, pilates, paddle or walking. The important thing is to avoid activities that put pressure on the perineum or have an impact.

Walking or swimming will allow you to regain confidence in your body, to reappropriate it and to relieve certain pains that may have appeared during pregnancy (backache or joint pain due to weight, for example). It can also help you get back to your ideal weight. But there is no pressure to do this, and you should not choose to breastfeed with the aim of losing weight, as every woman reacts differently.

How to combine sport and breastfeeding?

I went swimming again 3 weeks after my delivery, a real moment for me, I still remember it as if it was yesterday, it felt so good to take those moments and move.

I also remember perfectly going for a cross-country skiing session with some friends: I was a bit worried that my daughter was hungry so I left when she had just fallen asleep. When I came back 3 hours later, she was still sleeping, in the same position. She hadn't moved, nothing to worry about!

breastfeeding and sport hiking

Soon enough I was pumping regularly (about once a day) with a rented breast pump. I always had a supply in the freezer because the milk can be stored in small bags. You just have to defrost it under hot water and it can be consumed immediately. But most of the time I could sneak away between feeds and still have time for a workout.

If you don't have a solution to keep your baby for an hour or two, online platforms and courses have multiplied (thanks to covid!) You can for example turn to those of Yoginmama or SANTAMILA who has just become a mother herself and was one of the first testers of the nomadic cushion.

Baby can also become your partner in adventure!

Our last piece of advice is not to forbid yourself from going out and taking your baby on your adventures as often as possible! What a joy it is to be able to do the things you love by sharing them with your little one.

A short hike: opt for a baby carrier, like the ones from Mama Hangs or a physiological baby carrier like the one Mero Mero is about to release.

For an adventure in the mountains, on a boat, in a van or on a bike, we have the solution with our Liberty cushion and our Freemum nappy: they were born of this desire to continue to live passionately, without parentheses or compromises, for all sorts of experiences while helping mothers to breastfeed as comfortably as at home.

photo me with cushion in the snow ( plateau des glières, winter 2019 )

breastfeeding guide

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Doing sport and breastfeeding is possible!