Friday, July 01, 2005

Breastfeeding and Exercise

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association announced in its July issue that moderate exercise in lactating women does not compromise the quality of their breast milk, so long as women consume enough long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in "vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and fatty fish like salmon and tuna."

But what about immunity passed through the breast milk, you ask? Doesn't exercise effect that? Well a group of researchers asked just that question two years ago and found that while levels of immunoglobulin A were lower in the breast milk of women who exercised to exhaustion, they were not significantly lower in women who exercised moderately (e.g. 30 min, 3x/wk.). Not surprisingly, however, the women who exercised did have healthier cardiovascular systems than those women who didn't. And at no cost to their nursing babies.

And if you are worried that the lactic acid from your workout will spoil your milk's flavor, think again. Scientists gave pre- and post-workout breast milk to babies. The babies accepted both batches equally.

My point? Breastfeeding mothers should not let concerns over their baby's health, comfort or nutrition keep them from exercising.

Now the bouncing is another story. Thankfully they make articles to address that.


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