Are you a breastfeeding mom who also likes to swim? Have you given up swimming of late because you are not sure whether it is safe while nursing your baby or not?
Swimming is a great post-natal exercise to keep your body fit and healthy. It is a good way to burn off those pregnancy kilos and stay in shape. If you are breastfeeding and want to swim, read on to know all about breastfeeding and swimming.
Is It Safe To Swim While Breastfeeding?
The rule of thumb you need to follow while breastfeeding is, if it is okay for your baby to do, it is okay for you too. There are a few concerns you may have regarding swimming while breastfeeding. Let us take a quick look.
1. Swimming Can Make Me Thin And Make Me Produce Less Milk:
Swimming helps you lose knock-off the extra kilos you piled on during pregnancy. Your doctor will give you the green signal for swimming as long as you are not feeling weak and are in the recommended weight bracket. Do ensure you regularly get your weight checked. Becoming thin will not directly change the quantity of breast milk you produce. If you are healthy and take a good diet, you will produce enough breast milk for your baby.
2. Swimming In Chlorinated Water Can Dry Out My Nipples:
Being in chlorinated water can be dehydrating for your skin including your nipples. Always take a shower once you have finished swimming. If you feel there is additional dryness, invest in a safe and effective nipple care cream. Apply this after you have fed your baby so that your baby does not end up swallowing it while feeding.
[ Read: Safe Drugs While Breastfeeding ]
3. The Cold Water Can Affect My Breast Milk Production:
Sometimes being in very cold water can make your body go into shock or stress mode. It can lead to a reduction in the levels of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin is a natural chemical that helps breast milk flow. Swimming does not reduce the levels of breast milk, but stress can. Usually after stepping out of the pool when you are properly dry and dressed your body heat levels will come back to normal. Therefore, it should not affect your breast milk levels. If you still feel that cold water is causing stress to your body, you may try swimming in heat-regulated pools.
4. Swimming Too Much Can Change The Taste Of My Breast Milk:
Swimming does not change the taste of your breast milk. However, exhaustion after exercising may increase the lactic acid buildup and change the taste of your breast milk. Swimming without exerting yourself too much is a safe way to rule out lactic acid buildup.
[ Read: Toxins In Breastmilk ]
Points To Remember For Swimming While Breastfeeding:
Once you decide to go ahead with swimming, here are a few things you should keep in mind when you have decided to practice swimming when breastfeeding:
- Always breastfeed your baby before you swim
- Regularly check your nipples each day to look for excessive dryness or cracks
- Use a good nipple care cream
- Always wear a bra that will offer good support while swimming
- Always shower after swimming
- Stay hydrated
- In the case of any dizziness or discomfort come out of the pool immediately
- Make sure the pool is clean
- Do not swim if you are not well
[ Read: How Breast Milk Is Produced ]
Benefits Of Swimming:
Swimming will help you stay fit in the following ways:
- Build endurance levels, muscle strength
- Help in cardiovascular fitness
- Prevent obesity
Swimming is a great way to stay fit and prevent post-natal depression. It is also a great way to introduce your baby to the pool once your baby is ready.
Check with your doctor before you start swimming after the delivery. It is advisable to wait for at least two to three months after delivery to let your body heal completely.
If you are a new mom who loves her swim, share with us your experience and advice.
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