Lose Weight While Maintaining Your Milk Supply

You're a breastfeeding mom and you still have nine months of pregnancy weight hanging around after the birth of your baby. How can you successfully lose the extra pounds while still maintaining a healthy milk supply for your little one? How many calories are needed to keep you supply and what are some healthy meals to help your keep on track? Plus, how to keep your body from producing too much lactic acid.

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Featured Segments

  • The Best Online Breastfeeding Resources

    There’s a lot of breastfeeding information online. What are the most reliable sites for the best breastfeeding support? What are some great sites where you can network with other breastfeeding moms?

  • Ask Breastfeeding Experts

    Our team of experts are here to help you throughout your breastfeeding journey. Send your questions through email or voicemail sent through our website, and allow our experts to ease your concerns and quench your curiosity!

Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Lose Weight While Maintaining Your Milk Supply

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

Leigh-Ann Webster: With nine months of pregnancy weight hanging around after the birth of her baby, a mother may wonder how in the world is she going to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight while taking care of her newborn child. What is the same amount of weight to lose without compromising on breastfeeding mom’s health and milk supply? I’m Leigh-Ann Webster, owner of 52 Healthy Weeks, certified personal trainer, licensed well coach and nutritional counselor. Today, we’re discussing how to lose weight while breastfeeding and maintaining your milk supply. This is The Boob Group

[Theme Music/Intro]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host, Robin Kaplan. I’m also an international board certified lactation consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group, we’re your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding. Do you have a favorite episode at The Boob Group? If so, give us a call and tell us why you love it so much. All you have to do is call our hotline at 619-866-4775 and leave a message on our voicemail. We’d love to share it on an upcoming episode. Today, I’m joined by two lovely panelists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?

Lori Shomphe: Hi, I’m Lori Shomphe. I’m 34 years old and I’m a stay-at-home mom. I have three children. Jack is 7, Abigail is 4 and Zoe is almost 2.

Norene Ybarra: Good Afternoon! I’m Norene Ybarra. I’m 36 years old. I’m also a stay-at-home mom to Rex Edward and he is 19 months.

Robin Kaplan: Well, welcome to the show ladies.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segment: The Best Online Breastfeeding Resources]

Robin Kaplan: Before we get started with today’s topic, here’s Amber McCann talking about the best online breastfeeding resources.
Amber McCann: Hello Boob Group listeners! I’m Amber McCann. I’m an international board certified lactation consultant and the owner of Nourish Breastfeeding Support just outside of Washington DC. I’m here to answer some of your most common questions when it comes to finding quality breastfeeding resources online such as, I think my breasts just don’t work. I’ve tried everything. Have you ever heard of insufficient glandular tissue or hypoplasia? Neither had I until some few years ago and I eat, sleep and breathe breastfeeding. Recently, my good friend and expert on this condition, Diana Cassar-Uhl was on The Boob Group episode called Breastfeeding and Hypoplasia. It’s episode number 20th, if you want to check it out. Somewhere she says, the boob fairy just didn’t arrive. This condition is where a woman’s breast didn’t develop as they should. It is devastating for many women and many goes through weeks and months after the birth of their babies trying to figure out whether their bodies are functioning as they should.

But, with the power of social media, they’re coming together, brainstorming solutions and finding support. I love https://www.diaryofalactationfailure.blogspot.com. This blog highlights this condition in a really empowering way. The messages that the breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing and that every ounce counts comes through loud and clear. If this sounds like you, you have to be overwhelmed. Check sometime to connect at https://www.diaryofalactationfailure.blogspot.com. Thank you for listening. I’m Amber McCann and I’d love for you to check out my website at https://www.nourishbreastfeeding.com for information on my business and a little bit more about where to get connected with great online breastfeeding support. Or, you can join me on my Facebook page at https://www.Facebook.com/nourishbreastfeeding. Be sure to listen to The Boob Group each week for more fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and how to find great breastfeeding support.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today on The Boob Group, we’re discussing how to lose weight while breastfeeding and maintain your milk supply. Our expert, Leigh-Ann Webster is the owner of 52 Healthy Weeks and a certified personal trainer, licensed well coach and nutritional counselor. Thanks for joining us Leigh- Ann and welcome to the show.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Oh, thanks for having me Robin.

Robin Kaplan: So, Leigh-Ann, when is the appropriate time for a mom with a newborn to begin thinking about losing weight and exercising?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Well, she can actually begin thinking about it in the hospital. But, in terms of actually starting to do something about it, I think the most important thing is to get a doctor’s clearance especially if she’s had a C-Section and I think it’s also really important for her to actually actively start doing something about it. Once her milk supply is in and she has a consistent schedule with her baby and she feels like adding in exercise and, you know, paying more attention to what she’s eating isn’t going to cause added stress in her life.

Robin Kaplan: That’s a really good point to point out just because obviously, establishing a milk supply, establishing a routine with the newborn can be a little bit stressful every once in a while and so, why add more to the pile essentially.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Exactly! And to further answer the question, I think, generally speaking, a woman can begin walking at about two weeks postpartum and with the C-Section though, a lot of times, many doctors won’t give clearance until about 4 to 6 weeks.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, and the amount that they’re walking as well like, I remember two weeks postpartum, I decided to walk a little bit further than around the block and that was pain. For it was pain, not necessarily milk supply, it was pain afterward.

Leigh-Ann Webster: And I actually paid for it in milk supply because that when my son was a newborn, I did not have a lactation consultant and I really didn’t know. So, it would have made a huge difference for me.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah okay! Leigh-Ann about how many calories a day does a mom need to consume to maintain a healthy milk supply?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Well, they’ve done a lot of studies on this and what they found is that when regardless of a woman’s height or weight or age, when her calories drop below 1500 then her milk supply starts to decrease. So, the recommendation is to decrease your calories no more than 15-20% of your daily caloric need but, if that ends up being, so, let’s say, your daily caloric need was 1700 and you decreased it by 15%, you’re gonna drop below 1500 so, you gotta make sure that it stays about 1500.

Robin Kaplan: Okay and I’ve heard also that about 1 pound a week is safe for… a safe week for a mom to lose while she’s breastfeeding and so, can u kind of elude into this why is it not a good idea to lose weight so quickly?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Okay, so, in order to lose a pound a week, you have to have a caloric deficit or enough exercise going on that you’ve got, you’re 500 calories below your daily caloric need. That’s a What and that is gonna take most women below 1500 calories a day so, that means, their milk supply is probably gonna decrease. So, it’s probably a little bit safer to actually try to go for about a half a pound a week and I think the key really is to develop consistent habits. Nourish your body and make sure you’re getting enough sleep and then the best things will fall into place and then the weight will start to come off. But, if you don’t establish the habits and you just, you know, think constantly about “oh, I got to lose that weight. I got to lose the weight.” Your milk supply is gonna go down.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, ladies, when did you start thinking about losing your pregnancy weight after your baby was born, Norene?

Norene Ybarra: I think the most exciting part about breastfeeding was that 20 pounds came off in the first, before you get clearance to exercise. I mean, I got the clearance but in my head I was like, “what’s the matter? I just lost 20 pounds.” [Laughs] So, that was really great for my self-esteem coz you’re worried about it, your body is doing things it’s never done before, you know, if you’re a first time mom and your life and then it was just, I wanted to make sure I got out of the house, I’m a stay-at-home mom and so, I took walks all the time and it was good just to learn to how to transport your child whether I started wearing him or just in the stroller or how to tie him, you know, with breastfeeding and personally eating, how to get out the door in a stroller with or without a dog, kind of thing so, I started losing weight immediately after coz I was breastfeeding. So that helped with trying to figure out what’s my body is saying and doing and so, I was thinking about it immediately and I was walking immediately.

Robin Kaplan: How about you, Lori?

Lori Shomphe: I think it was because each of my deliveries were so different. It depended on each one of them. My first son was a completely uncomplicated C-Section and within 6 weeks I was walking and seriously losing a significant amount of weight. With my second child, I had a VBAC with her, it was fantastic, within, I don’t know, a week, we were doing a good amount of walking and probably by the end of the month I was running again. And then with my third child, I had an emergency C-Section, that was done in a significant fraction, it was 8 and a half months before that, the wound was fully healed. So, there was a lot of time, I was just like, “gosh, I wanted to go to Yoga Class and go for a run” and it just wasn’t a possibility for me at that point. But, I think one of the keys for me is I have a body that holds on to weight as long as I’m lactating and as soon as I’m no longer lactating, I can lose a significant amount of weight. So, for me it’s important to remain as active as I can knowing that ultimately whenever the winning process does happen that we will just come off there very easily.

Robin Kaplan: That’s a really good point. We were talking about this in a Preggie Pals episode about, even though you burn about 300-500 calories a day while you’re breastfeeding, some women drop it off and, you know, and they weigh less than they did before they were pregnant and other women tend to hold on to it until they wean and so, it’s definitely kind of seeing how your body holds on to all of this.

Lori Shomphe: My oldest weaned before the pregnancy of my second child and I lost like 40 pounds in two months. My husband was like, “oh my gosh! Are you okay?” no, that’s all the weight I was holding on to, finally went as soon as he weaned. But, I haven’t had a wean since that. So, I became pregnant with my second child and I’ve been nursing consecutively since then so, ultimately when Zoe weans, the weight will go.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah absolutely, Leigh-Ann, what recommendations do you have to eat enough calories but still support weight loss?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Okay so, I think the main thing is to eat nourishing calories and I know it’s very difficult as a new mom or a lactating mom to because you’ve already got so much going on to, you know, spend the time to cook and do things that are really nourishing. So, some things that I recommend, that are really easy, freeze some vegetables, nuts, nuts are great source of protein and walnuts, in particular, are very high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are very important especially for a nursing mom. Beans, beans are very easy, just open a can of organic beans if you don’t have the time to make them yourself. And, Oatmeal is another good one. So, I think the key is to focus on nourishing foods and also to make the time each week, even if it’s, you know, 30 minutes to organize your refrigerator and make a list of what it is you want to eat during the week and what you need to have on hand.

Robin Kaplan: That’s such an important thing is one other things that I’ve done in the past years so, my kids are older, you know, 5 and 7 but, before I go shopping Sunday morning for some of the stuff that we’re gonna use for school that week, I sit down and think about what I wanna cook that week and a lot of it I actually cook Sunday afternoon because, it’s mellow, no one is really doing anything especially football season, everyone’s watching football, it’s totally fine. But, I find that I can make, you know, a spaghetti sauce, some chilies, you know, some other things that I actually can use throughout the rest of the week that I don’t have to think about when I’m rushing home bringing my kids from school and also when my kids are younger, my croak pot was totally my best friend as well because that was just one of those things that warm, nourishing foods at night that I didn’t really have to think about at 4’0 Clock in the afternoon.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Exactly, and I think also the croak pot is a great thing to use because you are almost guaranteed to have left overs and for a mom that’s nursing and just really, really busy, just knowing that you can go on to the refrigerator and have something nourishing on hand for lunch or for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I mean, you can have chicken, chicken noodle soup three times a day, if that’s what you need to do. But, having that on hand is everything really.

Robin Kaplan: So, Leigh-Ann, what are your favorite go-to meals like, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, some snacks, you mentioned nuts and things like that. What are some easy things that moms can kind of just grab and eat or make very easily?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Okay, one of the quickest, easiest things and in fact I did it this morning, I just took a cup of blueberries, a yogurt, you always wanna look at sugar, I keep the shutter low and yogurt and some very natural granolas. I particularly like the bare naked brand, they sell it at Target. The sugar is only 4 gms a serving and just mix that together and you’ve got yourself a yogurt parfait, you’ve got great calcium, you’ve got great fruits from the blueberries and you’ve got yourself a really healthy meal for breakfast. There are some instant oatmeals if you just don’t have time that are fairly low in sugar. When you’re looking at the ingredients make sure they don’t have aspartame or anything that’s artificial. You can also make oatmeal the night before in the croak pot with walnuts and apples. Just throw that in the croak pot with a little bit of cinnamon. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and then you’ve got a nourishing breakfast. As far as lunch ideas go, I would say a bean and cheese burrito, super easy, super healthy. If you happen to be gluten free, then go with corn tortillas, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, little bit of cheese, you’ve got yourself a really healthy easy lunch. And then, as far as dinner goes, just sautéed vegetables with chicken or wild-caught salmon which is very high in Omega 3s, fajitas are great if you are looking to, you know, spice things up and add in more vegetables.

Robin Kaplan: Okay, what about some snacks that are easy to go to?

Leigh-Ann Webster: I always like to make my own trail mix, super easy, just go to Trader Joe’s and it’s better when you make your own because then you can control ingredients and control the sugar. Once again, yogurt is a great snack, apples and almond butter, great, easy snack. A quick snack just quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas, a little bit of cheese and lots of vegetables and I think you bring up a good point actually, the snack even the meals, I always tell new moms that one of the keys is to eat consistently throughout the day and just make sure that you get, you know, a couple of hundred calories just ever hour to two hours to keep your metabolism going and to keep your milk supply up.

Robin Kaplan: We had posted this question on our Facebook page for moms if they had questions for you for example, and a lot of them, there is this repeating theme essentially like, “I’m starving or I’m like, craving just like, cheeseburgers all of the time.” And it’s like, you know, you think you’ve craved your pregnancy but then, you know, even after the baby is born especially when you’re nursing, you’re starving and you’re thirsty all the time and so, these snacks can be so beneficial to make sure that you’re not, you know, plummeting in your sugar levels.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Exactly, exactly! Another quick easy snack, hummus, fresh vegetables, whole grain crackers and just one of those, you know, Trader Joe’s string cheeses. You got a quick easy simple snack, I think the key once again is just to plan ahead.

Robin Kaplan: Ladies, what about you? What are your favorite go-to nutritional foods Norene?

Norene Ybarra: With my family, every time I went to somebody’s house, they pushed this stew and it’s basically beef shank stew and coz it’s good for milk supply. So, one other things I never hesitated to do anytime somebody said, “oh hey, I’m gonna come over and visit the baby, what can I bring?” I would tell them a meal! If they couldn’t, you know, like, share me or go out or whatever, like, oh you know, I’m free, you can’t take your baby out, what can I do? They can have me deliver something to my house or whatever. So, that was really, that was something that was really important coz if you’re so busy and, you know, if they ask, if they ask what you want, you can be really specific like, get me vegetarian, like, chao meal with no MSG and then it will happen coz I took the time there obviously when you are asked and so, that was one other things that was really important for me to always be open to asking for and my mom would say, “what do you want?” I’d be really specific, I want, you know, I would say Adobo, you know, that’s chicken, you know, a chicken dish. And, I always ate throughout, like I was just grazing constantly and I was starving and so, it was really important for me to eat all the time and all the things you mentioned. And it’s so interesting all the things I just kept shopping the same way, I did when I was pregnant if I craved that I ate it and I just maintained the staple. When I was pregnant I was fortunate to crave fruits and vegetables constantly so they were always there. And, Robin I’ve always had this thing when you used to talk about cooking, all of a sudden I’ll get a wild hair up my back, okay, I need to cook and everything that’s in the fridge, I will put into a dish and it’s ready to go, it might not be a Wednesday or a Sunday or whatever but, my husband will come home and he’ll be like, who’s coming over and there’s literally like, there’s no more like, lose items there, you know, in the stir fried, in lentils and you know, something else, so, all those things coz there is downtime in the beginning as opposed to like, now he is 18 months and I’m just chasing [Laughs] and so, I think the most important thing was to ask for help with food so, you don’t have to do it coz that’s part of planning but, also cook when you can like, Robin mentioned because you have to be all of a sudden you’re starving or you forgot that you didn’t eat for a couple hours and you’re wondering why you’re starving.

Robin Kaplan: Exactly! How about you Lori? What are your favorite go-to’s?

Lori Shomphe: We also made meal plan on Sundays so we said, the 5 of us kids, it’s just me or my husband chooses meals, things for lunch so that, Saturday morning, we go for shopping and we’ve got a full list of everything that we need for the week so, it’s never that it’s like, 4 o clock in the afternoon like, “oh god! They have to eat again.” [Laughs] Never I do because it’s all already planned out. We do a lot of crock pot cooking because my children go to two different schools and I have the baby and, you know, life is crazy with your kids so, we do a lot of chicken breasts in the crock pot, cans of chilies and onions, couple of cloves of garlic and then in a corn tortilla or use it later in the week for burritos or we use it later in the week just on top of some brown rice, lots of fruits and vegetables. My kids are really, really good eaters. We’re blessed with that. And first we always serve a salad first, then your green vegetables and then you can have whatever else you want so then corns and protein come next and we ensure that they eat a lot of corns, they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and it also serves my husband and I in that way so, we’re very disciplined. [Laughs] When we go out for diner it’s just the two of us. We always eat our vegetables first, this is so weird. [Laughs] You need to have your stake first, no, I have to eat all the broccoli. [Laughs] We do a lot of stir-fries and things like that. I’m a super cook because it’s so often that we’re rolling in it for three and we at diner are 5 so, I think that the key for me especially with kind of food specialty, you know, things in my house is the pre-planning. So, if we’re planned, we’re good to go. If we’re not planned, that’s when you get caught, you know, make your food choices.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, absolutely! You had mentioned croak pot and things like that, Leigh-Ann, do you have good resources of kind of your favorite places to find recipes?

Leigh-Ann Webster: I do and in fact I think it’s one of your favorite cook works too, the slow cooker, the best cook book ever.

Robin Kaplan: Oh yeah! That one is fantastic!

Leigh-Ann Webster: I love that cookbook and as far as I know last, I saw it at Cosco recently and it is written by Diane Phillips. Another book I really, it’s a new book, it’s called the Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman. Her recipes are all really pretty simple and fast and, you know, sometimes, they may not use as many vegetables as I would like, so, I just will make a side of sautéed spinach or broccoli or oven-roasted cauliflower which is one of our favorites and then I also like the new Mediterranean diet cookbook, great, simple, simple recipes and very, very healthy and that book is written by Nancy Jenkins.

Robin Kaplan: Oh cool! A couple that I’d like to add as well because you sparked some ideas in my head too. There’s one that we use a lot, I don’t know the exact name but, I has something to do with cooking superfoods and it’s actually by Martha Stewarts living and it’s a really colorful pretty book.

Leigh-Ann Webster: I’ve got it too, I can’t remember the author.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah exactly! So, that was a really good one and then, More gluten tolerant family and so my favorite book which also has a website, it’s called Whole Life Nutrition.

Leigh-Ann Webster: I love that book.

Robin Kaplan: And, oh my gosh! The recipes in there are so delicious. They do have a decent amount of ingredients but, they’re all like beans, vegetables like, I was gonna say like, it’s like you want to throw into a pot of stuff but, great ideas for salads like thinking out of the box as well and they just, they just wrote a brand new book. I can’t think, it’s gone on top of my head but, we’ll post it on our website for links to these awesome cookbooks. How about you ladies, anything off the top of your head that you love?

Norene Ybarra: I can’t even think of the site, totally random, of course, like, oh yeah, what is it? But, what’s really helpful for me is when you get to that point and you’re in a position of plan and you don’t, you look at the stuff and you don’t know what to do and there are sites where you can type in like, apples, you know, walnuts and chicken and you can get a recipe out of that coz you don’t have time to find, you know like, there’s not a search little window on your cookbook for just those things. So, I like those types of sites a lot because then you’re like okay, and then I improvise as to, you know, like, how else I can make that up. Those are the lifesavers coz sometimes you’re like, you get to that point where you’re like, oh, oh, I only have this, this and this and I’m pretty creative in the kitchen so, I’m like, okay, I’ll do that and that will spark an interest to get me doing something else.

Robin Kaplan: Cool! How about you Lori?

Leigh-Ann Webster: I’m a bit of a knob rule follower. Cookbooks don’t really work for me. I’m like, ah, you know, the measuring is just too much. [Laughs] So, sometimes the baking I really use, I don’t go from a cookbook place.

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic, I wish I had more of a niche for that. I kind of, I do improvise a little bit but then, with the spices, I get a little bit nervous. [Laughs]

Leigh-Ann Webster: But it’s a drawback when you do cook like that and something goes, oh, how did he make that. [Cross Talks]

Robin Kaplan: We were always convinced that my grandmother, when she used to pass down recipes we use to leave a couple of the ingredients so, it never tasted as good as her original. And so, my mom will like, put pieces together and stuff and she used to like, I know there’s a regular one there like, she told a lie.

Leigh-Ann Webster: That is funny!

Robin Kaplan: Alright, when we come back, Leigh-Ann will discuss easy exercises to incorporate after you’ve had your baby and how lactic acid can affect the flavor of your breast milk. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Alright and we’re back and our expert today is Leigh-Ann Webster who is an owner of, is the owner of 52 Healthy Weeks and a certified personal trainer, licensed Well Coach and nutritional counselor and we’re talking about ways to lose weight while breastfeeding while maintaining your milk supply. So, Leigh-Ann, when is it safe for a mother to begin exercising after having her baby?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Depends on what the doctor says, but, if you didn’t have any significant tearing or you didn’t have a C-Section, usually, your doctor will give you clearance after about 1-2 weeks.

Robin Kaplan: Okay!

Leigh-Ann Webster: If you’ve had a C-Section, then more often it’s gonna be 4-6 weeks.

Robin Kaplan: Okay and do you recommend starting out with Cardio, weight, both? I know you are a big fan of both.

Leigh-Ann Webster: I am a big fan of both. You know what though, I would say, start the first two weeks with Cardio and really just start to develop the habit and….

Robin Kaplan: Cardio, you mean, walking…

Leigh-Ann Webster: Yeah! So, with Cardio, I mean, a non-weight-bearing activity where you may go out for a walk for about 30 minutes. You’re gonna be working out in your aerobic zones. So, you wanna be about 65 to 85% of what your maximum heart rate would be.

Robin Kaplan: Okay and would, when would you incorporate weight?

Leigh-Ann Webster: So, after you start to develop the habit and you make sure your milk supply is not decreasing and you, you know, starting to get into the rhythm of having a new baby then, I would start to add in weight-bearing activities. So, you could add in weights. That would be great. Or, you could also add in things that would be considered weight-bearing so, it would be like, squats, lunges, jumps, hops, jumping jacks.

Robin Kaplan: So such things anything you can do when you’re living or when your kid’s taking a nap.

Leigh-Ann Webster: That’s actually why I was naming those exercises because I think one of the main things for new mothers to remember is that you really can work out in your backyard or your home. You just have to make it a priority and you have to get creative. And, I think the key and I say this because I actually ended up doing it myself this morning. I’ve got a seven-year-old at home, my husband led on a bike ride, I know I needed to be here but, I needed to get that workout in. So, I actually made myself a list of 10 different exercises and I repeated the cycle three times and it took about 45 minutes, I have my heart rate up there, it was all weight-bearing activities and it actually required no equipment.

Robin Kaplan: That’s awesome! Ladies, have you found it difficult to incorporate exercise into your daily routine since you had your kids?

Norene Ybarra: Yes, coz I was tired. And I think like, and it was really challenging coz there’s in the sense of like, you would do have all this time but it’s getting over yourself and knowing that you’ll have that much more energy if you get out of the house for 30 minutes. So, that was challenging but, once I did it, it was always great, you know. I eventually, forced myself. I started training for a Marathon when my baby was nine months and so, I had to, I had to train but specifically, we had group runs on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings so then, you know, there’s quality time with whoever was watching the baby and I was able to go and you can get a jogging stroller, my husband offered, I said, “no, that would require me to take the baby.” [Laughs] So, I did not want that. So, it was really nice because I got to train for a marathon and have that time to, you know, I’m actually exercising and socializing.

Leigh-Ann Webster: That’s great!

Robin Kaplan: For you, yeah! How about you, Lori?

Lori Shomphe: I think because my older children are now in school whole lot these years and god finally gave me a baby who has a stroller. [Laughs]

Robin Kaplan: Your other two kids didn’t have a stroller?

Lori Shomphe: No, my big kids never, like, putting them in the stroller was like torturing them. So, with that it was a lot of walking and it was always on my back which was great.

Robin Kaplan: That’s weight-bearing!

Lori Shomphe: Yeah, totally! Right, with, you know, walking a couple of miles with the, you know, 30-pound baby on your back. But, Zoe loves the stroller. She’s more than happy to be in the stroller so, for me, it’s fantastic. The kids are in school 4 days a week. Zoe and I run every morning after we drop the kids off at school. It’s just part of our routine. She was able to, you know, we go, we always go to a park afterward. She knows she’s gonna get to play afterward. So, for her that works great where it’s hard for me is Yoga and weekend runs. So my husband and I have gotten really good about on weekends, on Saturday and Sunday we do family runs so, the girls are in the double stroller, my son will ride his bike, and we’ve got our family running. So, we’re working on that becoming our habit. My stuff is Yoga. I love Yoga. It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s very difficult to find a class where I can make that happen without putting Zoe in child care which isn’t really an option for our family.

Robin Kaplan: That, I mean, and I love that you both brought up the importance of making it part of your routine. I know Leigh-Ann, that’s something you really advocate because I am the worst, [laughs] I never plan for exercise. There’s literally everything comes ahead of it yet, I feel a million times and when I do it in the fact that you’ve made it a family routine or Norene, how you, you know, you said, I’m training for Marathon so, I have to do this like, I think that, that’s so significant because if it’s built into, it makes sense with your family and with your time, then you are more apt to do it. For me it’s like, okay, well may be if I don’t have a client this morning, maybe I’ll go to the Yoga class and then next thing I know something comes up and I don’t go.

Norene Ybarra: I think for me it became a story that I would taught myself in my head. I was up all night nursing the baby, I’m so tired, and at the point that it became worse and became an excuse and that’s not healthy for anybody and I just did it whether I was tired or not and by force it became a habit. It was so much healthier for everybody.

Leigh-Ann Webster: I think you guys all bring up really good points. I think one thing that really helps is accountability. So, if you can get a friend who has the same schedule as you and you guys can become workout partners and accountability partners, that’s very helpful. You brought up a really good point about training for a Marathon. For a lot of people, Marathon may be a bit of a lofty goal and then the other thing that motivates a lot of people is doing something in the cause of someone else. So, whether it be the breast cancer three day or doing something for the leukemia foundation or, you know, now-a-days, you can actually create your own event and raise money for it. So, you may have, you know, a friend in need or some sort of cause or non-profit organization but, sometimes that is what gets people to do things. It’s outside themselves so they can be uncomfortable for someone else.

Robin Kaplan: That’s such a good point. I totally did the three-day last year and I didn’t even train for it and my mom, my mom has trained, my mom is in so much better shape than I am. I mean, she’s a personal trainer as well. She had trained for this for six months and leading up two weeks before, she’s like, please tell me you have shoes. [Laughs] I’m like, I have shoes, I’m fine. I got the worst blisters in my entire life but, it’s true and there is no way you can pay me to walk twenty miles tomorrow for just for myself. Now to the thing with Lactic acid, what is the deal with lactic acid? I mean, what is it, how does it get into our milk and does it cause breast milk to have funky flavors?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Okay so, lactic acid is a form of acid that the body really says, the body really says that when you get to about 85% of your maximum heart rate, so, a good example of when that would happen is if somebody is doing a 400 meter run around the track at a very high pace. 400 meters, you’re gonna get some lactic acid build-up if you’re going all out because you’re going about 85-90% of your maximum heart rate. However, you’re not going to get lactic acid build-up if you are exercising in your aerobic zone which would be about 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. So, does it make breast milk taste there? Well, from all the studies that they’ve done, the answer is Yes, it can in the women that are doing the high-intensity Interpol trainings.

Robin Kaplan: So, what would you say the percentage that they’re working at like, over 85%?

Leigh-Ann Webster: Yes! And also some people may, I mean, I talk about maximum heart rate is though, it’s just you know, something I talk about everyday which it is. But, for those who don’t know, if you have an access to a personal trainer so that they can figure out your maximum heart rate based on your resting heart rate, that’s ideal. But, if you don’t have that access, a quick formula is to just take the number 220 and subtract your age from that number. So, let’s say you are a 40-year-old woman. So, 220-40= 180 and then you are gonna take a percentage 65%- 85% is your aerobic zone and anything above 85% is where you are gonna start producing the lactic acid.

Robin Kaplan: Okay!

Leigh-Ann Webster: Was that helpful? Okay!

Robin Kaplan: Yeah absolutely! And, I mean, I guess it’s important to say too that just because your breast milk has lactic acid and it doesn’t mean your baby won’t drink it.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Absolutely and that’s very true because all the studies indicate that it only happens with a very few amount of women so, you’ve just got to try it and see, you know if it happens with you.

Robin Kaplan: And if it does then kind of, just reduce the amount of essentially you’re getting your heart rate up to so, that way you’re not producing it.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Exactly, yeah!

Robin Kaplan: Okay cool! And one of our Facebook friends Misty, had a question for you and it was, this is what she said, “I definitely experience a drop in supply with any significant exercise.” That she had with her first daughter and she was wondering how to continue to exclusively breastfeed and exercise.

Leigh-Ann Webster: Okay, so, what I would guess is probably going on is that she may be doing a longer bout of exercise, maybe 45 minutes to an hour. Maybe she’s burning around 4-500 calories during that time and it’s very possible that she’s not increasing the amount of food that she’s eating. So, it’s very possible that her daily calories are dropping below 1500. So, I think the key is for her to keep a count of her calories and make sure that she’s not dropping below 1500 and, you know, find out what her magic number is because maybe her number is 1600. Everybody has a different metabolic rate and all of these things that I’m talking about are, you know, scientific studies that have been done for the general population.

Robin Kaplan: Alright, well thank you so much Leigh-Ann for your insight into nutrition and losing weight while breastfeeding and maintaining your milk supply. And, for our Boob Group club members, our conversation will continue at the end of the show and for more information about becoming a Boob Group club member, please visit our website at https://www.theboobgroup.com.

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[Featured Segment: Ask The Experts]

Robin Kaplan: So, here’s a question from one of our listeners. Her name is Catherine and she’s writing from San Francisco, California. “My baby girl was born about 10 weeks premature. She was in the NICU for a while and she’s home with us now. We are exclusively breastfeeding and I’m considering getting on a regular feeding schedule as opposed to feeding on que. I’ve been told premature babies don’t often given the same verbal ques such as crying to indicate that they are hungry. What is the best way to handle this situation? Thanks!”

JonaRose Feinberg: Hi Catherine, this is JonaRose Feinberg, an IBCLC in private practice. Premature babies often need some extra help when it comes to breastfeeding. The babies might not start breastfeeding at all or breastfeeding only for a few feedings a day and hasn’t worked their way out to exclusive breastfeeding. In the NICU babies are often kept on a regular feeding schedule and it may be a challenge to adjust from a unscheduled approach once you leave the hospital. Once the baby is exclusively breastfeeding and gaining well, it’s fine to feed on que. Early feeding ques include cooings, ruding behavior like, looking around for the breast, licking their lips and putting their hands in their mouth. Crying is a later feeding que, loud and restless and that’s only hard to miss. But, if you can catch the early feeding ques, you can respond right then. For many babies, by the time they show us the ques, they are accustomed to a regular feeding schedule. They do best maintaining that schedule for a while after discharge. You may find the combination if it works well expecting a somewhat regular feeding schedule and then watching for ques around that time. If you are concerned about your baby’s eating patterns, definitely check with your pediatrician or a local IBCLC to help you determine if your baby is growing on the right track. As long as your baby is gaining weight appropriately and having enough wet through the diapers, you can find the feeding pattern that works best for your baby and you. Remember, you are the expert in your own baby. Keep up the great work.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Thank you so much to our experts, panelists and to all of our listeners. If you have any questions about today’s show or the topics we discussed, please call our Boob Group Hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll answer your question on an upcoming episode. If you have a breastfeeding topic you’d like to suggest, we’d love to hear it. Simply visit our website at https://www.theboobgroup.com and send us an email through the contact link. Coming up next week, we have Wendy Colson here discussing how to create a breastfeeding plan while your baby is in the NICU. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, because mothers know breast.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and materials contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information in which areas are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical, advise or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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