Breastfeeding :: Effects of Diet and Exercise on Mother?s Breast Milk

Breastfeeding women who consume diets containing adequate amounts of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids can safely engage in moderate exercise without decreasing the amount of the fatty acids in their breast milk that is essential for their infants? growth and development, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFA, are found in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. Because exercise increases the body?s mobilization and utilization of fatty acids, the researchers asked whether maternal activity may also influence the amount of long-chain PUFA in breast milk.

In a study of diet and exercise habits of 53 new mothers, they found no reduction in fatty acids in breast milk of women who exercised at least 30 minutes per day, three days per week. The researchers conclude that moderate exercise is not only safe during lactation, but also provides many other health benefits.

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