Wife, Mummy, Nurse: Exercise and Breastfeeding

05 April 2012

Exercise and Breastfeeding

At my follow up appointment after having Charis, I was 4 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight and breastfeeding exclusively on demand.  My midwife told me, "Be careful because when your daughter stops breastfeeding as much, you are likely to gain more weight if you're not exercising and eating right.  Trust me, that happened to me."  Not what I wanted to hear, but how I wish I had taken her words and followed them.  One of my regrets after Charis was born, was not getting into an exercise routine sooner-and have gained about 10+ lbs. since.  Many of my friends {okay two} have gym memberships and I mistakenly thought, the only way to exercise was to have a gym membership.

So, now I'm exercising more, which I'm enjoying, but sometimes there's not enough time in the day to do it.  I also find that when I exercise, I'm more likely to watch what I eat and drink more water.

Remember the first few weeks after your baby is born rest, sleep when your baby sleeps, and take care of yourself.  Don't overdo it.  When you do start exercising, start slowly and build up.  Take a 10 minute walk outside or even march in place for 10 minutes if you can't get outside.

A few more tips on exercise:
  • Breastfeed before working out.  Last summer, when I started walking/running, I found it easier
  • Hydrate with water before and after working out.
  • Do aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes a minimum of 4X/week.  {I'm not up at that frequency yet.}
  • Wear a supportive, but not constrictive, bra.
  • Invest in a jogging stroller if you're planning on running outside with your baby.
  • Invest in a baby carrier {I have the Boba 2G} if you're wanting to walk with your baby.  The extra weight helps increase the intensity of the workout.
Do you have any tips, suggestions, or recommendations on exercising while breastfeeding?
If so, feel free to comment or blog and link up.

2 comments:

  1. My suggestions would be: play with your kids. Chase them, climb all over the playground with them, play hide and seek, use them as weights (squat with her in your arms in front of you, planks with her climbing all over your back, etc.), walk, walk, walk, and walk some more.

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  2. With my first I was not permitted to work out for 6 weeks after delivery. With my second I had no restrictions and I was working out 10 days after delivery. It took me 9-12 months to drop the weight with both of them but I kept it steady and it has stayed off even after discontinuing breastfeeding at about the 2 year mark. I think the longer you can keep going the more time you have to adjust.

    Some really excellent suggestions. I, too, would also nurse my babies before the workout as I felt more comfortable, I was not hurried, and no lactic acid getting into the milk. Plus, we would walk with the baby in our carrier/sling every day. It was good for all of us, even in the snow (we'd just bundle up).

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