Can I Exercise While Breastfeeding?

As a breastfeeding mama, you can actually reap a lot of benefits from exercise, including losing pregnancy weight, building physical strength and improving your mental wellbeing.

Regular exercise reduces stress and can help with post-partum depression. When you combine this with a healthy diet, you’ll be able to improve not only your physical wellness but also your mental wellbeing!

Here are some tips to help you if you plan on going back to exercising while breastfeeding.

Begin with low-impact exercises.

If you want to get back to fitness while breastfeeding, start with low-impact exercises. Before deciding to go to the gym, you may want to start with just walking outside with your baby to get some fresh air and get your heart rate up. It’ll be good for both you and your baby.

To make sure your body recovers and heals properly, try to get enough sleep each day and always stay hydrated.

Before exercising, discuss your plans with your doctor and see if they allow you to do some moderate exercises. You can then gradually incorporate cardio and strength-based exercises to your daily routine.

Don’t aim for rapid weight loss.

When developing a fitness and diet plan, your main focus should be overall health instead of losing weight fast. Should you experience rapid weight loss, consult your doctor about it.

Make sure you’re consuming enough calories each day.

Some moms who breastfeed their babies in the first 3-6 months may lose weight quickly, while others don’t. Don’t be pressured to lose weight so much so that you no longer eat enough. When this happens your milk supply will decrease, you’ll become weak and malnourished. You should be consuming at least 1,800 calories per day filled with nutrients, to ensure you and your baby stay healthy.

Especially in the beginning, the weight loss may be too rapid, and a mom may need to add nutrient-rich calories from her own kitchen to meet her minimum calories per day. Creating a diet in consultation with a doctor or nutritionist can help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need to stay well.

Stay hydrated.

It’s important to drink water when you’re exercising while breastfeeding. That means drinking water before, during and after working out.

Wear a supportive sports bra.

Breast changes are common for women who go through pregnancy and breastfeeding. So when you go to the gym, you may have to ditch your old sports bras and instead get supportive sports bras that are specially designed for exercise and movement. You can also invest in a nursing sports bra so you can easily remove the flaps when you need to pump or nurse.

Pump or breastfeed before hitting the gym.

Breasts that are full of milk can be painful and uncomfortable, and especially so when you’re exercising. We recommend that you feed your baby or at least pump before you exercise. You may need to establish a routine that will let you do this on a regular basis so you will feel comfortable during your workouts.

We don’t encourage doing any strenuous activities when you’re nursing especially at the beginning. Doing so can cause injury to you and may make exercising unsustainable. The key is to be able to engage in physical activity as part of a long-term plan for fitness and good health. Take it easy, start slow. You’ll be able to achieve your own fitness goals in due time.

If you’re unsure of what kind of exercises you can do while breastfeeding, you can talk to a personal coach in gyms like David Barton Gym who can create an exercise and diet plan for you.

Exercises You Can Do While Breastfeeding

Category: Featured