February 15, 2017

BreastFeeding and Fitness – Are They Compatible?

Once your baby is born and you have established your new routine, it is just natural to want to start an exercise routine and reclaim your pre-pregnancy body. Many mothers that are breastfeeding are nervous about this however, often believing that exercise will impact their milk or stress their body in a negative way.

Rollerblades and Jogging Stroller

New moms do not have to worry about either of these things. You can return to an exercise routine as soon as you desire if you use the following advice.

Wear A Support Bra

Your body is working hard to produce milk; just as your baby is more comfortable feeding when supported with a breastfeeding pillow, you also will need a very good support bra to keep from feeling strained by the extra eight you have in this area. A sturdy bra can work double duty as it will also give you the additional back support you need even when you are not exercising.

Keep Nursing Pads Handy

The physical activity can lead to milk leakage. By using nursing pads you can avoid any escaped moisture from showing on your clothes.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Make sure that you are wearing loose fitting and comfortable clothes. This will make the workout feel less strenuous  as you return to your routine. It is also very important to wear supportive athletic shoes when you return to your workout. Worn out shoes can lead to injuries.

Shower Well Before Feeding

Sweat has a salty taste and your baby may be reluctant to nurse if you do not have a cleansing shower after your workout and before feeding. Some mothers also find that they need to express some of their milk first before feeding.

Start Slow; Gradually Increase Intensity

Your body has undergone many changes over the last year. You do not want to jump right into a hard workout routine again. Start with cardio exercises and move slowly into toning. You may want to avoid strenuous exercises that involve the chest muscles until you are more comfortable with your routine.

Some mothers have reported that their babies do not like to feed after they have begun a workout routine. Some of this can be attributed to the salty taste associated with sweat; the other part may be connected to the increased heart rate right after a workout.

Your baby is very close to you when nursing. A rapid heartbeat can cause the baby to respond negatively and refuse to eat until you have calmed back down. One of the best ways to address this is to time your feedings–after your workout, leave enough time to calm down so you can be relaxed when you are ready to nurse.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that it is good for you to get back into an exercise routine. It will keep you healthy and strong so you can always be available to your baby. And that is, after all, the most important part of being a mom.

Teresa Stewart is a fitness advocate and encourages new moms to check first with their doctors before starting any new exercise routine. She researched breastfeeding pillow online for inspiration to write this article.

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