Breastfeeding & exercise...(10 Posts)
So DS is 13 weeks today. EBF. Only exercise so far has been walking & power housework!
I havnt exercised properly in a year now - had an op then discovered I was pregnant & my pregnancy was horrendous - I'm still stuck in trainers due to fluid levels! Also had an ELCS.
When did you start exercising again if EBF?
I just don't feel I have the energy but I know exercise will boost my energy levels so vicious circle! I used to run, spin classes, weight training - I feel I've been so unlike myself for a long time. I know it's early days, he's still only a baby.
I'm thinking once he gets to 6 months I could start a proper regime again?
I started the 30 day shred when DD was 4.5 months. I had done a weekly postnatal exercise class before that but it was very gentle and focused on rebuilding core strength. Are you taking any supplements? I was fine this time (once I'd built up my iron levels) but when feeding my DS I'd start to feel rundown if I stopped taking my vitamins.
It's hard when you're tired, to find the energy. But you can start whenever you are ready. Have your abs knitted back together yet?
The only exercise thing that is (maybe) problematic when breastfeeding is going from nothing to a giant workout. If you do something that leaves you in big pain the next day, from muscle soreness, your milk might be a bit high in lactic acid right after the exercise.
Oh, and think about your bras, as your sizing may have changed.
Get a good sports bra in the right size. I also found it helpful to feed the baby immediately before exercise, for comfort (and also so you have time to shower afterwards!)
I did the couch to 5k running programme with my last baby, starting from about 6 weeks. I had a straightforward vaginal delivery though. It does start gently but in retrospect running isn't great for the pelvic floor (though I got away with it) so I won't do that again so soon. This time (baby is 6 weeks) I am doing equivalent-length walks (with baby in sling or pushchair) and a postnatal yoga dvd (Tara Lee) which is building up strength without overstretching myself at this stage. By 3/4 months I may up the intensity a bit.
I did a lot of exercise in my first pregnancy, mainly hiking, but was so exhausted/sick/coping with toddler in the second and I feel very shaky and unfit. BUT I think doing something (anything) REGULARLY and with good form will build your strength fairly quickly.
I didn't really find bf affected exercise other than the bra issues mentioned above. I drink a lot of water.
the hardest thing is definitely finding the time and motivation.
I didn't really do any exercise after DS1 but lost most of the weight by rocking him to sleep 3-4 times a day and walking literally miles with the pushchair trying to get him to doze off (terrible sleeper).
With DS2 I've had slight pelvic floor issues (he was nearly 11lbs ) plus bf is making all my joints really soft, especially in my pelvic area - I had SPD while pg too - so I have to be careful not to run or generally leap about too much because of that. So it might be something to watch out for.
I think the EBF isn't relevant, other than make sure you have proper support (I "double bag"! ) and time your exercise to just after a feed, rather than just before (when I suffer major leakage).
What is more important is how you feel and taking it slowly. Walking and swimming can both be gentle and low impact and will hopefully get the endorphins flowing. I think C25k is a fantastic way to get back to running after PG. I started at 10 weeks. I had second degree tear and no pelvic issues, but do pelvic floor exercises as often as I remember
doing them as I write.
LO is over four months months now and EBF. No issues with feeding post exercise, even when I am a sweaty mess and feed immediately post run.
If you are a member of a gym book yourself a session with advisor, my gym does them for free. Get them to formulate a session for you. My abdominals were spilt and advisor was great telling me what I could and shouldn't do. Recently had physio appt and they are back together now.
In summary, I wouldn't put it off. Take it slow and steady, maybe get some medical/professional advice if you feel you need it. Invest in a new sports bra and get started. You might find that by the time 6 months is here you are already back in a proper regime.
All sounding positive ladies!
Def gd tip re new sports bra.
Um I have no idea about my stomach muscles - still serious overhang & I've always carried weight on my middle. How would I know?
I might do personal training sessions to get back into things...think I need the extra push at the minute.
Running would be great to get back into because I can do it whenever I can be bothered!
I think because his feeding schedule is different everyday it's hard to plan around! Gd tip about feeding first, I guess even a top up would help ease things.
If I stopped eating my body weight in cake everyday I bet that would help my figure too....lol
I think I started back at about 4.5 months. I felt instantly better after my first bit of hard exercise.
You might be pleasantly surprised at your fitness levels - I couldn't believe I could run (jog) for about 10 mins still after a year of sitting on my backside eating chocolate digestives! All that walking helps I'm sure.
If you like classes, id highly recommend looking in Google for one where you can take your baby - they're great fun.
My midwife checked for split abdominals before she discharged me. Lying on my back she asked me to lift my head and pushed her fingers into the midline of my tummy. GP checked again at six week check and got me a physio referral.
Google diastasis recti and you will find a link somewhere which shows how to check and what exercises to do.
And like lastonedancing says, I too was surprised at how quickly I got my levels back given how crap I was feeling.
I started about 6 weeks with gentle stretches and lifts (had a remarkably quick-healing emcs), building up from there. I find exercise that doubles as play with my baby is easier to fit in and lots of fun - e.g. baby yoga moves, brisk walks with the baby in a sling, lifting the baby up to play airplanes, putting music on and dancing with the baby in my arms. Watch your balance (I didn't and fell the first time I tried to play tennis!) and don't push too hard either aerobically or with stretching and you should be fine. Oh and yes to a nice supportive bra and pads if you need them - comfort is vital!
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