Exercising while breastfeeding(10 Posts)
This might like a bit of a silly question.
Before I got pregnant I worked really hard on my fitness, sometimes going to the gym 5 times a week. I haven't been up to going in the last few weeks of pregnancy so my fitness levels have plummeted and I'm due in less than a week.
I would like to improve my fitness once baby's born, but rather than sign back up for the gym, I've bought some work out DVDs so I can do them at home when (if) I get the chance. I will probably give it a few weeks after baby's born before I start them.
If I get really into it, and end up exercising too much, would this have an effect on my milk supply? As I've read that I would need to eat 500 extra calories a day.
Also, if anyone can make some recommendations about exercises I could do to get my fitness back up/how often I should do them etc?
I think you just have to play it by ear. There are so many variables and until you've actually given birth it's hard to know how soon you'll be feeling ready to spring back into action. Once I was physically over my EMCS, I found sticking DS in a sling (so could BF if need be) and doing long hill walks worked best to get back to a decent fitness level. I found it hard to exercise in the house - felt too guilty to take time out to exercise when surrounded by the squalour and chaos of undone housework. I would aim for achieving fitness rather than weight loss. If you're overdoing it on the activity front and not taking on enough calories, then you will probably still produce enough milk but you'll feel bloody awful. There will be days when you've had next to no sleep and you can barely manage to stagger to the bathroom, then you just have to listen to your body's needs and say to hell with getting your pre-pregnancy body back any time soon.
Yeah I was thinking the same kind of thing. I don't know how tired I'm going to be and other things beyond my control. Just thought it could be nice to do something once all the jobs that need doing are done (is this ever going to happen?!)
I don't want to focus on weight loss straight away, just getting my fitness back. I'm due in a week and I've signed up for a 10 mile charity run at the end of July. I'm determined to do it even if I have to walk or crawl, if I haven't got my fitness to that level yet.
The DVD workouts would just be a bit of relief and a chance for me to focus on me when baby's sleeping, even if it's just for 10 minutes.
Think my body will tell me if I'm doing too much. Just wanted to make sure that one of the ways of telling me I'm doing too much is no longer producing milk
It's wise to check with your doctor that they are happy you are recovered from the birth, before taking up any strenuous exercise. Do too much too early & you can risk injury. But, lots of walking, carrying or pushing your baby, is good & can be done as soon as you feel up to it. (Assuming you have a natural birth.)
Hadn't even thought about checking with gp!
Have a look and see if there are any exercise classes in your area for new mums. Round here there's buggy fit and quite a few classes at the local leisure centre. I did buggy fit and enjoyed the fresh air, exercise and social aspects. It was also good to know that all the exercises were safe (e.g. no sit ups as they can worsen separation of abdominal muscles) and also focused on the bits that need attention after a pregnancy like core and pelvic floor. Whatever you do don't pressure yourself though. Being pregnant and having a baby is hard work so rest and recovery are also important!
I haven't found any evidence that exercise would have a detrimental effect - as long as we're talking about going to gym, not running daily ultra-marathons. Anecdotally I was back doing quite strenuous exercise 3-4 weeks after both of mine and had no issues.
I really doubt your fitness levels have plummeted in a few weeks if you were already pretty fit.
Absolutely no concerns for breastfeeding WRT exercise, don't worry about that The calories thing is really very roughly estimated and you shouldn't set any store by it.
As others have rightly pointed out what you'll want to check is the suitability of exercise for postnatal recovery. I agree with looking at postnatal exercise groups, many you can even take the baby with you and there are certain areas that you'll need to be careful of which is abdomen and pelvic floor as a minimum, plus any specific issues relating to your pregnancy, for example, some mums suffer SPD which would make any exercise involving the hips more risky, if you have a c-section you'll need to be extra careful in certain areas, etc.
I did 7 classes a week before DS but after I had him I could only manage 2-3. Started at the gym again when he was about 7 weeks old. Once I went back to work I upped it to 3-4 classes and it never had an impact on my supply. In fact, I fed him til he was 2.5! I found breastfeeding really helped with the weight loss and I'm still about a stone less than I was pre-pregnancy.
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