Light to moderate physical activity is safe and beneficial for breastfeeding moms. So, if you’re wondering about adding exercises to your daily routine once your baby is born, here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding and working out. If you’ve had a routine delivery without any complications, you could probably start exercising within a few days, but if you’ve had an episiotomy or a C-section, you’ll have to wait until your body heals. Always talk to your physiotherapist, your physiotherapist will let you know when it’s safe to start working out based on your particular circumstances.
KEEP IN MIND:
- If you tend to develop mastitis (an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection), you should limit upper-body exercises, especially lifting weights.
- Start working out for short periods of time a few days a week. Then gradually increase your activity level.
- Stop exercising if you feel pain or experience palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, or an increase in vaginal bleeding.
- To prevent injury, spend a few minutes warming up before beginning your routine, and take a few moments afterward to cool down.
- Wear a supportive bra that fits you properly. A very tight bra or one that does not provide enough support can be uncomfortable and put you at risk of mastitis.
- Wear breast pads if you’re concerned about leaking breast milk while you’re working out.
- Don’t exercise with full breasts (breastfeed or pump before a workout)
- You should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, so have a glass of water before and after your workout. You can even keep a water bottle with you during your workout and have a drink when you take breaks.
TIPS: Here are a few safe and easy ways to get started.
Go for a swim, go for a walk or a hike, take a jog or workout at home. One could join a Mommy and Baby exercise program. These are also an excellent way for new moms to meet and socialize or find a yoga class or other exercise class that incorporates the baby into the workout routine.
A postpartum exercise routine can safely include:
- Pelvic tilt exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles
- Kegel exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
- Belly breathing to help re-coordinate your breathing throughout your core
- Happy baby pose to loosen tight pelvic floor muscles
- Walking to improve your cardiovascular fitness and challenge your muscles
BENEFITS OF EXERCISES WHILE BREASTFEEDING:
Along with a healthy diet and breastfeeding, regular exercise can help you:
- Lose your pregnancy weight
- Prevent heart disease
- Boost energy levels
- Relieve stress
- Improve overall health and well-being
- Increase lean muscle and keep you fit
- It may lead to a better night’s sleep
- It raises your body’s level of prolactin ( the hormone responsible for the production of breast milk )
- Stimulate the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones that help chase away the baby blues, boost your mood, and make you feel happy.
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre