Exercise After Baby Arrives
During the first
few weeks following delivery it is important to understand that your body
is slowly recovering from the changes of pregnancy. Do not try to regain
your shape overnight, instead focus on resting and spending time with
your new baby.
Can I Start to Exercise?
Only your doctor can answer this question since he or she knows your medical
condition. If you did not have any complications during your delivery
you can probably start walking or other light exercises immediately. If
you had a caesarean birth you might need to wait longer for time to heal.
Either way, check with your doctor.
Does Exercise Affect Breastfeeding?
Some research indicates that exercising moms have a higher volume of breastmilk
than sedentary moms so it is fine for breastfeeding moms to exercise.
However, since you are expending calories through both exercise and breastfeeding
it is crucial that you eat enough to meet those demands. Staying well
hydrated will be important, since your fluid
needs are increased by both lactation and exercise. To avoid excessive
fatigue and maintain a good nutritional intake, it is also important to
lose weight slowly while breastfeeding.
Some mothers find
their infants are more 'fussy' with breastfeeding following a strenuous
workout. Increased lactic acid in breastmilk may be the reason. If this
is your experience, it may be helpful to express a little milk before
nursing your baby after an exercise session to remove the milk with the
highest lactic acid content.
Big Question: When Will I Lose This Weight?
Weight loss after delivery can be a very challenging and frustrating time
for many women. Remember that it took approximately nine months to gain
the weight so try not to expect it to disappear overnight. It is a slow
process and you should aim to lose no more than one to two pounds per
a Good Sports Bra
Wear a sports bra during any kind of vigorous activity. Make sure that
you invest in a supportive sports bra that breathes. Some nursing mothers
find that wearing two sport bras at the same time offers better support.
Like a Failure
Don't think of exercise with an all-or-nothing attitude, which can also
be called "black and white" thinking. If you don't meet your goal one
week do not feel like a failure and give up on your exercise program altogether.
Instead, try to think of your exercise program with a "gray" attitude
versus black and white. Set realistic exercise goals but understand that
some weeks you will meet your goals and other weeks you won't. If you
don't reach your goals do what you can and strive to get back on track
the next week. Just keep moving and you will feel much better and happier.
You don't want to give up on your exercise program since it is such a
great way to help relieve stress!
Time for Your Exercise Once the Baby Arrives
- Buy a baby
jogger and take your baby with you for a walk or a jog.
- Join a gym
that offers childcare services.
- Hire a baby-sitter.
before the baby wakes up in the morning or during naps.
- Arrange exercise
swap time with another mom. You watch her baby while she exercises
and she watches yours while you exercise.
- Put your
baby in a swing while you do an exercise video or other home exercises.
- Have your
spouse, partner or a family member watch the baby while you make
time for yourself to exercise.