Activity, Rest, and Breast-Feeding
Striking a balance between exercise and rest will help you feel your best while breast-feeding. Try to plan a schedule that incorporates both into your routine.
Exercise helps promote weight loss, improves your energy level, and can help you relieve stress. Keep the following in mind as you start an exercise program while you are breast-feeding:
- Start out slowly. Walking, swimming, and cycling are all good low-impact ways to begin an exercise program. Gradually build up your time and intensity.
- Wear a supportive bra. Not all sports bras offer enough support, so try on a bra before you buy it.
- Consume more calories when needed. Generally, you should stick with a diet of at least 1,800 calories per day. Typically, you will gradually lose about 1 lb (0.5 kg) to 2 lb (0.9 kg) per week. Extreme weight-loss diets should be avoided while breast-feeding.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you are active.
Rest is also important for breast-feeding women to maintain their energy and milk production. You likely will not have a normal schedule when you first start to breast-feed. But you can take naps and find time to rest for short periods throughout the day, such as when your baby sleeps. It is very important to ask for help when you need it. Ideally, plan ahead for certain periods that a friend, relative, or babysitter can come in to help with your chores and child care so you can exercise or rest.
|Author||Sandy Jocoy, RN|
|Editor||Kathleen M. Ariss, MS|
|Associate Editor||Terrina Vail|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Anne Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Updated||May 4, 2009|
Last Updated: May 4, 2009
Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN