Friday, August 9, 2013
Diet and Exercise While Breastfeeding: What's Safe and What's Not?
After giving birth, one thing that might be on your mind is losing the baby weight! You have your own body back but it's just a little heavier than before and you are so ready to be able to wear jeans that actually zip and button! But you might be wondering if it is ok to start a diet and exercise routine now that your nursing. Is it ok to diet while breastfeeding? What kind of exercise is safe for breastfeeding? Well you're in luck! I'm going to share with you some information about both dieting and exercise while breastfeeding and let you know what is safe and what is not!
Dieting while Breastfeeding
First, don't start any sort of dieting at all until your baby is at least two months old. Second, studies show that nursing mothers maintain an abundant supply taking in between 1800-2200 or more per day. If you've counted calories before that may seem like a lot but you have to remember your feeding another human being now. If you really want to decrease your calories, kellymom.com says you can SLOWLY start to decrease your calories to between 1500 and 1800 per day.
My personal suggestion is to eat as much as you need to to keep up your energy and milk supply. The first few months of nursing I was hungry all the time! I can't imagine trying to diet then. Instead of counting calories I suggest maybe just changing some of your eating habits. Incorporate lots of healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet, and stay away from the cake and cookies as much as you can. These simple diet changes will prove to be very effective without having to count every little calorie.
Also remember to drink plenty of water! Drink to your thirst. A lot of women find themselves more thirsty when they are nursing and it is definitely ok to drink water all day long to keep yourself hydrated and quench your thirst!
Exercise while Breastfeeding
Exercise is a great thing! It keeps your heart and muscles healthy, it decreases stress, and it gives self-confidence! Exercise is definitely recommended for everyone, including nursing mothers! According to kellymom.com, moderate exercise should not affect your milk supply or the quality of your milk.
My personal tips for exercising while breastfeeding are to do what you feel comfortable with and not to overdo it. Don't start an exercise routine right after giving birth until your doctor approves you to begin. Then start off slow, if you need to, and work your way up. I started with just pushing my boys in the stroller on walks and then worked my way up to doing the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. You may want to nurse your baby before you work out and wear a supportive sports bra so you are comfortable while exercising. Also, remember to stay hydrated throughout your exercise routine as well as before and after.
Losing the baby weight is a big factor for mothers after having a baby. We all want to look and feel good. If you follow these tips for dieting and exercise while breastfeeding you'll be on your way to feeling great!