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Can I exercise if I am breastfeeding?

Absolutely. Although you should always check with your doctor regarding your specific health condition, exercise is good for breastfeeding mothers. In addition to improving cardiovascular fitness and helping you achieve a healthy weight, exercise stimulates milk production.

Yes, exercise is beneficial when you are a breastfeeding mom. The first 3 months your body is recovering and certain abdominal exercises are not recommended until your abdominal muscles come back together. Also, take in extra calories - about 500 calories above what you would normally eat to maintain your weight - try to make these healthy foods.

Susie Whitworth
Nursing
Nursing mothers can benefit from regular exercise. It is a good idea to exercise after nursing to avoid breast discomfort. There are many creative ways you can get moderate exercise with your baby. For example, carry your baby in a sling while doing housework, take your baby for walks, and dance around with your baby in the house. Not only will you benefit from the exercise, but your baby will enjoy the bonding time as well.
Lyn Turton
Nutrition & Dietetics

Yes you can. Check with your doctor before starting exercise but light exercise such as walking with your baby either in a sling on stroller can be beneficial to you both. 

Choosing exercises that you can do with your baby is a great way to have fun and bond.

Exercise has been shown to improve mood and can be especially helpful for new Moms who are lacking sleep. Getting together with other Moms for a walk or exercise session can be a good way of meeting other parents.

 

Exercising has many health benefits and is recommended during breastfeeding. If you were exercising during pregnancy, it’s safe to continue your exercise routine. Just make sure that you are consuming enough fluids and calories to maintain your milk supply and prevent fatigue.

If you’re just beginning an exercise program, get an okay from your doctor. Then follow safe exercise habits: Start slowly and build up gradually, exercise at least three days a week and warm up prior to exercise.

You can breastfeed right after you exercise -- there is no need to wait.
Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine
Yes, moderate exercise can improve a breastfeeding mother’s health and has a positive effect on her overall physical, psychological and emotional well-being.  The latter can also enhance your maternal-infant relationship given your improved energy and reduced stress levels.
Virtually any exercise that would have been considered healthy prior to pregnancy is considered safe when breastfeeding. Jarring activities such as running will be more comfortable if you're wearing a good supportive bra. Swimming in chlorinated pools may need to be curtailed if there is nipple irritation; otherwise, wash thoroughly after swimming before breastfeeding.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.