How To Comfortably Exercise While Breastfeeding

6 expert tips for getting back into the swing of things when you're nursing.

How To Comfortably Exercise While Breastfeeding

Exercising once baby has arrived is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen and tone abdominal muscles, promote weight loss, and help you sleep better. It can even boost your energy level, relieve stress and decrease your risk of postpartum depression -- three particularly important aspects for new moms. But exercise while breastfeeding is easier said than done.

If you've been cleared for exercising, now is the time to get your groove back, and in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we decided to help you ease back into a comfortable workout routine and feel like "yourself" again. Here are 6 tips to get back into the swing of exercising while nursing.

1. Find a supportive nursing sports bra. The constant nursing sessions don’t make wearing a fitted or tighter sports bra enjoyable. However, brands have launched maternity and nursing underwear for the active mother. Boob Design is not only comfortable, it also provides you with just the support you need for your yoga and spinning classes or if you want to take a long walk with your pram. Plus, the nursing clip allows for easing access to your baby-feeding boobs.

2. Hydrate before, during and after. Nursing your little one requires adequate hydration throughout the day. But with added exercise, you’ll need to drink even more in order to sustain your milk supply. Investing in a reusable sports bottle, such as a 24oz OXO strive propel bottle or a Camelbak water bottle, is an excellent way to keep track of your water intake.

3. Pump or nurse at the right time. The best way to avoid discomfort from your milk-making breasts is to pump or nurse at least 30 to 45 minutes prior to working out. This way, you’ll have enough time to exercise and even shower before your breasts start getting from milk build-up and you have to nurse your little one again. This is especially helpful if you are planning on any kind of bouncing activity, like jump rope, high-intensity cardio or kick-boxing.

4. Plan your meals. In addition to drinking more water, you also need to eat more. If you are exercising and breastfeeding, your body is likely in weight loss mode. So you want to ensure that you’ve got nutritious and wholesome snacks for constant nourishment. Instead of noshing on high-calorie and processed foods, such as pizza or chips, why not use your need for more calories to eat healthy? Some suggested pantry or kitchen staples include: cottage cheese, hard- and soft-boiled eggs, nut butters, avocados, bananas, hummus, yogurt and string cheese

5. Get a weekly massage. If you know someone who can massage your feet once a week for at least 10 minutes a day, the circulation and increased blood flow will make your feet feel better from all the pressure you’re likely adding to it between standing and exercising. Not only will it relieve tension, but massages can also prime your bodies for continued growth in muscle development and strength. For extra relief, Mama Mio’s Cooling gel can soothe tired legs and swollen feet.

6. Take it slow. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just getting started, it’s preferable to ease into it with low-impact activities. Walking, swimming and yoga are all excellent ways to prime the body into more rigorous and higher-intensity sports. Also, you don't need to add pressure to your everyday life, and you want to be happy about being active. So find a routine that works for you and your little one so that you don't stress about exercising.

Incorporating exercise into your routine is a personal decision. Should you decide to start working out sooner than later, we hope this post helps you fit exercise into your new mom lifestyle. Happy Breastfeeding week!

Photo courtesy of boob. Check out the Fast Food Nursing Sports Bra here.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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