Exercising is a good habit and there is a certain type of exercise for everybody even for pregnant and lactating women. There is special care required in doing any physical activity during the period of pregnancy and lactation. The most important thing is to stay fit and active during that period. The right nutrition along with staying agile is the way to have a smooth pregnancy and lactation period (Amorim AR, Linne YM, Lourenco, 2008). There are many exercises which aid in pregnancy for the better development of the baby, changing shape and weight gain. The balanced nutrition along with some manageable and correct exercises also helps in coping with labor and getting back into shape after childbirth.
The normal level of physical activity during pregnancy is to hold a conversation well while exercising meaning one is not supposed to exhaust herself. There are some exercises for stomach and pelvic strengthening while normal walking, yoga and light aerobics are considered fine in pregnancy. Important factor is to avoid any strenuous exercise and do not start exercising just after getting pregnant (Amorim AR, Linne YM, Lourenco, 2008). The nutritional advice for a healthy pregnancy is to take in lots of fluids and water. A warm up is essential before the exercise and it’s also important to cool down after any sort of physical activity. There are pelvic tilt and pelvic floor exercises especially beneficial during pregnancy.
It is really important to keep up with the daily nutritional requirement of the body and consult the physician before making any changes in the exercising routine. A routine walk is known to have benefits for the pregnant women. This can start from 15 minutes a day and go up to 35 minutes per day. Exercise is known to be benefitting even after the pregnancy gets over and it is effective for lactating mothers as well. The main effect of exercise for a mother is to reduce stress levels, improve bone strength, assist in controlling weight and improve general well being and energy levels in the body. Lactating mothers need to have an increased supply of nutrients and exercising should be done to moderate things in the body.
There is a belief that lactic acid is increased in the milk of lactating mothers when they do maximal exercise but there are not much advantageous for the baby as well (Rich M, Currie J, McMahon C, 2004). Moderate exercise however, is good for lactating mothers as a way of getting fitter again. Some tips for lactating mothers are breastfeeding their babies before exercising and drinking lots of water. Exercising after having the child is known to improve heart health as well and is much helpful in dealing with the post natal depression. The exact balance is however, different for different woman and thus one should always notice signs from the body and take the physician’s advice. The general energy levels should be maintained by following proper nutritional diet.
Breastfeeding is a way of burning energy and a lot of energy is consumed in feeding the young one but balancing it with exercise can really help to attain a fitter body easily. It is always advised that moderate exercise during the lactation period is good for the physical and mental well being and it does not have any adverse affect on the milk production and the lactating baby (Rich M, Currie J, McMahon C, 2004). The most important aspect of pregnancy and lactating period for a woman is to maintain a balance between the physical exercise and nutritional requirements. Some breathing exercises are known to improve the oxygen supply to the baby during pregnancy. Lactating mothers should do moderate exercise to stay fit and energetic.
Rich M, Currie J, McMahon C, 2004, Physical exercise and the lactating woman: a qualitative pilot study of mothers’ perceptions and experiences, Vol 12, Issue 2, pg 7 – 11.
Amorim AR, Linne YM, Lourenco, 2008, Diet or exercise or both for weight management and staying fit in pregnant women, Vol 4, Issue 3, pg 181 – 184.