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Easy Home Exercises for Breastfeeding Moms

Wondering what simple exercises you can do at home to shed some baby weight and stay upbeat? Here, we’re going to lead you through easy home exercises for a breastfeeding mom to get back in shape post-pregnancy.

  • Published on: 17 Mar 2021
  • 6 min read
Easy Home Exercises for Breastfeeding Moms

Wondering what simple exercises you can do at home to shed some baby weight and stay upbeat? Here, we’re going to lead you through easy home exercises for a breastfeeding mom to get back in shape post-pregnancy.

First, what are the benefits of embracing a breastfeeding workout routine?

No matter how in-shape you were prior to or during the pregnancy, postpartum workouts can present a host of challenges. Remember, your body is still in recovery mode and there’s a breastfeeding little one in the house, so you may be feeling more exhausted, overwhelmed, and uninspired than ever.

Be that as it may, squeezing in a bit of breastfeeding workout into your hectic schedule can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit, leading to an enriched sense of well-being. What’s more, postpartum exercise boasts amazing benefits not only for your body but also for your stress levels and mood. Working up a sweat helps you heal from the inside out, providing an easy way to blow off steam, re-center, and re-focus on yourself.

We’re not just speaking about getting your pre-baby body back; home breastfeeding workouts can help lift your physical strength, self-confidence, and energy. This way, you can improve your mental strength and really appreciate yourself more, something which can be a tad difficult when you’re caring for your little bundle of joy around the clock.

Aside from the various emotional and mental benefits, regular home exercises can result in more balanced hormones, better sleep, increased strength, and of course, weight loss — all of which are vital after 9 months of unpredictable changes.

When should you begin exercising post-delivery?

That’s a great question most breastfeeding moms often ask after giving birth to a child. First of all, you should never dive into any type of postnatal exercise without the approval of your OB/GYN or doctor. Although this usually varies from one breastfeeding mom to the next, most obstetricians recommend that you wait 6-8 weeks after delivery before jumping into any kind of workout.

Some moms-to-be might go through certain complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery that may delay their return to exercising by a few more weeks. For instance, someone who had a Cesarean delivery (C-section) may have to wait a little longer than someone who had a normal vaginal birth. Even so, some mothers can start working out earlier than 6 weeks.

Easy Home Exercises for Breastfeeding Moms

Let’s dive right in.

1) Lateral Weight Shift

lateral weight shift

This should be a simple yet powerful home exercise for any breastfeeding mom, especially when started sooner rather than later. It helps strengthen lower extremity muscles, workout pelvic muscles, and improve coordination.

Rep #1: Stand with your feet 2 to 3 ft. apart and your toes should be turned out a little. Now, start by shifting your body weight to the right with your knees slightly bent, and then reach out your hands to the feet, ceiling, or side.

Rep #2: Assuming the same posture, now shift your body weight to the left, and do the same routine. You can change the order of reaching out your hands to the ceiling, side, or feet.

It’s recommended that you alternate the reps and reach out your hands at different speeds. Make sure to rest 30-60 seconds between each rep.

2) Forward Dumbbell Raise

Forward Dumbbell Raise

You’ll need a pair of lightweight dumbbells for this one — anything from two to five pounds can do the trick. This easy breastfeeding workout improves circulation, tones the upper body, and is amazing for stress-relief.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand, bending your knees slightly. Hang down your arms and ensure each palm is facing the front of the respective thigh.

Now, lift your straight arms up to the shoulder level, ensuring that they don’t bend or fold. Hold your arms in the shoulder position for 1-3 seconds before lowering them to the default position. Repeat this at least 10 times with a short rest of 30-45 seconds between each. If it’s too hard at first, you can lift one arm at a time.

3) Mid-Back Posture Exercise

Mid back posture exercise

Pregnancy can take a toll on your posture, spine, and back. This simple exercise will not only makeover your mid-back but also restore posture and improve breathing. It works best with a postpartum recovery belt like this 3-in-1 wrap belt from KeaBabies.

Start with your arms extended out, bent at the elbows, and palms raised up to around shoulder level. Now, start squeezing together your shoulder blades, which will result in a feeling of stretch along the front of the shoulders and your chest area.

Hold each shoulder blade squeeze for about five seconds then release, rest for five seconds and repeat at least five times. You should feel a pretty mild tension when you squeeze. If it hurts or you feel a sharp painful sensation, hold off and work on other exercises that improve flexibility.

4) Single-Arm Rows 

single arm rows

Here’s another simple upper-body exercise that you can do with lightweight dumbbells, a resistance band, or a cable. Great for biceps, triceps, and upper back.

If you choose to use a pair of dumbbells, start by bending slightly forward at the waist while keeping the knees unlocked. With a dumbbell in hand and engaging your core, pull your arm back until the elbow is perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the side of your body. Retreat and repeat ten reps before switching to the other arm.

5) Belly Breathing Exercise

belly breathing exercise

Also called diaphragmatic breathing, this core exercise should be started on your back (supine pose) with your arms relaxed by your side and legs stretched out flat. It’s easy: now inhale deeply and you’ll see your belly mushroom. Then breathe out all the air while pressing your lower back into the ground.

This is a low-impact ab workout for breastfeeding moms that relieves stress, improves circulation, and promotes relaxation. It’s best done in the morning and occasionally throughout the day.

6) Abdominal Bracing

Abdominal bracing is an easy-to-do core exercise that works on your diaphragm and muscles of your abdomen, pelvis, and spine.

Begin in a relaxed supine position, then contract your stomach (ab) muscles gently. It would help to picture what would do when someone is about to punch you in the abdomen.

Next, reduce the gap between your hip bones and rib cage. Imagine you’re attempting to glue your whole spine to the ground. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds while breathing normally. Take a short break then repeat for 10 reps.

7) Head Lifts

 

head lifts

Head lifts and other curl-up progressive exercises are great for regaining your pelvic floor and core strength. At least until you can do squats and sit-ups.

Start on your back (supine position) with your feet flat on the ground, knees bent, and arms relaxed by your sides. Inhale deeply while keeping your belly relaxed.

Slowly lift your neck and head as you exhale. Stay in this “head-lift” position for a couple of seconds then take a deep breath in as you gently lower your head & neck back down to the ground. When you can easily do 10 reps of head lifts, you can slowly ease the shoulder into the action.

8) Kegels (Pelvic floor exercises)

Some mothers start doing Kegels during pregnancy, so your muscle memory should kick in right away. Even if you didn’t, postpartum is a great time to start, even if you had a c-section. This is a targeted exercise for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.

Simply tighten your pelvic floor muscles (assume that you’re trying to hold in some pee). Hold for 10 seconds and repeat after a while throughout your busy day.

These are only a few of the many simple exercises a breastfeeding mom can do at home to whip her body back to shape. Don’t forget to breastfeed or express milk before doing most of these exercises. A supportive sports breastfeeding bra can go a long way. Drink plenty of fluids, eat healthily, and get lots of restful sleep.


Lindsay Hudson

KeaMommy Contributor: Lindsay Hudson

Lindsay is a freelance writer who is mom to a lovely daughter. She loves dressing in matching outfits with her daughter and bringing their 2 dogs out for their daily walk.

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