How To Stay Healthy & Fit While Breastfeeding

Taking care of your baby is paramount. After all, you waited a whole nine months to finally get to hold your little bundle of joy. But wait — you look at yourself in the mirror and notice the dark circles under your eyes, your unkempt hair, unhealthy pallor and protruding stomach.

You once swore to yourself that by month four, at least, you would resume your old workout routine. But it is now six months later, and baby seems healthy. How about you?

As a breastfeeding mom, it’s very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of childcare, work and daily household tasks. Eating properly becomes more challenging, and fitting in some form of exercise seems next to impossible. But don’t give up yet — there’s always something you can do to get back into shape.

With this practical advice for nursing mothers such as yourself, you’ll soon be wearing that flattering tank top you’ve been meaning to wear this past year.

  1. Reach for a glass of H2O

Remember, you are breastfeeding, and breast milk is 87 percent water, so do the math. Aside from  drinking water (a lot!), your best bets for proper hydration are fresh vegetable and fruit juices, herbal teas and almond milk.

Caffeinated beverages and wine will have to be consumed in moderation since anything you ingest will definitely affect the quality of your milk and will have an effect on your baby’s well-being.

  1. Eat for you and for baby

Eating for two can mean having small meals or snacks throughout the day just like your little one to avoid overeating from extreme hunger pangs. Stick to nutritious snacks and meals with plenty of quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Eat healthy and natural foods, including green leafy vegetables, wild freshly-caught fish, nuts and whole grains. If you have access to organic food and ingredients, then that would be much better.

Have an occasional treat now and then, but make sure it is free from chemicals and artificial ingredients, colorants, flavor enhancers and the like. As long as you are eating healthy, you can forget about counting calories — so yes, you can definitely have your cake and eat it, too.

  1. Commit to a simple fitness plan

In setting your fitness goal, make sure it is realistic, simple and something you can commit to. Start with something as easy to accomplish as walking, or something low-impact like circuit training, Pilates or yoga, then gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your body begins to adjust to your exercise routine, regains strength, and recovers from the strain of giving birth.

Make exercise a regular part of your day. It doesn’t matter if you exercise in the morning, afternoon or at night, as long as you do it with some consistency. Some special added bonuses of exercise include a general feeling of wellness, better quality sleep, and time for focusing on yourself.

  1. Give yourself time to chill

Snacking on your favorite fruit while reading your favorite book is a great way to wind down while baby is busy snoozing or playing. On weekends, you can wear your most comfortable mama clothing and wander idly through the neighborhood, go exploring while eating ice cream, and baby is in the stroller relaxing.

Whenever you have a few rare hours to yourself, call a friend, catch up and go to a salon for a facial or a mani-pedi, do a little window shopping, watch a movie, or drop by your favorite bookstore.

Take a long, warm soothing bath, get a home massage, cook your favorite meal and savor dinner time while help is at hand, or simply use your exercise routine as the time to focus on yourself, recover and feel empowered.

So there’s really no reason to feel bad at this stage because with just a little push from within, you’ll be well on your way towards getting fit. All you need to do is set your goals straight, and stay committed to taking extra care of yourself with a wholesome wellness, nutrition and fitness plan.

AUTHOR BIO

At 16, Merril Bainbridge began her career in the Australian fashion industry. In her early 20's she left to launch a successful Pop Music career which saw her at the top of the US Music Charts. Retiring to start a family, she found a new purpose helping breastfeeding women with her fashion label, Peachymama.

About Menopause Fact 1 and 2

Women have a unique cyclical nature, Menopause is defined as the condition when menstrual cycle stops for a period of 12 months, at this period, a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally, it usually starts with varying menstrual cycle till it get to final menstrual period, the ovary which is a pair of reproductive glands in women located in the pelvis, it produces eggs(ova) and female hormones which regulates the menstrual cycle, controls the females body characteristics such as the breast and body shape seizes it functions, In every monthly menstrual cycle, the ovary releases an egg which travel through a Fallopian tube to the uterus.

How does it start?

Menopause is a normal part of aging in a woman usually after the age of 45, A woman is born with a definite number of eggs which are stored in the ovaries, menstruation and ovulation are controlled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone made by the ovaries.

Certain conditions can cause premature menopause

Pm may start as a result of genetic disorders such as autoimmune disorders.

Premature ovarian failure: Normally, the ovaries make progesterone and estrogen, these hormones peradventure may stop releasing eggs due to changes in their secretion or for unknown reasons, if such is the case it is called premature ovarian failure and is always temporary.

Surgical removal of the ovaries: The surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) in an active ovulating woman will result to immediate menopause or induced menopause, and the ovaries may as well be removed together with the uterus (hysterectomy).

Radiation therapy o chemotherapy can lead to premature menopause when given to an ovulating woman.

Symptoms of menopause

Hot flashes and night sweats are common among women undergoing menopause, a pronounced feeling of warmth over the body especially in the head and chest, since it is yet to be understood fully, it is likely due to a combination of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations brought on by decreasing estrogen levels.

Vaginal starts losing its lubrication as estrogen level falls during perimenopause, becoming thinner, drier, irritation and itching/or pain with sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) starts.

The urethra undergoes changes similar to the tissues of the vagina and thereby leading to an increased risk of urinary tract infections, urine incontinence (feeling the need to urinate more frequently).

Emotional and cognitive symptoms, changes in mood including fatigue, memory problems, irritability, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and reduced sex drive (libido).

Other physical changes are weight gain, hair loss, wrinkles and acne, fat deposits more in the waist and abdominal area rather than in the thighs and hips.

There are certain complications and effects associated with menopause on chronic medical conditions.

Osteoporosis may start due to decreasing estrogen level and it affects the amount of calcium in the bone; this is the deterioration of the quantity and quality of bone that causes an increased risk of fracture, especially in women that do not exercise regularly.

Cardiovascular diseases increases around the time of menopause, decreased estrogen level can hamper the body from retaining flexible arteries, as such palpitations or dizziness may present, however; Women have a decreased risk of heart diseases and stroke volume when compared to men prior to menopause.

Oral contraceptive pills can be prescribed to women in perimenopause as another form of hormone therapy to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. These helps to relieve hot flashes, provide contraception, regulate menstrual periods when given estrogen therapy.

Some hormone and non-hormone treatments can be applied for the symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency, such as vaginal estrogen cream, vaginal moisturizer (example, k-y silk-E and liquibeads) as well as using lubricants during intercourse may manage discomfort of vaginal dryness

Betadine can be apply to the outer vaginal area or soaking in a bathtub of warm water can help to relieve the symptoms of vaginal pain and burning after intercourse.

Home remedies such as phytoestrogen and isoflavones plant can as well help, research has shown that a chemical found in soy( isofavones which contains genistein and daidzein) have a chemical structure similar to natural estrogen in the body and helps to relieve mild hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

Vitamin E supplements can provide relief to hot flashes, but no concrete facts have been proved scientifically, taking too much dosage of vitamin E may be fatal to health, but always see your gynecologist regardless what you see on the internet.

Eats foods rich in calcium, or see your dietitian for an advice.

Refrain from much spicy foods,

Caffeine

Smoking and

Caffeine

Take vitamin D supplements

Exercise regularly

Alcoholism

Wearing layers and dressing in light cotton clothing

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