Diet and Exercise Plan for a Breastfeeding Mom


Exercise

I began daily walks at 1 week postpartum. I started with just 20-30 minutes of walking and worked up to an hour (about 3 miles). I sustained only this level of activity until 5 weeks postpartum. Here is my exercise plan from here out to get me back to my intense workouts and athleticism:

  • Week 5 – add in 15 minutes of light circuit training (Monday), and a 12-15 minute HIIT workout (Friday)
  • Week 6 – increase circuit training to 30 minutes, add 1 more 12-15 minute HIIT workout (Wednesday)
  • Week 7 – add a 30 minute cardio routine in for Thursdays (jumprope, running, trail running, kickboxing)
  • Week 8 – add a track, stadium, or hill workout for Sundays (sprints, plyometrics, hill sprints, stadium runs)Exercise for-breastfeeding-mom

This timetable gets me back to my pre-pregnancy routine by 2 months post-partum:

  • Mondays – circuit training (30-45min), walk. Here’s a sample of a typical circuit training workout:
    Start with a 5 minute warm up. I do dynamic stretching (stretching while staying moving, unlike static stretches where you hold the stretch), progressing to some jumping jacks and high knees.
    Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
    Tricep Press (12 reps) Sumo Squats with weight (12 reps) Front Shoulder Raises (12 reps each arm)
    Diamond Pushups (12 reps) One-Leg Deadlifts (12 reps each leg) Clean and Press (12 reps)
    2 min jump rope 2 min jump rope 2 min jump rope
    2 minute rest
    This is one round. Repeat entire routine a total of 2-3x.
    Each Round (3 sets) took me about 15 minutes. I did 2 rounds for a total of 30 minutes. End with a 10 minute stretching cool down. I like to stretch out my arms, then my hamstrings, my inner thighs, my quads, and then perform a few sun salutations. I also add in cat/cow to stretch out my back and hips, and end in child’s pose.
  • Tuesdays – walk only
  • Wednesdays – HIIT (12-15min), walk. Here’s a sample of a typical HIIT workout: 
    Table Start with a 5 minute warm up. I do dynamic stretching (stretching while staying moving, unlike static stretches where you hold the stretch), progressing to some jumping jacks and high knees.
    50 Jump Squats
    10 rest
    50 Clean & Press
    10 rest
    50 180-Jumps
    10 rest
    50 Renegade Push Ups/Rows
    10 rest
    Repeat this a total of 5 times for a 20 minute workout. End with a 10 minute stretching cool down. I like to stretch out my arms, then my hamstrings, my inner thighs, my quads, and then perform a few sun salutations. I also add in cat/cow to stretch out my back and hips, and end in child’s pose.
  • Thursdays – cardio (jumprope, running, trail running, kickboxing), walk
  • Fridays – HIIT (12-15min), walk
  • Saturdays – walk only
  • Sundays – track workout 20-30 min (sprints, plyometrics, hill sprints, stadium runs)

My focus is short, intense workouts because I have very limited time in between baby feedings and baby naps! I’ll also be continuing daily walks with the baby, probably more like 2 miles. It’s good for both of us to get out in the sun each day!

Note: if you are also choosing the intense, shorter workouts, make sure you’re feeding baby before your workout. A few small studies have found a buildup of lactic acid in breastmilk following high intensity (to the point of exhaustion) exercise, and also a small decrease in supply in the 90 minutes following the workout.