360-Day Challenge: Healthy Eating and Exercise to Support Breastfeeding


Baby shower for my 3rd baby. At 36 weeks.

As my due date comes closer and closer, I find myself more anxious about the challenges of taking care of a newborn baby.  My priority, of course, is the health of my baby.  On top of my list is to establish my milk supply so that I can sustain exclusive breastfeeding for at least a year, but ideally two years.

My 2nd baby.

Immediately bonding with my 2nd baby, right after birth.

Starting out right is critical so I have been reading a lot of articles and watching videos about breastfeeding.  I have breastfed my first two daughters; but at that time, I was not really conscious of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.  So I started out with mixed feeding.  Fortunately for my second child (featured picture), I bonded with a lot breastfeeding moms in our office.  These mommies provided so much information, inspiration and support which helped me get back to providing my baby with breast milk exclusively (with some hiccups along the way when I had to resort to mixed feeding) for a year and 3 months.

Secondly, I want to take care of my body and get back in shape.  I have gained around 60 pounds within the last 37 weeks and I am at my heaviest in my life.   Postpartum, I want to lose weight and get back to my regular yoga practice.  This would really be a challenge because I know I cannot cut back on my diet because doing so will not support healthy breastfeeding.  Further, drastic weight loss is not advisable, and in fact, can be dangerous for baby since I read that toxins are released to the milk.  Finally, with a new baby (and anticipated breastpumping when I get back to work), who would have time for regular exercise?

Pre-pregnancy to 6 months

Pre-pregnancy to 6 months

In my last pregnancy, I started my conscious weight-loss program only after I stopped breastfeeding.  It took me more than 2 years postpartum to get back to pre-pregnancy shape.  This time, I plan to be more mindful and make a conscious effort to prepare healthy meal programs and slowly get back to regular exercise that would support healthy breastfeeding.

And perhaps, after one year or so, I would get back to my lean self and continue my yoga journey:

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