Most forms of moderate exercise are acceptable (even running, for those who ran regularly before becoming pregnant). But avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back after the first trimester -- or sooner if this position makes you dizzy or short of breath.
The “talk test” will tell you if you’re working too hard -- if you can have a conversation, your exertion and heart rate are within acceptable levels.
When it comes to calorie intake, pregnant and breastfeeding women need to account for the extra calories they’re burning, but shouldn’t overdo it at mealtime. During your pregnancy you’ll generally need 300-500 calories extra per day in the second and third trimesters.
When breastfeeding, mothers burn an additional 200 to 500 calories per day producing milk. So even if you’re trying to drop the baby weight, be sure to eat 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day (probably closer to the high end of that range) so you don’t put your supply in jeopardy.
Most importantly, focus on eating healthy foods rich in nutrients like whole grains, lean proteins and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
Breastfeeding moms can get help from Dad
While the physical responsibilities of nursing fall on mother, a dad’s behaviour can either support or undermine breastfeeding success. In fact, Pediatrics published a study in 2005 that found that of the mothers whose supporting partners were taught how to help manage common breastfeeding problems, about 25 perc ent were still breastfeeding exclusively or predominately when their babies were six months old.
Of those women whose partner was only educated on general health and nutrition, the breastfeeding rate at six months dropped to 15 percent.
Dads should take the time to learn about breastfeeding so that they understand and can get on board with mother’s’ goals. This will keep them from getting frustrated with a crying baby who is taking a little time to learn to eat.
That frustration is what leads many fathers to suggest formula -- they don’t know how else to help. The best thing to do in those situations is understand that breastfeeding is new for the baby and the mother, and that encouragement and support is more helpful than supplementing with formula.