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Breastfeed Rev. 2004 Jul;12(2):11-7.

Physical exercise and the lactating woman: a qualitative pilot study of mothers' perceptions and experiences.

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  • 1Prenatal Plus Health & Fitness, 56 Binburra Ave., Avalon NSW 2107, Australia.

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the lactating woman's perceptions and experiences of physical exercise. Utilising quantitative and qualitative measures, six lactating women (average age = 31.6 years) who had recently given birth and were engaging in regular exercise, took part in open-ended, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires which focused on their individual experiences. The mothers also completed inventories measuring self-esteem, the presence of postnatal depression, and a retrospective survey gauging their preconception, prenatal and current participation in physical activity. The main themes to emerge from teh content analysis of the qualitative data included perceived well-being from improved energy and stress levels, and weight control. Some of the mothers stated that exercise affected their breastfeeding in a negative way by possibly reducing their breastmilk supply. All mothers confirmed exercise as enhancing the maternal-infant relationship. It is recommended that future research be conducted into the exercise prescription guidelines for women to enhance breastfeeding success.

PMID:
17891862
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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