Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Breastfeed Rev. 2004 Jul;12(2):11-7.

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

Author information

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center