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Here are my 5 tips for running and breastfeeding.
1) Hydration/Nutrition/Sleep: You have a new baby, you are training, YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN and you will constantly be hungry. Your body produces milk by taking the energy you put into it. It is important to make sure that the calories you burn by running are replaced. Getting adequate quantities of good fat, high protein food is important to keep your milk supply up while you train. I feel like I am constantly eating. Like starving all.the.time!!!! Almonds are my go to and ice cream is my staple night time snack ;) Hydration though is KEY! Drink DRINK DRIIINKKK (and no I am not frat party chanting). Breast Milk is mostly made up of water. Your body needs the water. Drink the water! Sleep yeah right, you won't. But trying to is important. This one I have yet to figure out since I run when the baby naps or late at night but one day I will sleep again I am sure ;)
3) Sports Bras: You need support. In so many many different babies when you are trying to be a new mom, feed a baby and train for a race. However, you literally need THE support. Your boobs will be heavy and MUCH larger. Especially, at first. They are going to hurt and be uncomfortable but if you have a good supportive sports bra or TWO then it makes it much easier. I have found that when I was training for my first half right after #2 was born that I had to run in THREE, yes THREE bras. It was hot and a tad uncomfortable but it was what worked. Coming into the finish line after my first 13.1 miles completely soaked from the never ending rain and exhausted made getting those three bras OFF as I was handed my medal and a baby who needed to nurse a tad tricky. After, that fiasco I found Moving Comfort. Not only do I only run in one bra now (and have the entire 9 months of nursing baby #3) but they clasp in the back making taking them off easier AND the straps actually are adjustable by amazing Velcro so it is possible to just take one side down and nurse a baby whether I am coming in from a training run or ending a race.
4) Routes: Routes will be important to plan. Either for the ease of getting to (like right out your front door), so you can get right to running and not spending all of your precious time between nursing sessions traveling to your running route. OR so that it will be easy and some what quick for you to come home if you are needed. Babies eat on a schedule for the most part around 12 weeks BUT they can always throw a wrench in the mix and wake up early and be STARVING. More than once I have been called home from a run to nurse a baby. Sometimes I nurse the babe and then head right back out and sometimes I just call it a day. I never know if my run will be a mile or 5 miles.
5) Flexibility: Just like when I was pregnant, it is not ME dictating my runs. My body doesn't really belong to me during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is used as a source for nutrition and growth for my little miracle. Which means I need to keep an open mind with planning my training or hitting the road. My 10 mile run may have a phone call at mile 2 alerting me to a hungry baby. Or my 1 mile me time may turn into a 5 mile vacation when the baby decides an extra long nap is good. I may only have time for 3 training runs that week not 4. If you can roll with the punches, adapt to whatever schedule your baby puts you on for that day then you will find it easier to stay on top of your running. Not expecting too much makes for an absolute thrilling feeling when you realize you can do more. :)
So here is the deal. Can you train and breastfeed? Of course if it is what YOU want. If your baby is thriving, your supply is keeping up and you are happy then go for it!
What are some tips for breastfeeding and running that YOU have?