So many people have asked me about how I have managed to be a runner and a new Mum, and in particular, training for a marathon (which I ran when my baby was 8 months old). When I think about it, yes, it is/was crazy. But it is totally doable if you really want to. I have also had many people asking me about breastfeeding and running and how I make it work. My boy is now 9.5 months old and still exclusively breastfed.
|After the marathon - he totally wants that medal!|
When I first got back into running after having my baby, I was really worried about it affecting my milk supply. I was worried because my husband and I had both made the decision that our son comes first and if the running affects my milk (as I had heard that it could), then I would have to stop, or just scale it back - both thoughts which freaked me out... A lot! To not run would just be so hard but I had to do what was best for my son.
I made the decision that I was going to be able to continue breastfeeding while training for a marathon. I wanted to be a person who was opposite to popular belief and have running increase my milk supply. So I researched diets and got some advice as to what things could help. I took a couple of supplements such as brewer's yeast and complan shakes, I expressed to keep up my supply, I got plenty of rest (it helped that my baby is an awesome sleeper) and decided that I would not try to cut my calories to loose weight. Plus, as a new Mum and a runner, you need all the energy you can get so cutting calories is just NOT an option there! I had a diet that was very high in protein, which is great for increasing milk supply (and actually just a really good diet that any runner/athlete should have), ate lots of legumes, eggs, beans, fruit and veges, nuts, yoghurt, and more.
My milk supply was awesome (and still is)! I would have a few days every now and then where I felt like it was getting low, but then it would always come right back up again. I actually think days like that are fairly normal for breastfeeding mothers, running or not. And do these thighs look like they have been deprived of anything???
Don't get me wrong, I have had moments where I just wish he was on a bottle, but being able to feed him for this long has been so great for all of us. I am hoping to start weaning him soon and I am soooo looking forward to that!
I think the most important thing about being active and a breastfeeding mother is that you take really good care of yourself, as well as your baby, and that you keep a positive mind about your milk supply and your ability to feed your baby. If you think your milk is running out, it most likely will, but if you think about having a truck load of milk, then you most likely will too!
I am not an expert on this topic at all, and everyone is different. Do seek professional advice if you are about to start running after having a baby, but don't be deterred by people telling you it 'can't be done', or 'it's not good for your milk'. It may not work for you, but be sure to make up your own mind about that one and go with what you feel is best for you and your family. You are doing a great job either way!
And one last pic of my baby that I am sure is going to be some sort of sports superstar by the way he is sucking on that medal...
|The taste of victory maybe?|
Mums (moms) out there, did you exercise/run whilst breastfeeding? If so, any other advice you could add? How did you find it?