Monday, 16 December 2013

Breastfeeding and running...

Here it is folks, I am finally getting into some nitty gritty topics on my blog.

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!
Breastfeeding has had its up and downs, for sure. And planning runs around naps and feeds and babysitters is not always easy, but as I mentioned above, can be done.

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???

I would plan my runs around Fletcher's feeds. During the week I would feed him, play with him and then put him to bed and run on the treadmill while he was sleeping (or take him running in the buggy and he'd sleep in there). For my long weekend runs I would get up before him (this always seemed crazy to me, getting up BEFORE my baby), eat and get all ready so that I could just feed him and then head out the door. I would feed him when I got back and the timing would be perfect. Since he was about 4 months old he decided that he just did not really like the bottle (after being fine taking it for his first 4 months), which was another hurdle, but we have worked around that one to suit us all.

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?

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you on deciding to breastfeed and take on training for a marathon! I, too, nursed my little one and trained for many distance events, including a half marathon when he was only 4 months old. He breastfed until he was 20.5 months old. You're doing everything right and your little one will reap many rewards from both the breastfeeding and your fitness! Keep up the great work!!


Please share, I love hearing what you have to say. Thanks x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...