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Running while breastfeeding (but not simultaneously)

(12 Posts)
cheeseycharlie Tue 04-Aug-09 22:27:55

I have an opportunity to run a half marathon in 2 months' time for a charity I really care about. I am out of condition but have marathoned before and I reckon I can be fit enough in time, BUT I am still breastfeeding 5 month old DD.

Question: would it be bad / stupid / painful / selfish to train while still breastfeeding?

gigglewitch Tue 04-Aug-09 22:35:00

I don't think it would be a problem, just make sure you drink plenty - obv, and get some good support underwear wink
FWIW I'm a PE teacher and I was back to dancing a month after each of my dc were born, and back in work less than 4mo after ds1 was born as <dons spectacles> we only got 18wks mat leave back then. I bf all of them to between 12 & 18 mo, I didn't really consider that it would be an 'issue' iyswim. A half marathon is presumably within your conditioning and training ability so go for it! The only real thing that I found was that I needed to drink lots (++) of water to keep up my fluids. From a muscle / joint POV, you are still likely to be quite 'bendy' to the point of being a tad too flexible, so really make sure you warm up well and concentrate on the strengthening for ankles, knees and back before you hit anything longer than a couple of miles [imho]
What are your concerns?

harleyd Tue 04-Aug-09 22:40:09

sorry but the title just made me grin

SummerLightning Tue 04-Aug-09 22:40:30

I've done lots of exercise while BFing with no problems. Not a lot of running (no more than 45 mins at a go) but lots of cycling for 2 hrs plus. I would be slightly worried about the joints issue, but I can't see the problem with BFing. Apart from if your DC wants feeding during the actual half maration I guess?
I would go for it!

cheeseycharlie Wed 05-Aug-09 08:39:37

Thanks for the posts. My main concerns were:

- would I find out too late that my boobies hurt after being jiggled about for 2 hours at a time, as this is the kind of thing I wouldn't discover until I had committed to the race and trained up to longer runs;

- whether training would impact on quality of breastmilk and therefore I'd be negatively impacting on DD;

- whether the milk production is taking more out of me than I know, meaning that I actually would struggle to get into condition while BFing, even though it was within my ability before getting pregnant last summer

IMO running is the most taxing type of exercise (for me, anyway). I wouldn't think twice about dancing or cycling right now, but I think of running as more demanding on my body. Any further thoughts or pearls of wisdom would be brilliant!

cocolepew Wed 05-Aug-09 08:40:58

Very good title grin

notyummy Wed 05-Aug-09 08:55:22

I ran up to 7 miles (not a half marathon though!) whilst bf dd. I wore 2 sports bras and never had an issue with sore boobs (I am not hugely well endowed however.)

Never had a problem with milk production/tiredness. On the whole my understanding is that it takes a LOT of training/nutrition problems to interfere with bf - your body is programmed to keep the source going for your DC. It is, of course, very important that you drink loads and eat plenty to maintain supply when running longer distances.

The only other issue I found when researching this before I started training was that some babies are able to detect lactic acid in your milk immediately after a training session. I guess you would have to be working quite hard to produce this (mainly anaerobically). I did train quite hard in the gym as well as running, but dd never seemed to have a problem with my milk. What I did do was express milk early in the day and then DH fed it to dd whilst I was out training and then put her to bed - which meant that I was free to train and she didn't need to feed straight after my training anyway. I then fed her at 10/11pm.


SummerLightning Wed 05-Aug-09 09:15:57

Re the milk production and lactic acid, the cycling I have been doing is pretty high intensity (riding with male friends, trying to keep up!) and I haven't had any problems with DS not liking milk or milk production. Could you try some training before signing up and see?

I am definitely not as in condition as I was before getting pregnant, but I think that is due to time constraints rather than BFing. Perhaps BFing does make a difference though.

Not sure on the boobies question, I was fine on 40 min runs but I am also not that well endowed. I'd have thought that if you get a good sports bra and go on a shorter run with it that you would get a good idea whether it would be ok?

MoshiMoshi Sun 09-Aug-09 16:43:31

You need to train at a very high intensity for lactic acid to affect breast milk apparently eg interval sessions. What you have in mind sounds fine although I would check what time your race starts so you can work out how full your boobs might be so you can make sure you are as empty as possible for the time you will be away from your baby (and have baby ready to clamp on at the finish line to relieve you if you are feeding frequently still!) Happy training and good luck!

AnnieLobeseder Sun 09-Aug-09 17:00:29

I trained for the London marathon while bf-ing DD1, and fed DD2 for a year while running regular HMs (again, not at the same time!!)

Just make sure you have a really good supportive bra, feed before a run if you can and if not, wipe your sweaty boobs down if you need to feed as soon as you come in!

No problem!

cheeseycharlie Tue 11-Aug-09 13:11:03

AnnieLobeseder wow you are superwoman! And thank you - this is the reassurance I really needed.

Still haven't managed to go out on that tester run. I think the challenge of finding time to fit this in will be bigger than the challenge of the run itself!

AnnieLobeseder Tue 11-Aug-09 16:27:42

<twirls in superwomen cape> grin

Actually I'm a lazy lardarse at the moment, haven't run more than 7km for ages and I've got an extreme trail HM (with extra mud) in Nov, so I need to get my lardy arse out the door and running!!

Good luck with your running cc, and don't forget a serious bra. The Shock Absorber big nork range (forget what they're actually called!) did wonders for me when bf-ing inflated me to an F-cup! I'm sadly back to an optimistic B now sad.

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