Running and Breastfeeding

Let me start by saying that although I am successfully breastfeeding now, it is still a challenge. It is something that I don't think people talk about enough and so I felt so under-prepared. Breastfeeding is hard! Don't feel alone or like a failure if you are struggling. You are not alone!

In addition to the normal challenges of breastfeeding, I've found that it has some specific challenges for runners. Here they are, along with how I'm getting around them

1) Your breasts will be LARGE
I didn't think it was possible for my breasts to get any larger than they already were in pregnancy.  I was wrong. They easily doubled in size again after my milk came in. This was a little frustrating since the larger sports bras I'd had to buy when I was pregnant were now too small already. Annoying because sports bras aren't cheap! I opted to just buy 2 really good quality sports bras that fit me perfectly now, rather than invest in a whole new bra wardrobe. This works since we are already doing laundry ALL the time for the baby and because once I stop breastfeeding I'll be able to go back to my old bras.

2) They will change size all the time
All of  Mom's yummy milk makes for a chubby baby
Your boobs will change size all day every day depending on how long it has been since the baby ate and how much he/she ate. They will probably also never been the same size as each other. This makes it challenging to get a bra that fits well. I got around this by getting bras that have lots of options for adjustment. I got the Moving Comfort Fiona bra because the straps have velcro in the front allowing you to adjust the fit. I can custom adjust it for each side of my body for each run. (I have no relationship with Moving Comfort- I found the bra and paid for it myself.

3) They will be HEAVY
Besides just being generally large, your breasts will also be super heavy from the milk. I found that feeding the baby and then also pumping to get them as empty as possible before I run makes me a lot more comfortable.

4) You need easy access for feedings
Newborns especially are impossible to get on a schedule. Even when I think I've timed things perfectly, my baby somehow always needs to eat right before, after, or even in the middle of my run. This means that I need a bra that allows me to feed him easily without having to get completely naked on my top half. Again, the Moving Comfort Fiona bra works well for me because I can completely undo the strap on side and the fabric is soft and flexible enough for me to pull down to give the baby access.

5) You can't wear a bra with underwire
My lactation consultant advised me against wearing any bras with underwire because it can interfere with milk production. This limits your options in finding a bra supportive enough for the high impact of running. I found it really helpful to go into an actual store to try on bras because it is hard to know if they provide enough support without actually jumping in them.

Did you breastfeed while running? What worked for you?

Comments

  1. It was and still is a challenge for me as well, girlie! Camdyn is 14 months old and I'm still breastfeeding and running into all the same problems as you! I bought two of the La Leche League sports bras from Amazon, which are also nursing bras. I like them but there is a strip of fabric in the middle that chafes me on runs that are long or especially sweaty, so that stinks! Your bra actually sounds better.

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