Advice for Mothers Running Marathons
Mothers running marathons while breastfeeding, you're not alone. Here are some tips to make it a little easier.
Does Running Decrease Milk Supply?
Not in my experience. In fact, I've had the opposite problem. There have been many times during a run when I wished I could turn off my milk supply until the end of the run.
When I ran the NYC half marathon for the third time with a four-month-old-nursing-baby, I thought I had finally done it right. I wasn't hung-over, didn't have morning sickness, wasn't jet-lagged and I had even trained a little better than usual.
But somewhere around mile six or seven of 13.1 miles, my milk came in and those last several miles were torturous!
It felt like I was carrying an extra pound of knives in each breast and all I could do was carry on to the finish line where my hungry baby awaited.
How Do Mothers Running Marathons While Breastfeeding Keep Their Milk From Letting Down In The Middle Of A Run?
Now what would I do next time to keep this from happening again? Run faster? Sure, we're working on that.
But even if you're a fast runner, you usually have to be at the start two or three hours early.
Even if you feed your baby before you leave, you're milk will likely let down again before you even start running.
What I learned to do for the next marathon I ran 3 months later: bring a hand-pump to the race and pump right before bag check is due.
I used an Avent hand pump which my baby's daddy ran out and purchased the night before the marathon.
I had never used a hand pump before, so it was quite a site sitting in the grass in Staten Island waiting for the start of the New York City marathon, two of my girlfriends holding their jackets up in front of me and all of us laughing hysterically while I tried to figure out how to pump.
Next time I'll practice when I'm not sitting in a group of 40,000 people.
But it was pretty easy once I figured it out. Then I checked the pump and picked it up at the finish line.
Breastfeeding In Public
When I'm training, I have my baby with me and when my breasts fill up or whenever he gets hungry, I just feed him right there. You'd be surprised at how quickly you learn to discretely breastfeed in public.
The most important thing for mothers running marathons while breastfeeding, or for any nursing moms, is to know your rights. Here are some tips on breastfeeding in public.