Nursing and Running
There are several misconceptions on breastfeeding and running. I’ve heard people say the silliest things such as running can affect your breast milk supply or make it taste soapy. Many things I have heard are wrong.
I remember one mom even saying you’re not supposed to breastfeed within two hours of running. Breastfeeding and running lack proper studies.
New moms weed through lousy advice before finding advice that’s even true. Avoid any advice that is not medically sound. Kelly Mom though is an excellent website for breastfeeding information. I mean telling a new mom she shouldn’t run because of this old wives' tale with no scientific merit is plain dumb.
So if you’re concerned about breastfeeding and being able to feed your baby if you’re a runner keep this in mind, you should talk to a lactation consultant and not people on an Internet board.
So if you want to run again after having your baby, you shouldn’t hesitate to do it. As long as your doctor has cleared you run. The most important thing to remember if you want to make sure you don’t hurt your milk supply is running doesn’t an effect it necessarily
Remember breastfeeding is a supply and demand relationship. If you skip feedings or pumping sessions, that is when you will see your supply drop. When you will be out of the house for two hours, feed your baby before you leave, or you expressed your milk before you go. With luck, a good running stroller, and a baby that tolerates the jogging stroller you can run with the baby. Always clear this with the pediatrician first. All infants should ride in a jogging stroller with a car seat adaptor for safety reasons.
Never start out gung-ho either it can take time to adapt to running with a stroller. Many jogging strollers with a car seat adapter can weigh 40+ pounds alone. Add the baby weight and then whatever else you bring that can be 50+ pounds. Take it easy work up to running a few miles. Walk breaks, in the beginning, can feel better than a cold breeze on a hot day.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have a nice long run with the baby in the stroller. Once you have become acclimated to running with a stroller, long runs are more enjoyable with the stroller. You can even to stop and nurse. Why not bring baby wipes with you if you’re worried that your breast is sweaty?
If you’re training for a half marathon or a race and your long runs are over two hours consider doing 75% of your run in the morning. Finish the other 25% in the evening. If you bring the baby and that way you’re comfortable and you don’t have to stop somewhere to pump or nurse.
It's essential to make sure you have something to eat and drink pre-run. I always recommend to any runner if it will be hot or you think you will sweat a lot that about an hour before you leave you to drink something with electrolytes in it and I could be something as simple as Gatorade or Smart Water. So drink Gatorade or Smart Water before every run to help stay hydrated and protect your supply.
I also recommend if you’re running with the stroller putting a snack in the tray and popping it in your mouth while you’re running they sell Gummies with electrolytes. I preferred pretzels or rice krispie treats for longer runs.
Make sure you have a fantastic sports bra. I feel the Moving Comfort ones were phenomenal from supporting your breasts when you’re breastfeeding. In fact, before I found the Moving Comfort bras, I was wearing two bras. Just make sure you don’t wear a compression bra wear something with plenty of support and those big molded cups. I find those help support you and give the girls room. Make sure the bra you’re wearing will not squish your breast. If my bra was too tight, I ended up with a clog in the underarm. Clogged ducts are not fun I do not recommend wearing a compression bra.
Infants are much easier to go running with them in the stroller because the smaller younger babies sleep. Especially if you run at nap time.
Buy several Baby Buddy straps are a godsend because you will not lose a toy. I highly recommend purchasing a toy bar one that plays music or could entertain the baby will be very helpful. Make sure if your child takes a pacifier you bring an extra one so if it's dropped you have a backup.
Snacks such as Cheerios or Teething Biscuits are fantastic for babies who can eat solids. With a car seat adapter, they are facing you so they can have a snack if you're comfortable with that.
Be careful when your baby discovers their feet and that they can throw things their own though. I can’t tell you how many socks we lost this way. Make sure you bring a small bag with the necessities. One or two spare diapers, wipes, tissues, a receiving blanket, an extra pair socks, and a jacket.
Amazon is your best friend when you are gearing up your stroller. They have stroller caddies, sun shades, rain covers, and fans galore.
I have run with several jogging strollers the cheaper ones when your baby still needs to ride in a car seat still work just and a B.O.B. So don’t even worry or spend a lot of money on a running stroller.
Since a lot of non B.O.B. running strollers are part of a car seat package, you can always start with one of those. For example, the Baby Trend Expedition is a decent jogging stroller I regret getting rid of it.
It had a great tray with a built-in speaker. Sometimes the Frozen soundtrack is a must when running with kids. When you upgrade sometimes, you miss these little perks that Baby Trend offer.
I miss the days of running with the stroller. I preferred them because it was easier to run with the stroller. I could haul Gatorade, water, and snacks. It made 14 mile runs easier.
You don’t have to be a runner if you are a new mom to enjoy this because having a jogging stroller makes it easy to go for a nice power walk with the baby.
Going outside every day and getting sun and fresh air with the baby can help keep your spirits lifted. When you’re a new mom, and you’re stuck inside with kids most of the time you get none me time and exercise can help manage and reduce stress. The first year can be hard.
Running with your kids is great. It was cheaper than having a gym membership. I didn’t have to hire a babysitter. When I was breastfeeding, I did not worry that my breast milk supply being affected because you can nurse right before you leave the house. If you’re out for too long, you stop somewhere, and you nurse on a bench. It is that easy.
Going back to running after not being able to run with the stroller anymore sucks it was a hard transition for me. I missed that quality time with my child and the convenience.
When you go running or walking with children in the stroller, it sets the example that physical fitness is essential. Going outside and getting light and fresh air is important as well and as long as everyone’s wearing sunscreen why not?
Running or walking is perfect for any mom wants to get back into shape and is nursing but doesn’t want to leave their baby. You don't have to get a sitter or pump.
If you stumbled upon this because you're postpartum and your nursing and you want to exercise and running is not your idea of a good time you can power walk or join Stroller Strides.
Just remember the most important things:
- Never wear a compression bra.
- Always drink fluids at least an hour before you leave.
- Keep hydrated during the run.
- Make sure you eat before the run.
- Have a snack mid-run or after the run.
- Make sure your baby has entertainment, a good sunshade, and sunscreen. A toy bar is a must.
As your baby gets older and becomes a toddler, you can still run with them in the stroller. The best purchase for parents is a Kindle or a small tablet. Download movies to it so, you get your long runs done. Your child can watch a movie in the stroller. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no reason to give up running once you have a baby just because you can’t afford a babysitter.
There is also no reason not to run because you’re breastfeeding it shouldn’t affect your milk supply or the taste of the milk at all. As long as the baby’s pediatrician has okayed them to go in the running stroller and your OB has cleared you for exercise go for it!