Since getting back into CrossFit after Mirella was born, I’ve received a few questions in regards to breastfeeding. Some of the main questions that I’ve received is how I am able to breastfeed while doing CrossFit since the workouts are so intense, as well as finding the right support for all of the jumping and running, and lastly, how my nutritional needs have changed to keep my milk supply up while working out regularly.
How can you breastfeed while doing CrossFit?
First off, I think there are a lot of myths out there in regards to doing intense exercise and breastfeeding, such as your milk tasting sour and your baby not wanting to drink it or that high intensity exercise can decrease your milk supply. This might be true for some women, but I breastfed Keenan for over a year while working out pretty intensely 5-6 days a week, (though not CrossFit at the time) and he always nursed before and after my workouts without any problems. Secondly, my milk supply remained steady throughout the entire time I nursed him (of course decreasing as he weaned). But, with a BIG but, I made sure I was consuming enough calories and healthy foods (lean protein, lots of healthy fats, some carbs, fruits and vegetables), as well as water to fuel my workouts, recover from them and keep my milk supply high. I’m doing the same thing with Mirella and so far, she has been nursing like a champ before and after each wod. In general, every nursing mom should be eating healthy foods, taking in enough calories and drinking a ton of water regardless of whether they workout regularly or not in order to have a good milk supply, so why would doing CrossFit be any different?
What kind of sports bras are available to support all of the jumping and running?
When you are breastfeeding, you definitely need more support for the girls, at least I sure do! Also, my pre-pregnancy sport bras stretched out quite a bit while I was pregnant due to the girls almost doubling in size! I also wanted a sports bra that I can easily nurse in since I have to squeeze in my workouts between feedings and naps. After doing some research, I found two that I love…La Leche League International Pullover Nursing Sports Bra and Moving Comfort’s Fiona Sports Bra. Both sports bras provide enough support for me (though the La Leche League bra runs a bit small, so I had to size up) and easy access to nurse. I love that Moving Comfort’s sports bra is not a “nursing sports bra,” it just has adjustable velcro straps that can be easily pulled down for nursing. With both bras, I still get a tiny bit of jiggle with jumping, but not a lot to hurt or be uncomfortable
How do your nutritional needs change when doing CrossFit and breastfeeding to ensure your milk supply doesn’t decrease?
Since I eat healthy foods (Paloish), I don’t have to tweak too much in regards to my eating. However, I’m making sure to eat more than enough healthy fats (avocado, nuts, coconut oil) and lean protein to make up for the calorie deficit with breastfeeding and CrossFit, as well as fueling and recovering from my wods. Even though my goal is to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape, I’m not slashing calories because in order to make milk, my body needs them (especially when working out), so I’m focusing on just eating as healthy as possible. I feel great and I’ve already noticed some changes in my body (more to come on that next week!).
With anything, you need to find what works for you and your body, and so far, I’ve found that. I’m planning to nurse Mirella for over a year like I did with Keenan while doing CrossFit 4-5 days a week. I am hoping that things continue to go well. I’ll keep you posted!
Before I go, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from this week. I just love seeing the two of them play together (or Keenan playing with Mirella rather!). Have a wonderful weekend!
If you breastfed your baby/babies, did you have any issues when working out?
Did you find any differences in your milk supply while doing high-intensity exercise?
How did your eating habits change while nursing?