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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    12

    1/2 Iron while Breastfeeding and Engorgement

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    I am competing in a 1/2 iron in three weeks and have been exclusively breastfeeding my baby. During the race, my husband will feed him breast milk bottles but I am not sure what will happen to me during the race.

    Does any one out there have experience with how I can deal with engorgement? Will it not be an issue because I will be racing?

    Any suggestions welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,576
    If you do, I would bet you'll just have an automatic let-down and leak. (I was really good at leaking all over myself back in the day)

    What's been happening as you've been training?

    PS: to safeguard the quality of nutrition my kid was recieving, I didn't do any high-effort or endurance type stuff until he was nursing *and* eating solids/several months old. Wouldn't be good to have my body produce wimpy milk because it was too busy pouring energy into atheltic training and events instead!
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-29-2007 at 03:32 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Yeah, pack some extra pads! How long would a 1/2 IM take?

    Good for you for getting in the training while breastfeeding. That's all a huge committment. Bravo! How old is your baby?
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    12
    My son will be 12 weeks old two days before the race. I haven't a clue how long this will take me. My goal this year is just to show up and start the race.

    In response to "KnottedYet" from my original post a few weeks ago - that was why I needed to know when I could get back on the bike. In the end, I was able to resume biking 6 weeks post partum and so far so good. My doc did a great job with the stitches and I ice after my long rides.

    If I leak during the race, no biggy because I will be sweating so much no one will notice. My concern is that they will hurt. I plan on wearing the snuggest sports bra I own and hope it doesn't clog a duct.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    I had a really nifty bra that had adjustable cups. The support was always "just right" whether I had just fed the kid or was starting to get engorged.

    I think Terry sells one.

    <Knot scurries off to find a link>

    No, it wasn't Terry. Title 9 sells a cotton one that is similar to what I had, but not the same. There is also a strap-adjustable one at Title 9 that is sort of like what I had. (I think they call it the "3 Reasons" bra. It's a Moving Comfort.) www.title9sports.com

    My kid was "Colicky-Monster from H#ll" and I had to be so careful what activities I did and what I ate and even what I wore, cuz just about everything made his colic worse.

    (he's an only child.... )
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-29-2007 at 06:48 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    S. Dak.
    Posts
    490
    Tricanda, wow what a athletic event to accomplish so soon after birth and breastfeeding too. Let your body do the ruling on event day. Your training time should give you an idea how your body will react. As an ex-breastfeeding mom I know mastitis is nothing to fool around with. Very painful for you and baby would not be a happy camper. Definitely as always push fluids, and warm packs and showers if breast engorge. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    293
    I don't know if it's possible, but could you pump little just to reduce engorgement. probably would take about 5-10 min. Are you racing all day or do you have any breaks. I've never done a iron, but you could probably get someone to bring your pump during breaks. It would be very uncomfortable to be leaking or engorged while biking at high speeds. I couldn't concentrate if It were me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spring City, Pa
    Posts
    101
    I think Violette has a good idea. Would that be possible? It wouldn't need to be a full pump session, just brief enough to release enough to prevent discomfort. I never trained while breastfeeding so I am not sure how it will affect you, but your training sessions should give you a clue.
    If I can't go fast, at least I look good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Having no personal experience with the breast engorgement issue I can't comment on pain/leakage etc. But I would think the idea of pumping during T2 would be good. A fast HIM is under 6 hours with some people coming in at the 4.5 mark (those are pros). A lot of people come in up to 8 hours. The run is going to be the tough part which is why I suggest a pump at T2.

    Secondly, while you are breastfeeding your hormonal levels are still such that your ligament stability is impaired and you are much more likely to have problems with your joints, especially your pelvic joints, during the run. If you still want to race, you should see if you can get a SI Belt to stabilize these joints while you run. Not only this, the connective tissue is lax and you will not have as much support for your uterus and this could predispose you to problems like prolapse.

    I understand your desire to do this race and the swim and ride are not really an issue. I also admire your ability to stay in shape during your pregnancy. But if you were my patient, I would strongly advise against doing a 13.1 mile run this soon after delivery and while still breast feeding.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    12

    Update: 1/2 Iron while Breastfeeding

    For those of you who are curious, I just wanted to let you all know that with the support of my doctor and amazingly supportive husband, I completed my half iron triathlon this weekend and it went exceptionally well.

    My goal was to show up and finish. I was not focused on time, just made sure to keep my heart rate within a reasonable zone. The race went really well and I felt great when I finished. Went 30 minutes slower than last year but didn't care because I realized the accomplishment of having delivered a baby 12 weeks prior (with an 18 stitch episiotomy).

    I had pumped more than enough breastmilk for my husband to feed our baby during the race and that also went well.

    While racing, I felt no engorgement. Very soon after the race though, my breasts filled up so I manually released some of the pressure and resumed breast feeding once I had taken a shower. My milk quality or supply has not suffered and our baby continues to do well.

    For the other new mothers out there - believe in yourself and surround yourself with a knowledgeable support network. There were times when I thought I was crazy for doing this and without their support, I am not sure if I would have. Now, I am so happy that I went through with it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    S. Dak.
    Posts
    490
    Tricanda, congratulations on meeting your goals and finishing your Iron. Great you have a hubby willing to care for baby and help you attain your goals.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Tricanada - I'm truly glad that your HIM went well. I'm wishing you a good recovery.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    43
    Wow! Congrats!! I am sooo impressed!

    I have been in contemplation over whether or not to try a century toward the end of next year. Our baby is due in late Feb. and thought what a bad-*** thing to do--have a baby and do my first century the same year!

    I was wondering about how training would affect b'feeding and milk production, as well as wondering what I'd do about engorgement during the event.

    This is wonderful encouragement that I can do it!

    Thanks!

 

 

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