1. Hydrate! Hydration is so important for your body to be able to perform optimally both for running and for nursing. Don’t just drink water, remember to replace the electrolytes and sodium you lose through running as well.
2. Don’t just hydrate well, fuel yourself well too. You need to have fuel in the tank to be burning the candle on both ends. With adequate hydration and nutrition, your milk supply should be perfectly fine. If you notice a decrease in your supply, take a look at your nutrition/hydration and talk to your doctor.
4. Take your children with you when/if you can. Over the years my children have come to love the stroller. When my husband and I wanted to both train for the same ultra, and we also had 3 children under the age of 5 we decided to take them with us. We’d leave for a run as a family and whenever the baby wanted to nurse we’d all stop on the trail and rehydrate together. Nursing pit stops are totally okay. Pause your watch and relax knowing you’re still burning calories, even while sitting!
5. You can also plan nursing stops. If you know baby needs to eat every three hours, figure out where you will be in three hours and have your spouse meet you for a nursing break. I have found the RunGo app to be incredibly useful for this purpose. I can plan a route and then share my route with others so they can drive along it to catch up to me, wherever I am.
7. My favorite nursing sports bra is the moving comfort Juno bra but really anything with velcro on the front straps will do. I love that I can adjust the velcro to how full I am at that moment in time and also that I can disconnect the strap entirely and pull down the bra to nurse without compressing anything. I've heard of other mothers lifting up their bras to nurse. With this strategy you're likely compressing your underarm or breast and making yourself more likely to have clogged ducts or mastitis.
I know numerous Stroller Warriors who have successfully nursed through half marathons, full marathons and ultra marathons. My friend Sarah from North Carolina ran the Marine Corps Marathon with a 3 month-old! She had her parents staged at the 13 mile-mark and stepped off the course to nurse before continuing on, nursing again at the finish line. Not all of us have to be like Sarah, but it can be comforting to know that others have gone before you and found ways to be successful.
When there is a will, there is a way, so give yourself and your baby some grace and do your best. Don't be afraid to reach out to your fellow Stroller Warriors for advice and support. Chances are someone else has been there done that and would be happy to share their story.