Yo, Breastfeeding Runners! I’m Perplexed!

Feel free to answer one or many of these questions.

1. How do you hold those suckers down? Suckers…Heh.

2. What kind of sports bra works best? Do you double up?

3. Do you wear breast pads? (Obviously you need to wear breast pads, right?)

4. Do you feed/pump right before a run?

5. Any wisdom you feel you need to share?

As you can see, I need answers. I’m about to construct a running bra made of overnight maxi pads and industrial duct tape.


  • DesignHER Momma

    August 18, 2010 at 8:34 am

    oh yeah, you MUST either feed or pump right before you run, I learned that one the hard way.
    .-= DesignHER Momma´s last blog ..7 hours 5 days a week Year round For the next 13 years =-.

  • Sherri

    August 18, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I would nurse pretty heavy right before they were as empty as I could get them. Then I would use 2 nursing pads on each side under 2 sports bras. I wore 2 with different supports so I was well held in. It worked out well for me. Good luck!

  • AmyDoubleYou

    August 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I wear one of these: http://amzn.to/c94FXA under a supported running tanktop under a looser fitting regular tanktop and I feed him right before we leave. Atticus is older (9 months) so I don’t use pads anymore ever, and don’t have any trouble. And for as much as people complain about it, I actually prefer running with the stroller. It gives me the freedom to go whenever I want during the day because I can take him with me, plus a place to stash my water, keys & phone. Good luck!

  • regan

    August 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I used a sports bra by moving comfort because you could adjust the straps as well as the hooks in the back. I pumped/fed before heading out and did use breast pads because the one time I didn’t I leaked all over the place and had to hoof it back to the car totally embarrassed.

    And of course, take it slow at first and stop if anything feels like it’s chaffing. The last thing you want is to cause yourself extra discomfort.
    .-= regan´s last blog ..as an added bonus itll protect us from aliens =-.

  • laura

    August 18, 2010 at 8:44 am

    definitely nurse or pump to empty your breasts right before! not only for your comfort but also because the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your milk after could alter the taste of the milk. i found it decreased those embarassing let-downs during an intense workout. when my babies were small i did have to double up on my running bras but after 6 months or so i was fine with just one.
    good luck!
    .-= laura´s last blog ..cheer-tastic! =-.

  • Nicole @86n' It

    August 18, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I was a 34A before breastfeeding and honestly, I’ve been having quite the time taming these new beasts. :)

    As for running, I feed or pump right beforehand and then wear 2 sports bras. I don’t usually wear pads for running (although they are a must for me at all other times) mostly because I don’t care if my running clothes get milky.

    I’d like to add also that Vaseline is your friend. Use it if you have any chafing. All my running shirts got really tight in the armpits with the new boobs, so I have to lube up my pit pre-run. Good times.

    Good luck~!

  • Danielle

    August 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I am not a runner but I used this Natori bra http://bit.ly/9B28Fo
    for pretty intense aerobics. I liked how it is cotton but doesn’t loose its shape. I also really like being able to buy my specific size and not just S-M-L. I also nursed right before working out and just used regular nursing pads.
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Are You Ready to Declare Your Independence =-.

  • Sarah

    August 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I had to go up a size in sports bra, and frankly, I still don’t feel like they’re always contained! And, I learned the hard way to wear nursing pads. Yes, try to pump or feed right before you go, otherwise it’s just plain uncomfortable.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Fixodent- And Forget It =-.

  • yasmara

    August 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I had terrible luck with cotton nursing pads (they were visible under many shirts – a bulls-eye directly in the middle of my boobs!) & would like to sing the praises of LilyPadz. As long as you wash them every night with antibacterial soap, mind you. They catch ALL leaks (although since they are made of silicone they don’t absorb, so watch out when you take them off for a nursing session!). They also protected very sensitive areas from chafing. Good luck!

  • Molly

    August 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I only got into running when the baby was six or seven months. I run after a feeding, and I’ve never had an issue with leaking. I actually have found cross-over style racerback running bras to be more comfortable, even though they aren’t as supportive as the ones that really lock you down. Mine are from Lululemon, but they don’t make that style anymore. Anything compression-type was just too uncomfortable and binding. I have found that I actually need much less support than I thought I did, since my boobs post-feeding, and especially after two babies, are pretty light. Not even weaned yet, and already down to 32C, full cup size lost since pre-pregnancy, wah.

  • Heather

    August 18, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I’ve never commented, but I guess its time. I had the same issues, and feeding/pumping before is a must!
    Also, the boob pads would just get sweaty and move and be gross. So I vote no on those. Get something that’ll strap ya down and be prepared to feel like hell on your first few runs! :)
    good luck!

  • ppp

    August 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

    DEFINITELY feed or pump before.
    I say wear the pads (i ALWAYS wore them for the first 6 months of breastfeeding) unless you dont care if someone sees big ole booby milk spots on your shirt. I recommend Medela disposable nursing pads over ALL OTHERS. they will soak up gallons of that liquid gold.
    Also, double (even triple!) up the sports bra. I have always had teeny boobs but cant even THINK about runnning w/o doubling up.

    if all else fails, do what i often did: walk instead.

    good luck!

  • Ninotchka

    August 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

    – I strongly suggest you go to a running store and be properly fitted for a bra.
    – Def. nurse before going (b/c OUCH).
    – I always wore breast pads even though at the end of a good run they’re rendered useless (sweat, milk, who knows? who cares?)…at least you don’t START with two huge wet spots on the girls. Bad form, that. :)

  • Amanda

    August 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

    1. How do you hold those suckers down?
    After my 6 weeks of waiting were up I got online and Googled “Sports bras for big boobs.” Oh yes I did. I went from a big a small b cup to a “My cups runneth over.” I found that the Moving Comfort sports bras got great ratings from other women so I bought one to try it out. It got kind of gross to rinse and re-wear it throughout the week so I bought another (I went from buying $16 sports bras at target to $50 so I wanted to make sure they worked!). I LOVE them.
    I have the racer back style and the scoop back style.

    You want a sports bra where there is no stretch in the straps. The bonus on these bad boys? The straps are adjustable with velcro so you can adjust them up or down as needed. Added bonus? It is super easy to nurse mid run because you can just undo the strap and pull the front of the bra down. Not like I’ve had to do that recently or anything…Let’s just say nursing your babe under a beach towel on the side of the bike trail after you’ve already been running 20 minutes is HOT. ZOMG.

    2. What kind of sports bra works best? Do you double up?
    There is no need to double up if you spend the money on a good bra. You’re not trying to smoosh them to your chest as much as you are trying to keep them in place (which you’ll get with the non stretch strap. Before I bought my MC bra I was wearing 3 Target Champion bras plus a workout tank. It was not working and I looked like 5 pounds of sugar in a 2 pound bag.

    3. Do you wear breast pads? (Obviously you need to wear breast pads, right?) I don’t. I typically run in the morning after she’s been fed or if I need to pump I do that before going. But I’m also about 8 mos. in and am not as leaky as I was when she was little so maybe you might need to wear pads…

    4. Do you feed/pump right before a run?
    See above.

    5. Any wisdom you feel you need to share?
    I bought my first MC bra from Amazon and just guesstimated my size. I luckily got it right but I bought my second from Fleet Feet where I could try it on. I probably would have bought the racer back style first had I had a chance to try them on b/c I feel so much more supported in it. (both are great, i just prefer the racer style). They are also not much to look at. I LOVE the champion bras b/c they are super cute. These are more like post boob job compression bra looking things but they do the job and really, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than running and your boobs bouncing all over the place. ;)
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Wait just a second… =-.

  • G

    August 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I have to double up. Even when they’re older.
    .-= G´s last blog ..Our Torture Methods =-.

  • Jenn

    August 18, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I don’t actually have much more than an A cup to speak of, but I’ve heard from more well-endowed friends that the Enell bra is some kind of amazing. If this is horrible advice, I apologize…haven’t tested it myself ; )
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..One Foot in Front of the Other =-.

  • Lawyerish

    August 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I got a New Balance running bra that is very supportive and made for much larger boobs than I ever thought I would have. It zips up the front and has built-in pads, and the zipper turned out to be really convenient for the many times when I would get home from a run and immediately have to feed the baby. (I got it at roadrunnersports.com if you want to check it out!)

    I haven’t had to use breast pads while running; leakage wasn’t an issue for some reason. Maybe because I always fed her right before heading out (a MUST).

    One thing I noticed was that my supply seemed to be affected by running; on the days when I went for a run (even a short one), the baby was much fussier on the breast later in the day and didn’t seem to get enough milk. Staying hydrated is supposed to help, but even drinking a ton of water I had some trouble with this.

  • sarah

    August 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I am 8 weeks post-partum & am on week 2 of c25k. I have no bra wisdom, but I do have to advise wearing a pad & doing your kegels. I was thankful I did the first run after dark.

  • Leslie

    August 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I swear by the Enell running bra. It is made for women with large breasts. I love it because it has hook closures in the FRONT! You can pull a boob out and nurse if you need to and you don’t have to worry about smashing them in the process. It really holds you in place. you will not be bouncing all over the place while running, because they are made for large breasts. They also do not stretch out with wear. I have used mine for almost 3 years now without much wear at all.

    As you probably get from the other comments, you should pump or nurse right before you go. Make sure to drink enough water if you sweat a lot other wise your milk supply might get low for the next feeding…

  • Wendi McCombs

    August 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    nurse before you go (or pump, if you do that).
    I would wear my nursing bra with lansinoh pads and then put a sports bra over that.
    Seemed to work alright.

  • Mama Bub

    August 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    This is one of the number one reasons I gave up on Couch to 5K after two weeks. I was in danger of putting an eye out.
    .-= Mama Bub´s last blog ..Why Ill never go to the dentist again =-.

  • Tina

    August 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I agree with a previous poster who said the pads just get sweaty. I just pumped like mad before hand. Also, nix on the doubling of the sports bras. It doesn’t help. You need a good underwire sports bra for high impact. Athleta sells some awesome ones.
    P.S. I wore Lilypadz instead of regular breast pads. They are soooo much better.


  • Siera

    August 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    The one time I ran in the early stages of BF I got a clogged milk duct! I trippled up on the bras and the girls had no room to move hence the clogged milk duct. I wore a nursing bra without wires, a sports bra and a workout top with a built in bra. It was too much! I should’ve known by the uniboob I was sporting. After that I doubled up. Sports bra and a workout top with a bra built in. I never did find the right sports bra so I made due with the ones I had before. Good Luck! I wish I had had some advice back then.
    .-= Siera´s last blog ..10 Weeks =-.

  • s.a.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    The Moving Comfort “Juno” bra is great. The straps are adjustable, so you can peel down one side to nurse if need be, and it keeps things under control. I am a runner, and pre baby I had tiny boobs, I just wore el cheapo sports bras from Target. No more.

    Nurse right before you run, and don’t wear the sports bra when you aren’t working out; compressing your breasts is bad for your supply.

  • Jessica

    August 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I was a C while nursing and would wear a really heavy support bra and a tank with a shelf bra over that. I had to wear pads, because otherwise I would be soaked… and not with just sweat… if you catch my milky drift. I nursed/pumped right before going out and never had any major problems.

    My supply dropped significantly when I started running. I had to take fenugreek (at least when you run you smell like an IHOP) and even then I could not keep up. We kept at it, but it definitely was a lot of work. But! It’s worth it – I need to run to get back into my prepregnancy size (OR CLOSE TO IT) and also so I do not accidentally stab someone with a wayward fork.


  • Teej

    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Well I haven’t had a baby but my chest is quite large in proportion to my frame so I think I understand your dilemma. I buy only ShockAbsorber sports bras beause the cup is soft and doesn’t compress your boobs like some others that seem more like tensor bandages.
    I buy them online from figleaves.

  • Emily

    August 19, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I haven’t had a baby, but I do have fairly large boobs and run/workout a lot…The absolute most supportive bra I have ever owned is the “ta ta tamer” model from Lululemon. http://shop.lululemon.com/Ta_Ta_Tamer/pd/c/520/np/520/p/1642.html
    I love it because it is available in specific sizes (not just S, M or L) and for the fact that it holds its shape after being washed many, many times. The band is very wide and not stretchy for added support. There are also removable cups and adjustable straps, so you can really strap them in if you need to.
    Good luck!

  • AC

    August 19, 2010 at 8:00 am

    ah, how I don’t miss the days of nursing!
    empty b**bs pre-run either nursing or pump. Get your butt out the door quickly before they refill.
    I used lulu lemon tata tamer. no maxipads needed.

  • anie

    August 19, 2010 at 11:14 am

    ah, those boulder days of running…
    I would nurse/pump before going out and then used a bra from Title Nine. They’ve got a great selection and really helpful information to use when figuring out which one to try. They have good return policy, too…www.titlenine.com

    happy running!

  • The real L.A. love story.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

    3 months later and i still spray like a hose. i HAVE to wear disposable pads. the cotton ones wont cut it. if things r getting heavy but babes is not ready to eat, i just hand express over the sink for relief. if i do work out, i just wear my granny bra. the underwire holds things in place better than any sportsbra.
    .-= The real L.A. love story.´s last blog ..The History of Food- Post-baby Goods Eats =-.

  • Amy in StL

    August 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I’m not nursing but I’m large chested and my advice is that if you’re doubling up sports bras; you’re not wearing the right bra. I’m also 40; so I don’t want a lot of bounce to help gravity along to having tube sock boobz. I wear an underarmour one that zips up the front and I got it at Sports Authority for D cups. It’s really supportive and easy to get out of when I sweat.

  • Shareen

    August 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I’m not breast feeding, but with F-cup boobs, I feel your pain – dealing with these puppies while running has been a contast issue! No longer, my friend…a woman here on Vancouver Island invented the Jane Strap (guys have the jock strap, we get the jane strap) which has REVOLUTIONIZED my life. Apparently she was training for a marathon just after having her baby and she was having the same problem so finally she just went running with her bathrobe tie literally “tying” her boobs down! After some upgrades she came up with the jane strap. You can check it out here: http://www.janestrap.com/ I’m a 34F and I wear a small. I hope you find something that works!

  • eliza

    August 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I second the recommendation for the Ta-ta tamer from Lululemon. I am busty, and it is comfortable when running and definitely keeps it’s shape over time. And doesn’t give you the dreaded uni-boob look!

  • Larisa

    August 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I pumped before I left and once I had returned and taken a shower. And I use to wear two sporting bras because I was afraid of the pain of them jumping up and down and also for those people looking at me all weird. I would also wear a pad in each boob, but be quick bc your milk lets down fast…

  • Kristen

    August 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I ran my first half-marathon while I was nursing. I had great luck with the Champion brand sports bras at Target (with the thicker straps). I bought them really tight and the girls didn’t move. My biggest issue was the sweat accumulating in the middle of my uniboob (powder helps). If I pumped or nursed right before leaving, I could get in a decent run without feeling uncomfortable.

    But one of my favorite memories was on the way to the big race – pumping at 5am in the backseat of a rental car squished between four other runners. I’m classy like that.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..for our painying needs =-.

  • Jill

    August 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I second the Ta TA tamer from Lululemon- running was NOT a pretty sight until I went out and bought one: I loved it!! My baby is now 2 1/2 so my size has changed- i need to go and buy another one in a smaller size.


  • kristina

    August 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I think eveyone has answered this well enough, but I’d just like to add that someone should make a NURSING sports bra. That would be f-ing genius. I wear two Lulu sports bras, no breast pads. Apparently I am not working out hard enough to worry about let down?

    I will also say that while I was a legit runner before my 5th month of pregnancy, like could easily run a half marathon on any given weekend, 4 months into running and 6 months postpartum, it’s still a total chore. I feel like I’m running through mud and 4 miles is about all I can manage. FORGET about pushing the BOB. That is a husband’s job for sure.

  • Liz

    September 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Okay, but I’m a 42 DDD (F). And I am itching to get back to running (and some serious aerobics). My baby is 5 months old so I am still solely breastfeeding. In reality would need a good compression bra, but wouldn’t that hurt my milk supply?