Athletes Who Breastfeed and Breast Pump

Athletes are a special group of people who are constantly in the mindset of looking and feeling their best so they can perform well. The training can be intense, so what happens when you have a baby and you decide to breastfeed or pump for your baby? Today we’re talking about what it means to be an athlete and the changes or challenges you may experience while breastfeeding and breast pumping.

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Athletes Who Breastfeed and Breast Pump


[Theme Music]

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Athletes are a special group of people. You are constantly in the mindset of looking and feeling your best so you can perform well in your sport. The training can be intense, but what happens when you have a baby and your whole way of being drastically changes, especially as a nursing mom? Today we’re talking about what it means to be an athlete and the changes or challenges you encounter breastfeeding and breast pumping. We are The Boob Group!

[Intro/Theme Music]

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome to The Boob Group! We're here to support all moms wanting to provide breast milk to their babies. I am your host – Priya Nembhard. I am also the founder of the “Moms Pump Here” nursing locator app which helps moms all over the world to find places to pump and breastfeed their babies. If you haven’t yet we encourage to download the New Mommy Media Network app which gives you easy access to all our episodes. You can also subscribe to our podcast through iTunes so our latest episodes download to your mobile device automatically. And if you are on iTunes, please leave us a review, so other moms can learn about us.

Ok, let’s meet the mamas joining our conversations today! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!

SASHA: Hi! Good morning, everybody! My name is Marsha, but I go by Sasha in the fitness world. It just sounds a bit tougher!


SASHA: Yeah, Sasha! So, I’ve been a fitness person, really into it, since 2011. There was a time in my life where I just got really out of shape and unhealthy. And I took back control back in 2011. But got really intense into it, I would say for the past three years. Fast forward to June, or should I say around this time last year, when I got pregnant, I was thinking how I would incorporate this into my fitness lifestyle. But I was thinking it out, sort of, kind of, and it’s like a daily work in progress. That’s just what it is. It is just day by day at this point. Plans don’t always go, you know…

PRIYA NEMBHARD: The way you expect!

SUNNY GAULT: As planned!

SASHA: Yeah, not at all! Not at all! No more like 3hours sessions in the gym. Not at all! That was a luxury that’s not afforded to me anymore.

SUNNY GAULT: Right… It is reality.

SASHA: Yeah…

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Hi! My name is Rebecca Scritchfield. I am a registered dietician, a nutritionist and health and fitness specialist. And I am the author of a new book called Body Kindness which is all about creating a healthier and happier life by being good to yourself. Which, I mean, what mom, you know, doesn’t need that? But you know, on the personal side, I have two girls. They’re ages 4 and 2 and a half. And I am still nursing my 2 and a half year old. A little bit at night, a little bit in the mornings. So I am a big fan and supporter of nursing and when it comes to feeding your children doing a baby light approach, so they wean when they feel ready and comfortable. And I am very active. I have been active since… Gosh, I can’t remember. Even in middle school and everything like that. I love to do yoga. And for me yoga was very healing.
It came at the right time in my life where I ended up doing yoga exclusively for about five years when I was really struggling like with my body image and self-expectance. And I found this particular studio which really helped me build self-compassion. So I will always kinda get into yoga when I feel like you know what, you need a little bit of a mental reboot here, life is just too much, and we need some deep breathing and some focus posing. But I also love to run. I’ve done over 15 marathons and ultra-marathons, and my longest was a 50miller.

SUNNY GAULT: I am tired just hearing about it!

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: It took me eleven and a half hours to do. So let’s just put that in perspective. I mean, what could you do that you enjoy for 11 hours, like, you know? Yes, but it is just a proof that it can be done. So the craziest thing about that is that I actually did because somebody else believed in me more that I believed in myself. And was like wait a minute! What? This person tells me I could it and I am saying no. Why don’t I trust this person instead of my own inner voice? And that’s really how it happened. It was a great experience! It was before kids.
But I fully support, you know, even after kids, or during the nursing process. You still can race and compete. And so hopefully we’ll get into some of that today. And these days activity wise, my number one thing is consistency. So I’ve really learned to stop judging kind of like that perfect workout and I have to think of all the reasons why I do it. So I’ve learned to appreciate the three and a half mile, it’s called the loop, near my house, like a loop that I take that’s on a trail and it’s very beautiful. And if I need to take my girls, it is… I am slow, because it is a double stroller. And it is just not the intense run, or it is not my me time in yoga. But it gets done.
And so I’ve learned to make that joyful and appreciate that, and not really associate activity with a certain amount of intensity, because consistency is what keeps it a habit. And that to me is very, very important. Just almost like a daily move. Whether it’s easy, hard, I try to really enjoy myself, and just really listen to what I feel like I need. If I haven’t done yoga for a while, make sure I get in the schedule, that kind of thing.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Wow! More practice… So I am not consistent! So I am Priya. I am your host. And I was an athlete. I don’t know if you still consider me athletic, because I am not consistent anymore…

SUNNY GAULT: You are in my boat! You are in my boat, Priya!

PRIYA NEMBHARD:I do not have time. I know it is all about making time. But I literally do not have time. I keep on telling Sunny I am like a Jamaican. My husband is Jamaican so I always say I am a Jamaican. I have a thousand things going on. So I don’t…I haven’t made time. So I used to be, you know, I used to run track. I actually power lifted. I broke a state dead lifting record when I was younger. I did a couple marathons. I even did the spartan race. But after the spartan race I was like oh, that’s it! I think I’ve accomplished everything I needed accomplished. And since moving from Miami to Florida… Miami was very easy to run and do all those active things, but here in New York is a little skittish. So I don’t trust the streets as much as I did in Miami. And it’s harder for me to go out and exercise outside. And I do have a machine inside, but I rarely use it.
So I have three children and my youngest Liam I did breastfeed him while I was training for marathons and stuff like that. But it was never an obstacle. It was very easy with him. So I am really looking forward to this conversation! I think there is so much we could talk about here in term of body kindness and consistency, and even the yoga thing, you know. All that meshed in I think will be wonderful. So thank you all for being here!

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT:Alright! So today we are going to talk about a news headline. And this one really caught my attention! You know, we’ve done…you know, talked about several things that had hit the news media, you know, circulation or whatever, about moms trying to breastfeed in public and then getting some negative feedback for it. And this is a slightly different spin on it. The article itself is about a mom who… Actually this is kind of an internal thing, because the mom was out breastfeeding in public and her dad who was with her is the one who had the problem with it, and actually did… I don’t know. He threw a napkin at her or something like that do cover her up. Probably not the best way to approach the situation. I think there are some internal issues going on with that family. But what I wanted to talk about with this is as a result of that situation this daughter took to the internet and started talking about it. And not just you know posting about her situation, but she took it a step further.

She is, you know, speaking of yoga, Rebecca, I think she is a yoga instructor. And she started posting some stuff I think on Instagram of her in these yoga poses and while her toddler baby is nursing. Like she is doing some really interesting moves that I could not do in a million years. Like she is upside down, and she’s doing stuff, and her baby is nursing, you know, while she is upside down. You know, there are stuff like that. And we will post a link to our Facebook if you guys want to check this out and see some of the images. And it’s getting mixed reviews from moms. I don’t think because she is posting them, but it’s more about because she is a yoga instructor. Some people are thinking that she’s doing this for self-promotion, promotion of her studio. So there are some negative reviews out there from moms that you know, are pro-breastfeeding, but kind of seeing another side to this. So I wanted to throw that out to you guys. We may have a lot of moms that are listening that may have posted something, you know, about a breastfeeding experience that they had. I mean, can we take it too far, I guess is where I am going with this? Do we really have to be mindful of how we are doing this? The pictures, I think, are actually really interesting.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, I love the legging she is wearing by the way!

SUNNY GAULT: Right? That’s what she should put like in the description. She should be: you can buy this on Amazon, or you can buy this on ZooLilly, here is the link, here is my ZooLilly link. But yeah, can we take it too far? Priya, what do you think?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Well, I think it’s very easy for moms to be… I don’t want to stereotype, but to judgmental. And I think that happens so much. And that’s why we have all these negative responses. Because people are just making assumptions about what her goal was with that image and with pose. But I think, it’s very empowering, you know, to be able to share images like this. And again, we are going back to the conversation about sort of normalizing it, you know. We should be sharing more images like this. So it becomes normal to see women breastfeeding. And also it’s a different position!

SASHA:I breastfeed any and everywhere! I don’t care!

SUNNY GAULT:Yeah! I guess the question is, you know, are posting about it? Has anyone posted any photos of them doing anything athletic like this and what was the response?

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: You know, there was a World Breastfeeding Day. I saw images and I was very inspired by them, so I posted one on Instagram. But it was one. But I’ve got tons of favorable comments. And I actually, in the content, I talked about no matter what your choices are, just, you know, you can be supportive of breastfeeding. So, you know, I do kind of think there’s a problem with dichotomy and judgment of: are you nursing or not? And that we need to be careful of. We need healthy, happy kids and there are lots of reasons why, you know, moms might choose not to from day 1 or just might have difficulty. And so we really need to take judgment out of it. But I don’t know if they so much commented it because I was sharing a photo or commented about my message. But it was very supportive. And interestingly that’s when I found out that I am like some part of a group that nurses pass normal time I guess.

You know, she is two and a half and I forget what the term is, like advanced stage or something. But just to me it was, you know, just she doesn’t like milk and I know it’s for comfort, and I am still producing, and it’s not getting in the way of our life, so I haven’t seen a reason to forced stop. But I do think that as the kids get older that people get more and more unaccepting of nursing. And you know, this woman… I think the more images the better. But I could see where some people if they are seeing like that’s all they get from her, they just…they’d like to see something else.
And so maybe there are having a visceral reaction to like, you know, maybe tone it down on the self-promotion, and you know, I’d like to hear other things from you. But I don’t think we see those images enough.

SASHA: Yeah, I did a collage actually for breastfeeding awareness week when that was. I think…yeah, it was last month. It was in September. And I got a lot of favorable feedback also. And I had posted, you know, that I do it…I breastfeed on demand. So if we are out do dinner, if I am in the park, if I am wherever. Sometimes I am dressed for it, and sometimes I just have to kind of make do. I wear a cover, but there is a point where you are not covered.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: I actually don’t like the cover. And neither did my kids. And you know, there was… On airplanes I kind of had this poncho that actually worked much, much better. It just gave my daughter more room. I had the covers and I am very supportive of the covers. But like… Especially my younger one. She would like pull on it. And so, you know…

SASHA: It is like eating in a tent!

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, exactly! And I do understand this idea of modesty and everything, but I think this is a much deeper cultural issue. I learned nothing about breastfeeding until after… Yeah, well, the quick lesson in the hospital, or something. But literally it wasn’t until after she was born. I had no… My mom didn’t nurse me and so how else would I learn? And so I think that’s part of the problem.
It is different in other countries where they are more excepting. So I think, it’s a… Certainly in America it’s a problem. And you know, my own husband had some difficulty when he was with me and we were in public, and we fought about it a lot, and he actually said: it’s not you, it’s…he called them a "lookie loose””… He’s like: I don’t like the lookie loose! And I was like: you know, I understand that, but we can’t control them and I am trying to be modest, but my goal is to make my baby comfortable and to enjoy the experience, and I will do what I can to turn, but I am focused on her first and foremost. And our culture has to catch up. This is what boobs are for! This is not nudity!

SASHA: And that’s the only time when we are supposed to cover it up, right? It’s then, when we are trying to feed our baby? So it is weird that is acceptable for them to be out for other reasons, but not that!

SUNNY GAULT: Alright! Well, ladies, thank you so much for your take on this article! Again, we are going to post it to our Facebook page, if you guys want to check it out. Again, some really interesting poses! Like I am all for yoga, I’ve done that in the past. I am actually quite jealous that she can bend her body this way! Well, I don’t know, probably it was very helpful when she was delivering the baby to be able to move like this! Anyway, so we’ll post it if you guys want to check it out.

[Theme Music]

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Today we talking about athletes and breastfeeding or breast pumping. Our expert is Rebecca Scritchfield! Hi, Rebecca!


PRIYA NEMBHARD: A registered dietician nutritionist, founder of capital nutrition group, co-founder of Dieticians for Body Confidence and her first book Body Kindness, transform your health from the inside out and never say diet again, is that possible, is currently on pre-sale on Amazon. Not to mention this mom has run 50 marathons and ultra marathons. It’s crazy! But thank you so much for being on today, Rebecca!

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Thank you for having me!

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Ok, so the athletic world is so brought, but being a nursing mom is a very specific thing. And undoubtedly, like many other professions, women are both. We are discussing athletes and breastfeeding and breast pumping today, because we really wanted to dive into the minds of moms going through this journey as athletes. So as active woman, what were your expectations of being a mother?

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: I think that I quickly learned that I painted a pretty rosy picture of what it’s really like juggling the transition from my time as a hundred percent my own to oh, my Gosh, I am responsible for another human being! You know, but fitness and physical activity to me is such a part of my core values, it’s such an important part of my identity, that I knew that I wanted to maintain this sense of I am a person who likes to take of herself. And I knew… Yeah! And I knew that I would need to be flexible. And what I would do for activity, the tide, the duration and really just change my mindset that it all counts. Like you know, that 5minute plank while the water is boiling on the stove counts.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Did you really do that?

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Oh, yeah! I have a whole blog post on how you can exercise while doing housework. And interestingly there’s a real…this is a real study. There’s a researcher, her name is Alia Krum, and she did what’s called a mindset intervention, and she went to these maids. And half the group had the intervention: do you know your job is physical activity? The other half was like neutral, they got education thing about exercise, but they didn’t tell them: your job is exercise.

Six weeks later the group who was… They didn’t change anything else, no special diet, no special restrictions, they just planted the seed: did you know that your job is physically active? And these housekeepers, they worked in hotels, they improved their blood pressure, they lost weight, their energy level improved. And it’s crazy when you look at this research, like head scratching: how is that possible? But your mind can impact your body. And it’s all in how you see thing. And it’s very important thing to know. Because especially athletes and active women, we are not in it for not a bunch or perfectionists. So you throw mommy hood into that and our schedule it’s not our own, and it's completely chaotic, and so we tell ourselves these things like: oh, you are too tired to work out, or: oh, you can’t do the hard work, so don’t do anything at all, or: you know, you are not being a good mom if you take that time for yourself. And this negativity does not encourage self-care behaviors. And so it does impact our health and our wellbeing.
So you know, I really think that, you know, you can anticipate your schedule not being your own, you can anticipate being tired, but really what you need to plan is that… My value is I am a person who takes care of herself and this is something that I want to teach my children, and I teach by modeling that behavior. And I’ve got to have flexible expectations for what that means to be a healthy and happy person. And that, I think, is, you know, sort of that golden mindset that you need to really help you move forward.

SASHA: Yeah, that’s what I’ve done. Cause I was a person who for the past three years would work out six to seven days a week for two hours a day. It’s something I love. It’s just a part of who I am. I worked out up until I was 32weeks pregnant and then I went back last week when I was cleared. Kind of just went into it like a victim.
So I was going really hard in the gym. And since, you know, giving birth, you know, we had the initial six weeks off, then I went back in, didn’t feel guilty, I was pumping, he had his milk, grandma was there for me. And then you know, when he turned three months, I went back to work. And I am a teacher, so I am gone all day, I am home around 3:30, but the last thing I want to do after being away all day, is now go to the gym, cause I just want to spend this time with him.

So fortunately I found ways, like she was saying, Rebecca was saying, to incorporate him, I’ll do some squat holding him, I will curl him. I have a gym at home where, you know, my husband will wear him and they’ve come to the gym with us and so I am playing pick-a-boo and I am squad, and popping up, and you know, but he is there with me. So when I’d gotten an old tire from a tire shop, so I can just flip it in the courtyard to get to intensify it. Because you know, the home gym isn’t as intense as the actual, you know, fitness centre I was going to before. But I am not going to give up on myself, and my moods, and my energy level, and my body and everything, because I am a mom now, you know?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yes! So it sounds like there’s a lot of improvising that goes on?

SASHA: Oh, yeah!

PRIYA NEMBHARD: So going back to lifestyle, you know, the changes in your lifestyle before and after baby, it sounds like improvising has been an important part in your lifestyle changes?

SASHA: If you are not flexible then you break basically, it’s how it goes!

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, I think flexibility is a big key. And also I think it’s remembering what’s important to you. Because the way humans make decisions is we are looking for an immediate reward. And so whether it’s the reward is getting time with my baby or I’m tired and I really just want to sit here and play with y baby or something. That is the immediate reward. But there’s always a second choice option, and it’s usually the longer term reward. It’s the more difficult choice to make, but it’s also the more meaningful. So in a lot of times that’s the choice of let me improvise here, or you know what, I do need a little bit of me time, so I am not going to feel guilty setting up a play-date, or asking someone else to be with the kid for a little bit, so I can get in, you know, that yoga class that I really miss. But that will get you, especially as a new mom, and you are lacking sleep, and you feel tired, that sure, you know, that could be a sign that rest is needed, but maybe a shorter, or a gentler type of physical activity, will help to re-energies you, but also will help you feel good, that you are not quitting on the exercise. Because too many days of saying not right now, not right now, not right now to fitness, I mean, what are you really saying?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, like I do right now.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, you are saying never.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: So we’ve talked about lifestyle, we’ve talked about the pivoting, but how has your journey been bouncing your fitness routing and breastfeeding and breast pumping?

SASHA:I spent a lot of time pumping to have storage for when I go to work, and I find that after an intense workout, it hurts. I am not sure why. Yeah, my breasts are just more tender because of increased circulation, or what it is, but I found that I had to schedule it so that I am working out like the last thing, so that I know during the night he’ll just be getting the breast, so that, you know, I don’t have to pump after working out and feel that pain, because otherwise pumping is fine.

And it’s funny the book you have Body Kindness, someone has recently said to me, when they found out… I used to pump upwards…up to an hour. And I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing that and it would hurt after the regular thirty minutes, but it was like: ah, I need another ounce, so, you know, I just had to. And someone said to me: you know, you have to be kind to yourself.
It almost breaks my heart to even say it. It was like: oh, I don’t care if I am killing myself, I have to get this ounce out, this extra ounce to make it even or something, and it was… I was being so unkind to myself just to get those ounces out. And going to the proper time of just, you know, more sessions of thirty minutes intervals, I am producing the same as I was when I was torturing myself for no reason. So it’s just like taking a step back and realizing praise yourself, it’s going to be ok, just kind of trusting in your body and being kind to your body, and like whatever is going to be, is going to be. You know, like someone stated their milk had stopped coming in after intensely working out. I mean, I think everything just happens the way it’s supposed to.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, so when I have, you know, nursing moms as clients, and active nursing moms, you know, one of the things you really need to be on top of your hydration and not, you know, to thirst definitely, but it can’t hurt to kind of always just keep that bottle flowing, because that’s part of what helps with your production.
But you also need to eat well and eat enough. And it is a very difficult situation because we push out our baby and we read in the headlines that everyone gets their baby body back, their pre-baby body back fast. And that just doesn’t happen, you know. Even in my experience, when people asked if I was nursing, that’s the first thing: oh, great, you are going to bounce right back in your body! And let me tell you: that did not happen! And you know, truthfully with my first, I kind of went to a place where I really shouldn’t have gone.

And basically what happened was I had the baby, she had difficulty…she was 10days early, had some difficulty with latch and everything, but we worked through that, I was fully committed, I was very happy with how she was nursing, and then like you know, six weeks out or like you are not getting your activity back in. But there are still mirrors, and I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, but we go and we look in the mirror, and pinch, and turn, and twist. And the more time you do that, the more negativity comes in your mind. And so even though I would never tell a client to do this, and I would tell my friend to stop if she was doing this, I would just look in the mirror and feel dissatisfied, and you know, even just a glance. But I started to do things that I know is not appropriate, like when I was plating dinner, taking less food, and you know, if it was a pasta dish, leaving the carbs out. And you know, you need carbs when your are nursing, especially when you are active. And my husband just grabbed my plate, and he just looked at me, and he said: you know better, don’t do this to yourself! And again, this was my first, and it was just, you know, I will body kindness for me, first and foremost, yeah, I really needed it.
But it was like I needed permission to give myself nine months on, nine months off, or maybe even more. And if get a little…

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I never thought about it that way.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Oh, heck yeah, girl!

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Nine months one, nine months off.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Exactly! We just need that patience and compassion. And we have to remember that is our society and culture that tells us that our worth isn’t in our appearance anyway. And you know, so we need more women being real and honest, and sharing their vulnerabilities and their truth and saying: you know, give it time, or: how can we appreciate our body for what it’s doing for us. I created a human, you know? And just say: that’s ok if I don’t look the way that I want to look right now, but how can I take care of myself right now? And so I made that mistake with number one. And it could have impacted my supply. If you are active, and you don’t eat enough and you don’t drink enough, it can impact your supply. So you want to be mindful of that. And even if you are doing those things, your supply might be impacted anyway. And you know, we talked about it earlier, if there’s any women listening, that are feeling distraught about it, you know, I think the most important thing is that you feed your baby. And with my second one, I actually had a… She was unexpected, let’s say. But I had some work stuff coming up. So I pumped when I could pump, I knew it wasn’t enough and I just got formula, and I said: you know, here is what I have, do what you need to do, I will pump when I was away. And you know, so I just want to put that out there, like there’s no one perfect way to go about this. And even if it’s just colostrum, that is beneficial, you know, even if you nurse for a month. I have a good friend who stopped after four months of nursing because she nursed and had terrible migraines, and the doctor said: this is not good for you anymore and we just need to stop this. So I just need to put that out there.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: So that leads us right into our next segment. So let close out this one. So what happens… So you touched upon it already, the bounce back. So what happens when an athlete’s body changes after birth? Do you really bounce back? We’ll be right back. Need a simple, comfortable and convenient tank or bra when nursing and pumping for your baby? The pump-and-nurse collection by Rumina nursing-wear helps you transition from bump to baby with no problem! No wholes, hooks, velcro, no need to disrobe, and no additional straps either! Just supportive all-day wear ideal for breastfeeding and exclusive pumping mom! Plus Boob Group listeners get an exclusive 20% discount!

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[Theme Music]

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome back! Today we are talking about athletes and breastfeeding and breast pumping. Our expert is Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietician nutritionist. So do athletes’ bodies really bounce back, Rebecca? What does that mean? What is a bounce back?

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Oh, bounce back! I think bounce back is just yet another, you know, curse, driven upon women, that it’s not enough that we created a human being, but now we’ve got to look like you know, we did twenty years ago! You know, I don’t know… I think that, you know, there is a strong cultural expectation that our worth is driven by our appearance and it can just be difficult for us to accept what is very normal changes in our body from the second we have conception all the way through postpartum, and not just the six weeks after the doctor visit but postpartum can be a very long time.
And you know, some people’s body just changes and never go back to exactly where they were before, and that’s ok too. I just think it’s very unrealistic that there’s any sort of ideal pattern, or even that we have strong control over how we bounce back. We have control over our choices, the decisions we make, the way we talk to ourselves and the way we live our life. But you know, you can see that one woman just might look like she never had a baby a few weeks later. Like you know, like Kate Middleton just, you know, bounced back real quickly.
And that’s not going to be someone else’s experience. We are all just different genetics and there are so many different factors. I just think that the most important thing is that we feel good about the choices we are able to make, and we stop kind of comparing to others. I call that compare and despair, cause you know, we ain’t ever happy when we look at someone else and say: oh, I wish we had their body.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, but we are so bombarded by outside influences! Talking about Kate Middleton… I mean, you see these images and these women who are just like perfect right after they give birth. And then you compel that with being athletic and having fitness routines, and you are thinking: oh, my God, I have to get back on track! So there’s so much inner pressure and outer pressure to bounce back.

SASHA: There really is. And like she said, it does affect your milk supply, because I remember trying to not so much restrict, but not really do the extra 500 calories, because I’m like: I want my body back! But it doesn’t happen that way. And my milk supply was affected when I would eat less. And so obviously, well, for me, I should say, I chose the milk over the body and it was just… I would feel bad and I would even post, sometimes, I’d post a picture and find myself saying oh, or telling people that I can’t really restrict calories, because it affects my milk. It was like I was making an excuse, you know, because of the fact that people know I’m into fitness, there’s that added pressure of looking a certain way, you know.
Then, like she said, with the breastfeeding, everybody’s saying: oh, you are going to snap back, snap back. It’s all about the snap back! And you are like: can I just feed my child and just, you know, gradually, you know, in a healthy way, make it happen? But being active there’s that pressure of going back to your pre-baby body.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, you know, you talked about the pressure, and I think what we really need to ask ourselves, is a question of: are my choices helping me create a better life? I remember when I was a new dietician doing sports nutrition, and it was, I think, my third marathon, and I just had this idea in my mind that I was going to get a certain time, even though I’d never…I didn’t train for a certain time, nor did I ever previously in any of my marathons train for time. In that marathon I collapsed at mile 26 and DNFed. Runners carried me… DNFers did not finish. Runners carried me to a medic tent. My body temperature went to a 107 and I had a heatstroke.


REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: So let’s ask: was that decision to try to get a certain time because: you are sports dietician; people are going to want to see that sub four, Rebecca!

PRIYA NEMBHARD: And people are looking at you.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah! Was that decision creating a better life? No!

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, my God! You could have died!

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD:I almost did! I wish I could shake the hands the runners who saved me! I will never know, but the doctor told, I mean… Try being told that you almost died! That happened to me. The doctor said: you almost died, runners saved your life and got you to the tent, and it was three runners, that’s all I know, didn’t got their names. It was a traumatic experience. I thought I’d never run again. Notice: I’ve done over fifteen and my friend said: look, you are going to slay that dragon and that year is when I did like five marathons and ultra marathons. So I sleighed! I sleighed in a big way! But I also learned to stop with the judgments and stop with the “everybody expect this thing of you”, you know.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I’m sure that was a wakeup call.

REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: It was a total wakeup call! You have to just be who you are and where you at, and stop with judgments. And it might be stories you are telling yourself inside, and then that is work you can do, you know, I think perhaps with a therapist, or in some sort of way, that … Think what would you want to tell your kids or your best friend, and don’t be afraid to change that mindset. But you absolutely have to ask yourself this question: is this helpful? Is this giving me a better life? I think the stress we put on ourselves of not loosing fast enough is way worst for our health, than caring extra pounds.
So thank you so much to everyone for being a part of today’s show and for sharing their experience! If you are a member of The Boob Group, then be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode about how out athletic skills have changed as a nursing mom.

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SUNNY GAULT:We love when our listeners submit question for our awesome experts that we have on the show! And today is no exception. This question comes from Michelle. Michelle writes:
Is there any connection between breastfeeding and long menstrual periods? I have a client that breastfed for one year and has recently weaned her child. She has now started her first menstrual period and it is now going for 25 days…
Oh, poor mama!
…Her OBGYN has told her not worry as she has just stopped breastfeeding, but I wasn’t sure if nursing could cause a woman to have a longer period. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

MICHELLE: Hi, this is Michelle, an IBCLC in the Metropolitan DC area. Thanks for your question! Absolutely! The return of your period can be irregular and the duration can change as well. It might take a couple of months to return to normal. Make sure you are using other forms of protection as the return of your period means the return of your fertility. As the breading continues, it’s always a good idea to consult with your physician. And if you notice any changes in your milk supply, please reach out to an IBCLC for help.
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PRIYA NEMBHARD: That wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group!
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Newbies for newly postpartum moms
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.

This is The Boob Group where moms know breast!

This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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