Breast feeding and sports

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Ah, brestfeeding.  Such a pleasant experience in and of itself, but add physical activity to it and you have a recipe for pain.  The bouncing, the jiggling, the electrifying sensation of your milk letting down in the middle of a run. 

I train martial arts with a bunch of dudes that really don’t get the difficulty of training with milk jugs attached to one’s chest.  The worst is during jiu jitsu training when they smash on your chest or when you are passing and your abnormally large breasts gets hung up on their shoulder while trying to rotate into a north/south position.  Aside from painful it is awkward, but you roll on as if nothing happened.  I have tapped numerous times for no other reason than my boobs hurt so badly I couldn’t go on. 

They make chest protectors which are nothing more than sports bras with cups in them, like a man wears for his testicles.  I’m reluctant to smash their faces with my molded plastic boobs, though I have damn near chipped a tooth or gotten a black eye from their cups.  I think about how funny I’ll look with a cup for my chesticles, like a Nordic opera singer from a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  The guys look silly in their cups too with their crotches protruding like a Shakespearean actor in a cod piece, but we’re all acclimated to that look- not so much with the breast plate. 

When I first began training, my oldest son was 4 months old.  I lasted about 6 weeks before I decided the pain of training while breast feeding was just too much.  I returned as soon as he was weened 8 month later.  I don’t want to do that this time, so I have to figure something out.  I think I’m just going to have to suck it up and wear the chest protector. 

As the only female in the dojo I’m just one of the guys, but I make sure to never shy away from the issues I face as a female amongst them.  I might be one of the guys, but I’m not going to pretend I’m not a female.  Besides, it’s lots of fun to make them squirm. 

7 thoughts on “Breast feeding and sports

  1. I had no clue there was such a product for women. I love reading your stories about training. You’re one tough Momma!

  2. My husband started training judo while I was pregnant, and for obvious reasons, a new Sensei was not comfortable training a new female, pregnant student. I gave birth two months ago and have been itching to attend judo, so my husband has been teaching me some basics, specifically stuff on the ground. I noticed right away that I’ll tap because of my chest waaaaay sooner then tapping for an actual submission attempt. I’ve been trying to research the best chest protector, and I cannot seem to find one that isn’t two huge plastic boobs, or something that doesn’t seem to work. (Have you seen the EvoShield female fast pitch chest protector? I was debating that but not sure it’ll help) I would love to hear about what you’ve experienced between May and now. Thank you!!

    • I’m so glad you’re getting involved in judo! As for me, I tore my MCL at fight night a month after going back to training, so that solved the boob problem, since I couldn’t train at all. With my first pregnancy I tried training at 4 months post-partum, but had to wait until I weaned my son. The two plastic boobs are ridiculous, but that evoshield looks pretty good. I think it would still allow pressure on the breasts though. Let me know what you find, and keep training!

  3. Thanks for responding so quickly! I’ll definitely experiment and let you know what I find. Its so hard to find women who train, have kids, and breastfeed to swap learned lessons with. Glad you are blogging about it!! 🙂

  4. so did you ladies ever find anything that worked? I am 4 months post partum and am itching to get back on the mat. but last time I tried it just hurt to much. I have been doing judo since I was 11 so it’s a huge part of my life.

    • For me it was modifying what I could do. Pumping or nursing right before going to the dojo helped a lot. I was honest with my training partners (all guys). I would say, “look, it feels like breast milk is coming out my tear ducts when I get smashed, so give me a break.” This conversation depends on your comfort level with your training partners, lol! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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