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clee03m


Mar 15, 2010, 8:58 AM
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Breastfeeding and climbing
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As my due date is getting closer, I am starting to think about how breastfeeding would fit into my climbing. I think short climbs are not a problem since my husband has already offered to come with me to belay and babysit if I elected to bring the baby, and I plan to pump and dump when baby is not there with me. But how would it work out for longer multipitch climbs? Do you bring a manual pump along with you and once again pump and dump? How does your male partners handle it when you need to pump? Would it be unrealistic for me to pursue longer climbs until breastfeeding is done? It is really important for me to breastfeed and pump as much as possible during my off time from work since my pumping opportunities will be limited at work and I work 10+ hrs a day.


lena_chita
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Mar 15, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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My 2c:

Single-pitch cragging, if the baby is with you and you have someone watching the baby while you climb-- no problem, breastfeeding would be much easier and less hassle than bottle feeding, you can nurse in between climbing, no extra supplies and gadgets needed. Just make sure you have plenty of fluids to drink.

Single-pitch climbing while the baby stays home with your husband -- I am sure you woud be able to find a private place to pump, though most manual pumps are not as efficient as electric ones (and both are less efficient than the baby), so combined with your need to work and pump during the week, you might see milk supply diminishing faster than you'd like b/c of inefficient extraction. Pump-and-dump? I personaly found the "dump" part impossible (I worked hard to make it!!!!), and besides, you might not have the luxury of dumping 2 days worth of milk if you are planning on exclusive breastfeeding b/c you might not have that much extra anyway. Supply and demand... But you might be able to bring an insulated pack and cooling packs and store the milk...

Multi-pitch... I am assuming you mean something more than 2-3 pitches, which would be effectively done as single-pitch cragging b/c I don't think you'd spend that much time on 2-3 pitches... but assuming you mean something like all-day-long or overnight climb... good luck. Theoretically possible, of course. Bring a pump, and bottles, and extra fluid for yourself, etc., let's be magnanimous-- bring an ice pack, too, to store the extracted milk-- why the heck not, you are already going to be hauling a lot of stuff, what's another cooler... haul all of it up on a climb... Ask the male climbing partner to turn away-- or do it at the belay station after he finishes a pitch and goes on direct at a belay station a pitch above you. I don't see why it would be a problem anymore than going to he bathroom on a multipitch climb...

But... seriously? You couldn't live without doing multi-pitch climbing in the first ~9 months of your baby's life? It is that important?


clee03m


Mar 15, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Well, I have double electric pump that works on battery that would work for shorter climbs. It's hands free so I may even be able to belay (just kidding). Bringing a cooler may be possible. But my question is more for longer climbs. I have bought a simple manuel pump that gets glowing review (some women who gave up electric pump because it works so well), and wondering it that would do the trick. I would like to think there are women out there climbing longer climbs while breast feeding and would like to hear from them. Can I live without longer climbs for 9 months? Yeah, but I would rather not if I don't have to. Therefore a thread asking people for advise. I have made plans for longer climbs even before I was pregnant, and it would be nice to be able to do them. There are some beautiful longer climbs one my partners and I've been itching to get our hands on.


Partner macherry


Mar 15, 2010, 2:58 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
My 2c:

Single-pitch cragging, if the baby is with you and you have someone watching the baby while you climb-- no problem, breastfeeding would be much easier and less hassle than bottle feeding, you can nurse in between climbing, no extra supplies and gadgets needed. Just make sure you have plenty of fluids to drink.

Single-pitch climbing while the baby stays home with your husband -- I am sure you woud be able to find a private place to pump, though most manual pumps are not as efficient as electric ones (and both are less efficient than the baby), so combined with your need to work and pump during the week, you might see milk supply diminishing faster than you'd like b/c of inefficient extraction. Pump-and-dump? I personaly found the "dump" part impossible (I worked hard to make it!!!!), and besides, you might not have the luxury of dumping 2 days worth of milk if you are planning on exclusive breastfeeding b/c you might not have that much extra anyway. Supply and demand... But you might be able to bring an insulated pack and cooling packs and store the milk...

Multi-pitch... I am assuming you mean something more than 2-3 pitches, which would be effectively done as single-pitch cragging b/c I don't think you'd spend that much time on 2-3 pitches... but assuming you mean something like all-day-long or overnight climb... good luck. Theoretically possible, of course. Bring a pump, and bottles, and extra fluid for yourself, etc., let's be magnanimous-- bring an ice pack, too, to store the extracted milk-- why the heck not, you are already going to be hauling a lot of stuff, what's another cooler... haul all of it up on a climb... Ask the male climbing partner to turn away-- or do it at the belay station after he finishes a pitch and goes on direct at a belay station a pitch above you. I don't see why it would be a problem anymore than going to he bathroom on a multipitch climb...

But... seriously? You couldn't live without doing multi-pitch climbing in the first ~9 months of your baby's life? It is that important?

i asked this question myself. i remember when my kids were young, i didn't climb, but i barely got out for a run or a bike ride. Not that i minded, i found that during the first six months i was more focused on the baby and getting sleep. It wasn't until later that i felt like increasing my activity. trust me, multi pitch climbs will be the last thing on your mind.


lena_chita
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Mar 15, 2010, 5:32 PM
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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clee03m wrote:
Well, I have double electric pump that works on battery that would work for shorter climbs. It's hands free so I may even be able to belay (just kidding). Bringing a cooler may be possible. But my question is more for longer climbs. I have bought a simple manuel pump that gets glowing review (some women who gave up electric pump because it works so well), and wondering it that would do the trick. I would like to think there are women out there climbing longer climbs while breast feeding and would like to hear from them. Can I live without longer climbs for 9 months? Yeah, but I would rather not if I don't have to. Therefore a thread asking people for advise. I have made plans for longer climbs even before I was pregnant, and it would be nice to be able to do them. There are some beautiful longer climbs one my partners and I've been itching to get our hands on.

Well, you did ask if it was feasible. My answer-- no, not really.

How feasible something is, is directly correlated to how much you want it, and invercely correlated to how much hassle it is.

I have first-hand experience of both pumping and multipitch, and it would not be enjoyable enough for me to bring a pump on an all-day climb. Sure, I could do it, I could figure out the logistics. But I would not want to.

Your knowledge of pumps is theoretical at this point. IMO you should wait until after you have a baby, get used to pumping, figure out how much hassle it is for you, and what else you are not currently anticipating, time yourself doing one-sided manual pump extraction from the moment you start putting together the pump to the moment you put it, and all the accompanying items, away, and are ready to climb. Ideally, do it while hanging in your harness with nowhere to put items, and remind yourself that dropping a part of the pump would be quite as unpleasant as dropping your belay device. Then you ask your partner if he would be willing to hang out for that long waiting for you to do it a few times during your multi-pitch climb, and then you find out if the said partner still has a burning desire to do that lcimb with you right now, or if he would rather postpone it for a few months...


Things happen when you have a baby that you aren't currently anticipating. And I am talking normal healthy delivery, which is what hopefully is in stock for you.

You under-estimated how tired the pregnancy would make you feel, you over-estimated the 'second-trimester "high" that some women athletes get, you never anticipated getting early pelvic instability and pain, and having to stop climbing months before delivery- and you were lucky not to have any major complications in pregnancy...

The likeihood is that you would spend weeks recovering from birth, getting used to life with new baby, juggling full-time work and childcare, breastfeeding, pumping, sleep deprivation, and getting back into climbing shape in between all of that.

You have enough determination for 10 people. But you are right now planning for the wrong thing, IMO...


lhwang


Mar 15, 2010, 9:55 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
But you are right now planning for the wrong thing, IMO...

Lena_chita, are you aware of how judgmental, negative and critical this potentially comes across?

I don't see clee03m saying anywhere that as soon as the baby pops out, she'll be off doing multi-day big wall climbs. Maybe she's thinking of doing an 8 hour multipitch when the baby's 6 months old or even a year old. Whatever the case, she has the right to ask without being chided for being thinking about the "wrong" thing.

Sent you a pm, clee03m.


lena_chita
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Mar 16, 2010, 7:33 AM
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Re: [lhwang] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lhwang wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
But you are right now planning for the wrong thing, IMO...

Lena_chita, are you aware of how judgmental, negative and critical this potentially comes across?

I don't see clee03m saying anywhere that as soon as the baby pops out, she'll be off doing multi-day big wall climbs. Maybe she's thinking of doing an 8 hour multipitch when the baby's 6 months old or even a year old. Whatever the case, she has the right to ask without being chided for being thinking about the "wrong" thing.

Sorry if it comes across this way. It was not my intent.

But my answer would have been the same if clee03 were asking at this point about finding the right pre-school for her baby, or best way to handle potty training. That would be planning for the wrong thing, too, because it is too far in advance and there are many variables and unknowns in between.

First have a baby, establish breastfeeding, and make sure that is going well (not a given). Then get used to pumping and see if milk supply can be maintained on the work schedule that clee03 has to work with (also not a given), or whether supplementation might be necessary. And get back into climbing shape (also an unknown depending on how the birth goes, whether pubic symphisis pain disappears after birth or gets worse, how well the baby is doing, etc. etc. etc.).

By the time all of these unknows sort themselves out, clee03 will know better than anyone on the internet how hands-free is the "hands-free pump" that she got, how well the pumping on multipitch climbs will work for her personally, and it might be a moot point by then.


Partner macherry


Mar 16, 2010, 7:53 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lena, i think your answer was bang on!!!! i think you ( and i was too) pointing out the reality of having a baby, breastfeeding, and fitting in climbing.

personally, it was hard enough trying to pump breast milk in a controlled environment, let alone on a multi pitch climb.

just sayin'


lhwang


Mar 16, 2010, 9:00 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Thanks for clarifying Lena_chita. Interesting that you chose those two examples though, since some preschools have 24 month long waiting lists (I've also heard of people moving to get into the right zone for a particular school), and if clee03m decides she wants to use EC, that would be something she could start at birth. Smile

I do agree with you that clee03m's experience will be very individual and depend on a lot of factors working out. Given her profession, I'd imagine she isn't naive about the potential difficulties of breastfeeding. I interpreted her question more as "If everything goes okay, what are some challenges I could anticipate about pumping while doing a multipitch climb?"


clee03m


Mar 16, 2010, 9:01 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Sure, I had not anticipated pelvic instability would force me to stop climbing, but because I did a lot of research regarding safety of lead falls and pregnancy, spoke with a number of obs, I was able to climb well into my pregnancy and plan 3 trips out of state. I also lead/red pointed hardest climbs and climbed the longest climb during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. So imo unexpected events don't make planning inappropriate.

Am I being unrealistic regarding multipitch and breastfeeding? May be. But doesn't hurt to plan. Certainly it doesn't hurt to dream about being on some of the beautiful climbs while going through climbing withdraw. I feel like I'm working through legistics of breast feeding and climbing one by one (such as how gym would work and how single/short pitches would work), and as you pointed out multipitch seems to present the biggest legistical challenge so I posted. I was hoping for some here is how I managed or let's brain storm together type of replies.

Btw, I have been looking into preschools. Private vs, public preschools would make a financial impact so I thought it would be prudent to start thinking now. What can I say? I'm a planner.

Honestly, lena, I think I climbed much more intensely than you had predicted during this pregnancy. So let's just hope history repeats itself.


jeepnphreak


Mar 16, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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See what happens, After you have that baby you will have a bit of time to think about what you will need for breast feeding and climbing and such.
My wife and I just had our first little boy last week, let me tell you there is in no way that my wife is putting on a harness for a few weeks, Her nether regions are a bit sore for that. So you have a while to see if your focus is on climbing or the baby.


clausti


Mar 16, 2010, 12:43 PM
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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i dunno about multipitch, but rockprodigy's wife was breastfeeding her second kid at the (single pitch sport) crag starting around 8 weeks. possibly earlier, but that's when we started climbing with them. you might PM him and see if he'll put you in touch. their kids are super mellow.


lhwang


Mar 17, 2010, 7:01 AM
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Re: [jeepnphreak] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Congratulations, jeepnphreak.

jeepnphreak wrote:
So you have a while to see if your focus is on climbing or the baby.

Do you mean it's either or?


lena_chita
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Mar 17, 2010, 7:16 AM
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Re: [clausti] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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clausti wrote:
i dunno about multipitch, but rockprodigy's wife was breastfeeding her second kid at the (single pitch sport) crag starting around 8 weeks. possibly earlier, but that's when we started climbing with them. you might PM him and see if he'll put you in touch. their kids are super mellow.

Funny that you mention J.-- I thought of her when I first saw this thread, and asked her if she ever thought of doing it. I am afraid the answer won't be to clee03's liking either.

lhwang wrote:
Thanks for clarifying Lena_chita. Interesting that you chose those two examples though, since some preschools have 24 month long waiting lists (I've also heard of people moving to get into the right zone for a particular school), and if clee03m decides she wants to use EC, that would be something she could start at birth. Smile

I'm all for being prepared -- finding information abour breastfeeding, recearching the pumps and getting the ones that will hopefully fit the need-- all of that is great. Same with researching EC or preschool options. You should have a general idea. LOL, i'd say that EC would be a highly unikely plan, given the work schedule.

But the question, as asked, was about whether a male climbing partner should be asked to turn away, and other small unimportant details like that, and this is such a MINOR issue, and by far not the thing you should be worried about when you don't even have a baby and don't even know how pumping and nursing would work out... that's what prompted "you are planning for the wrong thing" responce, more than anything else.

To me it was akin to asking something like:"I REALLY want to take this two-week-long car trip, along the West coast, stopping at every national park, etc. I have been dreaming about it, my friends have been talking about it. And I was wondering, should i bring a portable potty for my kid, or should I use the ring that goes on top of toilets? What about taking him into women's bathroom? Should I make him sit or stand? And I bought this great book, it gets glowing reviews from lots of parents, called "potty-training in one week", I think it would do the trick. I'll potty-train while on car trip."

And to that my answer would be: a) too early to think about it now, have a baby first, then wait until the kid is ready and you know his preferences to figure out the nitty-gritty logistics; b) don't plan an elective trip like that while potty-training, you'll be miserable, toddlerhood is the worst time to take such a trip, wait until your child is older, national parks would still be there.



I'm repeating myself, so I'll stop now.

I know that there are quite a few climbing moms who have nursed their babies here, and tellingly none of them are posting tips on multi-pitch pumping, but maybe they are just PMing these tips directly to Clee.


wjca


Mar 17, 2010, 8:06 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:


But the question, as asked, was about whether a male climbing partner should be asked to turn away, and other small unimportant details like that, and this is such a MINOR issue, and by far not the thing you should be worried about when you don't even have a baby and don't even know how pumping and nursing would work out... that's what prompted "you are planning for the wrong thing" responce, more than anything else.

Seeing a woman breast feed her child is not big deal. The kid is eating a meal. But watching a woman hook her self up to a breast pump is something I only needed to see once. Think diary farm, especially when she's got a double going on. Those pumps look painful. They are necessary, and are what got my wife and I through our two kids, but I had no interest in watching the process.

And while I am a guy, I have a wife who breastfed both of my boys until their first birthday. I agree with Lena. You are putting the cart before the horse. You may not even be able to breastfeed. Slow down a bit. Find a good pump and see how things go with the kid. There are so many other things that will keep your mind occupied before you ever get to think about climbing again (assuming you get enough sleep to even be able to put together any sort of cognitive thought anyway).


iamthewallress


Mar 17, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Re: [wjca] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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I have no experience in this realm, but thought that if your partner also happened to be your intimate, they could do the job w/o the spare gear, and it would potentially be more fun.

The subtext that I read in the OP was ..."I'm feeling sidelined and am dreaming about when I can get started doing these things that I love again." I've done the same when I've been held back for other reasons. Sometimes we need encouragement as much as info. Keep dreaming about it clee...If it doesn't work when you get there, you'll at least have had optimistic thoughts along the way. That's got to be good for the baby, no?


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Mar 17, 2010, 9:35 AM)


jeepnphreak


Mar 17, 2010, 10:06 AM
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Re: [lhwang] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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lhwang wrote:
Congratulations, jeepnphreak.

jeepnphreak wrote:
So you have a while to see if your focus is on climbing or the baby.

Do you mean it's either or?

Sure why not, how dedicacted are you to climbing.

what I was getting at was she has a bit do figure out how to "juggle" climbing and baby care. babies are time consuming and cant be with feeding/care for very long.

Another thing I was thought of was that the OP was think of pumping. I though is was not the best idea to pump earler in breast feeding. Your body is trying to figure out how much milk to produce and when pumping is used too earler the breast can become too engorged and duct plugging can happen. From talking to othe ladies thats happend to it really painful.


rockprodigy


Mar 18, 2010, 8:07 PM
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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clee03m wrote:
It is really important for me to breastfeed and pump as much as possible during my off time from work since my pumping opportunities will be limited at work and I work 10+ hrs a day.

I'm surprised nobody has picked up on this, but IMO if you are working 50+ hours a week, you are going to want to spend your days off with your child. I'm not on a soapbox telling you what you SHOULD do, I'm saying, that your desire to climb vs. spend time with your little bundle of joy will drop off dramatically.

My wife was as Gung-ho a climber as you can get (5.12 sport climber while pregnant, WI5 ice leader, first female ascent of Devil's Thumb in Alaska...I could go on) but when she had our first child while also working a full time job, she was torn up about handing him over to childcare providers every day. He was over a year old before she let anyone else care for him on a day off (and she quit her job before that).

I know this may be hard to believe at this point, but your priorities will change dramatically. I don't have to convince you because you'll know what I mean soon enough.

This is not to say you can't still climb. We kept climbing just about every weekend (once she was healthy enough to start back up), but we did single pitch stuff exclusively, and brought the baby with us every time. (As a matter of fact, our first climbing "trip" was a couple hours at the Garden of the Gods when he was 2 weeks old...big mistake, TOO SOON FOR MOMMY!...that extended her recovery another 6 weeks past what is "normal")

Congratulations, it's a wonderful gift to have a child...embrace being a mommy. The rocks have been here for millions of years and they will still be here when your kids are back-talking, selfish teenagers...they grow up fast! They're only babies for a very short year. Best wishes!


haleymay


Mar 18, 2010, 11:00 PM
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I didn't start climbing until after I had my kids so I don't exactly have any first hand experience with pumping/climbing. But, I did BF both my kids, my 2nd one until she was 14 months old. It was hard enough pumping at home, I can't imagine being a couple pitches up trying to induce a letdown, lol... And don't plan on pumping and dumping please. Thats liquid gold! Bring some storage bags and a cooler. And I wouldn't bring an electric pump... Too bulky. I used an Avent manual part that you can take apart and fit in a quart size ziploc bag.

And like another poster had said... your already going to be working and your not going to want to leave your baby that long! Even a day is a long time, may not seem like it now, but it is. I'm a bit overprotective, lol; but, my first multi-day climbing trip I got a satellite phone (in case of emergency IF I had no reception, lol) and called the sitter about 10 times a day when I got reception.

But like Lena said... Wait until you have the baby, figure out breastfeeding (its not always easy!), and get into the swing of motherhood. Then you'll be able to make your own informed decision. Good luck.


clee03m


Mar 19, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Re: [rockprodigy] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I find this idea of priorities changing really interesting. Who knows? May be multipitch climbs will the the last thing on my mind for the next season. Or the legistics of it (whether it be from breastfeeding issue or not) will be too complicated to make it worth it. I think for now, I am going to still talk about it and plan it because I need something to keep me sane as I get baby stuff ready while my partners go off climbing in this unsually early climbing season for Washington (here I thought I timed the pregnancy perfectly). In fact, I am lifting weights with the one who keeps talking about some of these climbs today, and so I think I'll bring up the pumping thing and see how that goes. Thanks everyone, and wish me luck!


Partner macherry


Mar 19, 2010, 2:01 PM
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clee03m wrote:
Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I find this idea of priorities changing really interesting. Who knows? May be multipitch climbs will the the last thing on my mind for the next season. Or the legistics of it (whether it be from breastfeeding issue or not) will be too complicated to make it worth it. I think for now, I am going to still talk about it and plan it because I need something to keep me sane as I get baby stuff ready while my partners go off climbing in this unsually early climbing season for Washington (here I thought I timed the pregnancy perfectly). In fact, I am lifting weights with the one who keeps talking about some of these climbs today, and so I think I'll bring up the pumping thing and see how that goes. Thanks everyone, and wish me luck!

here's wishing you luck. look forward to hear how things go!!!


klopik


Apr 14, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Registered: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 119

Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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So, just out of curiousity (since I just had mine 3 weeks ago :) - how are you doing?


jeepnphreak


Apr 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
Post #23 of 34 (3963 views)
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Registered: Jul 28, 2008
Posts: 1259

Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Well I have an update on climbing and babies at the craig.
My wife and I headed to our local craig for 5 hours with our baby boy. He very well. We had a group of 5 so there was alway and odd man/girl out that could watch the kiddo while we were climbing. I dont think that mulit pitch would have been possible but running laps on single pitch work out quite well.
So you might have to adjust you climbing to single pitch but it would be very difficult to run several pitches with a baby near by. there are just too time consuming. Find a baby sitter for a few hours if you are dead set on multi pitch, just pump enough milk so the baby has plenty to eat while you are away.


clee03m


May 1, 2010, 6:04 PM
Post #24 of 34 (3851 views)
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Registered: Oct 29, 2004
Posts: 782

Re: [klopik] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Hi, I am doing well. I've started climbing at the gym and lead (at the gym, but still) for the first time since September on Wednesday. I feel pretty out of shape, but I am hopeful that I will get back in shape pretty soon. I am following guidelines from Exercising Through Your Pregnancy book and will take it easy until 6 weeks postpartum where I will officially start training again.

It will be interesting to see how I will manage a new baby, career, marriage, and climbing. As I have said to many, parenthood is a lot like climbing: it is so much fun, you don't even think about all the work that is involved.

And those who were doubting, my husband is still a feminist. Phew! No need for a divorce, after all :)


lhwang


May 2, 2010, 5:10 PM
Post #25 of 34 (3830 views)
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Registered: Aug 3, 2005
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Re: [clee03m] Breastfeeding and climbing [In reply to]
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Awesome. Congratulations clee03m!

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