The Internet is applauding one new mom from Salt Lake City this week, thanks to a photo that’s going viral of her pumping while running a half marathon. That’s right; she pulled out a hand pump mid-run, and kept going while she pumped — like it was NBD. If that’s not the definition of badass, I’m not sure what is.
Anna Young tells Babble she signed up to run the half-marathon before she even learned she was pregnant. She’s always been passionate about running, and even completed competitively while in high school and college, but a recent injury had set her back for a while. Now on the mend, she wasn’t about to let a little thing like, oh, being a few months postpartum and needing to pump set her back. She was determined to do it anyway.
If you’re already in awe of this mom’s determination, let me tell you, it only gets better from here.
Young tells Babble she trained for the race with her baby daughter in tow, pushing her in a jogging stroller for the months leading up to the marathon. But when marathon day finally drew near,Young admits that she was a bit nervous, mostly because she was still nursing her daughter, who was 5-months old at the time. She wasn’t sure how she’d be able to go so long without nursing or pumping. After all, half-marathons are about 13 miles, which is a good length of time. (I know I sure as heck wouldn’t be able to make it through with a pair of painfully engorged boobs!)
Young shares that she’s had a rough start with breastfeeding and was prone to plugged ducts and mastitis in the beginning, so she didn’t want to take any chances in terms of getting too full. On top of that, she also was proud of how far she and her daughter had come with breastfeeding, and didn’t want to compromise any of the progress they’d recently made.
“I was nervous about figuring out how to run and nurse or pump,” Young tells Babble, “I remember reading about one of my former teammates who competed in a triathlon and she did something similar. I originally planned on sitting at one of the aid stations or on the side of the course, but I was so excited about how well I was running I decided to walk and pump at the same time.”
As it happened, the moment was caught on camera, and a photo of it was later shared with the mom herself — who was so proud that she’d been able to balance pumping and marathon-running despite her concerns, she decided to pass it on. On September 11,Young shared the photo on the breastfeeding Facebook site, Occupy Breastfeeding, where it’s since gone viral, with over 7K likes, and 1K shares to date. Unsurprisingly, it’s getting a ton of positive reception, with hundreds of moms commenting about how inspired they are by Young’s badass multi-tasking skills.
“Yesterday I ran a half marathon at five months postpartum,” Young shared in her post. “I had to leave at 4:30 AM and the race started at 6:45 AM. I nursed my daughter before I left my house, pumped after running the first 8 miles and nursed her after I made it past the finish line.”
All nursing moms — whether they need to fit nursing or pumping into their full-time work days, or for shorter periods of separation — have to be constantly thinking of creative solutions to feed their babies and keep up their milk supplies. Young is no exception, although her story definitely takes it to a whole new level, given the fact that she was running a freaking half-marathon!
But nursing moms or not — whether we’re running marathons or just juggling work, housekeeping, and managing other kids at the same time (which is kind of like running a marathon, as far as I’m concerned), all moms are amazing multitaskers. That’s just what we do, without even really thinking about it, every damn day.
Young’s photo may be an awe-inspiring one, but she’s still pretty humble about it all, and doesn’t see it as terribly out of the ordinary. “I have been overwhelmed with the reaction and support my photo has received,” she says. “I’m grateful that the response has been so positive because I never imagined the momentum that people would see and share it.”
What she wants more than anything is to inspire other moms to follow their dreams, too, and to know that motherhood doesn’t have to stop them from doing that. “I hope I’ve helped encourage other mothers that we really can accomplish just about anything while we care for our children,” she adds.
I think it’s pretty safe to say she has.