When nature calls, nature calls, even when you’re running a marathon.
But we’re not talking about needing a potty break.
While new mom Anna Young was running the 13 miles of the Revel Big Cottonwood half marathon in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, she had to pump her breast milk.
An official photographer for the marathon took a picture of her using the hand pump as she ran.
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Young posted the photo to the Occupy Breastfeeding Facebook page on Sunday, where it has racked up nearly 10,000 likes.
“Yesterday I ran a half marathon at five months postpartum. I had to leave at 4:30 a.m. and the race started at 6:45 a.m.” she wrote.
“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. This group and Le leche league motivated me to find a way to run my race and take care of my daughter. #normalizebreastfeeding.”
Young told The Huffington Post that she ran competitively in high school and college and didn’t want to give up running after she had her first child. She trained for the half marathon by running while pushing her daughter in a stroller.
“I thought signing up for a race would be a good way to commit myself to running more regularly, as well as an opportunity to share something I am passionate about with my daughter,” she told Huffington.
She took her pump with her on race day because she wasn’t sure how long it would take her to finish. She planned to stop running and pump on the sidelines, but decided to just keep moving instead.
She was surprised that the race photographer took her picture right at that moment, but decided to share it publicly “to thank the breastfeeding community and make an effort to help normalize it.”
The photo has won her thousands of fans online. The Scary Mommy blog pointed out that the early start of a race like that “could leave a breastfeeding mom in quite the predicament.
“You don’t want your supply to be impacted by not nursing or pumping for a long stretch of time and you definitely do not want to deal with engorged boobs. Seriously, the pain is like no other. So what do you do? Skip the marathon? Find a place to pump on the sidelines? Or just pump and run? Young chose the last.
“To top it all off this amazing woman used a hand pump people. A hand pump. Have you ever tried to use one of those things? Let’s just say it’s a challenge in itself, without the added difficulty of operating one while running, walking or doing anything other than sitting or standing still.”
Other breastfeeding runners applauded and dubbed her a “rock star” on the Occupy Breastfeeding Facebook page.
“Holy (bleep)!!! Amazing!! I ran a half on Saturday, too! I was DYING to get to my son after to nurse. I wish I had been brave enough to pump while running (walking)! Thank you for normalizing breastfeeding!” one woman wrote.
“Oh my word,” wrote another amazed mom. “She’s all ‘I’m going to go run a zillion miles after just pushing a human out of my business. Hope I have enough breast milk bags!’
“And is that a manual pump? Seriously, I wouldn't be able to do any of that! Hats off to her!”