“Absolutely full of admiration for her,” came the resounding response from onlookers at yesterday’s London Marathon as they watched a new mum complete the remarkable feat – while breastfeeding her baby along the way.
The woman, who has not been named in the press, had given birth just eight months before taking on the formidable challenge.
She ran the first 12 miles, then she stopped. She breastfed her baby, had a quick chat with the BBC, and then carried on running.
Commenters quickly (and rightly) branded her a hero and expressed their huge respect for her, describing her actions as “unreal”. “I ran in 2017,” one Twitter user said. “Also had a baby 8 months ago (on weds) and struggling to get back into running let alone a marathon!”
Juggling sport and motherhood is something that has long held women back in their successes, as evidenced by the debate generated by Serena Williams’ return to tennis following the birth of her daughter. Women are increasingly underrepresented in professional sporting teams – for instance, in football, just 1% of players in the Women’s Super League are mothers according to Fifpro findings.
Perhaps the reason that we’re so impressed by this woman’s resilience is because we don’t see how brilliantly women cope with new motherhood – and breastfeeding and sleeplessness and all the other challenges it brings – often enough. Breastfeeding in public, let alone during a marathon, is something that is frustratingly steeped in stigma, even now.
Women like this are, thankfully, finding new normals beyond the traditional boundaries that have been imposed on them for so long.
We’re here for that. What a woman.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Grazia.
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