Running any long distance is an impressive feat, so it's safe to say I'm floored by this mom who breast pumped while running the NYC marathon Sunday. And for those of you who share my admiration but are wondering why the heck someone would take on such a challenge, rest assured it was for an inspiring cause.
Unfortunately, there are many moms out there who feel boxed in by society's expectations regarding what they supposedly can and cannot do. Someone who has experienced this is Long Island mom Molly Waitz, 27, who never imagined one day she'd run a marathon — let alone eight months postpartum.
"I never thought I would [run a marathon] and the fact that I was able to do it while working full-time and caring for my child, it was just unbelievable," Waitz told Good Morning America.
Yep, Waitz was able to accomplish this incredible feat less than a year after welcoming her son, Bode. And to top it all off? The mom ran 26.2 miles while breast pumping, crossing the finish line with "20 ounces" of breast milk. Color me impressed!
To help meet her goal, Waitz used the Willow Breast Pump, a device that employs "no-spill technology" so customers can "pump smarter and fully hands-free," according to the product's website. The pump's bluetooth technology gave Waitz a heads up when her bag filled up with breast milk, and she simply moved each full bag to her backpack while she ran.
Now that Waitz has proven to herself she can accomplish just about anything, she has an inspiring message for other parents out there, telling GMA: "Anything is possible if you want to do it."
Waitz also took a moment to address whether her run was designed to promote breastfeeding, which she clarified by saying, according to People, "I wanted to do the marathon and the necessity was figuring out how I was going to do it. There’s a lot of stigma about how should you feed your child. That’s not what I wanted to get across by doing this."
Believing all forms of feeding your child are worthy, she added, "It’s not that what I was doing was the best thing for every child. They just need to have a happy parent and be loved. Whatever you can provide for your child is what’s best for them." Well-said.
So besides meeting a personal goal, why did Waitz decide to run the marathon if breastfeeding acceptance wasn't her main motivator? Waitz trained for the annual race to help support First Candle, an organization that raises awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and support for "families who have experienced a loss," according to its website. Considering 3,500 infants die of SIDS every year, it's quite the worthy cause, according to the CDC.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to support an organization without breast pumping while running a marathon. But I can't help but find Waitz's grit inspiring, especially since she confirmed something many people already know: moms can do just about anything.