Breastfeeding moms are truly great multitaskers who often don’t get enough–or any–credit. It’s about time they did, right? Emily Sabato, a mom of four, recently breastfed her 9-month-old daughter, Hadley, while running the TCS New York City Marathon. Let me repeat that: She breastfed while RUNNING A MARATHON. Whattttt.
Sabato’s wife, Chris Hermann, got photographic evidence of the amazing moment. Sabato told The Huffington Post she’s been running for over 10 years–and has raced in 15 half marathons and four full marathons since 2004. She stated:
“I like to sign up for long races to motivate myself to run! I didn’t run during pregnancy ― I intended to but ended up not working out at all after the first couple of months.”
After giving birth to Hadley and her twin brother, Emerson, this past January, Sabato started training for the New York City Marathon. She even “practiced” breastfeeding multitasking during an 18-mile run. So, why did she do this? She explained:
“It was much easier than pumping on the go and a lot better than being super full (which I was during the end of my 20-mile training run!) as well.”
On the big day of the race, Hermann gave Hadley to Sabato for a feeding near the mile 17 marker, and she fed him for about 10 blocks. Apparently, her arms were “shaking” by the end of it because the baby’s weight was hard to handle while running. Sabato recalls how surreal the whole moment was:
“The whole thing was a little surreal. I actually didn’t know if it would work out, if anyone would stop the handoff. But it was fine, and she latched immediately. She must have been starving because she wasn’t distracted at all ― which is unusual these days, at 10 months now!”
What Sabato didn’t anticipate was the positive reaction from the crowd, describing how emotional it was for her:
“I got a lot of cheering and positive reinforcement. One person was confused and said ‘Is that a baby on the course?’ Lots of women ― and maybe even some men ― shouted encouraging things. One runner tapped me on the shoulder and said she did the same thing at Mile 8!”
Sabato’s wife also was struck by the outpour of encouragement:
“While I was jogging between the spectators with Emerson to keep up with Emily, the people all around were cheering her on. Emily’s face went from a very tired exhausted look to strong and determined, joyful happiness as people gave lots of support.”
This type of love and support is exactly what we need right now–especially when it comes to normalizing and celebrating breastfeeding.