To the ire of many, babies simply don’t stop being hungry in certain spaces simply because of society’s aversion to the sight of breasts outside of a sexual context. So breastfeeding continues to happen everywhere: in parliaments across the world, in classrooms, on runways and, in this case, during an 103-mile race.
There are no real breaks from being a mum, so British mother-of-two Sophie Power simply took a break from the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a race through Italy, France and Switzerland, to breastfeed her baby son. In a now viral image, Sophie is seen breastfeeding three-month-old Cormac 16 hours into the marathon. She is also pumping breast milk.
Power said she was “relieved” he was hungry as she was “in agony’ – she usually feeds him every three hours but wasn’t able to see him until she reached a stop at Courmayeur, Italy, more than half a day after she last fed him at the race’s starting line. During the race, she was forced to hand express breast milk en route for the first 16 hours.
There are no real breaks from being a mum, so British mother-of-two Sophie Power simply took a break from the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
The photograph has now been liked over 25,000 times and she has been applauded for showing not only the immense strength of the human body, but the realities of life as a working mother, whatever the profession.
“This isn’t a story about me,” she captioned the photo on Instagram. “It’s a story about the daily struggle of being a new Mum. A story about the need to nurture our babies the best we can. And the importance to prioritise our physical and mental health – to be ourselves as well as be a mother.”
“I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and supportive messages,” Sophie added “They are for all mothers for we are all in this together #motherhood.”
Power completed the race in 43 hours and 33 minutes. The 36-year-old Londoner was pregnant with her older son when she was first accepted to be part of the race in 2014, but because she was pregnant at the time, she was told she was unable to defer. “It was my first UTMB, I actually had a place when pregnant with Donnacha in 2014 but they refused to let me defer a year.” She said after crossing the finish line: “They allow deferrals for injuries but do not accept for pregnancy as it is, in their words, ‘a choice’.
“I really wanted to get the message out, most other international races have changed their policy to be fair to women.”
We can only hope her message will be heard loud and clear.