Marathon mum pumps breastmilk while on the run

Anna pumping during her half-marathon.
Anna pumping during her half-marathon. Photo: Facebook/Occupy Breastfeeding

When you're a breastfeeding mama, you're likely to find yourself out and about when you need to feed your baby.

Sometimes that means feeding at a cafe, or in a library. It can also mean feeding on a plane, at the airport or in a shop.

US mum Anna Young faced a very different dilemma.

The mother from Salt Lake City decided to run a half-marathon before she even knew she was pregnant. The big event was to take place when her little one was five months old.

But Anna had a problem: she needed to leave her house at 4.30am and wouldn't be able to feed again for hours.

So she came up with a plan: she would pump milk during the race.

She pumped after running the first 8 miles (which is almost 13 km). 

Anna shared the photo to the Facebook page, Occupy Breastfeeding, where it's accumulated almost 10,000 reactions and over 800 comments.

One woman wrote, "I have no idea how she did that.. I just wore breast pads that were soaked when I ran the 2014 marathon...I didn't even think about trying to pump during!!!"


Another mum chimed in, saying that she was "DYING" to breastfeed her son after running a half-marathon, adding: "I wish I had been brave enough to pump while running (walking)!"

Mind you, not every commenter was supportive. Some questioned Anna's need to pump during a race.

Occupy Breastfeeding noted that due to the length of time of the run, it was necessary.

Others agreed, saying that running with engorged breasts would be a nightmare.

Midwife Amanda Bude from Groovy Babies applauds Anna's decision - and ability - to pump while running.

 "Wow! That's what I call true dedication to her child and commitment of breastfeeding!" she says.

"Imagine preparing your mindset for a marathon and packing all your express kit as well as your Gatorade…"

While Amanda is clearly impressed with Anna's actions, she says they also help normalise breastfeeding and pumping.

And that's something Anna wanted to do, using the hash tag #normalizebreastfeeding on her caption.

So not only did this mum run a half-marathon at five months post-partum - while having the skills to pump at the same time - she was also happy to share the image in the pursuit of a greater goal.

Now that's what we call impressive.

Of course Anna is not the first mum to find herself in an unusual situation when expressing.

Mum of two Kelsey* says she prefers to pump in private.

However, when her youngest was only a few months old, one of her husband's mates dropped by when Kelsey needed to pump. So she draped a towel over her breast, and started the process.

"I can't remember why I didn't go into the bedroom [to do it]," Kelsey says, adding that it was probably "baby brain" that made her too tired to realise that was even an option.

"We chatted about how I felt like a cow being milked and how the machine sounded like it was talking to me. I must have been quite delirious!"

* Not her real name