Mom Breast Pumps While Running the New York City Marathon: 'Anything Is Possible'
The 27-year-old Waitz, a new mom to an eight-month-old boy named Bode, covered the 26.2 mile race course with a portable breast pump strapped to her chest.
“I pumped for the first time somewhere between miles three and four and then I did it again right off the Queensboro Bridge, which was mile 16,” she told Good Morning America. “I slowed down a little bit to do it but I didn’t really have to. You could do it blindfolded.”
Waitz committed to running the marathon, her first, months ago on behalf of First Candle, a charity “committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss,” according to their website. But after having Bode, she needed a way to pump as she ran for hours through the five boroughs.
“I wanted to do the marathon and the necessity was figuring out how I was going to do it,” Waitz, who lives in Cutchogue, New York, said.
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Waitz learned about the Willow Breast Pump, a $499 wearable device that allowed her to pump without her using her hands as she ran. When the bag was full, an app connected to the pump let her know, and she would replace the bag and put the now-full one in a backpack.
“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,” she said.
Waitz said it was not her intention to make some kind of statement about breastfeeding by pumping through the race — she just needed to get her breast milk out.
“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,” she said. “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.”
But Waitz does want moms to know that “anything is possible if you want to do it.”