It goes without saying there are truly no breaks when it comes to motherhood – even if you’re running a 43-hour marathon.
British mother-of-two Sophie Power was competing in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a race through Italy, France and Switzerland, when she paused 16 hours into the marathon to breastfeed her baby son.
The powerful moment was captured in a photograph, where Sophie is seen breastfeeding her three-month-old son Cormac with one hand, and expressing breast milk with the other.
The photograph, which has now been liked over 25,000 times, has been applauded for showing the immense strength of the human body.
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A truly incredible image that tells a better story than we ever could – a story of motherhood, endurance and the strength of the human body. Captured by our photographer, @alexis_berg, during the 105 mile @utmbmontblanc race, British ultra runner Sophie Power breastfeeds her 3 month old baby, Cormac. @ultra_sophie we applaud you. We applaud your endurance, your courage and your defiance of those who told you you couldn’t. You’re a true inspiration. #utmbAdvertisement
Speaking to Runner’s World, the new mum explained that as her son normally feeds every three hours, she was forced to hand express breast milk en route for the first 16 hours of the marathon.
“Oh my god I was in agony!” the marathon runner said. “I was so relieved he was hungry!”
And although breastfeeding made the marathon a little more complicated for Sophie, she still enjoyed it.
“I enjoyed this year’s UTMB far more than I would have done running it in the past,” she said. “I had to go slowly – I couldn’t raise my heart rate too much as my body isn’t primed to burn fat and I couldn’t fully run down hill to protect my pelvis.”
Sophie has also shared the inspirational photos on her own Instagram page, adding that the now-viral photo truly demonstrates the struggles of juggling life as a parent.
“This isn’t a story about me,” the mum-of-two wrote 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.”