What better time than racing for prevention season to introduce our newest Team Best for Babes Champion for Moms, Kelly Calway! Kelly is the 2008 Army Athlete of the Year, the first military person in the US Olympic Trials 2012, holder of countless other marathon and half-marathon titles, and a breastfeeding mom. And now… she is turning all of that blazing hot mama jama on full throttle to help us Race for Prevention so we won’t need so much cure! Kelly’s got more energy than most — she breastfed her daughter Hazel while an active duty soldier and during her husband’s deployment, returned to marathon-ing at only 8 weeks postpartum, donated spare milk to a milk bank and then headed off to a 6 month deployment of her own. Her story about nursing and training is sure to inspire breastfeeding moms to go from couch to 5k along with reaching their personal nursing goals! Heck, she’s liable to convince you that you have wings and can fly! With Kelly’s support for Team BFB we’re putting some real steel behind the Booby Trap Beating roller we’re building! Yeah, if I were a Booby Trap, I’d start running NOW! Read her inspiring story below (and don’t forget to enter to win the giveaway).
BFB: You’re a World Class Athlete and an Active Duty Soldier – how did your rigorous schedule factor into how long you thought you would be able to breastfeed your daughter? Did you have a personal breastfeeding goal? Kelly: My work and training schedule had a huge impact on my ability to breastfeed. When my daughter was 8 weeks old, I went back to my job as an executive officer for an intelligence company and had to use a breast pump. Adding that in to an already packed schedule what with work, running, and a deployed husband was difficult, but I felt very strongly about breastfeeding my daughter and my goal was at least one year.
BFB: Did you encounter any breastfeeding challenges – what we like to call the Booby Traps – what were they? Kelly: I had a whole host of challenges: 2 bouts of mastitis, poor latch, a full-time job as an Officer in the US Army, a deployed husband for 15 months, and very few friends with babies. I am proud to say that I conquered all of my Booby Traps and reached my breast feeding goal of one year! It certainly wasn’t easy: I became a pro at pumping and multi-tasking, learned how to run with huge boobs, cleaned milk out of every crevice if my car, and collapsed on my bed fully clothed many many times.
BFB: How soon did you get back to running after you had your daughter? Did you follow anyone’s advice, a training protocol, or just wing it? Kelly: I was fortunate to be able to run (and even surf) throughout my entire pregnancy. I didn’t run hard after 6 months, but just went for time and trotted along. I don’t do well with sitting still and was up walking around the hallways of the hospital a few hours after my daughter’s birth. Twelve days later, I went for my first run post-partum, and as awkward as it was (akin to running in a foot of jello), I felt so much better afterwards. I set a ridiculous goal to run the Honolulu Marathon which was 8 weeks after my daughter was born (note: I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone), and decided to go for it after completing a 12 mile run the week prior. It was a brutal race, and I powered through despite total engorgement and excruciating stomach cramps. It was by far the most difficult marathon I’ve done, and when I’m struggling through a hard workout or race now, my mind flashes back to that race and it motivates me.
BFB: What did you learn along the way — what tips do you have for nursing while training? Any great bras or goodies that helped (nipple cream?) or that you would recommend? Kelly: Hydrate! Your body needs a lot of water to exercise and even more to produce milk. I kept a large water bottle with me at all times to stave off dehydration, so I could keep moving and pumping. Get a good running stroller, I love my jogging stroller and have used it for five years now. I tried to make running “my time” and made my best attempt to find someone to watch my daughter while training. However, there were plenty of times when that didn’t happen for one reason or another. Instead of using that set-back as an excuse to be lazy, I plopped my little pumpkin in the stroller and ran everywhere. The longest run I did with her was 16 miles! I loved my pump. That thing went everywhere with us and never failed me despite all of the beatings it took. The Lanolin cream was a lifesaver. I put some in every gift bag I give to new moms.
BFB:For how long did you simultaneously nurse your daughter and train?
Kelly: I trained, raced, worked, and nursed my daughter for a year. In that year I ran the Honolulu Marathon, competed in the Armed Forces Cross Country Championship, earned a berth in the Ironman Championship at the Honu 70.3, and represented the US Army at the Singapore Half Marathon Championships. It was really tough to continue nursing, and obviously I had to pump due to the frequency and duration of time away, but I knew that breast milk was important for my daughter’s growth and development and I didn’t want to take away that advantage.
BFB: Do you think that being an elite runner or soldier helped you to achieve your personal breastfeeding goals? Kelly: Runners are a particularly stubborn group of people. We all fight through awful weather, overcome injuries, get through tough workouts only to push ourselves even harder in a race. My unwillingness to give up or give in is what makes me a successful runner and it definitely paid off in motherhood as well. In order to achieve my breastfeeding goals, I had to plan and prepare ahead of time and I learned how to do this an Army Officer. As I mentioned earlier, I had a mountain of Booby Traps to overcome, but I also knew that I had set the goal of breastfeeding for a whole year and was determined to make it happen.
BFB: We heard that you donated your milk to a human milk bank — tell us about that! Kelly: I was lucky to produce more than enough milk for my baby, so as all of the freezers in my vicinity began to overflow with breastmilk, I stumbled upon a National Milk Bank. It was really easy to donate, after a couple blood tests done at my home, I was sent regular overnight coolers, filled them, and overnighted them back. It was really an easy process and I am so proud to say that my milk went to help babies in the NICU or to help heal burn victims.
BFB:You’re a woman of many accomplishments — which are you most proud of?
Kelly: My little girl, of course! From the second she was born, I was proud of every breath she took, now she’s grown into a bright, independent, beautiful little girl and my heart swells with pride daily.
What inspired you most about Kelly Calway’s story? What is your breastfeeding and fitness goal?
Sponsor Kelly’s Race to Beat the Booby Traps(R) and Put Prevention First! Join or Donate to Team Best for Babes:
Team BFB at the Marine Corps Marathon — we are the first breastfeeding charity team to officially partner with a major marathon! Team Operation Lactation Freedom and their Special Dad Forces –a military team on a mission to let freedom ring at a race in Georgia. Or start your own Team!
To win a Leading Lady Sports Nursing Bra (or a bra of your choice from their line) leave a comment! U.S. addresses only, please. Winner will be chosen using random.org, and announced in the comments section. Winner will have three days to respond to an email from us, before we have to choose an alternate winner, and products will be directly shipped from Leading Lady.
Stand up for Prevention. Prevention is the New Pink!