"The Pinkathon is more than a Marathon. It is the seed of change. It is the beginning of a movement carried forward by a growing community of empowered women across India, who share a belief that a healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women.
The first step in empowerment is taking control of your own health, respecting yourself and understanding and celebrating the value you bring to your family and society. Empowerment is not a gift of society; it is a gift you give yourself." pinkathon.in
Jenifer, my wife, and our son Antoine participated in this mini-marathon, as part of a group of baby wearing mums promoting breastfeeding and baby wearing! Recently the Lancet Breastfeeding Series highlighted the benefits of breastfeeding, in particular the influence of the mother's milk on the natural flora of the baby's body, how it improves the baby's immunity, and how the mother's milk can actually help regulate the baby's gene expression (through small RNA's and exosomes in the milk). It is estimated to reduce the chance of the mother developing invasive breast cancer by 6% per year of breastfeeding, and that improved breastfeeding practices could save more than 820,000 lives per year! [Lancet Breastfeeding Series]
The day started early, very early, with us at 5:30am, an hour before the sun would rise.
The troops gathered and spirits were high...
As "go time" gets closer, the anticipation builds, and so do the crowds drifting to the start line!
The baby wearers all cross together, and set off on their own challenge, with their babies on board!
The number of participants was a testament to the organizers, with pink clad babies, girls and women running for health awareness for as far as the eye could see (ok, visibility was not that great either).
There were also some serious athletes competing on the run, and their energy and enthusiasm spurred everyone to go faster!
including the baby wearing mums, who despite having carried their kids around the whole circuit, found the energy to run the last stage!
For those of you without kids, Antoine, our son, is 10kg... so to run with an extra 10kg strapped to the front of you is no small feat!
Milind Soman, celebrity and Pinkathon ambassador, invited the baby wearers on stage and declared: "Baby wearing mothers, very inspiring! They've all come here with their small babies [...] In our society when a women is pregnant or has a baby, everyone tells her to stay at home, everyone tells them to relax, don't do any work, don't do any exercise. But we want to tell people that you must be active, like them [the baby wearing mums] and look at those babies, look at their little happy babies. So baby wearing is something that is very important, it makes the mothers stronger after birth. It helps the baby be emotionally very stable, very confident because they go everywhere feeling safe with their mothers, seeing all kind of things. And it also encourages a very strong bond between the mother and the child, and promotes breastfeeding that minimizes the risk of breast cancer."
All the mums were superheros!
If you were there, and part of this incredible group of women, then contact me and I will send you a link to more images! :)