Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Phew.

Mamas all over the world breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday when an International Olympic Committee spokesperson announced that breastfeeding athletes would be allowed to bring their children with them to the 2020 Games in Tokyo later this month.

“After careful consideration of the unique situation facing athletes with infants, we are pleased to confirm that, when necessary, young children will be able to accompany athletes to Japan,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.

Well, thank goodness. Because if there’s one thing harder than competing at an elite level in the most high-profile international sporting event of the summer, I imagine it’s leaving your nursing baby behind at home.

While the new guidance seems like a total no-brainer, it’s a big win for athlete moms, especially since Tokyo has set strict limits this year on who will be able to attend the Games, citing coronavirus concerns. There’s currently a ban on foreign spectators, including family members of athletes, and the size of international delegations has been limited.

When it became clear a few months ago that the restrictions would extend to breastfeeding infants, there was a significant public outcry, and many affected Olympians took to social media to express their concerns. Among the most vocal have been U.S. marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk, whose daughter was born in January; Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher, who gave birth in March; and U.S. soccer player Alex Morgan, who has a one-year-old daughter.

“It’s important to allow mothers the option to have their kids with them when they compete,” Morgan said back in April. “If a child is under 1 or 2, they might still be breastfeeding, so that’s a huge piece of it.”

Tuliamuk posted a heartfelt message on Instagram on Sunday that resonated with moms across the globe.

“I had been putting off thinking about Zoe not coming to Tokyo with me for a while now, but I had to start to . . . and I have cried a lot since.”

“I know that I will be leaving her for only 10 days, and she will be just fine, and that so many other moms have done the same, but I can’t even imagine being away from her for half a day. My throat is lumpy.”

Cue the tears. That lumpy feeling in your throat is one that any mom can relate to when it comes to leaving her child, especially a five-month-old!

Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher also appealed to her following on Instagram in an effort to get the policy overturned. “Right now, I am being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete,” Gaucher said in a video she posted last week. “I can’t have them both. Tokyo has said no friends, no family, no exceptions.”

Gaucher clapped back at a suggestion to just pump a lot before leaving:

“Um, I don’t have enough milk in me to train as a high-level athlete, get my butt back in shape and feed her currently, all while stocking 28 days’ supply,” she responded in her video. “We’ve looked into shipping milk, [but] we’ve run into some complications . . . It’s not going to be easy.”

Gaucher has since released a new video praising the guidance reversal. “WOOO!!! Sophie is coming to Tokyo.”

Win or lose, what a tremendous victory worth celebrating for moms everywhere.

And to the nursing athletes competing at the Games this year: we can’t wait to cheer you on, knowing your experience will be that much sweeter because you get to share it with your babies. 

Go get ’em!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom of two, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard parts of her own. You can find more from her over on Facebook and Instagram at Shower Arguments with Emily Solberg.

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Who Coach: Thank You

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother with young son in soccer uniform, color photo

I always planned on being an involved parent, whatever that would mean. Never an athlete, always athletic, I joined the swim team in high school, taught swim lessons for spending money as a college freshman, played intramural soccer at 10 p.m. on weeknights on a college team with a ridiculous name. Later, mama to only one baby, finding extra dollars wherever I could, I coached track. And then, my own babies really started to play sports. I promised myself I would volunteer as possible, but something always stood in the way, and all I could manage was to get my...

Keep Reading

I’m Leaning into Kintsugi Parenting

In: Motherhood
Mom hugs little girl with pigtails

My 5-year-old daughter whimpers in the darkness. “I am putting the baby down,” I whisper, the rocking chair creaking. “You need to go with Dad.” Even in the dark, I can make out the stubborn, I’m-not-going-anywhere look. Call it defiance. Call it deep attachment to me. All I know is that to be so openly disobeyed makes me run a gauntlet of emotions. First, I feel irked that she’ll wake up the baby, but that’s the surface-level stuff. What really gets to me is the fear—am I doing a bad job because my kid won’t readily “obey”? Have I failed...

Keep Reading

A C-Section Mom Simply Needs You to Hear Her Story

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn baby crying in doctor's hands

As an expecting mother, I was told all about the sleepless nights. People made sure to give their opinion on whether I should bottle feed, breastfeed, or exclusively pump. I was told which swaddle to buy, which sound machine worked best, and when to introduce a pacifier. They told me about sleep training but that it really didn’t matter because I wouldn’t get any sleep anyway. Whenever I would mention how scared I was to give birth, I’d always get the same response: oh. honey, don’t worry, your body will know what to do. I remember listening to calming meditations...

Keep Reading

Feed Them—and Other Ways To Help NICU Parents

In: Baby, Motherhood
Parents holding hands of premature baby in NICU

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about our reality as NICU parents to a healthy, brilliant NICU graduate. Our child was born very prematurely and spent weeks in the NICU so he could grow and stabilize. My first experience as a mother of a baby was shattered in so many ways. Trauma still lingers, but I am so grateful for all I have learned from our time beside our little baby in his isolette bed. One thing I learned was that some people who really want to help support NICU parents really don’t know how they can. Here are some...

Keep Reading

Life’s Most Precious Treasures are the People I Get To Love

In: Motherhood
Family relaxing together on a bed at home

Life is a whirlwind. The days blur into weeks, and the weeks into years, leaving us wondering where the time has gone. In the blink of an eye, my oldest boys, once tiny tots, have now reached the ripe age of 10. With eight more years until they venture off to college, I find myself acutely aware of the fleeting nature of their childhood. As a mom juggling multiple roles—household manager, PTO president, bookkeeper, and the support and sales backbone of my husband’s real estate business—life often feels like a relentless marathon. In the midst of this whirlwind, I have...

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know It Was Postpartum Anxiety

In: Motherhood
Tired woman with baby sleeping in foreground

I was always warned about postpartum depression. I was prepped by my midwife. I had the pamphlets. I was ready. Just in case. But what no one ever prepped me for was postpartum anxiety. When my second was a few months old, I started noticing I was feeling a little more, well, tight. Nervous. Stressed. And then some irrational thoughts started taking over. Every time I heard a train I would begin to obsess over whether it would crash. I would hear a siren and think of all the ways my children could be hurt. The idea of someone coming...

Keep Reading

To the Mom Feeling the Holiday Stress—Remember What Really Matters

In: Motherhood

“Cooking for Thanksgiving makes me so anxious,” a friend wrote in our group chat today. “I worry more about the house than the food,” another chimed in. The conversation went on like that for a few minutes as I hustled around my own kitchen clearing off the counter to start baking. Here’s the thing: a lot of us look forward to the holidays. The food, the company, the traditions. We post the pretty parts on social media with a sweet caption about how blessed we are. But there’s another layer that we don’t talk about quite as much, and it’s...

Keep Reading

If You Give a Mom a Minute, You’ll Get Back So Much More

In: Motherhood
Woman standing on shoreline, color photo

Remember that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? I do. I don’t remember what happens exactly if you give a mouse a cookie, but I have a little story inside my head today called “If You Give a Mom a Minute.” Today, I got a minute, actually, like 90 of them. Coffee with my best friend, outside in the fall, in our charming town, at our favorite place. We talked about good things, sad things, planned a trip, caught up—our coffee was hot, and we weren’t rushed. Wow. What that did for me this morning. Here’s the thing,...

Keep Reading