&Mother, a nonprofit driving change and building equity for mothers in sports, is partnering with Salomon, a global leader in trail running, to kick off a project aimed at standardizing support services for parents participating in recreational athletic events. These support services will be introduced at the Salomon WMN Trail Half Marathon on Saturday, September 24 in the Marin Headlands of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The inaugural Salomon WMN Trail Half Marathon will be the first trail race to pilot support structures that alleviate barriers to participation by new mothers and those caring for small children. With guidance from &Mother, the event will provide free child care for race participants in addition to start-finish line lactation space with full pumping and nursing accommodations. The event has also implemented a deferral process to allow those unable to participate due to pregnancy or postpartum recovery to participate in a future race.
“As a brand, we’re always thinking of ways to bring more people into the sport and that starts with looking at the barriers that might prevent participation,” said Erin Cooper, Senior Marketing Manager, Run & Outdoor Salomon North America. “With the guidance of &Mother, we’re thrilled to be able to pull off our first of many events that provide top to bottom support for mothers and those caring for children.”
Co-founded by Olympian Alysia Montano, &Mother aims to break the barriers that limit a woman’s choice to pursue and thrive in both career and motherhood. Inspired by Alysia’s own experience as told in the viral New York Times Op-Ed, &Mother’s programs aim to flatten barriers related to participation and success for mothers in professional sports as a way to demonstrate a supportive and enabling path for all mothers in all industries.
“I am thrilled that my story has influenced our work with &Mother and inspired companies within the sports industry to adapt standards that support and allow women to participate and succeed,” said Alysia Montano. “Sports has the ability to change the world and inspire other industries to create opportunities for mothers to thrive in their career and motherhood.”
Setting a new standard for parental support at races also serves to demonstrate the necessary structures for the future of work and recreation when it comes to gender equity and parenting. Access to quality child care allows for the necessary time and space that mothers need not only for career advancement but also for personal development, recreation, rest, and more. Access to lactation space that fully accommodates the needs of those choosing to pump or breastfeed provides flexibility such that choices around breastfeeding and pumping are not limited by the lack of structure outside of the home.
For the latter, the WMN Trail Half Marathon will pilot having breast pumps available at the start and finish lines as well as at aid stations on the race route, giving participants an easy option for pumping and storing their milk. The breast pumps and sets of individually-wrapped, sanitized accessories will be provided by Babyation, a technology company that creates products that meet the holistic needs of parents. The Babyation Pump is FDA-cleared for multi-use and improves the entire pumping experience with the world’s smallest breast shields, ultra-quiet motor, vacuum-boost technology™, and built-in milk storage.
“For too long women in sports have lacked adequate support to train and compete when they decide to become mothers. At Babyation we value women. We value their time, their bodies, and their physical and emotional labor. We are delighted to be partnering with &Mother and Salomon to better support women participating in recreational events and over time, help to dismantle the barriers that continue to hold countless female athletes back from achieving their goals,” said Sam Rudolph, co-founder and CEO of Babyation.
The next stage of the partnership will expand testing to additional race environments and iterate on solutions while demonstrating the impact and importance of event-related services that allow for greater parental inclusion.
“As national issues, access to affordable child care and breastfeeding/pumping accommodations have not moved in the right direction. It’s clear that we need a cultural shift to underlie future progress,” explains Molly Dickens, &Mother co-founder. “Setting a new standard for races provides a platform to showcase what work and recreation should look like. In that way, supporting lactating parents and caregivers at events like the Salomon WMN Trail Half Marathon goes beyond helping individuals, it sets a new tone and expectations for everyone; it demonstrates the simplicity of taking a few extra steps to enable parents to participate without compromise.”
&Mother invites anyone who has experienced or may experience current limitations for parental participation in races to complete this survey. The WMN Trail Half Marathon is closed to new participant sign ups, but Salomon welcomes anyone to come out and experience the race. Visit the race homepage HERE to learn more.
Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.
&Mother is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to breaking the barriers that limit a woman’s choice to pursue and thrive in both career and motherhood. Co-founded by Olympian, Alysia Montaño, our current initiatives focus on creating structural change that will allow full participation and success for mothers in sports to pave a supportive and enabling path for all mothers in all industries. At the intersection of systemic barriers, professional opportunity, and motherhood, our work points towards a future where the value of mothers in the workforce is intrinsic and motherhood is not a limiting factor in how women succeed professionally and personally. Join our community or learn more at www.andmother.org.
Babyation is a technology company that creates products that meet the holistic needs of parents. Our first product, The Pump by Babyation, improves the entire pumping experience with the world’s smallest breast shields, ultra-quiet motor, vacuum-boost technology™, and built-in milk storage — all with 50% fewer parts to clean. Learn more at babyation.com.