Allyson Felix just broke Usain Bolt's record—a mere 10 months after giving birth

Many moms lament how long it takes to "get their bodies back" after giving birth, and most of us find it more of a distant wish than a doable reality. Who knew that building a human practically from scratch and then extracting it from your body would take its toll?

However, one mama has turned that notion on its head completely. After winning her 12th World Championship gold medal in the mixed-gender 4x400m relay, runner Allyson Felix has beaten the gold medal count record she co-held with Usain Bolt. But the real kicker? She did it just 10 months after giving birth to a premature baby via emergency c-section.


There are not enough superlatives to describe how freaking badass this is.

RELATED: 3 moms recorded their first weeks home with a newborn. It got real — real quick.

During her pregnancy, Felix developed severe preeclampsia (also known as toxemia), a condition marked by excessively high blood pressure and a posing a host of dangers for both mom and baby. According to NBC Sports, Felix ended up delivering her daughter Camryn via c-section on November 28, 2018, at 32 weeks. Born at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, Camryn then spent 29 days in the NICU.

So not only did this 33-year-old Olympic champion recover from a complicated pregnancy and birth and go through the difficulties of having a baby in intensive care, she got herself in good enough shape to break a world record in her sport less than a year later. Unreal.

All the standing ovations for this mama.

On a related note, Felix was part of a group of female athletes who went to battle over their sponsorship negotiations with Nike after becoming pregnant. Felix wrote in a NY Times op-ed in May that the company had wanted to pay her less after she became pregnant. She wrote:

Despite all my victories, Nike wanted to pay me 70 percent less than before. If that's what they think I'm worth now, I accept that.

What I'm not willing to accept is the enduring status quo around maternity. I asked Nike to contractually guarantee that I wouldn't be punished if I didn't perform at my best in the months surrounding childbirth. I wanted to set a new standard. If I, one of Nike's most widely marketed athletes, couldn't secure these protections, who could?

Nike declined. We've been at a standstill ever since.

Felix ended up dropping her Nike deal and signed with Athleta in July. Nike's loss, Athleta's gain. After fierce backlash over the issue, Nike announced in August that it had changed its policy so that female athletes would not "adversely impacted financially for pregnancy" for 18 months—six months longer than its previous policy.

RELATED: Sweden's parental leave laws have revolutionized the lives of moms.

While Felix's performance 10 months after giving birth is remarkable, it also shouldn't be the expected standard. Felix said she "felt pressure to return to form as soon as possible" after her daughter was born, despite the complications in her pregnancy and birth.

Just the act of growing and delivering a baby is a physical feat that deserves praise and admiration. A study on the limits human endurance found that pregnancy demands the same energy levels as an ultramarathon. Seriously.

The truth is that all moms are amazing, whether or not they are smashing gold medal records 10 months after giving birth. And that undeniable truth is what makes Allyson Felix breaking her and Usain Bolt's record all the more impressive.

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Some 75 years ago, in bombed-out Frankfurt, Germany, a little girl named Marlene Mahta received a sign of hope in the midst of squalor, homelessness and starvation. A CARE Package containing soap, milk powder, flour, blankets and other necessities provided a lifeline through the contributions of average American families. There were even luxuries like chocolate bars.

World War II may have ended, but its devastation lingered. Between 35 and 60 million people died. Whole cities had been destroyed, the countryside was charred and burned, and at least 60 million European civilians had been made homeless. Hunger remained an issue for many families for years to come. In the face of this devastation, 22 American organizations decided to come together and do something about it: creating CARE Packages for survivors.

"What affected me… was hearing that these were gifts from average American people," remembers Mahta, who, in those desperate days, found herself picking through garbage cans to find leftover field rations and MREs to eat. Inspired by the unexpected kindness, Mahta eventually learned English and emigrated to the U.S.

"I wanted to be like those wonderful, generous people," she says.

The postwar Marshall Plan era was a time of "great moral clarity," says Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE, the global anti-poverty organization that emerged from those simple beginnings. "The CARE Package itself – in its simplicity and directness – continues to guide CARE's operational faith in the enduring power of local leadership – of simply giving people the opportunity to support their families and then their communities."

Each CARE Package contained rations that had once been reserved for soldiers, but were now being redirected to civilians who had suffered as a result of the conflict. The packages cost $10 to send, and they were guaranteed to arrive at their destination within four months.

Thousands of Americans, including President Harry S. Truman, got involved, and on May 11, 1946, the first 15,000 packages were sent to Le Havre in France, a port badly battered during the war.

Thousands of additional CARE Packages soon followed. At first packages were sent to specific recipients, but over time donations came in for anyone in need. When war rations ran out American companies began donating food. Later, carpentry tools, blankets, clothes, books, school supplies, and medicine were included.

Before long, the CARE Packages were going to other communities in need around the world, including Asia and Latin America. Ultimately, CARE delivered packages to 100 million families around the world.

The original CARE Packages were phased out in the late 1960s, though they were revived when specific needs arose, such as when former Soviet Union republics needed relief, or after the Bosnian War. Meanwhile, CARE transformed. Now, instead of physical boxes, it invests in programs for sustainable change, such as setting up nutrition centers, Village Savings and Loan Associations, educational programs, agroforestry initiatives, and much more.

But, with a pandemic ravaging populations around the world, CARE is bringing back its original CARE packages to support the critical basic needs of our global neighbors. And for the first time, they're also delivering CARE packages here at home in the United States to communities in need.

Community leaders like Janice Dixon are on the front lines of that effort. Dixon, president and CEO of Community Outreach in Action in Jonesboro, Ga., now sends up to 80 CARE packages each week to those in need due to COVID-19. Food pantries have been available, she notes, but they've been difficult to access for those without cars, and public transportation is spotty in suburban Atlanta.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook," says Dixon. For example, one of those calls was from a senior diabetic, she remembers, who faced an impossible choice, but was able to purchase medicine because food was being provided by CARE.

Today, CARE is sending new packages with financial support and messages of hope to frontline medical workers, caregivers, essential workers, and individuals in need in more than 60 countries, including the U.S. Anyone can now go to carepackage.org to send targeted help around the world. Packages focus on helping vaccines reach people more quickly, tackling food insecurity, educational disparities, global poverty, and domestic violence, as well as providing hygiene kits to those in need.

From the very beginning, CARE received the support of presidents, with Hollywood luminaries like Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman also adding their voices. At An Evening With CARE, happening this Tuesday, May 11, notable names will turn out again as the organization celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the CARE Package and the exciting, meaningful work that lies ahead. The event will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and attended by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, as well as Angela Merkel, Iman, Jewel, Michelle Williams, Katherine McPhee-Foster, Betty Who and others. Please RSVP now for this can't-miss opportunity.

Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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