Working mum: Rugby player applauded for breastfeeding her daughter at side of pitch
It was her first match since giving birth.
A rugby player in the UK has been praised after she was pictured nursing her daughter at the side of the pitch during her first time playing since giving birth.
Emily Brierley, of Stanningley Ladies Rugby Club in Leeds, was subbed off at the time and quickly breastfed her 13-week-old baby girl before returning to the match.
"Just want to say how proud we are of one of our players, Emily, who gave birth to her daughter Arabella 13 weeks ago," the team wrote in a Facebook post. "She's been back training a few weeks now and played her first game back yesterday, in between the game Emily came off as a sub and squeezed in a quick feed before going back on the field."
The team also shared a photo of Emily in what looks like a typical off-pitch snap where she's sat in the grass, surrounded by drinks and a rugby ball. But less typically, Arabella's little legs can be seen poking out from under her shirt.
Brilliant image from the weekend. One of our Ladies team juggling playing with that of motherhood. Well done Emily - great to see you back in action 🖤🤍👏🏼👏🏼#oneclub #WomensRL #thisgirlcan #rugbymum #rugbyleague pic.twitter.com/mNFmqTduWz
— Stanningley SARLC (@StanningleyRL) June 14, 2021
The game was Emily's first since giving birth. She hadn't played in six months and was excited to be back after supporting her team from the sidelines.
"I hadn't been able to play until this week but we had been down to watch the girls and I've brought Arabella with me," the 29-year-old mum of two told the Mirror. "Usually I've fed her before kick off and she's not needed feeding again until afterwards, but with it being so hot she must have wanted more.
"...Normally I wouldn't cover up, but because of the heat and the sun, I put my top over her head."
Once finished feeding her daughter, she went back to the match, where her team ended up winning 22-18.
The Facebook post from her club drew in plenty of praise for the mum.
"Just want to say what a lovely post to see," wrote one parent, whose daughter is currently training with the club's under thirteens. "As a mum who breastfed all 3 of my children how nice it is to see this post and the positivity too."
"Great work Emily! It's not an easy thing to do!" another commenter wrote. "I've recently had a baby too! Kudos to you, women are unreal! You are unreal."
Emily says she's been "overwhelmed" by the positive response to the photo and that she hopes it helps normalise breastfeeding in public.
"I can't believe how popular it's been, it's been an absolutely amazing reaction. Sadly there still is a stigma about feeding in public and even amongst the positive comments there's been some people saying you shouldn't do it in public.
"Mostly it's people who say it's sexualised, well it's only sexualised because society has made it sexualised. I'm just feeding my child."