Haters gonna hate, but this is awesome.
A photo shared by Milky Way Lactation Services of a mother breastfeeding her 8-week-old baby in her hockey change room has gone viral over the last week.
The photo is of Serah Small, a hockey player and teacher in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
The hockey player was anxious to start playing again after taking a long break, according to CBC. This was her first tournament since having her daughter, Ellie, two months ago.
After she realized she had forgotten the charging cord for her breast bump, Small decided to breastfeed the baby during breaks in the game.
“I felt my milk come in and leak as I played, and between periods I would strip down to feed my 8-week-old babe,” Small told Milky Way. “Being a mom is absolutely amazing and I’m so happy I got to do something I absolutely love while still meeting my baby’s needs.”
The other women in the change room thought nothing of it.
“We just continued getting ready. It wasn’t a big deal, other than they thought she was so cute. So that was it, it was normal,” Small told CBC .
The photo shared by Milky Way has received thousands of likes and shares on Facebook. While commentary has been mixed, the point of the post was to promote self-care.
“You CAN continue doing the things you love. You CAN do them while breastfeeding. You don’t have to pick one or the other. Babies can breastfeed anytime, anywhere. So do the things you love to do, and keep your baby close. You’ll both be happier in the end,” the post reads.
Despite breastfeeding being a common way of life for many new moms, it is sometimes met with stigma and shame.
“I think that we feel like we need to cover because that’s all we see. Even in the media if you see a baby being fed, it’s through a bottle or it’s a mother covering, or even baby dolls that we sell to kids, it’s all bottles,” Small told CBC.
Small’s baby had trouble latching, as she was born with tongue tie. Feeding her is much easier when she’s uncovered, according to Small .
“I think once we see more moms breastfeeding … it won’t be this thing that needs to be covered up. Ankles used to be covered up because they were too sexual. I don’t think breasts should be a sex symbol when their main job is to nurture our children,” she told CBC .
Small said that mothers should do whatever works best for them.
For many women that might very well mean breastfeeding in the change room at a hockey game, or it might mean breastfeeding privately at home.
At the end of the day, whatever works best, works best — here are a few more women that prove it
Andrea Bridges, breastfeeding between three back-to-back games at a hockey tournament