A Hockey-Playing Canadian Mom Shares Empowering Message About Breastfeeding During A Game

"Wow, why did I make such a big deal out of this?"

When Serah Small felt her breast milk coming in and leaking during different periods of her hockey game, she knew she had no choice but to breastfeed her newborn.

Small, who is a hockey player for the Grovedale Vipers team in Alberta, Canada, and also works as a teacher, took to the locker room to feed her 8-week-old daughter, Ellie.

It was a rough start for the new mom because, in the midst of all of the game excitement, Small forgot the charging cord to her breast pump and had difficulty getting Ellie to latch on because she was mostly asleep. Ellie was also born with a tongue tie, a condition that limits a tongue's range of movement. And on top of all that, the cover Small was using didn't allow her to see Ellie properly, so Small decided to just take it off in front of everyone.

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"I felt really empowered and no one looked or cared," Small said to CBC News. "And I was like, 'Wow, why did I make such a big deal out of this?"

Small also touched on the positive reactions she received from her teammates.

"They were all really supportive of it," Small said to CBC News. "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."

Inspired by the events that transpired during that hockey games, Small sent a photo of herself breastfeeding to Milky Way Lactation Services, a lactation consultant service in Canada. From there, the photo went viral.

Small also posted a picture of herself breastfeeding on her own Facebook, in a since-hidden post, where she reflected on how empowered and in control she felt.

With such a revelation on why breastfeeding in public is nothing to be ashamed of, Small said she hopes that it will become less of a stigma in the future.

"I think once we see more moms breastfeeding … it won't be this thing that needs to be covered up," she said to CBC News. "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."

Cover image: Lorraine Swanson / Shutterstock.com

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