UK rugby league player praised for breastfeeding her daughter during game

Emily Brierley subbed off the field and squeezed in a quick feed for her daughter before returning to play. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

A mother and rugby league player in the United Kingdom has been praised online after a picture was shared of her breastfeeding her daughter on the sidelines mid-match.

Emily Brierley, 29, from Bradford, England, told the BBC that the response to the widely shared photo of her breastfeeding during a game had been “unbelievable”.

Brierley gave birth to her Arabella about 14 weeks ago, and returned to the field for the first time since her daughter’s arrival on Sunday (UK time).

During the match, Brierley subbed off the field and squeezed in a quick feed for her daughter before returning to play. It was during this that Brierley’s mother took a photo of her breastfeeding, which was later shared online, including by her sports club.

On Twitter, the Stanningley Rugby League Club wrote: “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.”

Speaking to the BBC, Brierley said the photo had “opened up a lot of people’s minds” about breastfeeding in public.

Brierley, who is also mum to a nine-year-old daughter named Scarlett, said the response has been “unbelievable” and the comments have been “really touching”.

“A lot of parents with young girls are saying how encouraging it is to see a woman playing rugby and able to still get on with feeding and doing what she loves.”

In an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post Brierley said she had been blown away by all of the comments from members of the public.

“I really hope it helps to normalise public breastfeeding but also feeding while playing a sport I love.”

 

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