Mum praised for breastfeeding baby during rugby match – then returning to pitch

A mum was praised for breastfeeding her 13-week-old daughter during a rugby game – then throwing herself straight back into the action.

After juggling motherhood with her passion for sport on the weekend, a picture of Emily Brierley emerged online.

In the heartwarming photo, the 29-year-old was seen nursing her daughter Arabella in between stints on the pitch for Leeds-based Stanningley Ladies on Sunday.

The rugby player, who was at the time subbed off, fed her young daughter before casually putting her shirt back on and returning to the field to help her team to a 22-18 victory.

Emily said: "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.

"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.”

The mum continued: "I fed her before we warmed up ahead of kick off but she was a bit unsettled just before I came off.

"My mum said she might need feeding so she'd only lasted about 45 minutes since her last feed. I just took my top off and fed her.

"Normally I wouldn't cover up, but because of the heat and the sun, I put my top over her head."

Prop forward Emily gave her daughter to her mum Amanda before returning to the match.

Her teammates were so impressed by her multi-tasking that they posted an image of her on Facebook.

The post was captioned: "Just want to say how proud we are of one of our players Emily who gave birth to her daughter Arabella 13 weeks ago.

"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. Well done Emily."

And as the image swept the web, fellow parents branded Emily an “inspiration”.

The mum, who also has a nine-year-old daughter called Scarlett, said the response has been “overwhelming”.

She said: "I can't believe how popular it's been, it's been an absolutely amazing reaction.

"It was shared on one page and it's had like 1,700 likes when I last looked. Some of the comments from people are so supportive and lovely."

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Emily added: "If it helps just one girl have that confidence to feed in public then that would be great.

“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.

"People have been great overall and the comments have been amazing, people saying I've inspired them and their daughters.

"I just want to show girls out there you can go about your daily life and do things you love and not have to stop.

"My family comes first, but rugby is a close second. I don't let anything get in the way of doing what I love and hopefully girls can take a positive message from that."

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