Becoming a new mom is both an exciting and scary time. Having a baby to look after can feel all-consuming, with many moms struggling to hold onto their pre-baby identity. We all get it. It can be tough, and we need all the help we can get. One new mom in Canada is sharing how she’s juggling her passion for playing hockey with caring for her newborn daughter in an inspiring post.
Serah Small is a 24-year-old school teacher in Grand Prairie, Alberta. Just eight weeks after giving birth to her first child Ellie, Serah was hoping to get back in the rink and return to her favourite sport, hockey. Having missed the previous season while she was pregnant with Ellie, Small signed up for a tournament in March, but quickly found that playing hockey as a mother came with a new set of challenges.
In a Facebook post that is quickly going viral, Small writes “I have played hockey my whole life and when I found out I was pregnant I signed up to play in two tournaments in March trusting that my body would just “bounce back”. Well this weekend I played 4 games with a short bench and really learnt how different my body really is I felt slower and lost at first on the ice. My body wasn’t doing the things my brain thought it could.”
The new mom writes that in addition to adjusting to her new body, she also had to adjust to caring for Ellie while playing. Noting that she found her breasts leaking during the game, Smith, who was hoping her little one would sleep throughout the game, instead found her ‘new normal’ and breastfed Ellie between periods. “I have a really hard time feeding Ellie covered and have chose not to cover her at all. Although at times I feel the burn of judgemental eyes I feel more empowered than anything to be able to meet my babies needs the way my body intended.”
Small’s mother snapped a picture of her daughter and granddaughter in the locker room, showing Small breastfeeding Ellie. Small says that she was nervous to share the picture but wanted to help normalize breastfeeding. “I have been so scared to post this photo that I absolutely adore. Why? Because society has made breast sexual. After sharing the photo with a lactation consultant that has help me and Ellie I have come to realize that it should not be something to be ashamed of but proud of.”
Small’s lactation consultant also shared a photo of her client, commending Serah for posting the pic. Tara-Jean Thiessen of Milky Way Lactation Services writes “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.”
Both pictures have received an outpouring of love and support on Facebook, with many commenters applauding Smalls for sharing her story and reminding women that their bodies are capable of amazing things.