Everyone is applauding an Alberta mom who used an intermission in her hockey game to breastfeed her eight-week-old child, in a moment that was captured on camera. The viral photo shows Serah Small, of Grande Prairie, Alta., nursing her daughter Ellie in her team’s dressing room. Small is dressed from the waist down in hockey gear, and her teammates can be seen putting their own equipment on to either side of her. Milky Way Lactation Services shared the photo on its Facebook page, where it praised Small for showing that any mom can “do the things you love to do, and keep your baby close.” Small shared another photo of the same moment on her own Facebook page, saying that she was emboldened to do so after seeing how positively it was received on the Milky Way page.
“I have a really hard time feeding Ellie covered and have chosen not to cover her at all,” she said. “Although at times I feel the burn of judgmental eyes I feel more empowered than anything to be able to meet my baby’s needs the way my body intended.” Small said she’s been playing hockey her whole life, and that she signed up for last weekend’s tournament expecting her body to “bounce back” shortly after childbirth. “This weekend I played four games with a short bench and really learned how different my body is,” she wrote. “I felt slower and lost at first on the ice. My body wasn’t doing the things my brain thought it could. But I have never been more proud of myself and my body.” She added that she’s sharing the photo in an effort to normalize breastfeeding. “Way to go. You’re a strong woman!” one person said in response to Small’s photo. “Congrats on your success as a mother and an active woman!” “How beautiful to see a mother and a woman doing two great things at once,” another person wrote in response to the Milky Way photo. “It also seems perfectly Canadian of her.”