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Coach Adia Barnes Pumped Breast Milk During a Game and We Love to See It

“For those of you who think this is too much information, let’s normalize working mothers and all that they have to do to make it all happen.”
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published April 6, 2021
Head basketball coach of the University of Arizona Wildcats, during a game where she breastfed her baby.
Image: Ben Solomon / Getty Images

Adia Barnes is the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats, of the University of Arizona. The team played in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game against Stanford. While they lost the game, Barnes has turned out to be the real star of the night and is showing the world what it means to be a working mom.

Barnes gave birth to her second child, a baby girl named Capri, six months ago. During halftime in Sunday night’s game, not only did she help motivate her team, but she did it while pumping breast milk for Capri.

“As soon as we got to the locker room I started pumping. It felt amazing,” Barnes told TODAY Parents, explaining that one of her breasts had become engorged and was starting to leak. “I had a blanket over my chest but then the blanket fell off and everybody started laughing.”

She used a heating pad from the team to warm the bottle, and, once the game resumed, Suzy Mason, Barnes’ boss, fed Capri the bottle. “Women look after women…It’s hard. You wonder, is it possible? I’ve had my moments of breaking down and being like, ‘I just can’t do this. It’s too much. But this is what I’m meant to do,” Barnes told the outlet. “I’ve heard from so many women. I must have heard from 100 women who said they got out of coaching because it was too hard. That breaks my heart.”

Her actions are now inspiring women across the country. During the game’s broadcast on Sunday, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe even stated, “For those of you who think this is too much information, let’s normalize working mothers and all that they have to do to make it all happen."

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