All-Australian AFLW premiership defender Libby Birch has called for Hunter women and girls who play contact sport to think about protecting their most important assets: their breasts.
The Melbourne AFLW star and qualified physiotherapist is an advocate for wearing breast protection while playing contact sport.
“It’s like the modern mouthguard for females,” Birch said. “We wear helmets and shin guards, but what about protecting the most important part of your body?
“Since becoming a physio, I am more aware of the impact on breasts during contact sports.
“We chest-mark the ball, we get bumped, kicked and shoved during play, but wearing chest protection gives me confidence to know my breasts are being protected from injury and impact, today and into the future.”
Birch, a former top-level netball and hockey player, has been wearing BOOB ARMOUR inserts for the past two years of her AFLW career.
The Australian-owned product is designed to protect breasts and prevent injury in women and girls playing impact and hardball sports including australian rules football, basketball, netball, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, hockey and cricket.
“There’s plenty of research evidence showing that impact to the breast can result in deep bruising and the formation of hard lumps in the breast tissue,” Birch said.
“Too many of us are unaware of the problem and underestimate the occurrence of breast injuries.
“I have had numerous knocks and I’m taking more notice of that, looking after my breasts, but I have found real insecurity even at the elite level when it comes to talking about this kind of thing.
“It’s never really been talked about before and women find it embarrassing, but it’s our biology and we have to look after it.”
BOOB ARMOUR consists of inserts made from polyethylene.
The inserts extend around the underarm stabilising the breasts into position and can be easily inserted in a sports bra.
“This is a product that helps parents and girls feel more comfortable and confident about contact sport, and we need to do everything we can to keep girls playing.
“It’s important to learn to protect our body parts from a young age.”