Red Stars team up with fertility clinic to help players balance professional sport and motherhood

CHICAGO (SCS) — The Chicago Red Stars are following the lead of another National Women’s Soccer League club in partnering with a fertility clinic – a groundbreaking partnership that will provide players with services such as egg freezing and storage, as well as than other fertility tests.

CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek spoke to Red Stars defender Arin Wright, who made the case after becoming a mother herself.

As a veteran Red Stars defender, Wright isn’t afraid to make an unexpected cut.

“Since there weren’t a lot of people who had done it, there wasn’t really a clear path that I had. So I was like, I’m going to take a gamble,” she said. declared.

For Wright and her husband, that gamble meant rejecting the mandated deadline for when a professional athlete can become a mother.

“We decided not to time it. Let’s see, roll the dice and see what happens,” she said.

Wright became pregnant in 2019 and missed the final games of the season, but not the next, due to pandemic cancellations. Although Wright said the timing couldn’t have worked better, the transition to motherhood has by no means been easy for her body.

“It’s almost like this bionic body that’s not really mine, but it’s mine now. So I have to reinvent myself and teach myself, because my stride is different, the way I hit the ball is There are so many different elements to the way I play the game that I had to relearn myself,” she said.

His schedule is also different.

“Understand, is daycare working? Does having a babysitter at home work? , or can I stay late? I know you’re not supposed to be there at those times, but can we make it work?” In order for me to get my body in the best shape possible, I have to do my job then “, she said.

Wright said she learns by trial and error and in process, leading by example, sharing her plan and advocating for women to have a choice about if/when and how they start a family.

“Our lifespan in this work is up to 40 years, and I’m sure that will continue. Hopefully it goes even further, but with it now comes, ‘Okay, how, I shouldn’t I have to choose between having a family and I shouldn’t have to choose between doing my job. I should be able to do both,” she said.

That choice has been bolstered by a groundbreaking new partnership between the Red Stars and Fertility Centers Illinois, which gives players free access to a full range of fertility services – something Wright said most players of the NWSL could not afford.

“To have the ability for women to freeze their eggs, to have the security and not feel stressed by their biological clock, that ‘Hey, I can’t do my job. I have to move on and start a family, “will only elevate their game and be able to play with more freedom, because they know they have peace of mind in that regard,” she said.


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