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From midwife to midfield: the AFL star who can catch both a baby and a footy

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Thanks to our brand partner, Dairy Australia

Daisy Pearce is the ultimate multitasker. And her job title is the most wonderful mixed bag.

AFL star. Team Captain. Prize winner. TV host. Commentator. Midwife.

But there’s no denying Daisy would be happy with only one job title:

AFL player.

For now, that’s impossible. Because if you’re playing professional AFL and you’re a female, you’re a part-time employee.

And today, after the weekend’s AFLW Grand Final, where the Adelaide Crows walked away with the inaugural flag, the women aren’t having a “Mad Monday”.

Most of them, are back at work.

Listen to Daisy Pearce discuss the AFLW league on I Don’t Know How She Does It:

The Melbourne captain says to be paid at all to play sport is a luxury.

“We’ve made huge strides compared to where the game was at 10 years ago. So whilst I am pretty passionate about it improving and improving quickly, I also understand it’s our time and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

“To be paid at all to play sport full time or part time … is a bit of a luxury. I’m almost reluctant to complain about it” she said.

Daisy certainly hasn’t complained, instead, she got busy.

A trained midwife, this 28-year-old gave up her position in the maternity ward at the local hospital and gave her all to her football career – hosting a football TV show, commentating and of course, playing.

“I did a bit last year but because I was trying to juggle so many [jobs] … it was on the side … But this year I’ve got the opportunity to give it my best and prioritise it given I’ve stepped away from my other work.”

Work that Daisy loved.

“I miss everything about midwifery … It wasn’t a decision I made easily because it’s a job that I always cherish, from the first days as a student or the first birth I observed as a student midwife to the last day I worked, it is the most rewarding career.

“To be a part of that time in a person or a family or a couple’s life. To be there and … facilitate the most important time in their life is so special. The intensity of that is almost addictive”.

Daisy is addicted to adrenaline. The passion she has for one of the world’s oldest professions is still so present in her voice. She plans on returning if her AFL career softens. A move that seems unlikely.

Nevertheless, to keep her training and qualifications up to date, Daisy is still doing a minimum at the hospital.

“Some diehard footy fans thought it was a great omen that their child would play football … it does help you connect to the family you’re looking after, to talk about other things.” she said.

Her recent appearances in the delivery suite have been met with excitement from everyone in the delivery suite.

Except the Mums.

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“At times I found it a bit distracting, there you are doing your best trying to make it about the woman and sometimes their partner just wants to talk to you about whether Melbourne were a chance at making finals this year”.

Oddly enough, the pressures in both professions are quite similar.

“It’s intense, it’s nerve-wracking, it’s scary … you never quite switch off no matter how many babies you’ve delivered or how normal things feel, you’ve always got this sense of nerves and there’s this beautiful sense of relief when this new baby comes into the world … It’s a full-on job.”

A post shared by Daisy Pearce (@daisypearce6) on

And hopefully one that Daisy goes back to because she loves it, not because she feels like she has to because playing professional sport can’t pay her a full-time wage. Even though she dedicates her time, her effort and her spirit beyond what many people give to a full-time job.

But for now, Daisy is just enjoying this history-making moment. Women’s AFL exists. As far as she’s concerned, that’s a big step.

“A lot of us are very busy with our day jobs [away] from the football clubs but I think as much as I’d love for it to be professional competition and for all girls to have the opportunity to be dedicated athletes like the men are – I also understand this is a starting point”.

A starting point that doesn’t have an end in sight thanks to women like Daisy Pearce.

Listen to the full episode here. It’s the podcast with how busy women get things done:

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Dairy Australia.