An image of a Queensland woman breastfeeding her baby boy at her university graduation has gone viral, but should a photo like this provoke such a strong reaction when it’s considered a natural part of mothering?
Jacci Sharkey, of Maroochy River, was snapped by her sister-in-law as she breastfed her son, Alek, at her graduation ceremony at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) last month.
It was posted on the USC’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon and has since received more than 220,000 likes and almost 7000 shares.
"Just wanted to share a photo from the most recent graduation that I am proud of. I'm extremely proud that with the support of the Uni, during my degree I was able to have two babies and still finish my degree. Thanks USC!" Jacci said in the post.
The 24-year-old mother, who studied human resource management, said the image wasn’t intended to be about breastfeeding but a message of thanks and that other mums can raise a family while studying.
However, it has now become a poster for other mums that breastfeeding anywhere, anytime is accepted, and here at The Weekly we couldn’t be happier.
"I don’t think [breastfeeding] is something to be hidden,” Jacci told the Courier Mail. “You don’t have to cover yourself, your baby is having a feed… it’s not like you eat your food with a blanket over your head."
"A lot of people are like I don’t need to see it – well that’s fine, don’t look."
While there are stories of breastfeeding mothers being asked to leave swimming pools and cover up in public places, the sheer number of positives comments on Jacci's photo, prove that it is about time, breastfeeding in public – whether it's at a shopping centre or a graduation ceremony - is considered to be an accepted and natural practice of mothers.