A photo of an Australian Mum breastfeeding her baby whilst wearing her graduation robes has gone viral and gained support worldwide.
The picture, of Jacci Sharkey and her six week old son Alex was shared on the Facebook page of the University of the Sunshine Coast on Sunday along with a message of thanks from Jacci. That post has been liked by over 200,000 people and shared by over 7,500.
“Just wanted to share a photo from the most recent graduation that I am proud of” wrote Jacci. “I am extremely proud that with the support of the Uni, during my degree I was able to have 2 babies and still finish my degree. Thanks USC!”
The post has attracted thousands of comments with the vast expressing admiration for Jacci.
“I’m shocked and stunned at the response. Secretly I was hoping for 100 likes, and it’s just gone viral,” the 24-year-old told Fairfax Media. “It’s something that probably shouldn’t even be newsworthy; (breastfeeding) is just a normal thing. My sister-in-law just picked up the camera and took the photo … it was on a bench outside the graduation hall in a little cafe area.”
“There has been a sea of thank you messages from people. Some were saying they were really worried about starting university but that I’ve helped them through it. It was really heart warming. You do come across your keyboard warriors but it’s just nice to see the positive outweighs the negative.”
Jacci who studied Human Resource Management at the University said that she hoped the photo would show mothers-to-be that childcare and education can work.
“It wasn’t a statement or anything like that. I would have sent the same picture to the uni had he (Alek) had a bottle or a sandwich. It was just the fact that I’m a mum, it’s not I’m a breastfeeding mum, just I’m a mum,” she said. “It was really a message of thanks and that other mums can do it as well”