Viral picture of graduating mum breastfeeding

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(Photo Source: Daily Mail) A picture of a mum breastfeeding her baby on her graduation day, in her graduation gown, has gone viral this week. Get to know the story behind the inspiring image.

Jacci Sharkey is the star of a viral photo that demonstrated the beauty of motherhood. In it, the 24-year-old mum proudly posed in her graduation gown and mortarboard while breastfeeding her son, who was 6 weeks old then.


(Photo source: Daily Mail)

With Jacci’s approval, the photo was posted online earlier this week by the University of the Sunshine Coast, which is located in the north of Brisbane, Australia. To date, the photo has garnered more than 88,000 likes on Facebook and been shared nearly 2,500 times.

According to a spokesperson from the university, Jacci had sent the photo to the university together with the following message:

“Just wanted to share a photo from the most recent graduation that I am proud of. I am 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!”

A message of encouragement for mums

The mother of two who graduated with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resources Management and Marketing, gave birth to her sons, Ari and Alek, during the 3.5 years that she was studying in the university.

She reportedly told the Daily Mail Australia that she shared the photo with hopes of inspiring and encouraging other mums to juggle motherhood and education at the same time—instead of forgoing pursuing their studies.

“It’s a great message and I wanted to get it out there. I want mums to know that they can study and also be a mum. They don’t have to give up either,” she said.


(Photo Source: Daily Mail)

So, what exactly went through this proud mum’s mind when she breastfed her son just before joining the graduation party?

“It was a nice moment,” according to Jacci, who decided that she was not going to “hide something that has been done for centuries.”

However, she emphasised that her intent behind sharing the photo was not to focus on her efforts to breastfeed her baby, but more about supporting mums and their dreams of pursuing their studies.


Read on to find out how other mums and online users reacted to Jacci’s breastfeeding graduation picture.

Waves of support

Needless to say, the photo generated throngs of comments from women who showed their support and admiration for Jacci.

“What a beautiful photo—such admiration for the mums who tackle parenthood and their degree,” one mum commented.

Another mum also shared a similar experience. “That’s awesome. I have four children [and] I had [the] last one whilst studying at USC, and was supported and was able to continue studying whilst breastfeeding and bringing my son to some classes. Best uni! Studying and having a family is possible!”


(Photo Source: Daily Mail)

However, the photo was also criticised by some online users who stated that breastfeeding “is a beautiful private thing that does not need to be shared with the public“.

Addressing the negative comments, Jacci had this to say: “The main things I’ve read is ‘cover up with a blanket’ or ‘go to a toilet cubicle’. I personally wouldn’t eat in a toilet or under a blanket so I wouldn’t expect my child to.”


Do you find Jacci’s story inspiring? Share with us by leaving a comment below!

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Written by

Justina Goh