Breastfeeding Mom in Cap and Gown Goes Viral (VIDEO)

breastfeeding momMoms can do it all. It's not easy, and we need support and encouragement, but we can do just about anything we set our minds to. Motherhood doesn't end dreams, it is the start of one, of many. And that's exactly why this image of a mom breastfeeding in her cap and gown after graduating from college is inspiring to all mothers.

Mom of two under 2, Jacci Sharkey is the latest postermom for breastfeeding success -- and also for bottle feeders. She's proof that we can achieve our goals, kids and all. Being a mom is just one part of who we are.

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Jacci graduated from The University of Sunshine Coast in Australia where she studied human resource management. She attended the college for three and a half years and during that time she gave birth to Ari, now 20 months old, and Alek (seen in photo) who is six weeks old. I see such great accomplishments when I look at this photo. She balanced work and life and has been making the best life choices she can for her family. For Jacci, that includes breastfeeding.

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Breastfeeding is both praised and villainized particularly if it is done in public. I breastfed my twins for over a year. It's rewarding. It's great for baby. It's fantastic for mom. And it's not all smiles and ease. It can be challenging. We need support, not looks of disgust. We need encouragement. No bathroom banishment. We need to be proud of ourselves for trying our best. And seeing an image like this -- of a mom who has achieved so much -- is exactly what we need to see more of. We can do whatever we set our minds to. Our goals -- big and small -- matter and with perseverance, we can achieve them all.

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Encouragement. Inspiration. We can do it, Moms. Motherhood doesn't stop us from being us. It enhances us. It pushes us to be better, do better, be the best we can be. When Jacci posted her photo to the University's Facebook page, she immediately got positive responses. That in itself is so encouraging. It's images like these that help those who see breastfeeding as obscene realize it is not, that it's natural and beautiful and something to be celebrated. On the response, she told ABC:

I never expected it to go crazy. I thought I'd be really happy if it got 100 likes and then it's just gone out of control. 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.

It wasn't a statement [on breastfeeding] 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.

It was really a message of thanks and that other mums can do it as well. You don't have to give up the career to have kids and you don't have to give up kids to have the career ... you can have it all.

There are many obstacles in a mother's way when it comes to parenting. Breastfeeding is just one of them. We can overcome them all. This woman graduated in more than one way, and she should inspire us and let us know that we can do it, too.

Are you also inspired by the image of her breastfeeding in cap and gown?

 

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