Student Mum Breastfeeds Baby While Wearing Her Graduation Robes

04/11/2014 12:20 | Updated 20 May 2015

A photograph of a student breastfeeding her baby while wearing her graduation robes has gone viral.

Jacci Sharkey, 24, proudly posed in her gown and mortarboard while she breastfed her then six-week-old son.

The photo was posted online by The University of the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, on Monday afternoon. Since then it's gained more than 100,000 likes on Facebook and more than 3,000 shares.

The university wrote: "Something that had to be shared (and yes we got permission don't worry). From her recent graduation, this amazing photo and message was sent to us by inspiring mum Jacci Sharkey."

Jacci wrote: "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 2 babies and still finish my degree. Thanks USC!"

The mum-of-two graduated with a Bachelor of Business, Human Resources Management and Marketing.

Jacci told the Mail she shared the photo to encourage other mums to pursue their studies.

She said: "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 of them."

Jacci said 'it was a a nice moment' when she breastfed her child just before heading into the graduation ceremony on October 2.

She said: "I'm not going to hide something that's been done for centuries.

"But the meaning behind the photo isn't about me breastfeeding, it's about supporting mums."

The photo attracted dozens of comments of support, including: "What a beautiful photo such admiration for the mums who tackled parenthood and their degree."

One mother wrote: "That's awesome, I have 4 children I had last one whilst studying at USC and was supported and able to continue studying whilst breastfeeding and bringing my son to some classes. Best uni! Studying and having a family is possible!"

Congratulations, Jacci!

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