Sarah Murnane, an Australian photographer and mom of two, is a woman on a mission. Back in 2015, after her stunning photo of 20 moms breastfeeding on Breamlea beach went viral, Murnane took it upon herself to start a new photos series — one that would capture that feeling of absolute beauty and camaraderie that happens when a group of breastfeeding moms get together.
That’s when The Australian Breastfeeding Project was born, and Murnane began compiling her breathtaking series of breastfeeding moms and their babies, all looking like “goddesses,” as she puts it. Each of the ethereal photos depict large groups of breastfeeding moms of all sizes, shapes, and ages — dressed in all white and wearing flowing white wreaths.
“Every milky goddess out there deserves to feel like one,” Murnane recently wrote on the group’s Facebook page. Murnane tells Babble that the choice of all-white clothing represents the mothers’ breast milk, and that the choice for each woman to wear the same color serves to unite them, no matter which part of Australia they hail from, or what their breastfeeding journeys have been like.
The magical photos are set against striking backgrounds ranging from beaches to rivers to canyons — there’s even one set under the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge. All of the photos were taken by Murnane herself (though she tells Babble she has now hired additional photographers, as the demand for her photos has surged), and can be found on the Australian Breastfeeding Project’s website and Facebook page.
More than anything, Murnane says she wants the photos to capture the “sisterhood of breastfeeding mothers,” and adds that mother-to-mother support was what kept her going after her second baby was born.
“After my second, I realized the support of other breastfeeding mothers and the sisterhood made the biggest difference in my breastfeeding journey,” Murnane tells Babble, “I wanted to capture that.”
In addition, Murnane hopes that the project will helps break the “negative stigmas” associated with breastfeeding, especially when it comes to breastfeeding in public.
“I want to live in a world where women and men alike encourage mothers to feed their babies whenever and wherever they see fit, without a second thought,” Murnane writes on the project’s Facebook page, “I look forward to living in a world where a mother can feed her infant and passersby are able to make eye contact with her and not give a second thought to her breast being used to feed her baby.”
YES — me too!
When you think about breastfeeding in terms of what it really is — feeding your baby — it’s baffling that women have to go out of their way to make others comfortable with it. Breastfeeding (even in public) should be as normal, natural, and effortless for mothers and any other aspect of parenting out there.
Besides the “Sisterhood of Breastfeeding” series, Murnane’s photos also celebrate all the different ways moms provide breast milk for their babies, whether they’re pumping, bottle-feeding, or feeding their babies with an SNS (supplementary nursing system).
As Murnane explains on Facebook, she wants her photos to help create a world “where it’s normal for women to be surrounded by support of her breastfeeding choices. And every single one of us can celebrate our journey, without being shamed.”
Murnane also runs a private breastfeeding help group on Facebook to further her cause of supporting and nurturing breastfeeding moms. Just this past April, she and her group members were able to donate 12 gallons of breast milk (that’s a LOT of milk, people!) to Murnane’s friend after she was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to continue breastfeeding.
Is there anything this incredible mom and breastfeeding advocate doesn’t do?
Let’s give a standing ovation to Murnane and The Australian Breastfeeding project for doing their part to normalize breastfeeding — and to celebrate breastfeeding moms everywhere for the rockstars they truly are.