A series of stunning images showing women breastfeeding in iconic locations across Australia have been captured on camera.
Victorian photographer Sarah Murnane, a mother-of-two, took many of the captivating images as part of The Australian Breastfeeding Project which she set up after the birth of her second child.
‘Every milky goddess out there deserves to feel like one,’ Ms Murnane wrote on the project’s Facebook page.
‘The main thing I wanted to show at the beginning was a togetherness, a sisterhood,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Through her powerful photographs, Ms Murnane said she wants to ‘erase the negative stigmas’ that surround breastfeeding.
She has chosen stunning backdrops for the images such as the Barossa Valley, Seaford Valley in Victoria and Milaa Milaa Falls in Queensland.
‘I want mothers everywhere to feel comfortable when nourishing their child,’ she wrote on her Facebook page.
‘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.
‘I look forward to living in a world where a mother can feed her infant and passers by are able to make eye contact with her and not give a second thought to her breast being used to feed her baby.
‘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.
‘I want women to feed their babies anywhere they are without being scared of hurtful or negative comments. I want to empower breastfeeding mothers and the next time they sit down to feed their baby where ever they may be they know that the have the support of thousands.
‘Together through the power of images we will change the negative views surrounding breastfeeding.’
Ms Murnane told Daily Mail Australia that breastfeeding rates remain ‘really low’ and she began her project after feeling a lack of support when she had her first child.
‘I think we don’t have enough people that are passionate about breast feeding,’ she said.
‘The health professionals are often not educated enough around breast feeding women don’t have enough support’.
Ms Murnane said that when she had her second child the situation had improved and she had friends that would even wet nurse her daughter.
‘The difference between the two was huge. I wanted to be able to capture the feeling of the sisterhood with my first ever image, it took off and everyone wanted to be a part of it and come together.’
Ms Murnane said she surrounded herself with different people who had the same values as herself when she had her second child, which she believes made the biggest difference.
‘I wanted every woman to be able to have that support, every woman deserves to have a community with correct information and support.
‘I finished breastfeeding my first child at six months and was always really upset about it, there was no reason to stop feeding apart that I felt like I had to.
‘People at the time said it didn’t matter and to just put her on artificial milk. I felt like I had no education and support’.
Ms Murnane doesn’t pick the women that came along to the shoots, she sets up an event and they purchase tickets to come along.
The invitations are sent through a mailing list to women who have registered on the website.
She has now been to every state in Australia thanks to the project.
‘I was travelling everywhere and it became too much and I couldn’t keep up so now hired more photographers. I was doing it by myself for a year and I now have 50 photographers stationed all over,’ she said.
She says the hardest part is picking the locations for the photographs so she uses Google to find places and goes off of recommendations from women she photographs and the photographers.
‘The project is growing and growing every single day, I never thought this could happen, I never imagined it. I’m unsure about the future, I want to keep the same style but would like to start branching out and adding a few different things down the track,’ she said.
‘One big thing that has come out of it is education. We have a Facebook group and almost daily I get someone saying “I wouldn’t have continued breast feeding if it wasn’t for the support of this group”.
‘This project is a lot more than just the photos now’.