This 15-metre Breastfeeding Mural In Melbourne Is Sending A Powerful Message

Local Melbourne artist Caroline Lejeune’s ‘Breastralia’ is a larger-than-life uncensored artwork which aims to spotlight a rarely celebrated yet common reality of being a new mum.

Only a few days ago, AFL’s Moana Hope appeared on a live-cross for Studio 10 to speak about her 24-hour labour, and the birth of her beautiful baby boy, Ahi Joseph Carlstrom.

Behind her, wife and partner of 5 years Isabella Carlstrom swayed and breastfed their one-year-old son, Svea.

The moment, while possibly unnoticed by some, was incredibly significant: kicking off National Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), the duo are taking part in a national campaign to normalise feeding – especially in public. As part of the campaign, a bold new 15-metre breastfeeding mural ‘Breastralia’, commissioned by global infant accessories brand Tommee Tippee in partnership with local Melbourne artist Caroline Lejeune, covers a Collingwood block on Johnston Street to portray that exact message.

The larger-than-life uncensored breastfeeding mural, which aims to spotlight a rarely celebrated yet common reality of being a new mum, portrays two women breastfeeding and pumping. Baring breasts, nipples and all, one woman feeds her four-month-old and the other woman her 18-month-old. The piece aims to send a powerful message to the community that motherhood is supported and that women have the right to choose how, when and for how long they choose to feed their babies.

Breastfeeding Mural

The ‘stop you in your tracks’ 15 metre-long artwork is in response to research undertaken by Tommee Tippee among new mums which demonstrated that three in four women (74%) feel overlooked and two thirds (66%) think that society talks down to them as a new mum.

What’s more, one in two Australian mums said that feeding has negatively impacted their self confidence (46%). Even though it’s illegal to discriminate against someone for breastfeeding, a study in the UK revealed that six out of 10 mothers take steps to hide it in public.

“As women, we’re constantly told to cover up or judged for how, where, when and even for how long we choose to feed. When Ahi came along, it was important for me to feed him whatever way was best for both of us which just so happened to be breastfeeding. But not everyone is able to breastfeed or even wants to.

“What I love about this piece is that aside from being in Collingwood, which holds a special place in my heart for obvious reasons, it’s just so real and honest. I’d love to see more monuments to motherhood like this in public space,” explains Moana.

“Public art like this is so important because the truth is when women feel judged for feeding in public, they’re rarely imagining it. We need to do a better job of lifting women up, helping them cancel the critics and celebrate the wins especially when they’re new to motherhood because the fact is, it really does take a village to raise a child. I absolutely adore this art and I’m sure the Melbourne community will too,” adds Midwife Cath, a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and antenatal care and education.

To further align with World Breastfeeding Week as well as support mums in need, Tommee Tippee has pledged to donate pumps and pads to Big Group Hug (Community Help for Families in Need). For those not in Melbourne, Tommee Tippee is asking mums across the nation to get involved by “flashing their feed” with the #breastralia hashtag throughout the first week of August to raise awareness and break down feeding stigma.

The mural can be seen on the Palmer Street side of Co-Studio located at 159 Johnston St, Collingwood.

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