An Australian mum has created a breastfeeding Barbie doll to help erase the stigma surrounding breastfeeding, in the hope to normalise a very normal part of life.
Betty Strachan, a stay at home mum of two from Brisbane has been customising dolls as a hobby for four years. However, her decision to make a breastfeeding doll didn’t come consciously.
Originally, Strachan painted a face on an old Barbie doll and took it along to a regular parenting support group. She placed a baby doll accessory in the Barbie’s arms to mimic the act of breastfeeding and it was an instant hit with the group of mothers. “They’re all lovely and supportive women, and a lot of them are strong advocates for breastfeeding,” she told People.
The doll was so warmly accepted within the group that she decided to make more and sell them online on her Etsy page - which have since sold out. She told The Huffington Post that they are popular with mothers with young children and she receives a lot of pictures from customers of their families enjoying playing with their new toy.
Betty believes the best way to help erase the stigma attached to breastfeeding is to educate children and support women and she has faith that the stigma surrounding breastfeeding will change.
“I think and hope that with time, people will grow to accept that it’s a normal and natural thing,” she told People. “It’s a completely natural and normal thing to do. There’s no other way to put it.”
Strachan has named the Barbie “Mamas Worldwide Barbie” and it follows her previous creation of a pregnant Barbie. She plans to continue making the doll to keep up with requests, telling The Huffington Post, “I realised that it was really something that should be available because, like most things that society deems unacceptable, educating children is the way to erase the stigma behind it.”