This "Breastfeeding Barbie" On Etsy Is Helping Normalize Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended by doctors as an important source of infant nutrition and health, and yet many new moms still struggle against the stigma that our society places on the practice, especially in public. That’s why this story is cool and necessary: An Australian doll artist created breastfeeding Barbie dolls to normalize breastfeeding. Too often, people regard breastfeeding — a completely normal and beneficial practice — as strange or taboo. What better way to teach kids (and adults, for that matter) that breastfeeding is OK than through dolls?

Betty Strachan, 28, lives in Brisbane with her two young sons. She’s been repainting dolls as a hobby for the last four years, creating dolls that tend to be more diverse and realistic-looking than the average Barbie and selling them in her Etsy shop. Strachan tells Bustle that she was inspired to make her breastfeeding dolls because, “in this day and age, educational and nurturing toys are common place, but there wasn't really anything readily available for mothers who breastfeed.” For her first doll, dubbed “Mamas Worldwide Barbie,” she found particular inspiration among the women in a mother’s group she’s part of. When she got a positive response from other moms about the first doll and baby set, she decided to make more.

Strachan hopes that her dolls will be both fun and educational. “My main goal was to give women the tools to teach their children and remove the stigma associated with breast feeding through play,” she explains. “It is my belief that when children are exposed to concepts from a young age, they are less likely to recognize the negative connotations that are associated with them.”

You can check out more of Strachan’s work on her Instagram page.

Images Courtesy of Betty Strachan/All The Little Dolls.