Last month, a woman was chastised online for breastfeeding her child at her own college graduation.
Karlesha Thurman, 25, received her degree from California State University, Long Beach in May. After crossing the stage to receive her degree, Thurman returned to her seat and fed her daughter who was hungry.
She didn’t exactly cover up, but tell me you haven’t seen more boob on a Victoria’s Secret sign in the mall.
Source: KTDaRockSta/Facebook via Today.com
A friend took the above photo, and Thurman eventually posted on her Facebook page. When the picture went viral, some people told the mother to cover up or shamed her for daring to feed her child in public. Still others commended her for graduating and choosing a healthy path for her child.
You can probably tell what side of the fence I am on.
As a breastfeeding mama myself, I tout the phrase “breast is best”. Breastfeeding is not for everyone, and I think moms (and families) should be allowed to make their own choices on how they feed their children. I also know for many of my friends, breastfeeding was not an option. But when it is, it is a healthy choice for your child and an incredible bonding experience.
It’s also something I did on airplanes, park benches, church, restaurants, and well. . .anywhere I took my daughter. If I had received my degree while she was breastfeeding, then I would have done just what Thurman did, with my chest held high.
While breastfeeding Liv for 14 months, I received dirty looks (even when covering up, which I did–my choice), was told to breastfeed in bathrooms, and found myself hidden in corner rooms at extended family gatherings while everyone else enjoyed a meal together.
And you wonder why many women choose not to breastfeed?
It’s challenging enough to have your body go through hormonal changes and have a child depend on your for sustenance, but add public (and familial) shaming, and breastfeeding can often take a huge emotional toil on a woman.
When I see moms like Thurman choose to stand against the hate, not because she wanted to make a statement, but because HER DAUGHTER WAS HUNGRY, it reminds me why I made the choice to nurse Liv. It was the right choice for me and my family. This was the right choice for Thurman.
For those who didn’t want to see that mama nursing? Get off her Facebook and the computer, look the other way, mind your own business, and go eat your lunch in a bathroom stall.