Should this mom be breastfeeding at her college graduation?

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(STLMoms) – A photo of a mother breastfeeding her baby right after her college graduation is getting a lot of attention.  The photo was first shared on a Facebook page called, “Black Women Do Breastfeed,” and then it went viral.

Karlesha Thurman told reporters she did it because it’s natural and normal.  The photo went up last week and has since garnered both positive and negative attention.

Many people on social media support Thurman saying a mother should be able to nurse her child anywhere. Others were not so supportive and called her act inappropriate, to put it mildly.

What do you think?

 

35 comments

  • Amanda

    I can’t even believe this is a news story. Breasts are for feeding infants, not for men to oogle. Seriously!?! We allow practically naked Victoria’s Secret models to prance around on national television, and it’s okay. We see a woman feeding her child in the most natural way, and we tell people it’s wrong. This world is f’d up!

    • Christina Yeager

      So then I guess a mother should go to a private place to bottle feed her baby also, it would only be fair. I think it’s bs that everyone is ok with Victoria Secret models to prance in their barely there undergarments but thinks that a woman breast feeding is the worst thing in the world and shouldn’t be done. What is wrong with this world!?

    • madcapfeline

      Prude. So, we should shut down all the restaurants, because eating in public is not natural? I’m honestly far less disgusted by an infant being breastfed in public than I am watching some grown adults gorge themselves on Big Macs. Seriously, McDonald’s should get rid of the tables, and just install some troughs. My prom dress showed more boob that this picture does. If you can’t handle that, then maybe you’re the one that needs to be locked away in a filthy restroom stall during feeding time.

    • Laurie G

      You can take your dinner into the bathroom tonight and see how you feel about eating it there. There are federal workplaces laws that mandate space, other than a bathroom are available for breastfeeding mothers. I had to breastfeed my daughter at my sister’s funeral before the service. I went in the cry room. But, if the cry room had not be available I would have had no problem sitting in the back pew using a nursing cover. Breastfeeding is not the same as peeing. Period.

  • Curious......

    Whatever!!! This mom did what she had to do. This did not what needed any attention. More mothers need to nurse their babies. Maybe we won’t have so many messed up children in this world.

  • Cindy Lou You

    This is not a 3rd world country, at least have some real class. Feed the baby, but don’t have it hanging off your bare tit while you walk around and take pictures.

  • Jackie

    Its natural to breastfeed wherever whenever your infant is humgry I wish people were mature enough to handle that fact just really get over yourself seriously smh

    • stephanie

      I so agree I have a ten month old and when we were out in public and she was hungry I breast fed her and I got a lot of nasty looks but just looked at them and said got a problem tale a picture it last longer….breastfeeding is natural and I give kudos to all the moms that breastfed babies in public

  • Fran

    Can’t believe this is news. We should be supporting breastfeeding moms. This mom was trying to do what is best for her baby and she shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of that.

  • Joe

    Feed your baby, there is no need to take a picture of it and post online. Oh, wait, she needs her 15 mins of fame.

  • rose

    BUY A BREAST PUMP!!!!!! A lot of women breast feed, but use a breast pump for a bottle to use at the grocery store, church, events and so on. Show respect for yourself and others It’s a great option.

  • Tamekia

    The question is why are people so offended because this mother feed her hungry child? Guess it would be better if she let her child go hungry because of a bunch so sensitive yahoo’s who are probably offended by the sun shining.

    • rose

      Why would she let her child go hungry? Bring a bottle of breast milk with her, then anybody can hold and feed the baby while she participates in graduation. Anything for attention and cause a scene I guess.

      • LOVEABLEMOM

        And what if she did bring the bottle or two and ran out during the ceremony then what. See the thing is sometimes breast pumps don’t pump enough for the day. Also if you have a breast feeding child they don’t always WANT the bottle, so what do you do then. Oh “excuse me, my baby is hungry so let me interrupt my family snapping pictures and run to the nearest bathroom that’s probably crawling with germs and what have you, and breast feed my child in a closed off bathroom stall, while listening to other people complain I am taking too long” Its natural for Heavens sake…that’s what breasts are for. Society has made it to where breasts are considered private parts! I think she did what she had to do when she had to do it…and I applaud her for it!

      • Shovon

        My wife tried (hours after hours, days) a lot to pump using the best breast pumps out there – she does not have the stimulation and can’t produce enough for the baby even for a single meal. But when she feeds our baby, no issues. Some moms can’t just do that. Just because it may have worked for you, ROSE, does not mean that’s going to work for everyone else. We feed our child in public places if we have to (Sometimes we go with formula, if the baby refuses, we go to breast), but we do use shawl or something to cover, and the idea of taking pictures of breastfeeding our baby in public place and posting it online never even crossed our mind, and will never do.

      • rose

        SHOVON, I wondered how the husbands felt about their wives nursing in public, and you and your wife have done all the right respectful things and cared for your child all at the same time. If you did everything the way you say you did, why the rudeness towards me? Exactly what I was trying to say, go in private or cover it up.

  • Jen

    Why is it okay for us to see womens breasts to sell stuff (think ads on movies and tv, in magazines, billboards, etc) but not when they are being used for what they are there for, feeding a child? When did it become a better idea to go out purchase a pump, bring it home, attach it to your body, excrete then refrigerate the milk, carry the milk along wherever you are going for the day in a cooler so as not to spoil it, and then feed it to your child? When all one really needs to do is nurse the child when he/she is hungry. Done and done.

    • rose

      JEN, You must have been lucky enough to be a stay at home mom, I had to go back to work after 6 weeks, my mother kept my kids, I sent bottles of breast milk with them and had to take my pump to work, to use in private in the restroom because you can not go 9 hours without either nursing or pumping. Lucky you were able to not have to deal with a pump. I am happy for you, a pump was my lifesaver and my children got the best nutrition and were still held when fed.

      • Jen

        I’m not sure if this will post twice or not, if so, whoops! Rose, It seems you applied my comment to your personal situation, when I meant for it to applied to the woman graduating. I was referring to the people saying she should buy a pump, express the milk, then feed it to her baby via a bottle, just to appease them because they have it ingrained in their minds breasts can only be seen publically if they are sexualized. I too, am happy for you to have found a childcare and nursing arrangement that worked for you. Why could that possibly be? Well it’s because as Glennon at Mommastery says “we belong to each other.” We should be looking for commonalities with one another not differences.

  • nunya

    So, it’s not ok for her to feed her child from her breast in public, but feeding from a bottle is ok? No one asks a mom who’s feeding from a bottle to “cover it up”. Either way, it’s a child getting fed! And to those who say bring a bottle, my son REFUSED a bottle. He would only take the breast. I guess I should have let him starve. I never fed him in public because of all the people who find it offensive. If we were out, I would go hide in the car, and cover up, so no one could say anything. I wish I had been as brave as the women I see who do breastfeed in public. They should be able to without anybody saying anything.
    And a breast pump does not always extract the same amount of milk as the baby can, so it’s NOT actually a great option. Especially if the baby won’t take a bottle, like mine.
    Peeing is not the same thing as feeding a child. I don’t even know how someone could compare the two. That is getting rid of waste. Breasts and breast milk are there to FEED THE BABY. No one should have to run and hide like I did to feed their baby.
    I felt no support when I breastfed, because we live in such a backwards society. It’s ok for women to walk around with practically nothing on, but a woman can’t feed her baby. Ridiculous!

    • rose

      Thank you for being so respectful. No, it is not alright for people to walk around half naked, people look at them too, they want your attention, and they got it, whether it be positive or negative attention. I have 5 brothers and I honestly don’t believe one of them would have been comfortable around their sister while breast feeding, nor my father.

  • LOVEABLEMOM

    I think it is fine for her to breastfeed her baby wherever she pleases. Rhianna had on a see-through dress with no bra, her breasts were showing and it was on national television. People make a big deal about nothing. Its her body, her child and she should do what she wants. I commend her! Plus the law states she can do it. Its not nudity! You feed your baby based on THEIR cues, not YOUR own. Come on now, if you don’t like it, and it offends you, turn and walk the other way. If you see someone at wal-mart with some too little shorts on with all their business hanging out, guess what, there is nothing you can do about it. If you say the wrong thing then a fight will pursue. Just walk away…so simple

  • Samantha

    If a child is hungry, then they deserve to be fed regardless of what onlookers think/feel. No one would be batting an eye if the baby was being bottle-fed, so why should this mother be shamed for feeding her child in the best, natural way possible? Breasts are not sexual organs. Thier design and purpose is to provide food for children. We use our hands in sexual acts, but no one suggests that they should be covered when used non-sexually. It should be the same for breasts. Culturally, breastfeeding in public has only become viewed as a problem in the last 60 or so years(after the invention of formula).
    Breastfeeding isn’t as simple as just applying a child for most. There are many tribulations to work through, so if this mother is proud of making it through those problems and wants a picture, then go her! She shared this to a related Facebook group for support. She didn’t know it was going to spread this far. Personally, I’d rather see this nurturing act come across my Facebook, than barely clothed boys and girls.

  • Sakina Mengle

    I don’t believe anyone is saying she should not feed her baby. She knew she was graduating, so why did she not prepare bottles, the proper attire or cover ups for the occasion? Her behavior was inappropriate. Why the photos? Why did she post the photo on social media, with that caption? I have never heard that black women don’ t breastfeed. She should not use her baby in a public way for attention and social commentary. If she has to draw attention to herself , I wish her photo was with the father of the child, and showing her wedding ring, with the caption, “Black women do get married before having children!”

  • Rhonda Pannell-Coffey

    This picture is not about breast feeding in public, it’s about an attention whore wanting attention. Most women that breast feed do it in public, but they are discreet about it, so you probably have never noticed them doing it. The experienced breast feeding mother knows how to breast feed without drawing unwanted attention to herself. There is nothing wrong with breast feeding in public as long as you cover up, out of respect for others who are a little uncomfortable with you exposing your breast. Everyone has a right to how they feel about nudity and we should all respect each other. I don’t think a breast feeding woman has to run to the restroom to breast feed, how disgusting, but pulling your breast out and flashing it around while breast feeding is for attention, not for feeding a baby. I doubt seriously there would be any issue of breast feeding in public if women would be a bit more considerate to those around when she does it.

  • Amanda

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that we have to even have this conversation. If that women would have been bottle feeding her child no one would have thought twice but because she’s giving the most natural and best thing for baby we have to make a big deal about it. Anyone that’s bothered by it should be ashamed of themselves.

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