Breastfeeding Mom Receives Backlash After Graduation Photo

article-2653530-1E9E9EDA00000578-384_634x627A photograph of a young mother breastfeeding at her recent graduation ceremony has provoked a storm of online debate and once again brought the contentious issue to the fore.

Despite getting pregnant in her last year at college, Karlesha Thurman, 25, stayed in school and completed her accounting degree.

At her graduation from Long Beach State University in California last month, she brought along her three-month-old daughter Aaliyah.

After the ceremony, Karlesha was proudly showing off her daughter to friends when Aaliyah became hungry.

Still dressed in her cap and gown, Karlesha decided to feed her baby and a friend, who thought it cool, asked if they could take a picture. 

A couple of days ago she posted the photo on the Facebook page, Black Women Do Breastfeed, to support a woman who wrote of getting dirty looks while nursing in public.

‘I did it to show it’s natural, it’s normal, there’s nothing wrong with it,’ Karlesha told Today.

‘It’s not disgusting, it’s not a bad thing, it’s not a negative thing. It’s the best thing for my daughter. More people should do it,’ she added.

Though Karlesha has since deleted her photo, the Facebook group decided to share the photo as part of their efforts to try and normalize breast-feeding in public.

fbw5jjzuwuiezrpzfy4t‘Congratulations, mama!!!! Giving her daughter more gifts than one! Isn’t this beautiful?! #normalizebreastfeeding,’ read the caption.

As the photo spread, the Facebook page – and Karlesha – received a lot of support.

‘Congratulations to the mom for graduating & putting your baby 1st,’ Michelle Spruill wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

‘I breast-fed all 3 of my babies. I didn’t let my babies starve because of how it would make someone else feel. Good job!’

As well as support, the photo also drew some negative comments as well. Some people though it was inappropriate and that she should have covered up.

‘Maybe I still have sleep in my eyes but did U just see a pic of a chick really breastfeeding during middle of her graduation?’ tweeted Moderate.

Karlesha, however, has no regrets.

‘I was proud of the fact that not only did I graduate but that I got to share the moment with the one person who is the most important to me and that is my daughter,’ she told Today.

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