Part of her ABC interview .
I personally have gotten nothing but positive feedback, but the people on Twitter are being very harsh towards the photo,” she told ABC News.
“I do not care how natural breast feeding is, a college graduation is not the place…decorum, people,” tweeted @theSilentGiant.
“I never said not to be proud, but breast pumps exist for a reason! Middle of graduation is not the time to whip breast out,” read a post from @SarahKitty21
Thurman said she didn’t post the photo to get attention, and it’s since been deleted. But she said she doesn’t understand what the big deal is about the photo.
“Nobody there had a problem with it,” Thurman told ABC News about her breastfeeding during her May 22 graduation ceremony. “I was facing the other graduates. The crowd couldn’t see me.”
Her daughter, Aaliyah, was hungry and needed to be fed, she said.
Molly Peterson, manager of Healthcare for Lansinoh, told ABC News that breastfeeding in public shouldn’t be a concern.
“This was a beautiful natural expression of a mother’s love for her baby,” Peterson said.
“Seeing pictures like this is something that normalizes it so that more mothers are able to feed their babies whenever, and wherever, they need to,” Peterson added.
The Facebook group where Thurman posted her photo uses the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding in their posts to spread awareness. The group, according to their blog, was created as a means to “highlight the many black mothers in the United States (and beyond) who do indeed breastfeed their children.”
For Thurman, having her daughter by her side at graduation was important since Aaliyah helped her get to that day.
After finding out she was pregnant in her last year of school, Thurman contemplated dropping out or taking a break, she said. However, once she had her daughter, she said she knew she had to finish.
“With me having a better education, I would be more likely to provide her with the things she wants and needs in life,” Thurman said.