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Pulliam — best known for playing Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show — gave birth to Ella Grace via a C-section and recently shared details about the special day on her podcast, Kandidly Keshia.
Keshia was joined by her mother, Denise, and her BFF and doula, Shayla, for Friday’s episode. The 37-year-old actress began her show by thanking the doctors, nurses, and hospital for doing a great job; however, it was the lactation specialist who really stuck out. And not in a good way!
“It wouldn’t be me without the funny stories,” Pulliam laughed. “Bless this old little lady’s heart,” she said of the lactation specialist, who she estimated to be in her 70s.
“This old little white lady, I think she may have voted for Trump, but bless her heart,” she continued. “So lactation specialists, for those who don’t know, because I’m breastfeeding, are the ones who help you through the process … anything having to do with breastfeeding.”
Keshia, mimicking the older woman’s Southern accent, told a story about how she was handed a hospital pamphlet regarding resources for new mothers. While that is standard procedure, the lactation specialist was primarily focused on pointing out one particular page in the birth packet.
“Of the 30-some odd things on here she says, ‘Yes, and we have some great programs that you may want to take advantage of that you may need — WIC is a great program; I don’t know if you have insurance,’” she recalled.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — also known as WIC — provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.
“WIC is welfare,” Keshia stated. “So I guess she saw this little black girl with the little baby by herself, and on the door, I didn’t realize that they’d put a faux last name, and the last name was ‘Brown.’ So I guess she saw ‘Miss Brown’ and was like, ‘She probably needs some WIC.’”
Pulliam continued, “That’s when I stopped her — I said, ‘Ma’am, I have excellent insurance but thank you.'”
Keshia’s doula, Shayla, also witnessed the odd interaction and emphasized how the lactation specialist “did not want to help.”
“Like, she didn’t want to touch me,” Keshia noted. “Lactation specialists … literally will, like, guide your boob, show you how to hold it, put it in the baby’s mouth. This lady was not trying to touch my little brown boobie.”
“Not at all,” Shayla — who eventually requested another specialist — confirmed. “Or your little brown baby.”
Keshia’s mom sensed the uncomfortable situation as well.
“I was like, Mom, it’s OK. This lady, she doesn’t know any better, because if she knew better, she’d do better!” Pulliam exclaimed. “But yes, the old Trump lady tried to give me the number for WIC. My thing is this: I get it, it’s about showing the services that are offered, and I probably wouldn’t have been offended had she [listed] several of the services, [not just] WIC.”
Shayla added, “The irony that if you needed to take care of [WIC], in that moment you are trying to breastfeed — you are not trying to buy formula. If you’re an expecting mother who is listening, your lactation specialist … that’s supposed to be a hands-on experience. … You need that resource when you’re in the hospital.”
Dear lactation specialist, as Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”