We've been consistently impressed with the grace with which Rudy Huxtable — sorry, Keshia Knight Pulliam — has been handling single motherhood. Pulliam had a baby girl recently — Ella Grace, her first child. But she revealed on her podcast, Kandidly Keshia, that her postpartum experience on the maternity ward included a very unpleasant dose of racial profiling.
The actress shared with fans the deeply uncomfortable tale of the hospital's lactation specialist, who insisted that Pulliam should read up on welfare services for low-income mothers, including the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) food supplement program. Pulliam said she appreciated the offer, but the lactation specialist refused to believe her when she told her politely that she did not need those services and had perfectly good insurance, thankyouverymuch.
"This old little white lady, I think she may have voted for Trump, but bless her heart," Pulliam told her fans on the podcast. "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.' WIC is welfare. So I guess she saw this little black girl with the little baby by herself, and on the door... I guess she saw ‘Miss Brown’ [staff had put up a fake last name to prevent paparazzi invasion] 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.'"
Even worse? The white lactation specialist didn't even want to touch Pulliam to assist her with breastfeeding. We are pretty much speechless.
“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 booby," said Pulliam. "I was like, Mom, it’s OK. This lady, she doesn’t know any better, because if she knew better, she’d do better!"
We love Pulliam's attitude, but we hate that this was part of her postpartum experience. Eventually, Pulliam's doula insisted that another lactation specialist be sent to help. Still, Pulliam's takeaway was awesome and majorly evolved: "It wouldn't be me without the funny stories."
Not so sure about the funny quotient of this story, Keshia. We totally salute the graceful way you handled it. But we're not laughing, not one bit.
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