Photo: Lakisha Cohill
By Winnie Gaturu 
Some of the best things in life come free of charge; sunlight, oxygen and breast milk for babies. 

Breastfeeding has all the nutrients babies need, it strengthens their immune system, and it’s the cheapest option when it comes to feeding newborns. With all these benefits, it's no wonder that pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after which solid foods can be gradually introduced.

However, for African-American women, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is a bit difficult. In fact, a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that between the years 2011 and 2015, the percentage of women who initiated breastfeeding was 64.3 percent for African-Americans, 81.5 percent for Whites, and 81.9 percent for Hispanic women.

Clearly, African-American women have a lower percentage. This is attributed to many factors including: lack of proper information on the benefits of breastfeeding, a work environment that doesn’t support breastfeeding, having to return to work too soon after childbirth, fear of being stigmatized while breastfeeding in public and cultural belief that breast milk doesn’t make the baby full. To address this problem, a group of Alabama moms decided to take action by spreading a positive message about breastfeeding and encouraging other black moms to follow suit.

Photo: Lakisha Cohill
Their journey started when one of the moms, Angel Warren, was searching for a group of volunteers in Alabama for a photo shoot during ‘Black Breastfeeding Week.’ After that first photo shoot, the moms became friends and formed a support group called the Chocolate Mommies of Birmingham. They did the second photo shoot as a group again, where each mom posed topless while breastfeeding their young ones, wearing black dresses, gold accessories and crowns. Their message is that breastfeeding is a natural act that shouldn't be discouraged or sexualized. Although the aim of the shoot was to spread awareness about breastfeeding and eliminate the stigma associated with it, they didn't expect their photo to go viral. However, they are all delighted that it did.

According to Angel Warren, all the women in the group are tired of breastfeeding being treated like a dirty or shameful act. As a result, they’ve created a website that serves as a resource for black women who breastfeed, and they also started the hashtag #BlackWomenDoBreastfeed to encourage more black women to nurse their babies.

What’s your take on breastfeeding?
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on

Written by Tonja Renée Stidhum

The topic of breastfeeding is certainly a hot one as of late as has sparked huge debates with passionate views from either side of the table. Whether it’s fight for or against public breastfeeding or the age of the breastfed child, the debates can often get very heated. Well, one mom has upped the ante by adding an unconventional component: breastfeeding during sex.

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Meet Tasha Maile, a vlogger who recently took to YouTube with her baby latched onto her nipple to explain why she believes it’s “ok” to breastfeed her child while she’s engaging in intercourse. Vlogging under the name “Spiritual Tasha Mama” and serving as a helpful resource for women looking to learn about breastfeeding, Maile often includes her baby feeding from her breast in her videos, which has become somewhat of her brand.

She posted the video with the caption, “Sex is beautiful, thanks to sex we are here, experiencing life. Are you thinking for yourself? or has someone else told you what to think/believe?” and firmly proposed the positive effects of sexual energy. With over 4 million views, Maile’s original video has gotten people buzzing with many viewers outraged at her controversial choice.

Maile recently appeared on This Morning with Phillip & Holly for an interview in response to the backlash, in which she defended her choice as a mother who has to multitask.

“If the baby is OK, the baby’s OK,” said Maile, who also conducted the interview -- true to form -- with her baby latched onto her nipple, feeding. They’re not sitting there judging you and thinking ‘my mom and dad are having sex.’ It’s a 2- or 3-month-old baby. They’re so innocent." The hosts challenged her, asking her whether being present during the sex act could be damaging to the baby or child depending on their age. Maile countered that the baby was sleeping while breastfeeding, but also noted that it’s not uncommon for children to walk into the room while their parents are having sex, which she believes to be harmless. In addition to her 2-month old baby, Maile has a 5 year old child (who the hosts pointed out also still gets breastfed by Maile), to which she pointed that she did not have sex in front of her eldest child.

In terms of her growing popularity, the hosts asked whether she was ever concerned about the contrast between people who watch her videos purely for education versus for more implied “impure” reasons. Maile simply noted that she initially created the channel for her and was happy to share with others, but the reasons behind viewers’ choices to watch is “none of [her] business.”

Further, the hosts asked if there was ever a time where she felt it was ever inappropriate to breastfeed the child, as Maile added that she has showered while feeding her baby before. Overall, Maile believes there is no “right or wrong” in regards to her choice to breastfeed during sex.

This is certainly a hot topic! So, let’s talk about it in the comments!

What are your thoughts on Tasha Maile’s choice to breastfeed while having sex? Is there line in regards to age when breastfeeding your children? What do you all think about public breastfeeding, in general?
Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page,

Nicole Trunfio, Model

"Before I started modeling, I never had anything like a facial, manicure, or pedicure. I grew up in Merredin, Western Australia—on a farm in the Wheatbelt, out in the bush with bug bites and go-karts. We used to have fun with makeup at school, though. It was so ‘90s…we wore chokers and eyeliner and did braids in our hair and wore dark lip liner and stuff like that. I was kind of goth—a little bit darker when I was in school.

Now, I think less is more…I leave my skin alone, and it’s good. Water is my best friend, and when I drink tons of it, it just changes everything. For day-to-day makeup, I wear Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and mix it with a luminizer or bronzer. I love Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer—It’s a great base and has a matte finish. My skin tends to suck in all foundation, but putting that primer underneath makes it hold whatever I put on top.

I love L’Oréal's Voluminous Original Mascara—it’s been my mascara for 10 years. It’s thickening, lengthening, and really soft as well. You can clump it up like they did in the ‘70s or keep it fresh and light. I also love a little bit of liquid eyeliner if I’m going out.

I don’t do anything to my brows—just brush them. I’m lucky to have really thick brows. I usually put bronzer on the contour of my eye to get a little definition and then put it around my temples. I use the Luma Bronzing Powder or Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate. I’ll also use Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer and the Urban Decay Naked Palette on my eyes. Their browns are beautiful. Then, my secret is to put lip gloss on my eyelids—I love doing that. I’ve been using Napoleon Perdis' Pro Lips Lip Gloss Blanc—he’s Australian. But for actual application on the lips, his Auto Pilot Overnight Lip Balm is just so nourishing. If I want my lips to look full but natural, I line them with Laura Mercier's Lip Pencil in Natural Lips all over, then I smudge it in. I've had it forever. Those are my two secrets—gloss on my eyes and lip liner to make my lips look really bee-stung.

I’m really tan right now, but underneath it I’m very pale—not olive-toned at all. I like a natural glow—Australians are all about that—but the sun changes your skin, makes your pores bigger, and brings out sunspots. For those reasons, I’m big into natural-looking fake tans. I used to use St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, but [Australian former Miss Universe] Jennifer Hawkins has a tanning line called Jbronze, and that’s the best self-tanner I’ve ever used. It’s not streaky at all, and it doesn’t smell. It’s amazing—really natural looking. I also have a new obsession because of Heather Airbrush Tanning in LA. They do organic spray tanning there, which means they’ve built their tan so that it oxidizes your skin, kind of like what happens when you cut an apple. Because I’m breastfeeding, I think that’s pretty cool. If you get a good spray tan, I don’t think there’s anything to maintaining it—just put on moisturizer to keep it fresh, and try not to shower too heavily. For the first five days after I get it done, I don’t need to wear any foundation. I feel that with a good tan you don’t need makeup because it evens out your skin.

Zion is my first child. I had a really great pregnancy. I flew so much when I was pregnant with him—even now, he’s been on something like 27 flights in six months because we went on tour with my fiancé [musician Gary Clark, Jr.]. Everything with my beauty routine changed when I was pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you’re just glorious—you look so much more beautiful. I loved having that little bit of extra meat on me, too. You look so dewy and glow-y. Pregnancy is like the best beauty secret.

It was the best day ever to model with [Zion] for Elle Australia. It was amazing to have my two worlds collide, and it was so cute to have him be at work with me. The breastfeeding shot came about because it’s a normal thing. In Australia, it’s so normal that when they sent me the photo for approval, I thought it was just because of the semi-nudity. I was so excited to have it taken, and when they chose it [for the cover] I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was actually the first breastfeeding cover ever, and I had no idea about that either, so it was a beautiful moment for me. It was important for my family, too, because my fiancé had been uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public, and after that, he saw the impact it made and how it could be for our generation to embrace it and be supportive of our partners so that we see a shift."

—as told to ITG

Nicole Trunfio photographed by Tom Newton on July 8, 2015.

Compare Nicole's lip trick with Crystal Renn's. Then dive into ITG's recent Australian takeover with Shanina Shaik's peach lipstick theory and Andreja Pejić's contouring advice.

The post Nicole Trunfio, Model appeared first on Into The Gloss.