The following post is by Glenda from Me and Mine in a Small Town. Glenda is a Christian, Bible reading, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, soon to be homeschooling, co sleeping, stay at home, married mother of 4 children. She recently wrote me telling me about some problems she was having with breastfeeding at church, and I suggested she write about it in the form of a guest post. If anyone can offer some kind words or advice, I know she would be grateful.

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I know a lot of places that are uncomfortable with women nursing, but don’t you think your own church should be one of the ones that aren’t?

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When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to try with all my might to breastfeed my baby. I didn’t get the support with my first two and in a matter of a few weeks I stopped. My son was preemie so I pumped for a few months and that was it. Already I was worried about how I was going to feed my new baby daughter in public.

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I talked with my former Pastor’s wife (they transferred to another church) after my baby was born. She said that she could nurse in the nursery and such. Ok, I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. I avoided church and any other outing since I was still worried. I finally got the guts to go to church. While listening to the sermon I saw that my baby was getting hungry she started to whine a bit. I grabbed my cover and took her to the nursery. I knocked on the door. One of the workers opened it and said “there will be no feedings in the nursery now since it will disturb the other kids. You need to feed her in the bathroom. We put a chair in there for you.” I was still on the emotional side after having her and I could feel my cheeks get hot and my eyes tear up. I took her to the bathroom and yes, there was a chair but it was one of those metal ones! In the nursery they had the rocking chair! I don’t understand why I can’t just feed her in church, I mean I do wear a cover. For awhile I wore a cover even in the bathroom. It is real hot in there so I stopped not too long ago.

I feel like I have a disease sometimes. I get looks when some ladies go in there and some ladies that used to talk to me all the time won’t even make eye contact or say hi. When my Pastor left the Pastor that was supposed to be ours was delayed so we had another one come in for a few weeks. His wife was also pregnant and passionate about breastfeeding. During service one day she went to the bathroom and saw me there. She asked why I was in there. I told her and she was not happy! She said that is just silly to have me in a stinky bathroom feeding my new baby! She is now gone to their church and yes, I’m still in there.  There have been 2 other ladies that said they will try to get me into the nursery, but nothing has ever come of it. There are 5 more babies under 1  but they are formula fed and they are in the nursery so they get to eat in there. I don’t put my baby in the nursery so I have to feed her in the bathroom when she needs to eat.

A few weeks ago someone opened the door. You really couldn’t tell I was feeding at all. A lady asked and I said “yup, she is eating” and another lady almost screamed (scared me!) and said “hurry shut the door!!!!” LOL. I said “it’s ok,” and she said, “no, there are men sitting out there. They can see her!!!” I then said, “you can’t even see anything!” I looked in the mirror and really, you couldn’t, since I was wearing my jacket, my shirt was lifted, and she was eating. My jacket was zipped up to the point where her head was.

There have been so many times when I go in to feed her and someone just went to the bathroom and it stinks! I think poor baby! I wouldn’t want to eat smelling this!

Someone suggested I go to another church. There is no way I will. I was saved there so I’ll stay…I really can’t do the church hopping thing since nobody will ever find the perfect church.

Do you have any advice for Glenda? Alternatively, can anyone explain to me how churches operate around this kind of thing? Who’s in charge of these kinds of rules? The Pastor/Reverend/Minister/Priest/Rabbi/etc? The congregation? Shouldn’t it be the mother?

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39 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Breastfeeding At Church?”

  1. #1 Suzanne Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm
  2. #2 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm
  3. #3 Saisquoi Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm
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  5. #5 Kacie Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm
  6. #6 Luschka Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm
  7. #7 Mama Em Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  8. #8 Casey Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm
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    May 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm
  10. #10 Angela England (@AngEngland) Says:

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    May 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  12. #12 Musings of a Housewife Says:
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  13. #13 Angela England (@AngEngland) Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm
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    May 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm
  15. #15 Glenda Says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm
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    May 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm
  17. #17 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama Says:

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm
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    May 25, 2010 at 12:44 am
  27. #27 Laura Says:

    May 25, 2010 at 1:47 am
  28. #28 Glenda Says:
    May 25, 2010 at 2:38 am
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  38. #39 NIP at church | Levikha's Children Says:

    April 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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