What would Jesus do (with nursing mothers)?

Caryn Rivadeneira

March 4, 2012

I always nursed my babies in church, my husband nonchalantly holding a blanket up to shield me when I got situated. The vast majority of nursing mothers are relatively discreet and you'd have to be a pervert to find their behavior lewd or sexual. In my life I have seen *one* mother who took things too far, she would leave both breasts exposed with no attempt to cover up for long nursing sessions. And then attempted to organize nurse-ins and boycotts when people were offended.

As long as a mother is not seeking to incite a controversy, I would say the responsibility falls on those who take offense.

March 5, 2012

I've only had ONE situation in which I saw a woman rudely nursing her baby in public. I was at a restaurant and she had her breast completely bared at the table next to me with absolutely no attempt to cover herself at all. Half the time the baby wasn't even on her breast. It basically was a topless woman. I doubt that happens that often.

Lots of churches have fireside type rooms with couches and a glass partition for parents to take fussy children or maybe breastfeed.

The situation described in the article sounds horrible. I don't know the motivations of the people involved, but if a church feels that it can treat you in an unloving manner like that, you should probably look for another church.

March 5, 2012

Caryn, mothers nurse in church where we attend. They can nurse in my courtroom too, as far as I'm concerned.

As far as who bears the responsibility for the conflict, if there is a conflict over this the ultimate responsibility is Satan's for tempting the first couple in the garden. OK, perhaps too basic, but I think you get what I mean.

Nice job on getting us thinking on this one, Caryn.


March 7, 2012

Yes, breastfeed in church, but use common courtesy and cover up! I did, and never had any issues. One of the former high school youth girls from said church (now grown, married, and raising her own children) told me she was encouraged to breastfeed by my discretion. I'm going to guess that had the woman in the article covered herself, we wouldn't be discussing this. The man who compared to to a stripper was clearly way out of line, however; I wonder what exactly led up to that kind of heated exchange? It seems the Huffington Post article left a lot of gaps in its story.

Cathy Witthoeft
January 14, 2017

34 years ago, I fed my daughter on a flight from our home in Alaska to my parents' home in Illinois. Though I chose to use a light weight receiving blanket where we were in bulk head seating, coach, a stranger across the aisle chose to stare at at us at length. It was rude and his problem, not mine. Forcing someone to leave church - or go to a restroom is counterproductive dor both the mother and congregation and pastor. I think out of mutual courtesy, women should utilize a shawl, small blanket to provide privacy and avoid distraction. As you pointed out, we still have sin problems. God's word says it's better to abstain from meat than cause someone to sin. In this case, cover up, find a quiet corner or back row. We have rights but sometimes confusing and not beneficial for good of all to exercise them. God sees and He will help.

January 14, 2017

I nursed all 3 of my boys. And while I would never have gone to nurse in a restroom, there is usually a crying room at church. Pretty sure I just sat in the pew, but always wore something accessible from the bottom. You could never see anything. Going to guess she was making a statement. Lord knows we are not allowed to offend anyone these days so not sure why that would be a good argument for breastfeeding. And to call the sin one of the one speaking up? Maybe they are speaking up g or not having it take place where 12 year old boys sit next to them. Nurse ins just make a mockery of it. I last nursed 12 years ago in Ohio and never had a problem.

Geoffrey Bray
January 14, 2017

This sounds like a really horrible situation. It's shocking and sad.

I think you're a bit off the rails though on assuming that it is a lust issue with the pastor or whomever. It could be or it could easily just be a set of beliefs that s/he was brought up with.

I could certainly think that a guy doing something is lewd / inappropriate and it wouldn't be because of lust. It would be because of my ideas of decency.

January 14, 2017

The nursing mother has the right by law to nurse her child anywhere she needs to. The responsibility for the conflict lies with those offended. I just keep wondering if they have ever sat in a bathroom on a toilet to eat their lunch, and yet they think that's acceptable for an infant.

Brian Shaw
January 14, 2017

Baptisms were performed in the nude for at least the first 5 centuries of church history. The modern American church is entirely wrong in its attitude towards nudity, including about nursing mothers.

January 14, 2017

Nurse wherever necessary. Mom's have done so in my church for as long as I can recall with no ill effects. Everyone knows this is something a mom needs to do for her child and it happens without fanfare or disruption.

Ryan Hauck
January 15, 2017

You hit the nail on the head!

However a person responds to a situation, reveals what they are afraid of. If witnessing a mother breastfeeding triggers you, that says something about you, not the mother.

We live in a fear based society, which has quite simply forgotten the great Truth that Jesus revealed in his time (and continues to reveal in the hearts and minds who have accepted the Christ as the only Reality). This Truth, simply stated, is "Love is all there is!".

So if you are responding with from anything other then Love, then you have momentarily accepted a truth and reality that DOES NOT exist, essentially falling to insanity.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself". No room for misinterpretation here.

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