World Breastfeeding Week: Part 1

On Sunday I was sitting in the foyer of our church building watching Little E and over heard a conversation between a woman in her early 20s and a middle aged man with a new baby. The conversation went something like this:

Woman: Where's your wife? Is she here today?

Man: She's pumping some milk for the baby.

Woman: Gross! Don't tell me that.

Man: What's gross?

Woman: I don't want to know what your wife does with her boobs.

Man: But, that's what you'll be doing one day if you have kids.

Woman: Maybe, but I won't talk about it.

That got me thinking about how much work there is to educate people about breastfeeding.

In our congregation women leave the worship service or class and go into a little room if they have to breastfeed. Many pump milk or bring formula if they want to stay in the meetings. I when I was breastfeeding I often chose to wear a cover-up or blanket and stay in the meeting while Little E ate. But I was one of the very few women who did so.

While I can see why some people, especially in a conservative Latter-day Saint area wouldn't want to see women exposing themselves all the time, it seems a little excessive to have to "hide" a normal function of life.


  1. I agree!! I have breast fed in sacrament meeting, but my DH didn't like it. I think as long as you're covered it's no big deal. however I do know that it makes people uncomfortable...
    I personally don't care about covering up all the time. If I'm at home there's no cover and if I'm with a bunch of ladies, no cover. But I do know some men get turned on by it (men are weird) so I try to keep covered when there are men about.

  2. Have you seen the website At Mother's Breast? I absolutely love it. It is a collection of photographs of women breastfeeding in all kinds of situations and with all ages of children.

    Breastfeeding is as natural as breathing to me, it was the environment I was raised in, and while I usually did leave church meetings and classes to breastfeed, it was more for the break than for privacy. I like breastfeeding when it's quiet and when I can just stare down at my little baby's eyes. (in CA it was more for the socializing ;) ) Anyway, I will probably breastfeed in the meetings with my next baby, just because I'm starting to get pretty passionate about educating people about breastfeeding.

    I heard a really interesting(?) interview on NPR the other day about breastfeeding and how (one woman thinks) it may not be as better than formula as people say it is. It was almost irritating.

    I have a sister-in-law who is breastfeeding against all odds (a mother who didn't breastfeed and is not just NOT a breastfeeding advocate, but is ALMOST against it - not really, but she doesn't believe breastfeeding is any better than formula feeding). She mostly pumps and bottle feeds, but at least she is doing SOMETHING. And she is breaking a family tradition of not breastfeeding, and I am SO proud of her. But at her parents' house, breastfeeding in front of the family is discouraged (she has 3 preteen/teen little brothers) even with a cover.

    That got me thinking - do you think that boys might have a more wholesome image of women's bodies if they saw women breastfeeding more often? I think it might change the way men look at women if they see their breasts first as a tool to nourish children. I feel like maybe young men who grow up watching women breast feed might have a little more respect for a woman's body, instead of simply viewing it as an object for sexual desire.

    Any thoughts on that?

  3. Thanks, you guys!

    Naomi, I agree!

    Becca ... YES ... I do have thoughts on that. Hope you don't mind if I use some of your comments for Part 2!

  4. the first time I brought River to church in our ward, I brought my cover and began to nurse him in Sacrament meeting. He was colicky and never slept in his car seat, so the only way I could hear any of the meeting was to nurse him. At this time, I really needed all the upliftment I could get too. Well a lady who is no longer in our ward, saw me and in the middle of the meeting got up and whispered (not very quietly) directions to the room where we nurse.... a room that does not have speakers I might add. Anyway, I thought to myself, "Well, what do we buy these stupid expensive covers for?", but at the time, I was too mental to hold my ground, so I ended up in the room, wondering why I was at church, if I wasn't allowed to listen. I know it was only one lady, but it made me worry it wasn't acceptable. I truly had never noticed whether people had nursed in meetings, or not. I am glad to know some do and i plan on it next time.