Sometimes (often!) we have people come into our lives who show us a better way.... yesterday, this happened to me!
Yesterday I attended a lovely church baby shower for a girl having her first baby next month. It was a lovely morning with great fellowship and awesome food (the women of this church REALLY know how to throw a shower!).
One of the mama-to-be's sisters was there with her little one (17mos), and I was blown away with her lovely style of matter-of-fact public breastfeeding. No covering up, no prudishness - when her little one wanted to nurse, she stopped, wherever she was sitting, and nursed her on the spot. (And an added bonus - nursing a non-infant! Woo hoo!) At one point, this was when she was up front and center with her sister, in front of a room of thirty-five women, most of whom are super-conservative Christians!
It was awesome!
When I'm among crunchy, breastfeeding-friendly women in the birth community, I too can breastfeed publicly with the best of them, but when it comes to the religious community, I do tend (to my shame) to cover up. When I saw A. nursing her little one yesterday, I came to a realization: "Hey! My Christian sisters need public nursing just as much as anyone! I need to get with it!"
So I followed suit.
Not that I'll never back-slide, but it was a big step in the right direction.
I should say that I am completely in favor of uncovered public nursing, in any and all situations. I just tend to be a bit of a hypocrite among people whom I know or think to be disapproving. Working on improvement!
Why am I, a religious conservative, in favor of uncovered public nursing when the Bible calls for modesty? Well really, this is an entire blog post in itself. But basically:
(1) Breastfeeding is not sexual. Breastfeeding is not an effort to draw men into lust. Therefore, the Biblical call to modesty does not apply.
(2) What is seen is what is considered culturally normal. In our society, women are free to bottle-feed publicly but are expected to breastfeed in seclusion. By simple cause-and-effect, this means that bottle-feeding will be considered the cultural norm, and breastfeeding the deviant behavior. Our country has absolutely abysmal rates of both breastfeeding initiation and continuation. Recent studies have shown that the United States is losing over 900 infants every year due to health problems caused by formula feeding. This will never change unless the cultural norms are changed, and cultural norms will never change until breastfeeding becomes the obvious, visual, seen cultural norm.
And on a completely unrelated note..... Because NO ONE should have to live more than twenty minutes without tasting this chocolate-coffee punch (which was served at the shower, the recipe for which I have previously posted on my other blog), here is the recipe!
Creme Coffee Punch
1 (4-oz) jar instant coffee, regular or decaf
4 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
1 gallon chocolate ice cream
1 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 gallon whole milk
1. In a large container, dissolve cofee in boiling water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Cover and chill overnight.
2. To serve, put half of both ice creams in a large punch bowl. Add half the chilled coffee syrup and half of the milk. Stir to partially melt ice cream. Use the rest to refill the punch bowl when needed. (At the shower, which had a lot of people present, we just put everything in at once.)
Happy Sunday! Off to get ready for church, late as usual!