Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Breastfeeding Mentor

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.

Thoughts, anyone?

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!


  1. Amen to your speech.
    Thanks Diana, I totally agree with you.

  2. I agree, but... if I am doing something offensive, do I have the right to continue to offend, particularly if it's offensive to my Christian brothers and sisters? I was just thinking about this topic the other day, and remembering that once when I was at my BIL's house, I nursed my baby and went into the spare room to do it, because I knew he would have had a major problem with me breastfeeding in front of him. And as much as I think that he *shouldn't* be offended, and *shouldn't* think it a problem, and that I *should* be able to nurse whenever and wherever I wanted to, I do think that there are times when even though we have the right to do something, it would not always be right for us to do it.

    In a room full of women, I wouldn't worry about it so much, and would have more of the attitude that if they have a problem, then they need to get over it. But around men -- particularly those who may be offended -- I might be more hesitant to nurse. If they were all "husbands of birth junkies" [or husbands of home-birthers or LLL leaders or some other pro-bf woman], then I would assume it wouldn't be a problem.


  3. Kathy, you bring up a really good point, and I don't really know what the answer to that one is. They're two competing truths - that one should do what is right in order to affect social change, and also that sometimes we must change what we do out of consideration of the feelings of others. It's probably a case-by-case sort of thing! Thanks for your input! :)

  4. Yes! I agree that our culture needs changing, and that by publicly breastfeeding, we help to effect that needed cultural change... but until it does, if I *know* I'm going to offend someone in particular (especially if it's a man and I'm in his house), I will go elsewhere if possible... or else he can. ;-)


  5. "Breastfeeding is not sexual. Breastfeeding is not an effort to draw men into lust. Therefore, the Biblical call to modesty does not apply."

    You are correct- breastfeeding is absolutely not sexual. God, however, didn't make men to enjoy the feminine form of woman for her nursing skills.

    Although it may not be an effort to draw men into lust- it still may- or it may be very uncomfortable b/c a man has had a past issue with porn, adultery, or just not wanting to see anyone else's body but his own wife's.

    The Biblical call to modesty does apply. The Bible was written in a time that the culture was very strict about dress codes, etc- but the Bible is timeless. God knew in His sovereignty that we would be reading it today- in 2011 and it would still apply. I would encourage you to put His Word above social reformation. If what we desire to do goes against the Bible- than it is not's just cultural competition.

    For the record, I nursed my children way past infancy and enjoyed every minute! Thanks for your post. :)

  6. Love Your Post.. But by the way,in my place at Sabah,Malaysia,breast-feeding was done publicly,I mean,almost anywhere without any hesitation to draw men into lust.. And I think,it's not a fault,as Bible do say so.. ^_^.v..

  7. Hi, Angelena! I wrote out a comment, and blogger did not like it (probably because it was over 2 pages, LOL), so I'm going to turn it into a post. Just look for it instead of here - sorry about that, and thanks for visiting!!!



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