Jamie - posted on 01/13/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )
My background is in Anthropology and Theology. I lived in a rural Christian village in Ghana and conducted women's research.
Breastfeeding was done in public, uncovered, and what we would considered "extended" here (weaning age was always at or past the 3 year mark)-
After I moved home, got married, and had a baby I never really had an issue breastfeeding at church. My son was an infant and I mostly used the "mother's nursing room" - no problems. I noticed I was the only one that didn't wear a cover, but no one ever said anything negative to me.
Then we moved and started looking for a new church. My son a little past a year old...then the comments started coming. Out of respect for the churches I would always use the nursing rooms and found the older my son got the more vicious the comments became. A condescending tone was used...whispers from one mother to another. It was really hard to deal with. I even attempted to be as discreet as possible about it and I still felt attacked.
The reason I am so upset by this is because every single negative comment about something I know was right for my child (and still is!) came from the women of the churches we were attending.
It made me sad and I never knew the right thing to say, so I often ignored the comment and left.
Any thoughts on why this seems to be such an issue in churches?(at least the ones I visited)