What is the deal with breastfeeding and Christians?

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)


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Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2012




I think it must just be your church! I was activily encouraged to nurse by the ladies in our church, and at the time, not many were pushing it (not like today!) Lol, those ladies were my La Leche Leugue!

I know it isn't very Christian, but some churches are so clichy and every member must do things 'this' way to fit in. I hope your new church isn't like that!

Elfrieda - posted on 01/13/2012




That's too bad, Jamie Lynne. :(

My only guess would be some sort of crazed modesty thing? (like the idea that we shouldn't wear purse straps across our body otherwise somebody might notice that we have breasts!)

Or maybe it's because your baby is older than many people continue to breastfeed? Who knows.

I didn't have any experience like that at my church, I felt kind of left out when I had to go to formula and all the other moms were nursing their kids. (not that they said anything mean, I was just in the minority)

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