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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breastfeeding and Religion and NIP in the church

A friend of mine has written this fabulous letter to her local pastor to explain about breastfeeding and the rights of babies to eat when they're hungry.  Doula Harley Jeannette has also written a note asking for help from concerned mothers to help her write up some good information and scripture information to support her letter.  If you can help, if you have some support and encouragement for her, Please write me a comment and I will forward it all to her!!!

A letter to my church about breastfeeding

Thank you for trying to look out for me as a sister. I won't cover up but I am willing to come to a middle ground. The reasons I won't cover are I feel it perpetuates bottle feeding as being the norm and further sexualizes women as things, as opposed to us being humans, daughters of Yahweh and puts more of a stigma on breastfeeding.

If it is his sin, I question WHY was it easier to say something to me when I am doing no wrong as opposed to him who was obviously sinning? Shouldn't a brother in Christ help him be accountable? We would be doing a disservice to him if we didn't.

Also, he is going to see women breastfeeding no matter where he goes. He needs to learn to deal with it and what better place than in our church, a safe place? If he isn't being held accountable by us aren't we just enabling him in his sin thus helping him continue it as opposed to us giving him a hand up?

What I am willing to do is for us to make seating arrangements where he sits in front of me. If I am behind him, he will not have that diversion. I also ask that the brothers talk with him and help brainstorm with him ideas on how to handle situations where this is not an option. If he is facing me in a conversation, I will not nurse in front of him because then I can understand the scripture reference of "not making him stumble". However, for me to cover up as a whole when he is around, I believe is taking the scripture out of context. Alcohol is a choice... my baby eating is not. Would you eat with a blanket over your head in the heat? It is hot in the cafe for sure. Besides I normally have 3 other children to mother over and a fidgety baby that is not use to covering.

Additionally, I believe it was inappropriate to ask me to cover up as opposed to asking him to move into a different position. This really does say how our culture still sees women and how breastfeeding is seen, even in our well intentioned church. It sends the message that breastfeeding is still a little "dirty" and something that should be hidden. The option I suggest is, "Hey Mama. There is a gentlemen that has an issue with pornography and does have difficulty with breastfeeding as well. What action you take while you are breastfeeding is up to you but it is appropriate that you know so that you are protected."

We are a small and new church. Because we are new and small, we have the chance to really set the precedence in how these types of situations are going to be handled from here on out. The person with the pornography addiction has the chance to learn appropriate boundaries in a safe environment with a mother that is willing to work with him AND we are encouraging breastfeeding which is the way Yahweh designed women and intended human babies to be fed. Win-win situation.

We can help the health of those mothers and babies. Breastfeeding literally saves lives by dramatically reducing breast cancer. Breastfeeding also reduces SIDS by at least 50%. Do we really want to dissuade mothers from this? Our culture has issues with how they view women. With our culture's problem, our church can be part of the solution. I am thankful this situation has arisen and that Yahweh chose me to handle this. I get to help set our church's viewpoint and really make a positive change!

Lastly, I wanted to say - Jesus was breastfed. Would one of you really go to Mary to ask her to cover while she fed our Saviour or would you take a more protective role of her motherhood?

Here is Jeannette's Facebook note looking for help:

As you can see, I have had a run-in with my church about breastfeeding without a cover. Look at my "a letter to my church about breastfeeding".

So my pastor/friend said he has an open heart about breastfeeding .. and I think he will listen if I present him with good information and scripture based information. So far I have these 2 links that I am going to print out for him to read:




What I need from all of are ALL POINTS FOR OR AGAINST COVERING WHILE NURSING IN PUBLIC .. as much SCRIPTURE BASED as possible. ANY information that you think might be beneficial from statistics about whatever to situations. Please ladies.. DO NOT debate this on this thread. I really need the focus on presenting information. Also, PLEASE keep this POSITIVE. I am not going to change my church's stigma of breastfeeding (especially not covered nursing in public) with berating and bullying. I need to focus on their hearts.

THANK YOU AHEAD OF TIME!! In the end, what I am wanting is a "package" that all women can use to present to their churches that is factual and scriptural based so it would be beyond contestation. Please put all the information in the thread on my profile where the document is so I have the information centralized. Also.. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this anywhere and everywhere you think people could help with this mission to make a real difference.