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#61 of 75 Old 10-11-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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Just caught up on this after a few days - I'm glad to hear that you found a new church, but sorry to hear it was so fraught with drama - I can't believe someone would actually send a letter without consulting you first. While it's true that other nursing mothers will likely have problems at that church, activism shouldn't be forced on anyone that is unwilling/unable to take on that role. Besides, that church sounds so awful that hopefully all the nursing mothers and young families will just leave and they'll have to shut their doors when their congregation starts to dwindle! 


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#62 of 75 Old 10-13-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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Have you considered Unitarian Universalism? They are very respectful of all beliefs. My boyfriend, our baby, and I just started going to our local UU church not long ago, and we love it. Everyone is so open and accepting, and children are celebrated either in the nursery or along with everyone else. I'm pretty sure I've breastfed during the service and it was not looked down upon at all. I can't imagine they would ever discriminate against a breastfeeding unit.
 

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Originally Posted by motheringforme View Post

Thank you for all the replies. It's nice just to have the support, to have someone on my side.  If it were a business, I would be angry and would consider action, but it's my church, and I'm just hurt. I don't see how I can feel happy there again, so we will be church shopping. Unfortunately, I really like our new children's ministry director.



 

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#63 of 75 Old 10-16-2011, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by NinasMommy View Post

Have you considered Unitarian Universalism? They are very respectful of all beliefs. My boyfriend, our baby, and I just started going to our local UU church not long ago, and we love it. Everyone is so open and accepting, and children are celebrated either in the nursery or along with everyone else. I'm pretty sure I've breastfed during the service and it was not looked down upon at all. I can't imagine they would ever discriminate against a breastfeeding unit. 

 



No, thank you. I don't want to change theological beliefs, just personal ones, lol.

 

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#64 of 75 Old 10-17-2011, 08:57 PM
 
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oh - hm, from what i understand of unitarian universalism, you wouldn't have to (because they accept all beliefs)... but maybe i'm wrong. but i understand.
 

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No, thank you. I don't want to change theological beliefs, just personal ones, lol.

 



 

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#65 of 75 Old 10-23-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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OP, I'm so sorry you went through this, and I'm really glad you've found a new congregation that is supportive.  I would absolutely switch churches, too if this happened to me. 

 

 

 

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I breastfed my baby, in Mass, sitting in the front row, every day but Saturdays for nearly 6 months.  Not a peep from my clergy.  Later on I found out there had been complaints-which is when our priest purchased a painting of the Blessed Virgin nursing the infant Jesus and placed it in the front hall. 

 


KempsMama, that is awesome that your priest did that!


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#66 of 75 Old 10-23-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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I JUST WENT THROUGH THIS AT MY CHURCH!

 

Well I made the initial complaint though. Here is what I sent:

 

I am writing you (instead of calling) because i have been in tears since leaving service today. I am deeply saddened and concerned with how nursing mothers are being treated. I have been spoken to harshly, made to feel uncomfortable (or even down right like I was doing something wrong) and segregated for nursing my daughter in the daycare provided for the service.

Nursing a child is from God and I hope that you can agree with me on that. Today I was nursing my daughter briefly before leaving to go to the car. I went all the way to the back of the room along a side wall and sat on the floor to do it discretely. I was showing no skin. I was informed it was offensive and that people have different views on it so I needed to move (so I could be completely unseen) as to not offend anyone. To you this may not seem like much but to me this was mortifying. The moment I left I was bawling my eyes out. How could someone say nursing my child is offensive? How could I be shamed in the house of God for doing his will?

I have a pit in my stomach as I write this because I am still so upset, I was borderline harassed by a volunteer in the 1 y/o room for nursing my daughter, but I thought it was an isolated person and not how the church viewed nursing. I felt sympathy for her for thinking/speaking so poorly to me about it. I told her there was no shame in God and that nursing is from Him. She agreed and I agreed to be more modest about it, and I have.

Other nursing mothers have had similar issues with being treated badly for nursing their children. There is nothing more normal or natural than nursing. In this society it is seen as something that should be shunned or hidden, and "the world" is winning, women don't want to breastfeed because of how they are treated by the world. That is not from God. That is from Satan and in our church we should be supporting and encouraging nursing mothers for doing His work and for doing what is best for their child. We should not be shunning or segregating them. If a mother is nursing discretely why say anything to her at all? It is just a normal action and part of life. A mother is sensitive and when spoken to about a matter that unfortunately, is sensitive in this country it can make her break down. We should be uplifting one another, not shaming one another, not harming one another.

If I attacked a mother who was bottle feeding and told her that her baby was not a cow and God wanted her to nurse her baby would that be acceptable? Of course not and I never would. Why is it acceptable for nursing mothers to be treated so badly?

In the house of God I should be safe. In my family I should feel loved and accepted. I do not want to leave the church but I am getting to my breaking point..I almost left the first time I was having problems about my nursing and now I am just crushed for this to keep happening here. I look forward to Sunday and I love how you preach and your matter of fact teaching. You have changed my life in so many ways and it wasn't even done one on one, just by your words and how the church is so uplifting with the music and everything has meant so much to me. I am deeply saddened at how nursing mothers are treated at the church and by the church, I trust you will somehow address this and I can move on from the pain i have experienced here.

Thank you for your time.

 

 

The pastor's response:

 

Thank you for bringing your situation to my attention.  I am very sorry that you have been offended and I assure that nursing a child is in no way "offensive." 

As you may know, my wife and I have four children and on many occassions she struggled to participate in church because she was nursing or caring for one of our little ones.  I understand the challenges and we want to make your worship experience as loving as possible.  Unfortunately, some folks are uncomfortable seeing a mother nurse,  and equally true, some mothers are uncomfortable nursing in public.  Due to the sensitivity of many, we have created a comfortable nursing mothers room, which is separate from the 1 year old room.  This room has an audio feature so you can hear the service, a private bathroom, changing tables, etc..  In fact, we have a plan to place a new video monitor in the room, so the service can be seen.  Has anyone introduced you to this room?

 

My response:

 

  I was eager to get a response from you, however I am dissapointed with the content. I do appreciate that you agree nursing a child is not offensive, but I am still conflicted about your response. 

 
    I suppose this may be a touchy subject for you because of some people's negative views and correlation to nursing involving breasts...The Lord gave me breasts to nurse my children. I don't understand why that should be hidden and shamed. I did relise there is a "nursing mothers room" and I do think that is great for the mothers who do not feel comfortable nursing in public, however I do feel comfortable and don't feel there is a reason for me to use the room.  Also in the situation that just happened I was just quickly nursing my daughter before we left service, it would be quite a burden to drag my (then) screaming child down a hallway full of people to the other side of the church to nurse her only to have to walk all the way back to get to the car. 
   
    I have another child due in May which makes your response even more of a concern. When my daughter was under a year I used to just nurse her right in the pews at our church and never had an issue. I only started having an issue when I started putting her in the child care provided by the church. If I am suppose to only nurse in "the nursing mothers room" what is the point in attending? I go to church to worship how the Lord intends, as a group, as a family, as a community, if I am forced to be segregated from my family during worship simply to feed my baby (and with a newborn I would be in there the whole service!) then that defeats my purpose of being there. My husband does not attend regularly and is not (yet I hope) born again. I go alone every week and it has taken strong faith to do this for me. If I (after having the new baby) am forced to be in the nursing room, even if there is a tv provided, it would not be the same experience as being in the service. 
 
    On another note I believe openly nursing is a very important thing to do as a Christian woman. I have prayed over this several times as different challenges I have faced arose from society, and the answer I always seem to receive is that God is pleased with me. I truly believe that nursing my child openly is just another way for me to be salt and light in this current world and society that shuns attachment and promotes convenience when it comes to our children and parenting. I also believe the more good exposure people have of mothers openly nursing (happily and discretely) the more minds will change and once again see the beauty of nursing and support it. It is extremely important for our youth to see women openly nursing as well. This is the only way they will grow up knowing what it is and seeing it as normal (and no doubt what God has always intended for us). 
 
    I do not want to create any "problems" in the church. I hope one day you can truly see how normal and necessary nursing is for mother and child and be able to openly support it. God never shamed a nursing woman and the Bible never states it is in any way indecent. The Bible only talks about the joys and the good and the nurturing of nursing, unless it is talking about the wrong-doing of not nursing,"Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness." Lamentations 4:3 Of course I know you are well read in scripture so I don't see a need in further quoting it to you.
 
    I can not attend a church or be a part of a family where I am not accepted and where God's will is hidden or shunned in any way. Women should (and are legally in this state) be able to nurse at their discretion. I hope to find a church where this is a non-issue, because it very much is that to me, and to God. I am, after all, only His humble servant.
 
Thank you for your time.
 
 
I have not received any response since then and I have not attended the church. greensad.gif I had been going there 2 years and was even baptized there...IDK why churches seem to be uprising against nursing mothers so much now. In a FB group I am in this has happened to 3 other woman as well, just the past couple of months!
 
Mind you I WAS nursing in the NURSERY!!!!

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#67 of 75 Old 10-23-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I just want to say I'm sorry this happened to you.  You do not deserve to be condescended to like that as though you are an unruly child.  You are an adult attempting to pursue your spiritual goals while caring for your child.  Clearly, this man and this church are not the best people to help you on your path. 

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#68 of 75 Old 10-24-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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Yeah I want you to know as a fellow Christian that you are doing God's work by nursing your child! Sometimes churches can be so backwards (can you say killing crusades? That's real Christian..) and it takes the strong believer to set things straight. love.gif I have no doubt the Lord is pleased with you.


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#69 of 75 Old 10-25-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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I am really sorry you are surrounded by so many "Christians taking the high road." I can almost understand the request. I can...almost.

 

But the letter you received is really offensive, both in content and tone. Clearly the person most offended by your behavior is the author.

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#70 of 75 Old 10-26-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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Wow. I'm sorry - you HAVE to switch churches! The "unChristian" attitudes are coming from those that are complaining about you feeding your child, not you!

 

If I were you, I'd not only switch churches, but I would file a civil rights complaint.

 

 

 

I agree!!!!
I am Christian and we are welcome to nurse anywhere we like in our church. I think you should switch churches. Your Pastor was flat-out mean in that letter. Our bodies were made by God to nurse!!! Nursing is as Christian as you can get - you're Pastor doesn't "get it".

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#71 of 75 Old 10-26-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I am so sorry that happened to you. How very UnChristian of these people to make you feel. Maybe this all happened for a reason...? Maybe at your new church a new mom will go to for guidance on breastfeeding? 


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#72 of 75 Old 10-28-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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The letter he sent you back made me so angry! How can feeding your baby, protecting your baby, doing what is best for your baby, and wanting to not miss a sermon while doing so be un-Christian?!!!! I'm sorry, but the only thing un-Christian was his response. It was very manipulative and mean-spirited. Maybe he forgot that Jesus was breastfed. I'm so sorry that you have to leave but I'm glad you are, because you and your baby certainly don't deserve that kind of treatment!

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#73 of 75 Old 10-29-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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Maybe at your new church a new mom will go to for guidance on breastfeeding?

 

 

That is SUCH a good point! Perhaps this is a sign from God. Listen. I think He wants you to find a new church, mama.

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#74 of 75 Old 10-29-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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 I attend services in a conservative area (I wouldn't say my "religion" is backwards so much as I live in the south and therefore a lot of people aren't very forward thinking here...) and there's kind of this unspoken rule that breastfeeding should take place in the women's bathroom (which does have a separate nursing mother's room). That really grates me the wrong way because I am a big lactivist and I do not go nurse in private anywhere. If I am at the store, park, anywhere in public otherwise, I nurse my child when they need it not when its convenient for other people. So, why do I go nurse in the bathroom at my place of worship instead of just nursing him covered up in my seat? Because I believe that the men of the congregation are under pressure to cater to ALL cultural viewpoints and basically referee when members have disagreeing viewpoints. To them its not a lactivist issue, to them its a compromise for all members issue. I am a firely lactivist but this is the one place I sort of snuff out, because its complicated. I would consider having a face to face chat with your pastor and try to gently explain to him that its really not sanity and is degrading to feed your baby in a bathroom. Also that babies often nurse to sleep and flushing toliets will likely wake her. He honestly probably doesnt know the first thing about parenting a breastfed baby and is thinking first about the boob and second about the baby, so help reorient him. Gently bring out that bottle feeding members get to feed their babies in their seats and here the entire sermon, and you would like to do the same for your spiritual health and you shouldnt be punished and relegated for feeding your baby the way God intended. He might come around, and at that point, specific members will be forced to examine their view points or decide to approach you directly (people are usually much nastier through a third party than to your face). 

 

Is there a compromise? At my place of worship, we have a back room with speaker connect that isnt a bathroom but out of the main auditorium, which really works out better for my son anyways because its less distracting and more quiet. I feel okay about nursing him in there because its better for him too. What do you think? anything similar available or anything that could be arranged? Ask!

 

Good Luck!

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#75 of 75 Old 10-29-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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My thing is this, we are told HOW to worship. Jesus is the head of the church (not your pastor) and He says we should all worship together, as a family. If segregating women for nursing is counterproductive. It shames the women, shames the way she is feeding her baby (which was the only way for the majority of out time here) and it takes away from His glory and worship. That can not possibly be how we should worship...segregated in shame and some in a BATHROOM?!

 

Glory to God and the way He has chosen us to feed our children. The church is being stuck in worldly views. To banish a nursing mother is like banishing any other Godly act. Nursing is from God and saying it is anything but normal, natural, what you should be doing is saying God is wrong. He is wrong that he made milk come from breasts and it should be hidden and shamed. These women should and are being prosecuted. UMM hello God is not wrong! Nursing you child is SHOWING His love. Being persecuted by your own church...not so much!

 

OP I think your pastor is way out of line not only about the nursing but about the attitude and accusations and no doubt judgement that was portrayed in that e-mail! The words used in the e-mail were nowhere near loving or how we should treat our brothers and sisters. Your pastor is wrong. I would forgive him and move on to another church. If you feel compelled to face him you need to get two witnesses to back you up that he has wronged you and go to him. Otherwise just give it to Him and wait on Him to change his heart.

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