Nursing at Church - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Where would you nurse during a church service?
in a "mother's room" 44 36.36%
in the pews 77 63.64%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Breastfeeding > Nursing at Church
dsaucone's Avatar dsaucone 11:49 PM 02-28-2009
We have a nursing room with 3 big huge comfy chairs and a decent sized t.v. that let's nursing moms continue to watch the sermon. There is also a changing table and the lighting is low.

I tried to look at this like it was any other public place. I nip at the mall because the mother's room is usually far away, we're eating, I can't keep my 2 year old entertained easily in there, I'm in the middle of shopping and he's in the sling so I don't have to hold him. The room is also very bright and I don't like bright lights. So I usually avoid mother's rooms when out in the general public, but I prefer to use the one at church. I'm wondering if I'm making my decision based on the surroundings and if I'm scared of what people are going to think of me, or if It's just because the enjoy the mother's room at church.

Rosehip's Avatar Rosehip 11:51 PM 02-28-2009
I nursed my infants at church, in the pews, pretty regularly. It keeps them quiet and no one was bothered. I did not nurse my toddlers or older at church. At that age, they popped on and off a lot, and I wouldn't have been comfortable with that sitting in church pews.

ETA: I voted in the pews, b/c with older nurslings, I probably wouldn't have nursed them @ all at church. If they were disruptive, I would have taken them to the back (or perhaps the mother's room) but would likely not have nursed them @ church, in any location.
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 11:52 PM 02-28-2009
I voted in the pews, because I am totally OK with that. When I do duck out to the lounge, it's usually because the baby's squirrely and I know he'll want to crawl around after nursing, or because I don't feel like listening to my husband's sermon again (no TV in our lounge, ). Occasionally, if I've been right up against someone and I feel uncomfortable nursing, I've moved as well.
birdie22's Avatar birdie22 12:22 AM 03-01-2009
I nurse in the pews, but when I had a 1-2 yo, I spent the whole service in the lounge. I never found a way to keep him from taking the place apart. At my church, they are cool with nursing, but not with ripping up the pew Bibles.

If you prefer being in the mothers' room, go for it. There's a baby-less couple who always sit in the lounge at my church, apparently so the husband can nap comfortably while the wife fields a series of calls on her cellphone. I think they only come to the service at all because their kids are involved in Sunday school.
notjustmamie's Avatar notjustmamie 12:44 AM 03-01-2009
See, I would say it depends on the nurseling. My daughter, I could nurse anywhere. She didn't get distracted and we were totally okay staying in the seats throughout the service. My friend's daughter, on the other hand, would have had a terrible time staying in the service because she got distracted by every little thing.

So, wherever you and your baby are most comfortable, that's the best place to be.
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 12:45 AM 03-01-2009
Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post

So, wherever you and your baby are most comfortable, that's the best place to be.
kalamos23's Avatar kalamos23 03:23 AM 03-01-2009
DD is so distracted now, I would probably go to the lounge just so she could actually eat instead of wanting to look everywhere.
Baby Makes 4's Avatar Baby Makes 4 03:26 AM 03-01-2009
Our church doesn't have a mother's room so my choice is in the pews or on a chair in the vestibule. I'll take the pews!
BarefootScientist's Avatar BarefootScientist 11:12 AM 03-01-2009
When DS was tiny I nursed in the pews a couple times but if I had the option for a mother's room like you described, that's where I was! I absolutely love the ones that are done up as you described, and that's where we were most comfortable, not just because of the nursing, but also because of the baby himself. He was much easier to entertain, and it was much easier for me to listen, in the nursing room.
felix23's Avatar felix23 01:29 PM 03-01-2009
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I voted in the pews, because I am totally OK with that. When I do duck out to the lounge, it's usually because the baby's squirrely and I know he'll want to crawl around after nursing, or because I don't feel like listening to my husband's sermon again (no TV in our lounge, ). Occasionally, if I've been right up against someone and I feel uncomfortable nursing, I've moved as well.

That's funny! A nursing baby is a great excuse to leave early when we have a really boring, long guest preacher. Our pastor has two young kids and his wife won't let him preach past 12:00 so that it won't mess up nap time. Everyone here keeps their babies in the service, and nurse them right in the pew. Some cover, some don't, and nobody says a word.
Sagesgirl's Avatar Sagesgirl 02:29 PM 03-01-2009
In the pews. It would never occur to me to go anywhere else. I've most recently nursed a 3-year-old during the Christmas Eve service. (The girls are typically with their father on weekends, so I don't often have the opportunity to go to church with them anymore.) In Hawaii, I used to nurse Esther, hand her to Rob, & then nurse Linda.

With older, wiggly kids, I sought out a much more laid-back service. We now go to the CAYA (Come As You Are) service, where my daughters can wiggle and play and dance around during the songs and no one thinks anything of it.

I would in no way tolerate the expectation that I leave the sanctuary to nurse. I left a church because of that, way back in the mists of time.
2lilsweetfoxes's Avatar 2lilsweetfoxes 02:45 PM 03-01-2009
I voted mother's room. It is a room with a window in the back of the sanctuary and has a couple rocking chairs, a basket of toys, and a changing table. Very cozy. I can adjust the blinds so that no one can see in but I can see out and I can hear the sermon. I'd nurse in the sanctuary, but DH is not comfortable with that, so it is a step above bringing a bottle for her (which I will do once she starts in the nursery at about 4-5 weeks old). Maybe I'll change my mind when I see what other parents do. There are a few women due about the same time I am.
mommy2maya's Avatar mommy2maya 03:04 PM 03-01-2009
I think it would totally depend on the circumstances. If baby was just hungry, and quiet, and could easily nurse without disturbing anyone, just go right ahead and nurse. But if baby were noisy, fussy or distracting other parishoners I'd go to the nursing room.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 06:31 PM 03-01-2009
I voted mother's room. I don't think it is wrong to nurse in the pews, but personally in our current situation I don't feel comfortable doing it. Usually we just try to be there about 30 minutes early (We live 45 mins. away.) and I feed her in one of the classrooms and then she sleeps during the service.
Meg08's Avatar Meg08 07:31 PM 03-01-2009
I had my first experience with this today with our 1 month old, and was wondering what I should do if she wanted to feed during the service. My decision was made for me. She went from peacefully sleeping to screaming bloody murder during a communion prayer. So nursary it was, today anyway.
txgal's Avatar txgal 07:37 PM 03-01-2009
Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
So, wherever you and your baby are most comfortable, that's the best place to be.

If I came in with baby in a sling a quietly nursing I would keep her there and continue to nurse in the pew. If baby started fussing during the middle of service I would probably sneak out to the "mother's room" not because of nursing but because of the crying baby and not wanting to disturb others. If I felt like I could get her latched on quickly I might stay, but usually my church clothes are more difficult to nurse in and require more time to latch.
LilacMama's Avatar LilacMama 07:46 PM 03-01-2009
I would go to the mother's room because it sounds so cozy and non-distracting for DD. But if there wasn't one available I would nurse in the pews and not feel too self-conscious.
Tjej's Avatar Tjej 09:47 PM 03-01-2009
Our nurseries are rooms with big windows in the back of the sanctuary, and with speakers, so you can hear and see everything (well, the hearing depends on how noisy my kids are back there!). I go in there because that is what I am comfortable with for myself. There are a number of moms who nurse in the service sometimes too - usually that is with small babies.

thepeach80's Avatar thepeach80 09:59 PM 03-01-2009
I go to the nursery, it's quite amusing. There are big shutters that are generally open for people to drop off and pick up their babies that way, but they get shut when a nursing mom is in there (me, I'm it for nursing moms right now, lol). I have been using a nursing cover w/ this baby which I really like, especially in these early weeks when I find it hard to be discreet so no one can see anything anyways and I don't mind the shutters being open. The ladies in there freak out about it though and close the shutters and one yelled at her DH to get out b/c there was a nursing mom and he didn't need to be in there, etc, I just laughed b/c it doesn't bother me at all. You can see it probably would weird people out if I were in the pews, hahaha.
inhomecare's Avatar inhomecare 11:40 PM 03-01-2009
Today was the first time that I nursed my DD at church, since this is the first time that she was actually awake during a service. And we were sitting in the first row! I was completely comfortable. But, my dd is a good and undistrcted nurser, so if she was the opposite, I probably would go somewhere more comfy.
Qestia's Avatar Qestia 07:40 PM 03-02-2009
I NIP everywhere, restaurants, mall, parks, museums, during meetings at DS's preschool...with an active 3 yo I can't just duck away someplace when DD wants to eat, but for some reason I just don't feel comfortable nursing in the pews.
hrsmom's Avatar hrsmom 07:48 PM 03-02-2009
Our room for babies is much more comfortable. There's a sign that says it's for fussy babies, and I always mention to whoever is listening that she's not fussy but we're going in there anyway. (I'm a weirdo at times.) My babe was never a gentle, quiet nurser, and we always have random "quiet listening for a word from the Lord" time and I didn't want to be nursing my wiggleworm during that time. The first Sunday I went to church with my babe, I nursed her in the couch and almost fell asleep myself, and I thought that was a pretty good set-up!
tabasco's Avatar tabasco 12:20 AM 03-03-2009
I've done both. I'm very comfortable nursing in the pews when the baby is little. But once they start getting easily distracted and pop on and off, then I usually go to the mothers' room.

Oh, and early on, DS went through a stage when he would pass tons of loud gas when he started nursing. He sounded like a grown man! I did go into the mothers' room for that phase, because I thought the other congregants deserved the opportunity to listen to the sermon without being distracted by my son's gas.
lwuertz's Avatar lwuertz 07:29 PM 03-03-2009
I didn't vote... here's why:

For the Sunday morning service at our church no children under 8 are allowed in the main sanctuary. Our church has a mothers room similar to what you describe, but it is only for mothers and infants. There is also an overflow/family room that anyone of any age can be in. My husband and I usually sit in the family room together on Sundays and I have no problem nursing her in there. If, however, he is helping to lead worship that day I usually hang out in the mothers room because I don't want to sit in the family room all by myself. I've also put DD in the nursery on occasion and then if she cried brought her back out to wherever I was (mothers room or family room).

If our children were allowed in the sanctuary though I would totally just do it in the pews. But there are a lot of other rules in main sanctuary on Sundays to try and eliminate distractions (for example you aren't allowed to come back in if you leave in the middle of the service to use the bathroom or something). I understand why they do it because even in the family room now and in the past before they had the mothers room and family room there were often parents that would just let their kids scream/cry it out, run up and down the isles, people getting up a bunch to use the bathroom, etc. and it was very distracting.

On Wednesday nights it is a different story though because they only have worship/music in the sanctuary and then everyone breaks off into classes. So they aren't as strict about comings and goings or babies and stuff. I usually stand in the back with DD in the sling. If she starts being noisey (she's been very vocal lately, not crying but seeing how loud and high pitched her voice can go) I step into the musicians room to quiet her down.

I actually don't really like being in the mothers room or the family room at all because people think that since they aren't in the room with our pastor they can just talk and stuff during the sermon which is really distracting too. The mothers room is the worst for this at our church. The moms will just sit and gab, gab, gab. Ugh!
doctormom's Avatar doctormom 07:52 PM 03-03-2009
Your mother's room sounds awesome, and I would personally choose to nurse there, only because my 12-month-old spends a lot of time vocalizing and might distract others in church. However, I believe babies have a right to eat anywhere, and that includes in the pews during a church service.
thetnpreacherswife's Avatar thetnpreacherswife 08:31 PM 03-03-2009
I nurse in the pew without a cover...all the time.
JessicaTX's Avatar JessicaTX 08:37 PM 03-03-2009
My church when i had nurslings didn't have a mother's room. I nursed in the pews if I was wearing something easy to nurse in, or in the nursery if I had to half strip to get boob access =D
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 08:38 PM 03-03-2009
I wish I could choose both answers. I have done both, sometimes it depends on the church I am in. One church has a nice nursing room where it is just like sitting in the back just with a wall and a big window, so I usually go in there. Other churches that don't have a nursing room like that I just sit in the pews and nurse. Except for the church I grew up in that type of nursing room but there are usually alot of "older toddlers/children" in there making noise and it distracts the baby too much it is just easier then to sit and nurse in the pews.
1babysmom's Avatar 1babysmom 08:42 PM 03-03-2009


Therese's Mommy's Avatar Therese's Mommy 08:44 PM 03-03-2009
I nurse my kids in the pew regardless of age. My priest is incredibly pro breastfeeding, I know he would never give me any flack. If any of the parishioners did, I am sure he would have a talk with them about how important breastfeeding is. I can't imagine anyone in my church saying anything, though, they are so gaga over any kids they don't really care what they do.
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