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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the middle of writing a letter to a church I just visited. In their pamphlet for the children's ministry, they have a picture of a mother dressed in her nightgown, cradling her baby in a rocking chair, and....bottlefeeding!
So, needless to say, they are receiving a friendly letter from me.
In addition to suggesting that they substitute a picture of a nursing mother for the bottlefeeding one, I'd love to provide the children's ministry coordinator with a list of ways to be "breastfeeding friendly." Want to try to come up with a comprehensive list of how a church could support and encourage nursing mothers? Let's see what we can come up with! What does your church or place of worship do to encourage you? If they aren't particularly nursing-friendly, what do you wish they would do differently? Thanks for your help!
 

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How 'bout just putting a little blurb in the bulletin to let everyone know that yes, nursing moms can come to church and lift up their shirts and breastfeed in the middle of the sermon, or whatever. Not in those words, but just basically come right out and SAY IT so everyone knows. So there's not some new mom out there thinking she can't go to church cuz it would be indecent or something.
 

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Well, I'm not involved so much in organized religon, but I think that sending them some scripture talking about BFing, and maybe hosting LLL meetings, and having a nursing room or something similar where Mamas can take their babies and relax, maybe where the babies can nap and play if they're getting restless.

That's all I got! Good luck!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by frontierpsych
An oldie but a goodie: Jesus was breastfed!


It's always a great reminder at a church!

I went to church with my Dad a couple of months ago when I went to visit. When DS got hungry I nursed him, and he gave me a really weird look. "You should go do that in the bathroom." He said. I shrugged and whispered back, "Hey, I have a news flash: Jesus was a titty baby."

My dad didn't say another word about it.
 

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BTW: I am a pastors wife... I think the best way for me to communicate BFing is welcome... is by BFing on demand during sermon, worship, meetings, VBS and so forth! But even though I am very open about my BFing... we had a visitor come with 1 year old twins who were still BFing and wanted to nurse during service. The first time she visited she tried to find a room... but was unsuccessful. The second time she visited I went to the childrens "area" and started BFing and she said she didn't want to bother anyone... and said she felt so "exposed" when nursing two. I told her that every child in the "littles" area was breastfed... many until well after 1 year. The staff are all still BFing and she could if she wanted to. While she was nursing, we talked about LLL and how there aren't any meetings in 3 hour drive... So I offered to help start a LLL and said she could use our building.

Having a LLL sign outside once a month... would definitely say that WE SUPPORT YOU BFers!
 

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I just went through some stuff about bf at my church and had started a letter to the pastor and his wife who is the head of the kid's ministry. Here is a list of the bf scriptures I found and was/am usung for my Bible study in the letter:
Gen 21:73243
Gen 21:81580
Gen 24:59 3243
Gen 35:8 3243
Ex 2:73243
Ex 2:93243
Num 11:123243
Deut 32:133243
Deut 32:253243
Deut 33:193243
1sa 1:22-241580
1sa 1:233243
1sa 15:33243
1sa 22:193243
2 sam 4:43243
1 kin 3:213243
1kin 11:201580
2 king 11: 23243
2 Chr 22:113243
Job 3:123243
Job 20:163243
Job 24:97699
Ps 8:23243
Ps 131:21580
Song 8:13243
Is 11:81580
Is 11:83243
Is 28:91580
Is 49:155764
is 49:233243
is 60:167699
is 60:163243
is 66:11-123243
Jer 44:73243
Lam 2:113243
Lam 4:43243
Lam 4:43243
Lam 4:37699
Eze 23:217699
Eze 23:343243
Hos 1:81580
Joel 2:163243
Mt 21:162337
Mt 24:192337
Mk 13:172337
Lk 11:273149
The numbers following the scripture are the Strong's concordance number and some (very few) are referring to breasts and not breastfeeding that I was going to use to point out how rarely breasts are made sexual in the Bible.

Websites you may wan't to quote:
http://gentlechristianmothers.com/ar...seinpublic.php
http://gentlechristianmothers.com/ar...di/bfbible.php
http://ccli.org/nfp/ebf/jp2.php

I'll be glad to send the text of the letter so far if you want to see if there is anything useful in it, just pm me.

eta: MammaFranklin how far is Lassen County from the Oregon border? I want to come to your church!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamaboobaAES
I just recently decided to write the same exact type of letter, but in response to a church that actually has a no nursing policy
Please share the letter with me or email me at [email protected] if you want to collaborate.
OMG!! There is a Church that has an actual NO NURSING policy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all your responses! I thought I'd share with you what I have so far. I plan to go over the links and Bible verses you provided (and look over a copy of LoveMyLittle's letter) and add to/tweak the letter accordingly. Feel free to critique this letter so I can improve it. Oh, and does anyone know if I can just print out the article from kellymom that I reference at the end of the letter? Would that violate copyright laws?

LOL, I think I went a little overboard! This letter has gotten looooong! I think she'll take one look at it and go
:
All this over a stinkin' little picture of a bottle?
Oh, well, it's good to get the info out there, right? I just hope she's not a formula-supporting Ezzoite or something! I might get a nasty letter in response


Dear &&&&&,

My husband, daughter and I recently visited &&&& Church and had a wonderful experience. We were greeted at the door, directed to the information/welcome center and received some wonderful information about your church and specifically your children's program. My daughter is 8 months old and we were given a pamphlet about the children's ministry but also reassured that our daughter was welcome in the service with us. Since we enjoy worshipping as a family (with our daughter) I was very happy that there was no pressure to leave her in the nursery like we have experienced at other churches. It seems you have managed to strike a balance between having a wonderful children's program available for families who choose to utilize it while still welcoming small children into the worship service for those families who prefer to stay together.

As I sat in the sanctuary and flipped through the children's ministry pamphlet I had received, I was once again impressed. The pamphlet is very attractive and informative. I was glad to see the availability of a baby care facility for all parents, even those whose infants are not registered with the children's ministry. I did not happen to use this facility during our visit but was glad to know it existed if my daughter got restless and needed to get down and play. This is another example of how you reach out to all parents, however they feel most comfortable taking care of their child(ren) during worship services.

However, I was saddened to see the picture that accompanied the "Baby Care Facilities" section of the pamphlet. It showed a baby cradled in his mother's arms receiving a bottle. This may seem like quite a silly thing to be disturbed by, and most people probably don't give it a second thought. However, as a nursing mother, I am very attuned to societal images of infant feeding. We live in a bottle-feeding culture where the bottle has taken precendence over the breast. Even though everyone seems to know that "breast is best," this notion is not reflected in society. Images such as this one suggest that bottle-feeding is the norm, and that it is almost as good as breastfeeding. In reality, there are many hazards associated with formula feeding. Babies who are formula fed have an increased risk of developing asthma, allergies, gastrointestinal infections, acute respiratory disease, childhood cancers, chronic diseases, ear infections, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Babies who are formula fed also show significantly reduced cognitive developed, are more likely to die of SIDS, and have overall higher rates of mortality when compared with their breastfed counterparts. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.5 million babies die each year as a result of not being breastfed. Breastfeeding also provides the mother with many health benefits, including a decreased risk of osteoporosis, and breast and ovarian cancer.

Clearly, God certainly knew what He was doing when He provided us with the gift of breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is God's perfect design for our babies. Jesus Himself was breastfed! Not only does nursing provide our children with optimal nutrition, it also serves to establish a loving and nurturing relationship between mother and baby. As Martha Sears points out in the book, The Ministry of Parenting Your Baby, "The breastfeeding relationship teaches a baby how to love, trust, feel safe, feel good about himself, and enjoy the life God gave him. All this learning is preparation for loving, trusting, and enjoying God, being loved by God, and feeling secure in his care." The Bible speaks of the comfort provided by nursing in Isaiah 66:10-12

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
all you who mourn over her.
For you will nurse and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance."
For this is what the LORD says:
"I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.

The apostle Paul also uses the tender image if a nursing mother in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 when he writes, "But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children."

So what can we do to help encourage mothers to utilize God's amazing gift of nursing our children? One way that we can encourage women to breastfeed is to show that it is a healthy, beautiful, and normal event. This means using images of nursing mothers in place of images of bottle-feeding. We need to normalize breastfeeding and portray it as a beautiful gift from our loving Heavenly Father and not something that needs to be hidden. An easy way to do this in your church would be to substitute a picture of a nursing mother for the picture of the baby receiving a bottle. Encouraging mothers to nurse directly in the sanctuary (or at least letting them know that this is welcomed) would also serve to normalize breastfeeding and make these families feel welcome. As a girl, I only saw mothers formula feeding their babies in church because all the nursing moms were asked to go to a "mother's room." While I feel it is important to have such a room for those mothers who feel most comfortable nursing in private, I also feel it is essential for young girls (and everyone else!) to see moms following God's design for feeding our precious blessings.

Finally, I would motivate you to always be aware of possible ways to encourage mothers to nurse their children, and to feel comfortable and proud of doing so. I have included an article entitled, "Mamma's Manna: A Celebration of Motherhood & Breastfeeding for Spiritual Leaders" written by Mechell Turner, M.Ed. IBCLC, CCE in this letter. It has some wonderful Scriptures that deal with gentle mothering and the importance of nursing. It also has 7 steps that spiritual leaders can take to assist breastfeeding families. I hope this article provides you with additional ideas on how best to encourage breastfeeding. It was taken from http://www.kellymom.com/bf/links/bf-links-religion.html which has numerous additional resources regarding Christianity and breastfeeding. Another wonderful website dealing with Christian mothering is www.gentlechristianmothering.com.

I would very much appreciate some feedback from you regarding this letter. How do you feel about what I have said and what I am proposing? Thank you so very much for your time, energy, and clear dedication to ministering to young families!

May God richly bless you,

<My name and contact info>
 

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Loves it!!! Good job, hun! I'll bet that you can print it (the article) NAK and give it to her as long as the copyright info is on it... asnd you can direct her to the lll site for info on having a meeting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamaboobaAES
I just recently decided to write the same exact type of letter, but in response to a church that actually has a no nursing policy
Please share the letter with me or email me at [email protected] if you want to collaborate.
A NO nursing policy?? Whaaaaat??? What are they suggesting women do when their babies desire to nurse?? I'd love to collaborate with you on writing a letter. I posted what I have so far for my letter. Feel free to use as much of it as you want...I'm really curious about this church's messed up views about nursing! Maybe we should all write them a letter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greenie
Loves it!!! Good job, hun! I'll bet that you can print it (the article) NAK and give it to her as long as the copyright info is on it... asnd you can direct her to the lll site for info on having a meeting.
Thanks! I'm not sure if I should suggest they host LLL meetings because there's a church about a mile away that has them. And there are 3 different LLL groups within about 20-30 minutes...do you think I should still suggest it? The area seems pretty LLLified
 
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