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May 08, 2008


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And I can't wait to run home to see his pic in Faith and Family! :)

Ok, I was never all that comfortable nursing in public. That's just me. But for the women who can and do, GOOD FOR THEM. And you're right, a big old drape or blankie or whatever just draws more attention to it. And pumping doesn't work for everyone. And it's a pain in the butt to haul bottles around. And if I pump, I'm hoarding that milk for times when I REALLY need it, not church.

It's an uphill battle -- I've had to fight for my Catholic university to provide a better list of places to pump here. I got in an argument with the information lady at the hospital who asked "Do you need something more private than a bathroom" when I asked for a place to pump because I was in a meeting all morning.

That said, even I got pretty uncomfortable at an employee development program last week when one of my tablemates whipped out the various parts of her breastpump to show to everyone, including several middle-aged men. That is NOT helping our cause, at least not here in the midwest.

Amen sister!

My church has a nursing mothers' room with 6 or 7 cushy recliners and a TV piping the service in, but I generally stayed right there in the pew and did my nursing there. SOMEONE'S got to shock people into reason (discreetly of course).

I don't object to people using drapes if that works best for them--but holding the shirt "just so" always did the trick for me. I think using the shirt is sometimes hard on small-chested moms, whose working parts don't droop all the way to waist level.....but still I've had small-chested sisters in pew-nursing who manage with appropriate undergarments! (eg, T shirt with chest area cut out to keep tummy covered).

I got mad at my Lithuanian grandmother when she suggested I not nurse in public at a family reunion, because I had always given her a lot of credit for being earthy and expected her to be more supportive. Happily, my own mother, and even my husband's mother (who had nursed her 3 kids in the pew as the wife of the minister) did it the same way i did--and they did it at a time when nursing hadn't quite come back into vogue.

I don't object to people draping if it works for them -- not at all. If it helps you nurse your baby, go for it. I object to the expectation that everyone should drape.

This made me cry a little:

When a Christian woman gestates and births the baby God has given her, she says with our Lord, "This is my body, given for you." When she feeds her baby at the breast, giving him food synthesized from her own blood, she says, "This is my blood, poured out for you."

Thanks. Sometimes I need to be reminded that what I'm doing is a beautiful loving sacrifice, not just one more annoying obligation to be met.

Yes, yes, and yes. And coming at a perfect moment for me, as I am just finishing up the application process to be a La Leche League leader (say that 3 times fast!). Thank you!

I nursed in church, right there in the front pew in front of God and everybody. My initial nursing experience was very damaged by hiding away to nurse. I resented missing out on life, and grew to get very anxious when it was time to nurse when I was out and about. That doesn't do wonders for the milk supply or the piece of mind. By baby 3 and all the way through baby 7, I nursed where and when I pleased, being as discreet as I felt was needed, and figured if anyone objected that was THEIR problem, not mine. By the way, no one ever objected, at least out loud to me.

So true. Church is one of the few places where I've felt uncomfortable nursing as needed, mostly because the place is so FULL--it's hard to get any distance from other people.

This isn't really the point of your post, so forgive the tangent; but I will say that after a cumulative 27 months of breastfeeding so far, I now know how to be pretty dicreet - but I also know that this is not perfect (possibly to do with body type, possibly not). If someone looks at the wrong moment, or the baby isn't calm, he's more than likely to see more than he or I would want. I'm not sure what to do about this, or not sure I've found a balance here, since so far my solution is to shrug and say, well, that's a price I'm willing to pay and society should be willing to pay - but somewhere I feel a discomfort is justified, since I feel it myself.

can you send a copy of this posting to Michelle Duggar??

Great post! I thank you!! Catholic babies thank you!! Catholic mommies thank you!! The Catholic Nursing Mothers League thanks you!! Thank you! Thank you!! ;)

yet another reason why i love you, cj...

although i personally found it easier to go to mass around my kid's nursing schedule than v/v, mostly due to my own laziness and desire to enjoy the celebration w/ a milk-induced-coma baby passed out in my arms. but i live in a place where we are still lucky to have mass 5x a weekend, so there's that.

breastfeeding...good enough for the son of God, good enough for my kids.

I love you, CJ.

So very well said.

I love this, CJ. I am one who has trouble nursing in public, but defends anyone's right to do so. My mother made a comment to me about another mother we know nursing her babies in the pew, and I was like "Where else should she do it?" Our church does not have a "cry room" which is sort of a point of pride with us that babies and small children are part of the community, not sequestered off. But it also means there is no private place to nurse. And this woman is so skilled and discreet I think you'd have to be a nursing mother yourself to pick up on what she was doing.

Of course we've had people from our church imply that young families just shouldn't come because we're disruptive. Which a) all my friends and I wrok as hard as we can not to be and b) then build us a nursery!

Yes, yes, yes. Breastfeeding is natural & normal; silicon models of a woman's breast are a (sometimes life-saving) substitute, not the norm. Draping calls attention to what you're doing; pumping doesn't quiet a fussy baby like nursing does; and will ya check out the maria lactans, already, F&F? http://www.fisheaters.com/marialactans.html

It's not even an anomaly - Mary is exposed when she nurses, and most *certainly* not draped. At least I'm covered, but no, I'm not going anywhere! It's the culture of sex that is wrong, not the nursing.

A wonderful magazine, but a disappointing sentence.

thank you for standing up for the children , we as a society have forgot an about there rights, that God has given them. and thank you for being true to God with out being rood.

AMEN! AMEN! I can't thank you enough for your support and for bringing this beautiful post to my attention. While my little article spurred more hate than I could have ever imagined, it also has given this important issue a lot of good publicity because of brave women like yourself.

Recently, a friend emailed me and said that she uses a simple question to determine if something is a sin. She asks, "Would Jesus weep at this?" She went on to say that Jesus and Mary probably would be weeping to see a nursing mom giving up her body for her child at Mass. But they would be weeping with joy.

God bless you and thanks again!


You are fabulous!
I had trouble nursing my first two and am now having a fantastic time nursing my third. I go anywhere and nurse anywhere and if someone see's me with a baby on my lap and fiddling with my shirt THEY SHOULD LOOK AWAY instead of trying to catch a glimpse and then give me a lecture.
I love your blog - thank you VERY MUCH!!

I've always believed in nursing covers. I don't like nursing in public, so I try to keep from doing it as much as possible. However, when I do have to do it I always use a nursing cover. It's just the respectful thing to do.

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