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April 4, 2010

Nursing Mothers NOT Welcome

After a weekend frolicking around at my parents' house up north, we are back home. And boy, do I have a tale for all of you...

We went to church with my parents as part of our Easter celebration. And much like he normally does at church, Nathaniel was completely content through the music portion of the service. Until the sermon. And then all hell broke loose (but not literally of course, since we were in church).

The fussing began so I scooped up the babe and the diaper bag and headed out to the foyer. I thought Nathaniel might be hungry so we walked upstairs to the nursery where I fully expected that I could plop myself down in a chair and nurse my little guy. So you can imagine my surprise (and barely contained frustration) when I saw the sign posted on the nursery door. The sign that said that only nursery staff were welcome inside.

Now please don't misunderstand. My parents' church is wonderful and I'm all for security in church settings, especially where children are concerned, and that was clearly the message meant to be conveyed by the sign. Nowadays, you just can't be too careful with your children. But there is a point where it becomes downright inconvenient and slightly rude when there are NO OTHER OPTIONS for nursing moms.

So the unhappy babe and I went back down to the foyer, since there was no other location to nurse, and we walked. And bounced. And walked. And bounced. (All the mommies out there can relate. BOUNCING. I bounce so much these days that I'm still doing it in my sleep!)

But finally, the hunger got the best of us and all the bouncing in the world just wasn't cutting it anymore. Nathaniel was giving me the side-eye as though he was saying HOW MUCH LOUDER DO I HAVE BE BEFORE YOU GET THE MESSAGE, WOMAN?! WHIP OUT THE BOOBS AND FEED ME!

Now, I firmly believe that I deserve some sort of award or perhaps a medal for my creativity here. We walked into the teeny, tiny church bathroom (without any chairs, I will have you know). I stood in the stall holding my 18 pound baby, with my foot precariously propped up on the toilet seat and my arm resting on my leg, and nursed. (Y'all should feel free to applaud now.)

When it was all over and done with, I was tired and a little miffed by the whole experience, but it caused me to realize something very important. These days, Nathaniel's needs come first. He was hungry. He needed to be fed, and that was all there was to it. Even if it included mama balancing on the edge of a toilet seat to accommodate his wishes.

But next time, I think I'll bring a bottle...

Update: A couple weeks after this entry was published, I received an email from the pastor of the church. He apologized for the confusing signage and informed me that the church does, in fact, have a room for nursing mothers apart from the nursery. (Because I am unfamiliar with the layout of the church, I simply couldn't find it. And no, it's not a small building.) And when I read that, I wanted to do a little dance. Because next time I visit the church and the babe demands a mid-service snack, I won't be executing a toilet-feeding! Thanks Pastor!


  1. You definately deserve a round of applause for that! It's amazing how talented you can become when you have to feed the baby!

  2. happy baby=happy momma.
    no matter what it takes!!!
    well done!

  3. Been there....It's a pain! That's when I decided I would start feeding Sophia in the car if there was no other place. Great Job!

  4. I've been there too! It stinks there aren't more places for us to go. I just go in my backseat and do it. I've done it a handful of times and it seems to work ok.

  5. The car would've been a good option (much better than the bathroom at least) but I didn't have keys. So I would've had to take the fussy babe back into the sanctuary to get the keys from Jonathan. Head meet desk. Next time... bring keys!

  6. why didn't you just nurse your babe in the foyer or wherever you were at intially? I don't get it. If you are afraid that someone is going to see your breast, then cover up?

  7. I don't have a nursing cover (really should invest in one) and Nathaniel has started grabbing and yanking the blanket I use to cover him when I nurse in public. Which still wouldn't have been a big issue except that there was a rather strange guy who was just hanging out in the foyer for no apparent reason (who wanted to play with Nathaniel) and I didn't really want to flash him. So the bathroom was the only option at that point.

  8. WOW! good to know for when we go home to Matt's church! I'm so happy RVC has a nursing mothers room :-)

  9. i love this... i am a current breastfeeding mama and i find myself having to get more and more creative... especially since my 6 month old has developed a hate for being covered... the whole time im feeding... shes grabbing the blanket and pullit down... not sure the people at breakfast this morning were quite ready for the breakfast and peep show ha ha


  10. I'm sorry you had to go through that. At my church, they have a mother's lounge with a comfortable chair and baby changing table. They also have speakers linked to the chapel so that you can hear everything that's being said. I usually just bring a bottle of pumped milk but it's good to know I can use the Mother's lounge if I need it.

  11. There isn't anywhere to go at my church either, so I nursed Ella Grace right in my seat on Sunday. After the service the pastor told me that he hoped he didn't make me uncomfortable saying something but that he applauded me for not leaving the service to nurse. I had simply pulled out the hooter hider and nursed.