My family checked out a new church this weekend. When we got there, we were greeted by some very friendly members, who escorted my toddler to the nursery and showed our kindergartener where to go for religious education classes. Then, we were shown the Cuddle Room in the back of the church, where we could go if our baby started fussing. (In the bulletin, this room was called the Crying Room) It had a speaker so we could still listen to the service.
Nobody mentioned a thing to me about whether this space was for nursing babies…but as I looked around the sanctuary, I wondered (for the first time maybe ever) if it was ok to breastfeed right in my pew. Obviously I know it’s legal for me to breastfeed in the middle of the Unitarian church service. But should I?
Had we entered a space that supported feeding babies wherever they are hungry? There were no other young babies there for me tell by looking around.
Recently, the Pope has been encouraging mothers to breastfeed whenever their babies are hungry, even if that’s during a baptism at the Sistine Chapel. And yet, when I polled my mom friends, many of whom are seasoned breastfeeders, each of them said they feel most comfortable using a cover to breastfeed during a service or else duck out to the cuddle room.
We are newcomers to this community, so I don’t know what I will do when the time comes–my son slept through the one-hour service this morning.
What about you–do you breastfeed during worship? Leave us a comment to share your experience.