Thursday, August 5, 2010

Latter-day Saint perspectives on Nursing in Public

As an LDS woman, I believe very much in dressing modestly. I also believe that breastfeeding is the way God designed for babies to be fed, and that the only way to make breastfeeding normal in our society is for people to see it. I believe that the negative view of American society of public nursing is a big factor in why women in America don't breastfeed longer. I have experienced firsthand the crushing isolation that results from trying to breastfeed in private as much as possible, as well as the frustration from trying to nurse a baby under a cover who didn't want her head covered up. So now I nurse in public. Without a cover. I do however, usually wear nursing tank tops (I buy them at Target) under my shirts, which allows for minimal exposure of my body while nursing publically. This is what I am comfortable with and what works for me, which may be different for different people.

I have put together this collection of blog posts from LDS women, sharing their own opinions of the issue of modesty and breastfeeding:


  1. This is one of those things that while I firmly believe there is nothing with nursing in public uncovered, I won't ever do it... because society hasn't caught up why it should be ok, and my anxiety problems make it too hard. Add to it that my long torso and small chest make it very hard to be discrete, and I'm bound to a cover. Maybe as I have more children, I'll branch out- on principle I'm all for it, but until I know I won't be making other people uncomfortable (whether or not it is right for them to be uncomfortable) I don't have it in me. But I do want to salute any woman I see NIP, and will use that as a learning opportunity for my children so they can know that it is normal, healthy, and beautiful.

  2. If I were to ever breastfeed anywhere but the mother's room in church it would be in RS. I think I may have done it in the past. I have seen a couple of ladies nurse in the chapel but I would rather go out than have my 2 yr old climbing all over me and the baby. I have NIP while sitting on a curb at the state fair and on an airplane and maybe a few other places, but I've never been able to be discreet enough, I feel, to nurse at a restaurant table or similar situations. I don't like the feeling of being looked at for any reason, especially when I feel like my breast could be suddenly exposed. My children, boys and girls, are very comfortable seeing me or other women nurse their babies anywhere. I feel like I am doing my part in this way to affect the next generation. I do admit to feeling some isolation this time around but a lot of that I think comes from having so many young children and not being able to take them places by myself. By the way, I do not think any of my attitudes about breastfeeding in general or NIP are at all related to my being LDS. It's just the way I am. Good topic. Thanks for all the links.