OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 25, 2014, 03:58:28 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is it appropriate to breastfeed publicly?  (Read 3956 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
SouthSerb99
Archbishop of Shlivo, Patriarch of All Vodkas & Defender Against All Overstepping!
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 2,800


Now Internet Forum Friendly


WWW
« on: November 27, 2006, 11:49:40 AM »

I had a question for the general public (here) and I'm hoping some of our female members offer their opinions on this subject.

My sisters were at a Christening this Saturday in a very small Serbian Orthodox Church.  I know the Church very well and it has been around for about 60 years. 

Connected to the Church's south wall (through a set of double doors) is a banquet area, used for functions and fundraisers etc...

Since the Church is so small, the connected hall is also quite tiny.  I give you this info as a way of background of what transpired.

After the Christening, the parents of the child had refreshments in the hall area for the guests of the Christening (in total there were only about 15-20 people).  The mother of the newly Christened child than nursed the child in the banquet area, a few short steps from the actual entrance of the Church.  She did not cover herself while nursing, but felt it appropriate to nurse while "exposed' so to speak.

This was done in plain view of all, including the Priest.

No one had a problem with it, but when I was told about the situation, I was really bothered by it.

My wife and I had our first about 16 months ago and she nursed for about 7 months, so I understand the difficulties facing nursing Moms, but both my wife and I felt this was inappropriate behavior, especially considering that she was a few feet from entrance to the Church.

Am I wrong, or is this a perfectly acceptable practice?

I'd also like to point out that there are small "office like" rooms available for privacy, which I'm sure would have been made available to her, if she so desired.  I'm not trying to rip on a nursing Mom, but wasn't this a bit over the top?
Logged

"Wherever you go, there you are."
 Guy from my office

Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid
Hungry? Click Here
BoredMeeting
Loving the Life of a Council Member
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox/OCA
Posts: 722



« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 12:55:06 PM »

A little modesty never killed anyone.

I would have moved to an area out of view of the nursing mother but wouldn't have said anything else about the matter.
Logged
Deacon Lance
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,059


Liturgy at Mt. St. Macrina Pilgrimage


« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 02:02:17 PM »

Given that the holiest icon in Chilandar Monastery on Mt. Athos is one of the Mother of God with breast exposed nursing Christ, I think it acceptable behavior, although one foreign to our Puritan/Victorian influenced sense of modesty in America.

http://www.icon.lt/list/nursing.htm
Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 02:15:44 PM »

According to the rules of etiquette breastfeeding in public is frowned upon. However, I wouldn't say that the incident was sacreligious or anything, it was just bad taste.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Deacon Lance
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,059


Liturgy at Mt. St. Macrina Pilgrimage


« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2006, 03:42:56 PM »

Whose rules of etiquette?  I can understand why some would be put off by a woman not covering herself, but if a woman uses a blanket who cares?
Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2006, 03:55:07 PM »

Whose rules of etiquette?  I can understand why some would be put off by a woman not covering herself, but if a woman uses a blanket who cares?

Well, Judith Martin would be my source on this one, I recall an article where she chided a young woman who felt entitled to breastfeed in public quite severely.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
SouthSerb99
Archbishop of Shlivo, Patriarch of All Vodkas & Defender Against All Overstepping!
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 2,800


Now Internet Forum Friendly


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 04:02:54 PM »

Quote
I can understand why some would be put off by a woman not covering herself, but if a woman uses a blanket who cares?

That would be my primary beef with the situation, although, I don't see the problem with using one of the private offices.  I mean, I would just figure she might feel more comfortable (as well as those around her) being able to nurse in private.
Logged

"Wherever you go, there you are."
 Guy from my office

Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid
Hungry? Click Here
authio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 369



« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 04:36:18 PM »

No beef now, it's Nativity lent.  And where are the women to respond to this question?
Logged

Christ is risen!
Cristo ha resucitado!
Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη!
 المسيح قام
Simayan
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate - GOA
Posts: 816



« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 05:28:37 PM »

It's a non-issue for me. The baby has to eat, and everyone knows that breastfeeding gives the most nutrients. Yes, I know people will talk about formula. But antibodies are also transferred. Maybe formula has that too, but it's beyond the point.

I do agree she could have used a blanket if she was in the church area, though.
Logged

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, nor mourning nor crying nor suffering, for the old order of things has passed away."
dantxny
OC.net Mineshaft gap
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Russian
Posts: 769



« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 07:29:08 PM »

No beef now, it's Nativity lent.  And where are the women to respond to this question?
Well actually, there'll be tons of beef tonight . . . tommorrow, though . . . .
Logged

"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.
Donna Rose
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 937


« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 08:16:26 PM »

I don't have children (yet -- someday, God willing), but I could never breastfeed in public, even with a blanket or another such covering. I would just be too uncomfortable, and seeing another woman do it in plain view of strangers makes me uncomfortable as well. I definitely think breastfeeding is perfectly natural so I am not knocking it in any way, but that for me is a private thing and I would feel more comfortable doing it in privacy. I am not knowledgable enough to say if it is inappropriate because of how close to the church she was, that I would ask a priest about if you are interested enough. Just my 2 cents...

Donna
Logged

hmmmm...
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,466


« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 09:44:52 PM »

My impression of this public breastfeeding thing is that some women seem to do it as a way of grandstanding/showing off instead of using some discretion - rather annyoing or rude.
Logged
SmoT
I am a verb
Banned
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 118


« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2006, 09:54:43 PM »

It is definitely appropriate. But let's be honest -- It is accepted much more if the woman is attractive. That's just the way it is. Then its "Isn't that lovely!". I didn't say it was right.

(Edited because I meant to type that it DEFINITELY IS appropriate to breastfeed a child)

But I will say that there is nothing wrong with a strategically placed garmet.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 10:50:36 PM by SmoT » Logged

"I'm not saying you have to SmoT her or anything..." - Asteriktos
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2006, 10:29:50 PM »

Depends on where you're from.  Seriously.  When I went to South America, it was absoultely the rule that women would just start breastfeeding while waiting for a bus, in a restaurant, in church, a hotel lobby...really there wasn't a place where it couldn't go on.  Some folks who come from cultures more comfortable with public breastfeeding may not even realize they're making someone else uncomfortable, and it's even more difficult a topic to bring up if there's some kind of language barrier going.

I agree with the post re:the icon of the Theotokos; I think our culture is much more uncomfortable with it, sees it as something "inappropriate" for any place but in private, much less in church!!  Other places, though...why wouldn't you breastfeed in church?  Keeps the kid quiet easier than anything else you could do with him.  Grin
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
SouthSerb99
Archbishop of Shlivo, Patriarch of All Vodkas & Defender Against All Overstepping!
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 2,800


Now Internet Forum Friendly


WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2006, 09:45:46 AM »

Well, there is always the option of bottle feeding, using breast milk.
Logged

"Wherever you go, there you are."
 Guy from my office

Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid
Hungry? Click Here
calligraphqueen
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GOA
Posts: 341


« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2006, 12:28:58 PM »

while admittedly some women are more blatant with their breastfeeding, even rabid about forcing it on people-the fact is we do have the right to feed our children (even at church)  Maybe she had a blanket and it slipped off, or maybe she is comfortable with her lactational abilities and didn't give it a second thought.  Even after seven children, I would have definitely covered up at church though.  Some women just think it's the most natural thing in the world and it's everyone else that has a problem with it.

I think there are places where less exposure would be the best bet for all involved, but then again the child's needs are more important than people's stuffiness about the issue. I am not going to be stuffed in a closet or (heaven forbid) make my child eat in a bathroom!
 Most men don't bat an eye when Pamela Anderson is completely exposing her breasts (in fact they gawk)  but should the topic of breastfeeding come up everyone is in a tizzy.  I believe our society has forgotten what breasts are for, and NO guys, they aren't for slicing open and stuffing with silicone.  It just irritates me that we are puritanical about breasts when used for their intended purpose, but can't get enough of them in everyday society. 
Logged
BoredMeeting
Loving the Life of a Council Member
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox/OCA
Posts: 722



« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2006, 12:32:13 PM »

I'd be far more inclined to comment negatively about having Pamela Anderson flashing her boobs in an Orthodox Church than I would to the nursing mom.
Logged
SouthSerb99
Archbishop of Shlivo, Patriarch of All Vodkas & Defender Against All Overstepping!
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 2,800


Now Internet Forum Friendly


WWW
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2006, 01:18:52 PM »

^Agreed.
Logged

"Wherever you go, there you are."
 Guy from my office

Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid
Hungry? Click Here
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 01:52:21 PM »

Actually, according to Judith Martin, the rule of etiquette that comes into play is not one against flashing breasts in public, but rather the rule against exuding bodily fluids in public.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,466


« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2006, 02:16:00 PM »

Actually, according to Judith Martin, the rule of etiquette that comes into play is not one against flashing breasts in public, but rather the rule against exuding bodily fluids in public.

And for those of you not in the know, Judith Martin is Miss Manners if I remember correctly.
Logged
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,442



« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2006, 06:39:55 PM »

Well, there is always the option of bottle feeding, using breast milk.

Only if the baby will accept it.  With our first we were told to get him used to nursing and then use breast milk in a bottle after a couple of weeks. HaH!  By that time he knew what he liked and *That wasn't it* no matter the flavour.  So much for that idea.  Smiley

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,442



« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2006, 06:48:54 PM »

Other points from 3 childrens worth of experience. Using a blanket to cover the baby and mother works sometimes, but other times the child has her/his own idea and if it's "Get this thing off my head."  Or "I can't see what's going on and I might miss something interesting"  the blanket isn't staying there.

Sometimes a new mother is just tired and worn out and possibly short on sleep.  The baby is hungry.  The nearest place to sit that is reasonably comfortable may be sought.  I've seen objections in the past that suggested that she go to a restroom.  One wonders if the adults would like to eat in a public restroom.
 Undecided  And while some ladies rooms might have a kind of lounge with a chair or sofa, this is not guaranteed, so the alternative is sitting on the commode. 

Ebor

Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Tags: breastfeeding 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.082 seconds with 48 queries.