Ok Mary go for it (breastfeeding)

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I read this in my mailbox today and thought oh this should get Mary’s hair up!! I too would like to get a copy of this so called letter. Both of my Primary councilors AND my secretary have toddlers that they nurse. If I had to wait for them to get out of the mother’s lounge to get anything done I would never see them!!

and I quote …”Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 6:36 AM
Subject: breastfeeding and church policy OT

I should say that did you know it’s against church policy to nurse your child during the meetings? A letter was read from the first presidency over the pulpit about 5 years ago. (unless my bishop made it up and said it was from the first presidency) We are encouraged to leave the room and nurse in the mothers lounge. I don’t think many mother’s do this, but I remember this letter well because I was a nursing mother at the time, and had nursed my baby (discreetly) during sacrament and relief society, but once I heard the letter I stopped. I think it’s important that although nursing is a part of your life and your babies….it may make some people uncomfortable. I guess that’s why they put the letter out.

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this letter? It’s unusual to have a policy that only applies to the United States and having lived out of this country for a couple of years, I know not all church buildings are set up with a nursing room. My sil went to Haiti on his mission and many women there just remove their top to nurse and nurse wherever they are. I would really like to read the exact wording of the letter. As far as nursing your babies go, I would do my best to be in Primary but wouldn’t feel bad if my baby needed to nurse during primary at first. I’m sure the PP will cover for you. Relax and enjoy this time with your little one. The time you have with them is so short. My youngest is now 8 and I can’t believe how quickly time flies.

19 thoughts on “Ok Mary go for it (breastfeeding)

  1. Mum, you know me too well :)

    I have never heard of a letter like this and for SURE I would have remembered it. I don’t see how they could make it a policy anyway since it is rather discriminatory (I find nursing mothers are generally more modest than half the teenagers out there and that includes some LDS teenagers).

    I know that at Time Out For Women, they make it clear that nursing mothers are more than welcome.

    I think it is nice to go to a comfortable room when you want, but sometimes it just isn’t possible! I was once wedged in, during General conference, at the end of the pew with my desperately needing to nurse baby and I had to nurse there (heck I have nursed in so many places, while shopping, while walking down the street, just to name a few). Babies have a problem “waiting” :) 5 minutes can be a century to them. And sometimes you can’t take off, like you say, mum, and leave everyone stranded! If there is a letter, I would be interested in seeing it, but I have never heard of it, and I am sure I would have heard something because I know many US mums who are big breastfeeding advocates as well. I am sure someone would have mentioned something, especially since it was only a few years ago (and since I have been nursing non stop for over 7 years…)

  2. Never heard of it. Perhaps it was an area policy, or a stake policy, and somewhere the message was mangled to say that it applied to the whole U.S?

  3. Wait a minute, there’s a women’s lounge for the ladies – what’s in the men’s lounge?

  4. it makes me sad that such a letter may exist. a big motivator for women having so much trouble breastfeeding is that they are segregated and isolated just because they are providing a basic human right for their babies and some unenlightened people cannot separate the sexuality of the breast from the actual purpose of it. there was a nursing mother in sacrament last week and i saw that she felt very uncomfortable, looking around to make sure nobody was looking at her funny. i didn’t see anyone giving her funny looks, but i went up afterward just to congratulate her on nursing her baby and to encourage her to ignore cultural boundaries to this wonderful and necessary symbiosis between mother and baby. she seemed relieved to have someone say this to her. i recognize that some people in church may have trouble with seeing BFing, but really, there are a lot of uncomfortable things out there in the world, and church is no exception. i remember seeing some very funny lap activity between two newlyweds once right in the middle of sacrament being passed. if you don’t like it, sit on the other side of the room, or better yet, reevaluate why you have such a problem with it. (i’m not applying this to the lap activity, by the way!) we can’t expect the world to cater to our personal preferences and prejudices.

  5. That’s just a plain load of
    c-r-a-p; sounds like another case of “mormon urban legend” to me. I have heard some doozeys in my time.


  6. “Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this letter?”

    Did the author of the email you received hear this from her bishop?

    Any idea why she didn’t ask her bishop for a copy of the letter? Is it too late to do it now?

  7. It seems to me we have the cart before the horse here–giving impassioned reactions to a supposed policy letter, before finding out whether said policy letter even exists.

  8. Ah. I get it.

    Men who are also caring/feeding their babies go to this lounge too, right Mary?

  9. Oh well, since the guys get the priesthood the least they could do is give the ladies a lounge, huh?

  10. though I need to clarify that I appreciate and love the priesthood as I receive all the blessings of it without the responsibility of holding it. My responsibilities lie in other, related areas.

  11. If an official letter exists prohibiting breastfeeding, it would be outdated and perhaps illegal. I don’t know about Canadian law, but many U.S. states have codified the right to breastfeed (some states have restrictions – some allow recourse if a mother is prohibited in any way). Here’s a link to a web site that summarizes each state’s legislation:


    I would educate myself about the laws of my jurisdiction to prepare for any discussion with church leaders

  12. Every ward I’ve been in has a lounge, usually too small and too close to the toilets for breastfeeding.

    However, the lounge is totally necessary for primping in between classes.

  13. Kimberly said: If an official letter exists prohibiting breastfeeding, it would be outdated and perhaps illegal. I don’t know about Canadian law, but many U.S. states have codified the right to breastfeed (some states have restrictions – some allow recourse if a mother is prohibited in any way). Here’s a link to a web site that summarizes each state’s legislation:”

    Just because they pass legislation to make it legal to breastfeed in public doesnt mean we should cross a certain line and not feel the smahe and embarrasment. I mean The United states could pass Legislation to make it perfectly legal to have sex out in public or urinte-defacate in public, but that doesnt mean i would do that. Even if they pass laws that make it legal to public breastfeed is still not gonna change some people who will stare, laugh, point and make complaints about this to a store or restaurant manager

  14. I did urinte [sic] in the washroom this morning, and by chance I looked down. I felt a fair amount of smahe [sic] at my own audacity.

    I was feeling embarrasment [sic] and smahe [sic] for staring, laughing and pointing at myself. Perhaps I’ll report myself to the manager.


    Good grief, sean! If you’re going to be an advocate, at least take the time to use the spell-checker.

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