Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Holy Cow! The breastfeeding battle!

We all know a mommy cow nursing her calf is the most normal thing in the world:)


It’s a little more controversial  with human mommas.

 When I was a mom breastfeeding all 3 of my kids- out in public was a little bit of a challenge.  While I did breastfeed in public, I was pretty discreet about it, and usually went to a more private place.   


One time I was in a bookstore with a friend of mine, and decided to go out and sit in her car to breastfeed.  When she came out of the store she looked at me and started to laugh hysterically.  I was wondering why -until she pointed out to me that I was in the WRONG car!  WHOOPS, MY BAD!  


While I was coaching Anna’s softball team when she was 10, I used to breastfeed Bud in the dugout  behind the bats and helmets.    Hmmmmm… maybe that is what accounts for his disdain for baseball?


Nowadays moms are busy whether you are stay at home or working outside the home.   Some moms still find a way to breastfeed, (they pump, they take their kids to work, etc),  some don’t, and that is a-ok. 

 This blog is NOT about formula vs breastfeeding.  My mom used formula on all 7 of her kids- most of my sisters used it, I just happened to breastfeed. 

 Yes bonding and nutrition and all that stuff is way nice- but to be honest- I did it because it was cheaper.  We were struggling young missionaries at the time and money was TIGHT.  There was no cash for formula.  I was working part time, and was allowed to have my baby with me, so it was not too difficult.

What this blog IS about is WHERE it is OK to breastfeed.   

Recently a mommy poopstorm  came up at Baylor University...

 When an editorial, written by a 20ish student young fella hit the college newspaper.  He took offense when a female professor from another university had her baby at work, and breastfed during class. 

In fact, her child was sick that day and she could not take the baby to childcare, so she brought the infant to work, it was the first day of class and she didn't want to cancel....  

The young gentleman’s point was that there is no place for children, especially breastfeeding infants in the professional workplace.  

 Lots of moms took exception to his viewpoint,

... and one male religion professor at Baylor.

You can read both the original letter, by student Asher Freeman,  and Dr Peter Candler's rebuttal letter HERE:

an excerp: "With all due respect to mothers everywhere, breast-feeding in a professional setting is — well… unprofessional. New mothers should be prepared for extenuating circumstances such as sick child as well as remember that in a professional setting, they are not only mothers."

 and from the professor:  "But there is something even more worrying here: there is more than a trace of the Freudian or even Nietszchean in the view that breast-feeding is fine in principle but not if I have to witness it"

 VERY interesting points on both sides of the fence:) One of Anna's good friends at Baylor, another doctoral student, just got assigned to a task force to locate places on campus for women to breastfeed....

And now for the "What in the Cathair" take:
 (you knew that was coming)

1.Any young men, who have not been a dad, up at night with a screaming hungry child, or trying to find childcare for a sick baby,  


 are not allowed an opinion on breastfeeding….

 At all.       Period.

2. Yes mommies, I have been there-done that-got the trophy AND t-shirt.  I know its natural, I know it’s beautiful, I know it’s wonderful , and  bond-a-licious

 Still, a little discretion never hurt anyone.

3.Life is tough and busy for a professional mom.  Let’s all be a bit forgiving and NOT write editorials about their parenting struggles- OK?

4.If you are lucky enough to be able to have your infant with you at work: GREAT.  But to be honest, some jobs just are NOT conducive to it.   

 Of course there are exceptions to EVERYTHING:)

5.To be fair to the original editorial- it IS hard for a 20ish young man to wrap his head around breastfeeding for so many reasons that I don't have to enumerate... 

all the more reason to keep his mouth SHUT

Mommas nursing their babies of any species has happened since the beginning of time. 


In the developing country I lived in for 4 years, moms breastfed in public, at work, and everywhere.  No one was offended. No one wrote an editorial. No one really noticed.

 It would seem it is the way God made us. 

Good judgment on one side of this controversy, and education and tolerance on the other side, might help. 

 Here are the opinions ventured forth in my family:
 Photo: Sieges family visit!

Dr Sieg: “kid’s gotta eat, nurse em if ya got em”
Anna: “I’m not touching this one with a ten foot pole”
Ruth: “Hmmmmmmm……..”

But of course, Evan wasn’t allowed to voice his opinion… 

at least not very loud:)

and what's your opinion? 



  1. I agree with your "discretion" suggestion. There's no point in making a spectacle out of it, but at the same time you've gotta do what you've gotta do. On the whole breast-fixation thing: guys are more than happy to see 'em on the Internet; but in class, performing the biological function for which God created 'em--well, obviously it creates extreme cognitive dissonance. What in the cat hair indeed!

  2. I'm proud of my friend Pete's response to this, from a theological point of view. aside from that, I agree totally with the point you make at the end--I too lived for several years in developing countries, where this sort of thing just isn't an issue, whether among professionals or campesinos. get over it, people...

  3. I agree with Dr. Tim AND with Dr. Karen (my sis) short, if the kid's hungry feed the kid, but cover up so conflicted folks don't have to look at your boobies.

  4. I think our society is obsessed with boobs...and welcomes them being seen everywhere, unless they are being used to feed a baby. At the beach, on billboards, on TV, in magazines, it's perfectly acceptable to have images of women with huge breasts hanging out in a sexual way but as soon as a woman breastfeeds her baby, breasts turn "gross" and it turns into a huge controversy. I personally would not nurse in public without a cover, but I just think there is something not right with the way our society obsesses about breasts. Also, from being able to have the privilage to breastfeed my baby, I am convinced that God made a perfect and beautiful thing when he designed women. Being able to nurse was a way to bond with my baby, keep him healthy, and keep me healthy by helping me lose the baby weight. Breastfeeding produces oxytocins which help you bond to your child. However, because our society's view on breastfeeding leads young women to believe that it is disgusting, too much work, and unnecessary, many women and babies miss out on a beautiful thing God designed with our best interest in mind.