The Next Great Political Debate: Breastfeeding in Church

Annie Peguero is a mom from Northern Virginia. She has a one-year-old daughter. Her daughter is breastfed. Annie recently breastfed her daughter at a Northern Virginia-area church. A fellow churchgoer told Annie she needed to leave her seat and go to a private room to nurse her daughter, lest she make other churchgoers uncomfortable.

“Society has created this situation about breasts,” Peguero said. “Women should be breast-feeding their babies as they want to breast-feed their babies.”

Peguero said she later learned that the nondenominational church has a general policy against mothers breast-feeding without wearing a cover.

“I so love going to church there, but I’ll never set foot in that church again. And it makes me really sad,” Peguero said.

Peguero is now working with a lawyer and is trying to get the church to issue a statement about the matter and reverse its policy.

Virginia passed a law in 2015 that permits women to breastfeed anywhere they have a right to be. While churches are not exempt, there might be a case to be made that Peguero was there at the permission of the church. Nonetheless, she is making the claim that her rights have been violated.

Pandora’s Box: Open.

Breastfeeding is one of those not-quite-political, yet udderly utterly political, issues that women love to debate. It starts with the decision whether to nurse your newborn or go straight to formula. It’s a no-win situation for moms, as someone will always judge you for your decision.

Like most hot-button issues, however, there is more to this than a mom being told not to breastfeed her child in church. First of all, and quite importantly, her child is NOT a baby. A one-year-old does not need to nurse on demand. A sippy cup of water and some Cheerios were all that was needed; all mothers of toddlers know you don’t leave home without those essentials.

Secondly, nursing a toddler is quite cumbersome as you may be dealing with 25 pounds of non-stop movement. A friend once likened it to alligator wrestling. Also, toddlers have the motor skills necessary to seriously rearrange mom’s clothes. And, quite frankly, no one wants to see that.

Thirdly, just be a decent person and cover up. No one wants your child to starve, they just want you to show some discretion. It’s not asking too much, and it’s not a violation of your rights. It’s called compromise, and it’s what adults do. Your baby gets fed and the congregation around you appreciates being able to worship free from the sight of your boob.

But SJWs don’t do adulting well, so this issue may yet become the next great political debate. (Feminists, of course, won’t touch it because it involves mothers being attached quite literally to their children.)