Breastfeeding mothers demand privacy at church …as naked boobs ‘torment’ men

Mothers have the natural inclination to provide protection, care and love to their babies. Above all these demands, nursing babies is one of the foundamental roles mothers perform with great passion.

Aware of this deman and always zealous to ensure that babies are well fed, mothers feel uncomfortable feeding babies in public and in church.

According to nursing mothers, they do not want to expose their bodies and offend the sensibilities of men at such “sacred” functions.

Speaking in an interview with The Spectator on Monday, some women expressed their discomfort with breastfeeding in church and appealed to churches to consider making a room available for nursing and breastfeeding on Sundays and major church activities. 

They were of the view that the provision of a room dedicated to exlusive breastfeeding or nursing of babies would provide people the opportunity to concentrate on the worship.

“It is alright for me to nurse or breatfeed my baby in a public transport, at the market or even on campus. However, when it comes to church I am unable to feel free to do so and so at a point in life, I  even decided to put church on hold because I didn’t want to expose my breast or give any man who is not serious funny ideas during worship,” AkuaAtaa a student and mother of one said.

She, therefore, appealed to authorities of religious institutions to prioritise providing a room for breastfeeding to give nursing mothers some privacy.

Madam Naomi Tindaana Korey, another nusing mother, said she had always tried to wear the right clothes and even cover the breast while she nursed her baby, but said if a permanent solution of a restricted area for mothers was provided it would be better.

“Imagine a man listening to the word of God and suddenly turns to see the breast of a woman? It is not a pleasant thing at all for both the woman and the man and so we should not trivialise it but help to put measures to support nursing mothers by making a room available for that.

She said there are suggestions that they go out of the churches to the compound but if a mother did not have a car to sit in, there was still the possibility of exposing her breasts outside and also she would miss much of the churchactivities, thereby defeating the purpose for which she had come to church.

However, the situation is different at the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tema Community Four in the Tema Metropolis in the Greater Accra Region, a room has been designated for breastfeeding and even a changing room for babies.

“The church dignifies and respects women as the homemakers, hence the decision to make provision for an official room for them to breastfeed their babies” the Pastor in Charge, Rev Emmanuel Oforisaid . 

He said the proximity of the breastfeeding room has also made it possible for the mothers to listen to ongoing proceedings from the church auditorium and therefore they do not lose out.

He admitted that it has really helped to give the church a place ahead of others  andhas made it possible for mothers to be comfortable to enable them to go about their motherly duties conveniently while in church.

Rev Ofori said the Breastfeeding room was set up about ten years old and  the church has been committed to that gesture and even gone ahead to provide an air condition and other basic needs to ensure that the place was conducive for both mother and baby. 

Ms Gloria Anderson, a church member, recalled her struggles as a nursing mother when the facility was not available at the church. 

She said she had to stay at home for about nine months after being delivered of her babies because it was embarrassing breastfeeding with a man just a seat or two away.

She said, she made things easier for herself when she wore a nursing bra designed for breastfeeding which covered the breasts to a large extent and ensured that the breast was not too much exposed.

She commended the church authorities for their thoughtfulness of mothers and encouraged more churches to do same to make the church a convenient place for such mothers because the privacy of women was important.

She said it was exciting to also know that a nursing mother could come to church and participate fully in the service and this had encouraged more mothers to come to church about a month or two after they were delivered of their babies.

From DzifaTettehTay,  Tema.

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