Since I started sharing my Red Robin incident I've received a few comments about my "modesty issues". It's been said before, but I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. Modesty is a big thing for us. The guideline is to wear clothes that cover your legs to the knee, cover your midriff, cover your shoulders, and have a modest neckline.
Some have felt that because my breast was showing while nursing meant I was breaking the LDS Church's standard of modesty, meaning it was somewhat sinful.
So this is what the LDS Church has to say on the matter:
"Mother’s Milk Is Usually Best for Small Babies
Our Heavenly Father made the mother’s body so it could produce milk. This milk is made especially for human babies to drink. It is better for babies than milk from animals. The first fluid that comes from the mother’s breasts after a new baby is born is also important. It contains substances that help protect the baby from diseases for the first few months.
Sometimes for health reasons a mother cannot breast-feed her baby. Milk from cows or goats or prepared formulas can also be used, but the mother must take greater care to keep the milk sanitary. A mother should breast-feed her baby if she can. The mother’s diet influences how much milk she produces for the baby. A mother who eats enough good foods and drinks enough water can usually produce enough milk for her baby."
Annnd, that's it. The LDS Church has taken no official stance on HOW breastfeeding is to take place, just that they encourage that it happens.
Now the LDS Church has a lot of wonderful things to say about modesty, but I want to focus on what it says about situational modesty (found at the bottom of the link):
“Are Latter-day Saint girls exempt from standards of modesty in dress while they are performing in marching or cheerleading groups?”
Marilyn Arnold, “Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Feb. 1975, 10
Answer/Sister Marilyn Arnold
My first reaction to this question is to ask another question: Are we, can we ever be, exempt from Church standards, whether in dress or behavior? Can we expect the Lord to bend his principles or put them aside for certain occasions? I think the answer has to be no to the general question, but there are some aspects of the specific question about marchers and cheerleaders that we need to examine. For example, does adherence to LDS standards mean a girl in a marching group has to wear a knee-length costume? Perhaps the answer to this question can also be suggested by another question: Should an LDS girl wear a knee-length bathing suit when she goes swimming or a turtleneck gown to a dance? Is a ballerina immodest if she performs in standard ballet attire? Modesty in dress is at least partly dependent upon the appropriateness of a particular costume to the occasion or activity for which it is worn. What is appropriate and modest for one activity may not be for another. We have to exercise judgment and make every effort to obey the spirit of the law.
A shorter-than-knee-length skirt can be appropriate for a marching group or for cheerleaders. But even so, the costume need not be immodest. In fact, a Latter-day Saint girl who is a member of such a group can be a strong voice in the choice of costumes. And she should speak up, insisting that the costume be in good taste, appropriate, and modest. Marchers and cheerleaders are in a very real sense on display. I am sure there is no relationship between the brevity of costume and the excellence of a performance. If her performing group, over her protests, selects an immodest (and hence, inappropriate) costume, a Latter-day Saint girl should most certainly choose in favor of the eternal principle."
You can have situational modesty during swimming, professional dancing and sports, doctor's visits, and birth.
The following is MY opinion based of the information given to me. It is NOT the view of the LDS Church. If you have any fault with what I'm going to say it is MY fault and not the Church's.
I feel that breastfeeding in public is a situational modesty issue. I don't walk around with my breasts hanging out, but if my baby is hungry I will feed my baby the best way I see fit. I will strive to be discreet in most situations but if I cannot be 100% discreet I don't worry about it because of the situation I'm in.
So, let's talk about this. How do other LDS members feel? How do other of not our faith feel?
All of those LDS members who will be posting, please remember to NOT talk about things that we're not supposed to talk about. If you bring up sacred things I will delete your comment. This discussion can be had without bringing up those things we hold sacred.
Lovely Links: 12/19/14
14 hours ago