Mom Kicked Out of Church for Breastfeeding Can't Believe the Reason

Annie Peguero
Annie Peguero/Facebook

Church for me has been more than just a place to visit on Sundays. It's a constant resource in my life that helps and challenges me to be a better reflection of the One I serve without shame -- which is why stories like this are beyond disappointing to hear. Annie Peguero is a Virginia military wife and mom of two who was reportedly kicked out of a church service for breastfeeding -- and for such an unbelievable and archaic reason.

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Peguero shared her experience at her now former place of worship in Springfield, Virginia, on Facebook, where the mom says various women in the church had an issue with her nursing her 19-month-old daughter, Autumn, in public.

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The first breastfeeding showdown took place in the church's children's area after female workers rushed to cover Annie as she nursed Autumn, who was crying during drop-off. "So I sat down on the floor outside the baby room and just started nursing Autumn," Annie recalls in her Facebook video. "Well, right away, the church workers started freaking out -- waving their hands around."

A little flustered -- like any mom would be trying to nurse with strangers touching her kid -- Annie questioned whether or not breastfeeding was uncomfortable for the female church workers, who seemingly brushed off the question before reminding her about the church's baby room.

Sadly, things didn't get any better. Annie reveals in her Facebook video she got a text during service to come back to the children's room to get Autumn, who had gotten a bit restless. Annie quickly consoled her daughter with breast milk, but then another woman approached her -- this time more assertive than the others.

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"Right away, a woman came up to me and said, 'We have a really nice baby room,'" Peguero recalls in her video. "I'm like, 'No, it's okay. It will just take a minute.' She's like, 'No, we have to go to the baby room right now. I'll take you.'"

As it turns out, the woman who approached Annie is a mother of four who explained to her that she believes in breastfeeding everywhere, but doesn't do so in church because the service is streamed online. "What if a new churchgoer that's a man sees you ... and feels uncomfortable?" Peguero says the woman asked her.

Interesting ...

Annie says she found out through asking questions that her church basically advises and trains their workers to not allow women to breastfeed without a cover in the sanctuary. She even spoke to the pastor's wife, who reportedly said, "We don't want to make a man feel uncomfortable in church, and we also don't want to make a new churchgoer feel uncomfortable."

Wow!

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Aside from the fact that breastfeeding is a protected state right in Virginia, I can't imagine being treated like this at church -- especially out of fear and concern my breastfeeding would somehow make men uncomfortable. How Stone Age does that sound??

It truly baffles me that many people still look at and treat breastfeeding like some sexual act that should be done in private or kept away from men who might be disgusted (or "turned on") at such a sight. Gotta protect their precious eyes, as we don't want to tempt them while providing our children nourishment!

Watching Annie's video made me so thankful for my church experiences when I was breastfeeding my now 3- and almost 2-year-old boys. No matter the congregation -- or whether I was in a nondenominational, baptist, or AME church -- there have been times when I nursed my children among other churchgoers and it wasn't a big deal. (GASP.)

Heck, even Pope Francis encourages nursing mothers to breastfeed their children in church "just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus" -- so, why in 2017 is this still an issue??

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I'm so frustrated and angered about this situation, as it only adds fuel for people to talk crap about churches as if this is common practice. Yet, in a strange way, I'm encouraged to see the discussion this has sparked, as many people -- women and men -- have taken to Summit Church's Facebook page to give their two cents.

breastfeeding Facebook response
Lee Bonner/Facebook

breastfeeding Facebook response
Jenny LaManna/Facebook

It's my hope we can get to a point where "coming as you are" to the house of the Lord includes the ability to worship and nurse your child without fear of being told you're making a man feel uncomfortable.

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