I recently read Rixa's blog post about an illustration at the LDS Church History Museum where you can spot two women nursing their babies during Sacrament meeting. The illustration brought back that immediate excitement and relief that I got to experience about 3 years ago, when for the first time since becoming a mom I saw a sister nursing her child during the Sacrament meeting. Since Rixa asked her blog readers for a couple more photos, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to enjoy a trip to the Museum and seeing the illustration with my own eyes (as well as taking some photos of it).
After failing to breastfeed my first 2 babies for more than 3 months, I didn't have much experience with nursing in public, at church especially. Maybe I didn't pay much attention until then, but I just assumed that all mothers used 'mother's lounge' for nursing, which in our particular church building is nothing more than a small room equipped with 2 rocking chairs and a changing table, attached to the restroom. Everyone who goes to the restroom passes the 'nursing area' and you can clearly hear everything that's going on in the restroom, while you're nursing or changing your child.
The room is ok most of the time, but there have been times when I just couldn't stand nursing my baby in there. That is why I was immediately overcome with joy when for the first time ever I saw that particular sister nursing her child right in the middle of the Sacrament meeting, back when I was pregnant with Anya 3 years ago. What a relief it was, knowing that I didn't have to hustle out of the chapel if my baby was hungry. I could simply nurse my little one right there and enjoy fairly uninterrupted meeting (aside from the usual crisises caused by my two other little ones).
That experience, combined with other experiences of seeing moms nursing in public places, greatly influenced my success in breastfeeding our 3rd baby (she self-weaned at 18 months when I was pregnant with Ivy). So naturally, seeing a 139 year old illustration of LDS women breastfeeding their babies during Sacrament meeting, with men sitting right next to them, uncovered (back in the days when accidental 'flashing' of ankles was not acceptable), reassured me just how normal it actually is to tend to your baby's basic need of nourishment and comfort, anywhere and anytime.
taken during our Lake Mary hike