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Breastfeeding at: Emanuel Synagogue, Oklahoma City, OK

Emmanuel Synagogue, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  “The Rabbi breastfeeds her own baby in the sanctuary and in the chapel.”  It is mostly comfortable.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but “There is a children’s room adjacent to the chapel, and there is one ladies’ room with comfy furniture.”   That bathroom is on the “main floor, between the chapel and the sanctuary”.  There are some accessibility limitations.  I’d suggest contacting the rabbi to find out more, if this is a concern for you.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

“People usually offer [information about breastfeeding locations] when they see a family with babies–we’re not that big.”

“Our older members seem to be shifting from discomfort to joy that there are more babies around here. The nursing cover does not seem to impact attitudes–although I think people notice that breastfeeding is occuring far less if no cover is used (or, rather, if the only cover is the mother’s shirt).”

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom only.  There is no designated space for strollers.  There is space for kids’ supplies, including a fridge for pumped breastmilk.

The attitude toward children in the main service is “Positive, if the noise is kept to a dull roar”.

Bottle feeding may or may not be accepted and comfortable in this community.  If you have experience bottle-feeding here, please let me know what it’s like!

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Great, could barely be better- 1

out of 7, where 1 is the best rating and 7 is the worst.

Contact Information:

General contact at emanuel_office@coxinet.net

Rabbi  Abby Jacobson via form on the website at http://www.emanuelokc.org/#!rabbi/c1h35

Synagogue Website:  www.emanuelokc.org

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Some So-Far Summaries

I’m in a lull, in terms of new responses.  It may well be a pre-Pesach lull.  So in the meantime, here are some statistics from the information we’ve gathered together, so far.

And if these statistics motivate you to share this with friends or family, that would be even better, right?

So here we go:

90% of synagogues have no way of communicating where they permit or encourage breastfeeding, short of contacting a staff or clergy person.

57% permit breastfeeding in the sanctuary.

49% have a location set up for breastfeeding.

46% of  those locations are totally unlabeled.

13% have no changing table at all.

7% have a fridge where parents can store a bottle of pumped milk.

5 rabbis open their offices to nursing parents wanting quiet/privacy to feed their babies.

2 communities are unfriendly to bottle-feeding.