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Per Food in bathroom it is forbidden to eat in the bathroom. Can a lady nurse in the bathroom or is it considered like eating in the bathroom? (sources)

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Is the nursing infant bound by the mitzvot? – Monica Cellio Jan 30 '12 at 15:14
@MonicaCellio, normally we don't allow someone to physically cause even an infant to violate halacha (AFAIK; but consult your rabbi for practical guidance). – msh210 Jan 30 '12 at 15:35
Consider the leniencies provided in this answer (judaism.stackexchange.com/a/2048/5), as well as the importance of feeding a hungry infant. – Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 20:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Rav Aharon Yehuda HaLevi Grossman (V'Darashta VChakarta 4:42:7) permitted nursing in a bathroom particularly in a case where doing so would allow for proper modest behavior.


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If there was no problem with modesty, is it still OK? – Gershon Gold Jan 30 '12 at 18:15
He brings a number of other reasons to be lenient besides modesty but he doesn't rule explicitly in that case. See the link. – Double AA Jan 30 '12 at 18:21
The Ben Ish Ḥai mentions an opinion (I had thought it was his own, but apparently he only held it can be relied upon in She'ath HaDeḥak - jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/ben-ish-hai; yoatzot.org/question.php?id=7552) that a nursing mother's breasts are considered like her hands and face (normally exposed), and that one can recite Shema' in front of her. – Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 21:06
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky permits it but if possible to avoid. See hebrewbooks.org/… – Barry Feb 7 '12 at 18:27

So far, the only source I have seen for not eating in the bathroom is the B'er Heitev (OC 3:2). He extends this law as a kol shekein ("even more so") from talking. I am assuming they are forbidden for the same reason- it is improper. In line with that reasoning is why women did speak in a bathroom- otherwise there could be a breach in modesty.

I would think an infant has a different standard than an adult (do you stop feeding your child if he is expelling waste?), especially considering the following regarding talking (from R' Sheinberg):

While actually expelling waste (nifne): forbidden except for a great need

While on the toilet: permitted for a need (l'tzurach)

Finished expelling waste: permitted

While we cannot apply that directly to eating since that is worse (the kol shekain), it can certainly be used as a snif l'hakel (element to consider toward ruling leniently).

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