Saturday, August 30, 2008

God's Perfect Food

If God Almighty came to you and said, “I myself have designed a special food that will strengthen your baby’s body and develop his brain, which will comfort him and cheer his heart, and lay the foundation for his lifetime health and well-being. I have given this food into your keeping; I have placed it in your body; it is my loving provision for your child”—who would reply, “No thanks, no divine gifts, I’d rather give him a can of Similac”?

This is a favorite quote of mine from an article entitled "Milk of Kindness" by Juli Loesch Wiley.

The wonders of what He has created for us never cease to amaze me. I am especially at awe, even having done this before, at the joys of the nursing relationship He has in store for me and each one of my children. Is there anything more precious than the look of contentment on a newborn's face as he drinks in the nourishing liquid that has been created uniquely for him?

What does breastfeeding do besides provide the perfect food for your baby? It teaches them that the world is good. They learn that they have power - the power to elicit a response, and that their needs can be met in a loving relationship with one person. Babies are born expecting to be breastfed. There is no other way they have to learn that they are important, that the strange new world they are in is good, and that they will be taken care of always.

Does breastmilk have other benefits? You bet. Each mother makes a unique milk destined for her child. (This is not to say that her milk could not or should not nourish another child. In the lineage of what is best to feed your baby, someone else's milk comes in 3rd after your own milk (1), your pumped milk (2), and before formula (4).) Her milk changes and adjusts to her baby's ever expanding needs. It is something that a commercially made formula could never mimic nor even come close to resembling.

When a child is sick, his mother's milk will adjust, giving him more antibodies to put him on the path to wellness faster. Mother's milk has other healing properties as well. It will cure pink eye, help a cut heal faster, and soothe diaper rash.

Aside from the scientific and spiritual qualities of breastfeeding as the more endearing qualities. Nothing can fully explain the bond between nursling and nourisher. Knowing that you can fulfill the every-need (hee, hee, I made up a new word) of your infant is satisfying to say the least. It is an accomplishment that makes you stand up tall at the title of Mother.

Other things I love about nursing:

Milky breath of my baby
Non-stinky diapers
The "milk-drunk" face
Watching baby suckle the air in his sleep
Suckle-swallow sound of my nursling eating in the dark
Waking up to little grunts asking, "Please may I have some?"
Staring into my nursling's eyes as he stares into mine

I am so thankful to God for the awesome grace and blessing to be able to nurse a child again. It is one of my favorite parts of motherhood. It is a special relationship that only I can have with my children, that no one else can duplicate. It is The Way It Was Meant To Be.

As the Psalmist (22:9) says: "It is thou, God, who took me from the womb, And kept me safe upon my mother’s breasts." And so, entrusted to me by God, I shall, too, keep my child safe upon my breast.


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