Nursing the Divine

Note: Excuse all the links, but there is some good stuff to check out, so click away!

A friend posted something today on bringing back the Facebook page called The Leaky B@@b. (Now back up!) Apparently, this breastfeeding page was removed. (You can read more about the Leaky B@@b controversy.) My friend’s link to the Kate Hansen’s website led me to her post about breastfeeding for The Leaky B@@b’s (2010) blog carnival called “Perspectives: Breastfeeding from Every Angle.” Now that I’m back at work (and pumping), I already feel inspired to do a blog carnival of my own on breastfeeding…..keep an eye out for a call for submissions!

Anyway, after reading Kate Hansen’s post, “Nursing the Divine,” and looking at her art,  I was moved to write the following comment on breastfeeding and thought I’d share:

This is so wonderful! There seem to be so many inhibitors for such a complex, difficult and important act. I love breastfeeding, even with the frustrations and irritations and pain, and feel the same overwhelming sense of divinity in motherhood and while nursing in particular. (My little is 14 months, and I’m already feeling a bit nostalgic because I know this type of close, loving connection will eventually end, even if it lasts a few years more.)

I also had the same feelings of inadequacy as a small-breasted woman. People (in general) certainly need to get more comfortable with breasts and breastfeeding, and beautiful art depicting real mamas and babies is a lovely way to make that happen. Seeing “working” breasts, doing their miraculous and life-giving/nurturing task is a rare thing for most folks. I hear that voice in my head saying I should be embarrassed or ashamed about breastfeeding in public. Then I think about how much more confident I was starting out (and I was not even very confident) because I had seen a mama nurse her baby for about ten minutes. She did it right in front of all of us homebirth couples just as natural as could be as she told the story of her homebirth. (She did ask first, for our sake). That was the only time in my life I had seen a breastfeeding baby before trying it myself after my homebirth weeks later.

So your art is important, and I thank you for your support of motherhood, breastfeeding and, most importantly, babies!

THINK ABOUT IT! Breastfeeding is what mamas and babies are designed to do*** so that babies don’t starve for food (for their stomachs, their brains and more).

Next time you see a breastfeeding baby, notice:

  • What thoughts flash in your head?
  • How does your body react?
  • Are you focused on the baby seeking nourishment (for mind, body and soul) or on the mama with her bare breast?
  • And (dare I go there?), should the dreaded happen and a nipple is flashed, how do your body and mind react?
  • How comfortable are you with breastfeeding?

***If you are struggling with breastfeeding, know you are not alone! There is support for you! Find your local lactation consultant or La Leche League (LLL) leader or a midwife near you and get some help or find community now.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lata Murti on March 18, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I learned so much from this entry, Sheila … and enjoyed it all. Thank you!

    Reply

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