The Beauty of a Nursing Mother

“The beauty of a nursing mother can never be explained by a little oxytocin around the milk glands.” 

The Wisdom of the Body

(in a section discussing the biology and physiology of milk production and delivery)

I’ve mentioned before how very much I enjoy the Diane Wiessinger’s conference presentations. In 2007, I attended her amazing session called “Watch Your Language” that was about how we talk about breastfeeding. An example of a problem word when it comes to breastfeeding–using the word “special” to describe breastfeeding: a “special bond” a “special nursing corner” etc. and also using the word “perfect” (which communicates something that isn’t reasonable or that “real” people can’t do or live up to). She encouraged us not to “glorify breastfeeding” like this. Breastfeeding ISN’T special, it is NORMAL. A breastfed baby has a “normal bond” with its mother! Human milk isn’t the perfect food for babies, it is the NORMAL food for babies.

A long time ago I also marked the following quote to share from K.C. Compton in an article in Utne about baby boomers:

We discovered firsthand the radical nature of simple acts: Sit in the front of the bus, ask that your husband be present during his son’s birth, decide to feed your infant with your own breasts, refuse the nuclear power plant being built just up the road. We also learned how much more effective those acts can be when compounded by the hundreds and thousands, their feet on the street…

And, then this reminds me of a powerful editorial by Peggy O’Mara, urging women to see their mothering as a political act:

See your mothering as a political act. The way you talk to your child becomes his or her inner voice. The way you model acceptance of your own body becomes the way your daughter learns to accept hers. The way you model the distribution of chores in the household provides a blueprint for your children’s marriages. Bringing consciousness and awareness to the small acts of your life with your family can change the world. Your mothering is enough.

…As mothers, we think that our concerns are the concerns of the many. We have to make sure that they are. As mothers, we hope that our children are protected by society. We have to act when they are not. As mothers, we have authoritative knowledge about our own experience, an experience we have in common with millions of women. We can build a more just society on the ground of this common experience.


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