The Spirituality of Breast Feeding
Last week existed as an alternate universe where breasts, and what came out of them, was a hot topic of political debate. And I did something, I NEVER thought I’d do…I blogged politics! Now granted the subject of political debate was breast feeding, and being a breast feeding mom, I was compelled to defend the sanctity of breast feeding…and the sanctity of breast feeding is everywhere….OUTSIDE of politics. Nonetheless, I feel dirty. I feel as though I played in the mud with people who created that puddle of stink. Sarah Palin in all of her hypocrisy and Michele Bachmann wallowing in idiocy, do nothing but contribute to the hardship of womanhood. They pretend to be empathetic all the while, their actions, as well as words speak of oppression. What smacks of the ultimate disrespect is the fact that these women, who have had children, experienced the joys and health benefits of breast feeding (Bachmann claimed she did, however, I’m not sure if Palin breast fed)
I’m left to ponder the meaning of it all. Why do we (breast feeding moms) have to fight to feed? Why do we need to brave the criticism? Why are so many others, in opinions and advice intent on disempowering a woman’s ability to nourish?
Make no mistake breast feeding is a form of empowerment in every sense. It empowers the woman to motherhood….a babe to childhood. The bond formed between the mother and child is undeniable, but, it’s not just a bond, it’s a strength.
Strength emanates literally from the mother’s bosom and into the babe. The mother knows what she offers her baby is good and right. In this frame of thought, our confidence becomes the essence of our own strength. In confidence, a mom knows her child, like nobody’s business.
Yet, this society is set up to destroy the confidence of mothers. We birth in hospitals, under direction of doctors. We are given medications that compromise the integrity of nursing. We take direction from nurses after birth, whose primary concern is their compliance with the hospital’s feeding policy. We feel shamed and useless as mom when our babes are content enough, not to eat, and others, telling us that they should. Our elected officials laugh at the idea of breast feeding support. We become disenfranchised, We become discouraged. We are oft taught and trained in the way of others who have not personally experienced the spirituality of breast feeding. These are the people who scoff at “instincts”. Who laugh at the intangibles of nursing. Who scold us in the way of “right” thoughts and behavior. So we abandon the one thing that makes breast feeding empowering, our confidence. Left by the wayside, our spiritual individuality.
Whatever that spiritual individuality means to you, is decided, by you. For me, it is my relationship with the Creator God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth…the liberty and creativity I have found in His design in humankind. Before I continue on, I need to clarify, lest you consider me “Christian” , while I will not deny my spiritual relationship with Christ, I DO deny what “Christianity” has evolved to be, a gross misrepresentation of Christ, Himself. My point, whether you define spirituality as I do, or in some other form. The intangible dynamics that creates a mother is UNDENIABLE.
When the likes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann spew their destructive rhetoric about breast feeding, it truly is an attempt at disempowerment. Breast feeding is a woman’s power, just like gestating is a woman’s power. When we as women, recognize these attempts, be they intentional or not, we can protect what is naturally and rightfully ours by the essence of confidence and the power of knowledge.
….after all, it’s YOUR journey…