Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ecological Breastfeeding: It’s Eco. It’s Logical.

It’s Eco:

God’s plans always have a unity about them. He gave us this glorious earth and he gave us the means to care for it. A mother who nurses her baby whenever he wishes to be nursed, day or night, is part of that plan.
Human milk is efficiently produced without any fuels or raw materials, except a few hundred extra calories taken in by the mother. Sure, it’s old hat info to a seasoned nursing mother, but if I stop and really think about that, it never fails to blow me away. An eco-bf mom maximizes the eco-benefits of nursing… fewer canned baby foods to worry about, fewer stained baby clothes to toss, fewer disposable menstrual products in the landfills, fewer trips to the doctor even into toddlerhood thanks to mom’s continued ‘liquid vaccine.’

And that’s just some of the “ecology” in ecological breastfeeding!

It’s Logical:

The late Herbert Ratner, a Catholic physician and a major force in the formation of La Leche League, wrote very eloquently on the logic of nursing. In my favorite passage of his he writes that when God was composing the 10 Commandments it didn’t occur to Him to add one: Thou shalt nurse thy offspring. Given a hungry, crying baby in the arms of his new mother with breasts full and overflowing with milk, He felt sure the implications were too obvious for even us backwards creatures to miss.

Why bounce, tickle, walk, sing, ad nauseum when what a baby wants is to be at his mother’s breast, frequently? Nursing a baby is logical; eco-breastfeeding a baby is brilliant, lining up a child’s needs with the simplest, most efficient, and sweetest method of meeting those needs.

“A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.” ~Grantly Dick-Read

Writeen by Maureen Armendariz

Friday, August 5, 2011

He's STILL nursing?

When a toddler nurses...

I feel my cheeks going red…. Over the shouts and shrieks of children playing on the equipment, I catch broken bits of the conversation at another other picnic table.
“…nursing that kid?” “(Gasp) Yes! I can’t believe people do that!” “And in public…”

And I purposely shut my ears.

I drop my head and sniff the blonde head pressed up against me.

Smells like heaven and earth combined.

A moment ago he was a wild toddler, sweaty from his antics, unsure of what he wanted from me, sure of everything he didn’t want (anything and everything). But finally he slowed down. And before I knew it, he was clinging to my leg whimpering, “Paaa, eee,” (our strange code-word for nurse, please.) So we left the big kids playing on the jungle gym and found a bench for a nurse-rest.

It’s really impossible to explain to a woman who hasn’t done it herself- why would you want to nurse a big, cranky toddler? Oh, sure, they get demanding. Oh, sure, it’s inconvenient at times. Oh, sure, sometimes you’d love to sleep curled up in a ball instead of tangled up with a kicking little body.


But it’s the love pats on the arm while he suckles. But it’s the change from meltdown to smiles after a tumble when he only latches on for half a minute. But it’s talking with a friend while you effortlessly nurse him to sleep. But it’s the eyes that gaze up at you adoringly- looking at you the same way he has thousands of times over the last two years.

I think of all the things a mom misses when she and her baby wean at 6 months, or 12 months. All the special, secret things that pass between a mother and her child during those silent moments. (As a friend of mine jokes, “It’s the only time she holds still!”) And I’m not embarrassed anymore. Instead I feel a compassionate longing that every mother might know the peace and joy of nursing a toddler. And I lift my head up from my son’s, look across the grass, and smile brightly at the moms sitting over there.

Written by Maureen Armendariz

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chronicles of a Catholic Nursing Mother - Week 13

My youngest son is very close to completely weaning. I think I am more ready for this change than not ready. He only nurses once every other day for just a few seconds now. However, it is not comfortable, partly because of being pregnant and partially because he has forgotten how to nurse nicely. It always amazes me and surprises me when I hear of a nursing toddler that weans and then asks to nurse a few weeks later. Oftentimes, he has already forgotten how to nurse even though he nursed for two or three years.

I had quite a bit of anxiety this past weekend about miscarrying. I overdid things and must have pulled some muscles. Every twinge and every little bit of pressure left me convinced that I was miscarrying. As the days go on, I am feeling better and less anxious about this possibility. I also realized that I left God out of the equation. I was so wanting control that I forgot that God is in control. And even more importantly, God only wants the best for me and the baby. Plus, I realized through this all, that I am actually very attached to this new baby.