Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus

Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus
Nursing Madonna (wikimedia commons)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week - A Rarely Mentioned Benefit of Breastfeeding

It is World Breastfeeding Week and the many wonderful people who promote and support breastfeeding are discussing all the numerous physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding. However you might not hear too much about the spiritual benefits of breastfeeding. What are they? In the book, Getting Started with Breastfeeding: For Catholic Mothers, it says this:

"As Catholics, we believe that there is more to life than just our physical existence.  Just as breastfeeding has many great physical benefits for the baby and mother, it also provides wonderful spiritual benefits as well.  Mothering your baby at the breast helps your baby experience the unconditional love of Jesus in a very tangible way.  You are your baby's first glimpse of God.  When you nurse him int he middle of the night, you are showing your baby that God will always take care of him.  When you respond to his cries and put him to your breast, you are not only nourishing him physically but sharing God's comfort.

There are spiritual benefits for you, too.  God gives you special graces through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and through your vocation of motherhood (whether it be by birth or adoption) to follow God's will in this time of your life.  Just as on some days you might not get a long shower or enough sleep, on other days God will want you to put up your feet, sip a glass of cold water, and enjoy some quiet time in His presence while nursing your sweet baby."

Here are some links related to the spiritual benefits of breastfeeding:

Nursing Mothers' Reflections on the Beatitudes

Scriptural Mothering

Feed My Sheep

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