Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8th

As a day of Holy Obligation, I attended on-line Mass today. Not because I had to; but because I wanted to truly celebrate A Feast Day for Mothers. It was really quite lovely. It has been many years since I went to Mass. However, I have found myself moved to prayer most days, these days; and as you would imagine I pray mostly to Mary in all her mysterious glory to intercede on behalf of all Mothers.

It is a simple prayer, probably one that I first learned in my childhood.it goes like this…

Hail Mary

Full of Grace

The Lord is with Thee

Blessed are you Among Women

Blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb

Jesus.

It is the foundation of the Rosary , a calming and repetitive devotion that is an integral part of a long held ritual often enjoyed during Advent, the season leading up to the birth of the Christ and all of the celebratory events we associate with Christmas.

You don’t have to be Catholic or even religious to imagine what it might be like for you the 17 days before the birth of your little one. In addition to feeling fat, and wholly unready for the task at hand and how you might ever care for a little One; you hope for a moment of calm and the knowledge that all indeed will be well. it can be very reassuring to know that God is within you.

The tale is really quite magical, that a Virgin gives birth. There is NO sin, Original or otherwise and this was known well before your (Mary’s ) conception. Her mother (the baby’s grandmother) Anne knew and it was foretold that her conception was like no other and that She alone would give birth and nurture someone incredibly special who would save the world because of her Divine Love and Grace.

Today no matter what, I hope and pray that you feel special and wonderful and capable of even the impossible. Spirit’s got your back and you need not worry about the details.

My granddaughter introduced me to a word that she had tattooed on her forearm in plain view, she was “Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words”. Pope and a bunch of folks used the same Word to describe Mary and why we might worship her.

ineffable

In case you have forgotten, you are truly Divine!

TODAY is MY DAUGHTER’s 40th Birthday

See her there, gorgeous mound of amber Joy pretending to cheez for the camera. She is about 15 months old. My dad took this photo just past the 365 day mark. This is a lovely Sunday December near Christmas Gathering. We are nowhere near weaning. I am getting some good natured teasing from folks, I am smiling, she is ignoring them. Weighing in about 36 pounds, my Nana is whispering in my ear to ignore them reminding me she is strong and healthy for a girl and I look happy and well. “You will know when it’s time” I find it’s so interesting today that both my grandmothers who had a chance to nurse their babies well past a year gave me almost verbatim the same advice. “just sit down and nurse that baby and you will both feel better”

My daughter is wondering why I wore that stupid midi dress, turtleneck no less which provides no access to titties. I was trying to look grown up as if we no longer nursed at a moment’s notice. She more practical still than I wonder how long does she need to be polite and wait and eat finger foods olives, cheese, crackers, codfish cakes, deviled eggs.

See her reaching over pulling the fake pearls, not distracted a bit from what she knows will be our quiet time when we are done with these family folk. I just found this picture. The only one I have with me and my Nana. She lived a few years more and died my first day of midwifery school, passing the torch as it were. I now can see the power of Elder blessings!

I have been uncharacteristically teary today. I just finished the last payment on the headstone for my mom. She’s been dead now since 2009. The cemetery couldn’t find the account number or paper working barely the grave site if not for my daughter. The cemetery changed hands or pandemic stuff; records not digitized whatever? My daughter is the only one that visits the grave site and I think it is a fitting present that today on her 40th birthday, we remember my mother properly with so much gratitude. The gravestone goes to production, no more debt. We are so free to love and remember.

Violette Duckett Strachan April 27, 1927- January 9, 2009

Legacy is love. Inheritance is joy, and hope and promise.

Happy Birthday my beautiful Daughter. You are my Joy! I love you so!

Wise Woman Ways

One day your time of fertility, and nursing a little one will go away. One year, one full cycle of 365 days after the birth will seem to be such a short time. Hours, minutes, days are all relative. It is such mystery that we have a time to menstruate, we bleed and for the remainder of nearly half our lives we cease to be able to reproduce and we have menopause; the bleeding stops.

During lactation, and then again as we approach menopause, we have extraordinary powers and are extremely sensitive to the ways in which we interact with the world. When our flow changes, when we nurse our babies as we prepare to let them go from relying on our bodies: we heal ourselves, we heal each other and we heal our planet.

One of my favorite authors and teachers is Susun S. Weed. She has written several books on healing and most recently I have re-read Wise Woman Ways: The Menopausal Years. As I remember vividly the time of nursing my children, I don’t think I thought of the days of how it would feel for me or that the cycles I experience as a woman (Some ONE with a womb) would change across my lifetime in a predictable pattern. We are all unique, but we share many things in common.

Susun describes and expands on a concept she calls the six steps of healing. She reminds us that we have ancestors and grandmothers who have been through this before and that we can listen, tell our own stories and also rely on them to teach us and guide us whenever we are ready. It is the role of the elder. It speaks to wise woman ways. As you grow and nurse your little one , you are becoming a wise woman.

She describes an archetypal character called Grandmother Growth. She advises us to:

“Let Grandmother Growth help. She knows the ways of woman’s mysteries. She lives the ways of the wise woman, healing and wholing person and planet. She offers stories about Change, new ways to understand the menopausal years, and new visions of old woman, She-Who-Holds-the Wise-Blood-Inside. “Shall we begin?”

Step 0. Do Nothing

Step 1 Collect Information

Step 2 Engage the Energy

Step 3. Nourish and Tonify

Step 4. Stimulate/ Sedate

Step 5a Use supplements

Step 5b Use drugs

Step 6 Break and Enter

Most of what we share and promote here in this breastfeeding365 blog centers around the healing that takes place during steps 0-3. For many of us, in our contemporary society we have never done anything even remotely like this. We have never been allowed to make the time.

STEP 0. .. Do nothing …sleep, meditate, unplug the clock or the cellphone, a vital INVISIBLE step

STEP 1 …Collect Information …low tech diagnosis, reference books, support groups, divination

STEP 2…Engage the energy…prayer, homeopathic remedies, crying, visualizations, ritual, aromatherapy, color, laughter

Where are you on your healing journey? Are you nursing a little one right now? Are you supporting and helping someone as they make this change in the way they are living their lives. Tell us your story! We are listening! And so is Grandmother Growth!

References

http://www.susunweed.com

Freedom To Succeed #3

“What do mothers need?
 
The Keys for Success
 
• Love
• Knowing What You Have
Freedom
• Mother-Baby Couple
• Healing”

True freedom comes from having boundaries and feeling free to take action on your own behalf to do things that benefit you. Doing for others doesn’t mean doing things at your expense in the name of someone else.

When what you are doing for your child is killing you, things are out of balance and something is wrong. When you rationalize what you are doing is for your baby and it’s hurting you that is even more wrong.

You can’t be guilt-tripped into nursing your baby. It’s not something you do for show or to impress others. It must be what you want for yourself. You don’t spoil a child by breastfeeding. You spoil a child when you allow anyone including your baby to take what responsibilities rightfully belong only to you.

My mother always used to tell a story about what her mother Lois told her about giving to your children. ““Always leave something back for yourself. You will ruin them if you don’t and they won’t know how to learn to live in this world.””

My mother’s stories were always told repeatedly and were usually enhanced by being told late a night after just a wee bit of scotch.

It would always start with this opening . . .  “Now let me tell you something, you have to remember . . .” If I knew know how precious those words of wisdom would be I would have taken notes.

She would say:

““Now what’s wrong with this picture? The baby has everything, you have nothing. The baby needs everything, and you need nothing[… Child what is wrong with you, there are no flies on you . . .  You are the mother, nobody will love that baby but you like you do . . .  but you teach them . . . . Like this. And the she would motion to her hands to show me imaginary money and dollar bills . . .  as if she was counting the national treasury out.

One for you, two for me

Three for you, five for me

Six for you, ten for me

When reminded of this story of my mother by Suji who she also lectured on this point many times when she thought we were spoiling the children and allowing them to take advantage. I was struck with how often I heard so many mothers say . . .

Now that I have this child, life as I know it is over. The baby’s needs are more important than mine. If we truly believe this, how could being a mother possibly be pleasurable?

“No wonder we are taught to hate and pity teen mothers and unplanned pregnancies, and single moms. Have you assumed, or allowed someone to influence you to feel that having a baby is in conflict with what you really want to do. You are taught to delay childbearing and childrearing because you believe that having a child causes a conflict in your life. Every aspect of your life, your career, your lover, your marriage, your friends, your home and your lifestyle, your ability to make money and care for yourself are ALL in conflict with having YOUR baby. Really?”

All other things or important relationships are perceived as competition for your inner desire and calling to mother. We are not always taught to think about the ways in which we powerfully create a new life in partnership with others.

How do we learn to integrate mothering with who we are as women? Who will join us and sustain us during this journey? Who will love us while we learn to love another part of ourselves that we must one-day release to the world?

We often feel we are free to make decisions and to have choices, but how often are we influenced by people around us, the media, expectations we have of ourselves and others have of us.

If you watch television, read magazines, and live in the world, you are affected by what you see, hear, and feel. I will give you a great example of how what we really need as mothers and what we think we need to function as a good mother can be two very different things if we are not very careful.

“HGTV is my favorite network. I actually pay extra for pay TV and could watch it endlessly. In fact, watching TV was my main barrier to completing the work on this book. I dream about my dream house, decorating, remodeling, square footage, what stove or fridge I want. Hunting for houses with open floor plans, checking for double vanities. Browsing real estate websites, it is positively hypnotic. My son calls it house porn, I laugh, but I still watch and from time to time, I do wonder how does it affect me and how I feel about myself and how I feel about the space that I live in and my neighborhood and my bathroom when I look around my personal space and it doesn’t look like that.

The master bedroom suite must contain a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a double sink so two people can brush their teeth at the same time and maybe even shower or take a bath separately.

“Never on my TV is there even a sign or a line of sight for a baby. The baby’s room is down the hall, perhaps even on another floor. The baby too has its own bathroom. Color-coding is very important so you and everyone else will know the sex of the baby from fifty feet away.

There is room for toys, a rocking chair or glider, a changing table and of course a fantastic crib that transitions into the daybed with an obligatory mobile. You can install an intercom throughout the house or a baby monitor but you as the mother are expected and even taught to monitor the baby from another location while you are with the other adults and to listen for signs of crying, hunger or life and you go when summoned. You can also check in on the baby by surveillance cameras and video monitoring.

An open floor plan for your granite counter topped kitchen with stainless steel appliances so your guests can see you while you are cooking and entertaining are critical.

This is why all pregnant women everywhere must move to a larger more expensive location in a better school district with an additional bedroom sometime during pregnancy or just after the birth.

Your baby MUST have it’s own room; their own closet and designer adult style clothes. Shoes when they can’t walk and jeans when they are still in diapers.

What would your dream space look like if you were designing a space for taking care of yourself so you can nurture your baby from pregnancy through weaning? What if mammals (the mother-baby couple) were designed to be together from conception through weaning to ensure survival of the species and smiling faces with good mental health for both parties?

“What kind of space would make it easy to be with your baby and to sleep with your baby and to not have to run all over the place or to be positioned to hear the baby monitor and still keep your husband or your regular sexual partner or the one you want if you don’t have one?
 
Do you have the freedom to decide that and do you truly know how important you are and what you do have for your baby? Will watching hours of television make you think that your relationship with your partner and with your baby will be improved in a bigger house with more bedrooms?
 

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868

Your baby MUST have it’s own room; their own closet and designer adult style clothes. Shoes when they can’t walk and jeans when they are still in diapers.

What would your dream space look like if you were designing a space for taking care of yourself so you can nurture your baby from pregnancy through weaning? What if mammals (the mother-baby couple) were designed to be together from conception through weaning to ensure survival of the species and smiling faces with good mental health for both parties?

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868

Wonder if our President’s mother was able to nurse her baby?

YES OH MY YES.

I confess it was very late at night, and I began wondering about our President’s mother. Where was she born? How old was she? What was her name? How were things going in her marriage? Was he her first baby, her first son? Where was her mom? Her sisters? Her auntie, her grandma? Had she had a successful experience by the time it came time to nurse the amazing child who would grow up to be President.

Mothering a son is different than a mothering a daughter. Or at least that’s what we are told, Somehow gender is a factor in how we love and nurture. When I held my son close, and cuddled, was it different than holding my daughter? When I lost control, or felt ill, or inept, was I different with my son than my daughter. Did I have higher expectations for myself and for him?

My Nana, my paternal grandmother was an immigrant traveling here by ship from Trinidad . She first arrived here at age 17 years old with her two younger twin brothers in tow. Some nine years later, she had her two boys both born at home with nurse midwives. She nursed them both for a long time as was their custom and she prayed that her sons would be great and promised God all good things if their lives would be spared the pandemic of their day, the 1918 Spanish flu. I can barely imagine what it was like to nurse my baby in the midst of quarantine. 50 million people lost worldwide. Would fear completely overwhelm me? She described so many children lost, soldiers quickly wounded and dying from the Great War, and traveling by ship across The Atlantic. She first traveled alone, and then with her twin brothers, recalling her own mother’s illness; their faith, the violence, the lynchings; sons who inflicted unspeakable harm, unimaginable sorrow, grief and separations, days when it seemed that none would be spared.

Our President’s paternal grandfather died in 1918 from the pandemic. Apparently they were together one day for a walk and the next day, he died suddenly. I wonder how his mother with a young son only 14 years old felt losing her husband alone in a new country. She too was an immigrant! A young woman having to go on alone with her son who had the courage and foresight to build a prosperous family business. By the age of 31, her son married a woman he loved in 1936 and they soon started a family.

Our President was the fourth of five children born to a MOM, the youngest of ten children who immigrated from Scotland to join her sister in New York at age 17. Like my grandmother, leaving a small island; the future essentially unknown, but filled with promise. Maybe there were no other choices! She wanted only the best for her self and her sons. Something more, but she would gladly settle for survival and a long healthy life of service and joy. What might we have to endure? What might we all have in common?

my grandmother who had a chance to nurse all of her babies

I have to think on that one a bit and wonder a bit more. It has been a very long time since I held a baby at the breast. and drifted off to sleep, knowing all was well, feeling safe, not hungry, not thirsty, and not afraid. As a mother I felt the most power ever in my ability to not only love, but to protect and dream and wish for a world full of wonderful things I would prepare my son for when he was no longer small enough and portable enough to be held in my arms.

my father and his brother surviving the pandemic with a mother’s love, hopes and dreams

Today I pray for all mothers and sons. May they be protected for all the days of their lives. May our mothers find courage, find comfort, find love and the gentle space to wish and wonder and care for their babies. We have no idea what our sons will become, or how we will manage. We teach love at the breast; but it is not our only tool.

Today we unite with all mothers everywhere. We call for peace, grace, mercy, justice, but most of all the capacity to love safe from harm. Tell your story. Listen closely to the mothers all around you!

https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/film-and-tv/donald-trumps-mother-story-mary-anne-macleod-trump-bbc-documentary-uncovers-us-presidents-scottish-roots-1407481

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What do Mother’s need? The keys to Successful Breastfeeding #1


 
• Love
• Knowing What You Have
• Freedom
• Mother-Baby Couple
• Healing
 
1 Corinthians 13:13
 
“ . . . For there are these three things that endure:

Faith, Hope, and Love. but the greatest of these is Love.”
 
LOVE
 
How are you with the love that you have in your life and the love that you have in your heart and the love that you have for your child, the love you have for yourself? Do you love God, the Goddess; do you worship and feel loved and perfectly made by your Creator?
 
Does it (love) feel comfortable and good and unblocked? When you have a baby love comes up because for most of us we fall in love with our babies in a way that we could not know was possible. Maternal love is different, especially for a small infant. Breastfeeding your baby is one way that you can love your baby. Not the only way, but one way and a very important way that establishes the primary relationship that child will have with the world and everyone in it.

Breastfeeding triggers all sorts of feelings, and hormones and chemicals that allow us to extend the connection and bond that starts when you make love and a little one is conceived, grows during pregnancy and extends through the first few years of life.
 
In some respects, breastfeeding is a continuation of pregnancy and NOT breastfeeding aborts a relationship between you and that, which is part of you and cannot exist independently of you for quite some time. To be a mammal, live birth and warm milk is something we share with many species in the animal kingdom. We can learn a lot from watching them.

“If you do not feel and experience love for your baby, it is impossible to breastfeed and to have a close and intimate relationship with that child. The sucking on your breast causes changes in your brain, your uterus, your breasts, your heart, and your muscles. The sucking also causes changes in the baby. The sucking that occurs several times throughout the day at regular frequent intervals maintains levels of hormones and changes in your body that produces the nourishment for your child, reduces stress, promotes sleep and relaxation and a sense of well-being for you both. The more unrestricted sucking you allow, the more milk that you have. The more at ease you are and the more relaxed you are, the more milk your body makes. It is creamier, sweeter, and higher in nutrients based on how well you feel, how you are eating and drinking and how much you are loved and how loving you are.”

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868


 

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What do you do that makes you feel better?

I am rarely struck to silence, or even given to pause before answering a direct question.  Sometimes I suppose it depends on who is doing the asking. But when my daughter with three children ages 21, 17, and 9 asked me that question after a challenging day (hers not mine). I was dumbstruck and hesitant and should have had the good sense to just text back; “let me get back to you on that one “. Legitimately she was in the pits and couldn’t snap out of it!

I am very lucky in that I feel good most of the time. Good, better, best, I am at a good starting point. Of course life happens and many things are out of my control, but I don’t have bouts of feeling bad or in search of doing or needing something to make me feel better as a general rule.   I know there is not necessarily a magic pill, or an antidote for a bad day or yet even a series of bad events clearly one right after the other mounting up when you are already past your limit. I am an optimist; glass half-full kinda gal. My optimism annoys my daughter. It is especially annoying when she is feeling bad, overwhelmed and not well.  She depends on me for framing the issue in a different way or the gentle reminder that I find myself saying more often as I get older “that this too will pass” . I thought this bit of encouragement was coined by my mother until I later learned this maxim was somewhat attributed to bible verses allowing for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord to expect that they will be saved.  So while we are yelling in the moment, be assured and encouraged, HELP is on the way.

While we don’t understand why bad things happen to us and why we feel sad and overwhelmed and not up to the task however small; it is in fact a temporary condition that invites us to be more loving, kinder, gentler with ourselves and others. The condition we are facing will pass. It won’t last all ways. We will be drawn closer to a loving presence where we won’t feel ashamed, and not good enough.

In 12 step program fellowships when you struggle with an addiction; they ask you to just stop for a moment and use the acronym HALT!  Ask yourself, are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired? This could be a trigger for searching for a way to do something to make you feel better.  What you select as the remedy may seem to work for the short term, but it does not truly address what is bothering you.  You can barely care for yourself and yet you are expected to supply someone else with their most basic needs for survival 24 hours a day seven days a week. How might that even be possible?

When I want to feel better almost instantly; I pray!  It works every time.  Even when I didn’t know it was working. Just being myself was truly enough.  I have a conversation with the Love that I know to be true in God’s presence.   If I am feeling awful, I know it is often because I believe something that I also know is not true.  There is a bit of information that I need that I am missing or help in this situation to see the reality more clearly. I don’t try to talk myself out of it, I just lovingly accept for that moment, that is how I feel, and it is the very best I can do.  It is in that moment of deep surrender that I feel the love well up around me and something shifts.  Indulging in that space of unconditional love is what many mothers do so readily for their little ones.  It is a gift we can learn to give ourselves.

At times, it may be sitting down with a cup of tea, allowing myself a bit of grace where I am not being graded or evaluated by anyone. There is joy in what we do and who we are. I am grateful to have friends I can call on that I don’t have to explain everything. It just is and hearing their voice encourages me and makes me feel better.

Tell your story, what may have worked before having a child may look very different now. I would love to hear what you do when you want to feel better. What brings you Joy?

Have you ever nursed another mother’s baby?

Before the advent of readily available infant feeding substitutes, it was not uncommon for women who were unable, unwilling or unavailable to nurse their babies to engage the assistance of wet nurses who would readily nurse another women’s baby.  This would not only save the life of the baby and in some regards the life and reputation of the mother.

It was considered a noble activity, sister sharing if within the same family or close-knit community, it could also be a lucrative profession for women at a time when women were rarely paid for women’s work. Often their own infants may indeed suffer the loss of milk or time, though depending upon cultural norms, their own children could be raised alongside or just ahead of the infant they were also nursing.

I have had the pleasure and the honor to nurse another woman’s baby. Always with permission, and in my case by the request of the mother in whose absence I was “called to duty”. Whether it was due to the reluctance of the infant to take a bottle or for the expressed comfort needs of the mother who felt what I had was better than the alternatives. Today, we may freeze and share vast quantities of excess breast milk given or sold by women with an outrageous supply of milk either because their baby was not available or had passed, or who had a tremendous supply due to the efficiency of modern day “milking machines” or electric pumps.

There is a clear history of black women nursing the babies of their white slave masters, their own children by their owners or the infants of their wives at times even simultaneously. It is a tangled web of traditions, secrets and clandestine relationships between women, their babies and the fathers of their children especially in isolated rural areas. There were many stakeholders in the decision as to who would nurse the baby when mother was not around. Having accessible affordable household help has always included the nurturing of children as well as support for the women unable to maintain the house and home-making. Having a ready supply of milk from healthy mothers was one way families and communities were ready to address an excessively high infant and maternal mortality rates rampant in certain parts of the country.

Where the wet nurse lives, who she lives with and the proximity to the baby and the babies’ mother and father could make for very interesting dynamics in the household.  It also extends our notion of “family”, cooperation and sharing.

More recently in social media and blogs, mothers have reacted quite strongly to women nursing their babies without permission.  Slate, an online newsmagazine took reader’s questions supposedly regarding the etiquette of a mother-in-law and a babysitter nursing someone’s baby secretly without permission.  However well-intended and well meaning, trust was broken, and both mothers reacted as violated and saw the offenders as criminals.  

Daniel Mallory Ortberg and Emily Yoffe ” pseudonyms” for Dear Prudence neither of whom would identify as nursing mothers Dear Abby’s of our day made no mention of any endearing qualities in a person spontaneously offering a breast to a baby while solidifying the moral outrage for women who lack boundaries on when to nurse someone else’s baby. 

 There is a long tradition now broken of the source of that instinctive touch of maternal connection and comfort. When we are gender neutral and there are pacifiers, bottles, nipples as well as multiple options for infant feeding, pureed foods and liquids; what might have been considered life affirming and lifesaving for the infant rarely considered the mothers’ emotional response to a crying, hungry infant and their stressed out mom.

Hormonal surges aside, whether lactating or not, the women felt something strong that might override any hesitancy to offer their breast.   Many nursing mothers may be shy to say they only wished there was someone who could “fill in” in their absence that they could trust. Would you feel differently if you believed the infant was orphaned and there was no other mother to step in? The police officer who found an abandoned baby, who had a nursing infant at home was applauded for her quick thinking and willingness to immediately take a cold hungry, dehydrated infant to breast as quickly as someone else might perform CPR.

So, what’s your story, please tell us about your experience?  Have you ever nursed an infant other than your own? Have you heard of a “wet nurse”?  How do you feel when you hear someone else’s baby cry? What do you think about the possibility of nursing another mother’s child if she asked you, if she gave you her blessing and permission?

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_nurse

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/javiermoreno/police-officer-breastfeeds-newborn-baby-found-abandoned-in-o

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/police-officer-breastfed-crying-baby-hospital-hailed-hero-180949452.html

Day care provider breastfeeding your baby: advice from Dear …

https://slate.com/…/daycare-provider-breastfeeding-my-baby-without- permission-advice.html

Feb 19, 2019  Daniel Mallory Ortberg is online weekly to chat live with readers. Here’s an edited transcript of this week’s chat. Daniel Mallory Ortberg: Good …

Dear Prudie: I caught my mother-in-law breast-feeding my son. What …

https://slate.com/…/dear-prudie-i-caught-my-mother-in-law-breast-feeding- my-son-what-do-i-do.html

Jul 9, 2012  Emily Yoffe, aka Dear Prudence, is on Washingtonpost.com weekly to chat live with readers.

Breastfeeding 365


Do you know one woman who breastfed her baby for one year? 365 days nonstop: her tittie in her babe’s mouth, nursing her little one for one year?  Could you call her on the phone? Text her? Read her journal?  Does she have a blog?  Is she in your family? Your sister, your own mother, mom, your cousin, your grandmother? 

Has someone actually ever done this before? Can she tell you how it feels?  Are you the only one on the planet that wants this and needs this time with your baby? What is it really like to have someone sucking on you every day, and every night?

You are so desperately needed by your baby as the primary if not the only source of nutrition.  What if your need to nurse your baby was just as great for your own health and well-being for making that gentle transition after the birth of your baby.  

We are mammals!  We provide a live birth with warm milk! We shift that fundamental foundational relationship when we substantially change and share the nature of our connection to our baby. We move from the private and hidden space of being  physically attached throughout the gestational period by the placenta.  In an instant the cord is cut and the continuous connection moves to seeing, sharing, feeling, tasting and nursing at our breast.  We enter the public space.  It’s just not calories in and calories in!  There is a compelling need for nourishment, comfort; nurturing; and soothing for emotional growth and development that takes place for both the mother and baby as a couple! 

  What did you get out of nursing your baby for one year? If you haven’t done it yet: what might you get out of keeping close to your baby and nursing your little one for at least 365 days after you have given birth. What would be the perfect 24 hour day with you and your baby?  Everyone seems to agree most days that mother’s milk is good for babies; but what is the supreme benefit for you as the mother to give your baby your milk from your breast? Is it good enough to simply supply the milk by any means necessary and be done with it?

How do you grow as a woman when you make the choice to become a mother? You are many things, but for that one year, just 365 days: being a nursing mother takes priority. You do what no one else can!  What other things must you balance to make sure that you both survive and flourish as a mother for that first year of your baby’s life?  

Some people feel we learn to love at the breast. How does this notion  feel to be your baby’s first lover? How does it feel to have your baby show loving and longing for you? It is so not a one way street.  It is a powerful symbiotic relationship that begins at the moment of conception and ends 365 days after giving birth. Can you allow yourself the gift of 365 days of breastfeeding your baby?

Please share your story.  Did you nurse your baby for 365 days in a row? What was your experience like?  When you didn’t get to nurse your baby just when you wanted to, how did that feel? Might you try to nurse your baby for just one year as an extension of your pregnancy?  It’s just 365 days!  If you had a few questions, who might you ask?  Would it help if you had some help; just a bit of support, someone to call, someone who knew what to say to give you some encouragement? We are here for you!