Multi-layered Joy of Breastfeeding

 

Gwen asleep/nursing in her boobie beanie

In the Jan. 19, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, there is an article entitled, “Baby Food” written by Jill Lepore. I got to this quote and it just about made me cry:

“When the babe, soon after it is born into this cold world, is applied to its mother’s bosom; its sense of perceiving warmth is first agreeably affected; next its sense of smell is delighted with the odour of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the flavour of it; afterwards the appetites of hunger and of thirst afford pleasure by the possession of their objects, and by the subsequent digestion of the aliment; and, lastly, the sense of touch is delighted by the softness and smoothness of the milky fountain, the source of such variety and happiness.”

No offense, I swear I’m not a genderist, but I can’t believe it was written by a man; in 1794, Erasmus Darwin (Charles’ grandpappy) included this passage in his “Zoonomia; or The Laws of Organic Life.” I feel like it so beautifully expresses the whole, multi-layered experience. I realize it is written from the perspective of the child, and I wasn’t ever breastfed, and most of us wouldn’t remember it if we were, but it reflects so well the feeling of total satisfaction and well-being that pervades every aspect of existence when a child nurses. Even though as a mother nursing, we don’t directly experience these exact sensations of satisfaction, I think we know and can feel that they’re there, and it’s contagious.

Just thought I’d share.

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5 responses to “Multi-layered Joy of Breastfeeding

  1. Wow!…wow. I’ll have to take that to our next LLL meeting….

  2. Definitely worth spreading around!

  3. I’ve been surprised at how joyful breastfeeding is to *me*, too. I get so much sensory and emotional satisfaction from breastfeeding. It’s such a *complete* experience.

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