Monday, May 18, 2009

Gentle Femininity- Motherhood in Action

The imagery the Apostle Paul used to describe his relationship to the Thessalonian church was a nursing mom. "But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children." (1 Thessalonians 2:7) Honestly, I can't think of a more tender mental picture either. In our society, choosing to breastfeed is controversial and often criticized. I remember being embarrassed about a cousin who did. Now I am in her shoes. From this side of the fence I can now say, nursing has been the best bonding experience I could have ever wished for with Abby. God, in His incredible wisdom and insight, gave women this incredible gift- to create, sustain, and nurture life. What a humbling and beautiful role we have as mothers! Breastfeeding for me has not been an easy experience. At times, it has been so difficult that I have selfishly wanted to give it up. Now, even while looking back on those moments, I am so glad I haven't.

A Few Reasons It Is Worth It to Me.
  • Instant Gratification: Knowing that I am directly contributing to Abby's physical well-being is the most instantly gratifying thing I get to experience as a mom right now. Sure, I know that Abby will bless me even more as she grows older, but during this baby stage, it is nice to visually see that some of my hard work is paying off.
  • Unparalleled Bonding & Emotional Satisfaction: Because of Abby's tummy's issues, for a little over 2 months, I pumped exclusively and bottle fed Abby (I hated every day of it). Since Abby has started teething, she has refused to take a bottle from me, and I have went back to nursing her again exclusively. Not only am I much happier (it is so much less hassle without preparing, warming, washing, and storing bottles), Abby has been noticeably happier too, enough for Bryan to even comment on it. The emotional satisfaction we both get from the experience is a nice exchange for something that is completely natural and healthy to do.
  • No Worries About the Swine Flu (or any other illness): God designed nursing as the most ingenious health defense in the world. According to medical experts, a teaspoon of breastmilk alone as has 3 million germ-killing cells in it. As the nursing mother is exposed to anyone sick, her body instantly begins producing antibodies in her breastmilk to keep her child from getting sick as well. As long as the mom and nursing baby are together, it is unlikely that the child will get sick. (An excellent biological argument for stay-at-home moms)
  • 101 Reasons You Can Read About On Your Own
Isn't our Creator marvelous? He has created everything in perfect orchestration. God is the Master of every detail. As David says in Psalm 139, "I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well."

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