Life as a Doula, Journey of a Woman

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Communion

Not all mothers wish, or are able to breastfeed their babies. If this is you, you'll find no judgement on your circumstances or choices here. This is simply a comment on how I feel when I'm supporting mums and babies to breastfeed.

There is something about sitting with a mum who is happily nursing her baby, especially when just a short time before she had been doubting her abilities and her body.  Maybe its her feeling of pride and wonder; relief that her determination has paid off. Maybe we are all drunk on the oxytocin pervading the room. It feels to me like being in the presence of the most holy of communions, the most pure and giving form of love that there is.

When I'm with a mum who is breastfeeding her baby, I feel the same as I do when I'm peacefully walking in nature, or sitting in a beautiful old church. When the milk is flowing, we don't need words. We are sitting together as women, mothers, will have done since the dawn of time.  Do I imagine a connection to something ethereal? Something greater than the mundane which is present during that physical, the biological, mammalian behaviour? I think I am literally feeling the love.

 If you can sit still for a short while, and just be with them, you will feel it.  Those around the mother and baby are nurtured too, blessed by the power, the urgency, the determination and wonder of this act.  Its the total antidote to all the crap, evil, and negativity encountered in life, drip-fed through the media.

So much around us is destructive; we are destructive to our earth, whether we mean to be or not. So much out there can threaten us, and we are ourselves a threat to our world.  A mother nurturing and nourishing her baby is transferring a magical, eco-friendly, sustainable and free substance, which is itself a living force, actually alive. Breastfeeding is a complex communication, physical, physiological, emotional, hormonal.

And spiritual? [spir-i-choo-uh l] ? Something delicately refined, devotional, sacred, loving, selfless giving? I think so.

Nursing a baby is the complete opposite of so much that makes up our world. Its a force for good, for all that is positive and healthy, a force that is actively protecting the human race, its full of hope. It means that we can go forward.

These helplines are available if you need to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor in the UK:

ABM 0300 330 5453
NBFH 0300 100 0212 
NCT  0300 3300 771
LLL 0845 120 2918
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