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How Breastfeeding Brought Me Closer to God

Nursing became the spiritual discipline that taught me to slow down and rest.
How Breastfeeding Brought Me Closer to God
Image: Aurimus Mikalauskas / Flickr
How Breastfeeding Brought Me Closer to God

I never thought I'd be breastfeeding in my clerical collar. Come to think of it, I never thought I'd be wearing a collar, but that's another story. Home from church between a funeral service and a lunch reception, there I was, in my son's nursery with my black clerical shirt hiked up and my infant son enjoying a meal.

"This is weird," I said to my husband, who was patiently awaiting the baby hand-off. "And holy and wonderful," he said. (Can you see why I married him?)

At first, motherhood seemed like just one more vocation to add into our already filled-to-the-brim lives. I was thrilled when we discovered I was pregnant, but I felt a lot of trepidation about how a baby—however much loved, however much wanted—would fit into things. Yet I didn't imagine that one simple, daily act would anchor my son and me to the Lord through it all: breastfeeding.

I suspect the mention of breastfeeding elicits a response among many readers, as it has become another significant foothold in the "Mommy Wars." While reasons in favor of breastfeeding are well documented, for some, nursing is not possible, yet the pressure to do it can be overwhelming. From New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's much-debated "Latch On" program, to social pressures chronicled by The Atlantic's Hanna Rosin, these days not breastfeeding can be isolating.

Yet the way of the "Mommy Wars" is not the way of the cross, and as other ...

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