Jump directly to the Content

Women

Opinion | Family

What Breastfeeding Is Teaching Me About God

Discovering the sacred in the middle of the night
What Breastfeeding Is Teaching Me About God
Image: GEBER86 / ISTOCK.COM

As I breastfeed my fourth child—our last—I am savoring it more than in the past. We are beyond the early weeks when nursing is more challenge than enjoyment. Striving for the ever-elusive perfect latch, enduring engorgement, fighting through mastitis, and bearing sleepless nights are behind us now. My baby and I are in an easy rhythm that we both enjoy, and I find myself in a unique position: I’m seeing, clearly, how nursing brings together the physical, emotional, and spiritual to create a connection to God.

This wasn’t the case with every season of breastfeeding. With one of my daughters, we struggled through sessions that left us both crying due to her not latching properly and struggling to get any milk, and me being in pain. It was anything but a blissful picture of a mother-child bond. I decided to stop and the accompanying relief was met with feelings of guilt and a sense of failure.

Like all topics related to conceiving, bearing, and mothering children, breastfeeding can prompt reactions of smugness or sadness in women as we compare ourselves to others or to our own ideals. I am learning that the most important aspect of raising my children is trusting God’s provision for them rather than my own abilities to do all the “right” things. Breastfed or bottle-fed, my children are his to grow. Nursing is a function of womanhood, but it’s not a defining feature. No mother should be judged or made to feel less than because ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
Tags:

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.