Welcome to the January carnival of breastfeeding! Be sure to check out the other participating bloggers’ posts at the bottom of this one.
Breastfeeding isn’t hard in the same way marriage isn’t hard. It is far too worthwhile and filled with joy to be labeled “hard.” But, like a relationship, it can take work and a regular diet of self affirmation. I am one of the lucky 27% for whom breastfeeding came easily. However, I can still feel isolated in a society where breastfeeding is not the norm (I live in Ohio which ranks 48 in the US in exclusive breastfeeding rates at 3 months). Just recently I had a breastfeeding crisis because I lost sight of why I breastfeed. At times like that I was so thankful for the sources of inspiration that helped me persevere.
when all is quiet and still
my baby is at my breast
contentedly drinking his fill
I am happy to sit here and quietly feed
to give my baby all that he needs
Poem for My Son by Katy Kat always makes me feel like a powerful force of nature,
Does he whimper at your breast?
Mewling like the kitten,
O’ howling as the pup?
The beautiful breast,
The beautiful milk filled breast.
Why are there no poems
about this: the infant nursing herself to sleep,
fresh from the bath,
her hair curly with the warm damp of her body
which smells like moss, and is that patient.
It is small, as the moon’s pull
is small; the ocean leans only a little
towards it. It is common
the way a heartbeat is common, or waves:
little doors that open, open, open.
She falls off the breast and rests
her warm breath against it, says — Ah,
but I can’t tell you. The language between us
as a closed lily
Asleep now, nursing
in her sleep: her serious mouth working
like a bow. Yes, this is strong enough
to punch armour.
I put a breath into
the intricate word of her ear.
Some more beautiful images of breastfeeding. Please let me know if you know of any others!
Collection of poems at Lait D’amour
A Few Lovely Breastfeeding Poems at Joyous Birth
Obscene: A Breastfeeding Poem by Gill Joseph
There is a wonderful book by June Cotner called Baby Blessings: Inspiring Poems and Prayers for Every Stage of Babyhood. You can read most of the poems and prayers via Google Books.
There is also a beautiful website of Jewish prayers called RitualWell. It has beautiful prayers for many of life’s events (even on for planting a placenta). This prayer is translated from an 18th century Italian book of prayers by Dr. Guiseppe Cohen entitled Prayer To Be Said When She Nurses For the First Time,
Prayer for Nursing By Elisheva S. Urbas
Sometimes a picture can speak louder than words. Here are some sources for beautiful breastfeeding art collections.
Breastfeeding.com Art Gallery – a huge collection of art from Ancient sculptures and paintings to modern photography.
Breastfeeding in Art – this site also has a collection of breastfeeding art through the ages. It has some unique collections as well such as Breastfeeding in Public Art and a beautiful promotional video (below).
ProMom Gallery – includes photographs and clip art.
My favorite site is all original artwork by Akarot Illustrations. The image above is from the collection of Goddesses. Very beautiful. They are also free to use for any non-profit event that promotes breastfeeding. They also have a children’s book available for download in English and Spanish called What Babies Eat with positive breastfeeding images.
These are the things that inspire me to breastfeed when the formula-pushing world gets me down. How about you?
- Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Thrush and breastfeeding
- Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Increasing Milk Supply
- Good Enough Mum: Filling the Information Gap
- Hobo Mama: Full-Term Breastfeeding
- Motherwear Blog: My favorite web resources for some common breastfeeding concerns