Wednesday, August 1, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

Our Lady of La Leche
Why is a Catholic blog talking about World Breastfeeding Week?

Breastfeeding is the healthiest and safest way to feed your baby. It's natural. Human breast milk holds the perfect nutrition for a human baby. It aids the bonding between mommy and baby. It's free! It's portable. You don't need any supplies but your own body. It's the method of baby feeding that God designed.

Sure, there are certain instances where breastfeeding must be interrupted or stopped altogether. As a former La Leche League Leader, I know this. But most of the time--when there are problems--with a little advice from a breastfeeding councilor, lactation consultant, or even an experienced friend, those problems can be solved and breastfeeding can continue.

When is World Breastfeeding Week?

So, what am I supposed to do about World Breastfeeding Week anyway?

If you're planning to have children, you can educate yourself about breastfeeding. Maybe pick up a copy of my favorite breastfeeding book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

If you have no children, or they're all grown up, you can still educate yourself about the benefits of human milk for human babies. That way you'll feel confident when you see your daughters or daughters-in-law breastfeeding your grandchildren. You'll also smile with appreciation when random women nurse their infants in public.

Breastfeeding sort of fell out of favor for a while, at least in the U.S. My mother didn't nurse us kids. It never even came up at her prenatal visits. She didn't know how healthy it was. But then, after hearing about its benefits, she appreciated when my sister and I nursed our children.

Does the Bible mention breastfeeding?

Yep. Go to Mothering from the Heart to read which scripture passages mention breastfeeding.

How about breastfeeding in church?

Of course! What better way to keep baby calm and happy, not to mention quiet!

One of my daughters recently mused over the idea that pregnant moms taking the Eucharist might also be imparting the benefits to their babies. That blew me away, but in a good way! :)

I didn't fully return to the Church until all of my children were weaned, but what a marvelous thing it would have been to take the Eucharist while pregnant or even nursing.


  1. Hi,

    I am a prolife Catholic, and also a LLL Leader. I am very concerned about the involvement of LLL with the Womens' Health Action Trust during World Breastfeeding Week (they organise the Latch On). The Womens' Health Action Trust are strongly pro-abortion rights for women. I have written to the appropriate people at LLL. The response was info on mixing causes. While I do not participate in the Latch On because of the Womens' Health Action Trust's stance on abortion, I still feel that I am somehow in co-operation with their organisation by being a LLL Leader. I would be interested in your suggestions as I am on the brink of either resigning, or continuing the battle each year about LLL's involvement with an organistion promoting abortion for the (unwanted) unborn, then if those same children are lucky enough to see the light of day, encouraging their mother's to breastfeed them.

    1. Hi again, I just realised you may not be from NZ, so should add that it is the Latch On in NZ I am referring to. God Bless.

  2. My goodness, I didn't know about that. I haven't been a leader in a number of years, so I'm out of the LLL loop. Thanks for the info.
    Yeah, I'm in California.
    I'm so glad you commented. Thank you. :)
    God bless.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for your reply. I'm still not sure what to do. Have been researching the history behind "mixed causes". I found out that Mary White and Mary Ann Cahil (both LLL founders) were very much prolife and wanted La Leche League to take a prolife position as well. Anyway Mary White was asked to resign from the Board for her views in 1971 (so the sources I found said), for stating her prolife stance at a conference. It was this that spurred the then LLL board into stating they were only about breastfeeding, and any other cause would be regarded as "Mixed causes". I probably need to direct my original question to a prolife spiritual director (regarding staying a LLL Leader). I thought I could be a positive influence with my prolife views, but have began to meet conflict over it. I believe it is only New Zealand LLL who are actively associated with an abortion promoting group. Perhaps LLL USA are still pure with the positive influence of it's remaining founders.

      Thanks for your support, I feel even though you are in the US, we may have a similar story, eg. I am Pro-Life (obviously), I became Catholic as an adult, and homeschool my children.

      God Bless,

      Jeannie (I haven't worked out how to reply as anything other than anonymous yet)

    2. Yeah, I remember the whole "don't mix causes" thing. I was so careful about that when I was a leader. I've no idea what's going on in that regard these days in the U.S. LLL. I know the organization has changed a lot.

      I'll say a prayer for your discernment about remaining a leader. I suppose it has to do with the question about remote cooperation with evil vs. the good you do as a LLL leader. It's not an easy question.

      I am so glad to "meet" you, Jeannie. We have much in common. :)

    3. Hi Amanda,

      Thank you so much. Your comment made me realize that even remote co-operation with abortion is out of the question for me. Thank you for your prayer. I will find a way to support mums breastfeeding through another medium.

      God Bless,