6 Breastfeeding and Theology of the Body

. Both acts involve a love that unifies two persons, according to the definition of love given by Pope John Paul II in his book Love and Responsibility. I believe that this unifying love can be experienced by both husband and wife and also by the breastfeeding mother and her baby. In fact, “The greater the feeling of responsibility for the person, the more true love there is.” Certainly there is a grave responsibility to give an infant the very best of care when a mother chooses to breastfeed.

The Pope in his earlier days said that love never utilizes a person. This is especially true with breastfeeding. A mother learns to give to her baby by the very fact that she is breastfeeding. She is constantly giving to her baby. Her reward comes when her baby learns to love her in return and soon becomes a very affectionate child. The baby soon has eyes only for his mother and will usually kick happily or show bodily signs of happiness when his mother gets ready to nurse him. It is very difficult for a mother to abuse her baby or to use her baby for other purposes. On the other hand, abuses in the marriage relationship are observed frequently in our society.

Sheila Kippley
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood
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