Breastfeeding: Nursing Mothers’ Reflections on the Beatitudes

6. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Lord, you want me to be pure of heart. You want me to have that single-minded goal of holiness, to be one with you. In our marriage we have developed more spiritual goals in the past several years. We have learned about natural family planning and about generosity in having children. We have learned about your plan for spacing babies through breastfeeding. We are excited about our new knowledge. We also have become more excited about our faith.

I weaned our first three babies during the early months to please my husband. He wanted me to wean early so I could help out with the ranch work as soon as possible. With a change in attitudes, we decided I would nurse our fourth baby more naturally. I continued to help my husband with the ranch work, but this time our baby went everywhere with me. We rode the tractor together, checked heifers in the middle of the night together, and rode a horse together to move some cows. She helped me in the kitchen and loves to cook. She has been my helpmate and a joy.

At 26 months, she weaned naturally. Up to that time I never left her for more than two hours. My periods also returned at 26 months. She nursed often up until that last month.

When my daughter was 18 months old, my 92-year-old grandmother told me I should wean, that my baby was too old to still be nursing, that she needed to learn independence, and that I needed to live my own life so I could come and go as I pleased. At that time I was very upset with this advice. So I went to you, Lord, in prayer. I asked you to show me the way. You certainly answered me immediately. A few hours later I went to give my husband lunch out in the field, and I told him about my grandmother’s advice. I asked him if I should wean our little girl. He looked at me lovingly and said, “No. You two are doing just fine.” I thank you, Lord, for changing my husband’s heart also. He has become so supportive of my breastfeeding.

Please, Lord, give other new mothers the strength and support to be single-minded, humble and strong in doing what’s best for their babies and their older children. Give them the courage to be bold and to take their babies with them. Give them the courage to do what’s right for their baby. (anonymous mother)
(Sheila Kippley, 2005)

(A 30% discount is now offered on all Kippley print books at lulu through August 7 in recognition of NFP week and World Breastfeeding Week.  In addition, Sophia is offering a 25% discount on Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood through August 7.  The code for this discount is “motherhood.” Ignatius Press is offering Sex and the Marriage Covenant for only $6.00 through August 31.))

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