Although the saying ‘breast is best’ is still true, all methods of feeding can be made holy when performed with love. While breastfeeding hasn’t all been a ‘bed of roses,’ at least for me, it does carry blessings for both mother and child.
From a spiritual perspective, you can really transfer something of yourself and your vibration to your child when you feed her the living substance from your body. And, scientifically, it is considered a living substance. Literally![i] According to spiritual teacher Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, something of a mother’s character, as well as her love, is conveyed to her child as she feeds him.[ii] Omraam therefore encourages mothers to be aware of their state of mind when breastfeeding. He understandably discourages angry or negative states of mind, in place of love and tenderness.[iii]
It doesn’t take a spiritual master for us to realize that such attitudes are undesirable, and yet, why? I was pondering this and started thinking about the work of Japanese researcher, Dr. Masaru Emoto. Dr. Emoto found that molecules of water could be ‘imprinted’ with words, music and images and that those choices would affect the shape of the resulting frozen water crystals. Now, remember that the first ingredient in breastmilk is water[iv] and see what the implications of this could be, for imprinting that living liquid that you feed your child. Now, I don’t know if Dr. Emoto experimented with thoughts, yet you could consider the words you speak, perhaps the music you surround yourself with, and images too, to influence your milk. It’s a far out thought, yet, then again, the spiritual pioneers have always been ‘far out’, far out ahead of all the rest!
So, back to Omraam. He believed that breastmilk counteracted and balanced the nourishment the child received via the blood in the womb (across the placenta).[v] Interestingly, it has been proposed that a mother’s breast acts in the same way as the placenta did and that the milk nourishes like the blood, which would thus offer evidence to confirm Omraam’s beliefs.[vi]
When you think about it, a mother does so much to set the pattern for her child, both in the womb and out. As an unborn child, a mother’s hormones cross the placenta and shape the child’s psychological responses as well as growth. It seems that as a newborn, the mother continues this, through the hormones in her milk. Did you even know that milk contains hormones? It certainly didn’t register with me till just recently. These hormones include endorphins, melatonin, oxytocin, brain, thyroid, and insulin hormones![vii] If hormones can shape and mold the brain and character of your unborn child (and they can!), then what can they also do for your newborn, as you feed that one with love? [viii]
If you think about the location of this feeding process, it’s surely a sign that love is also being fed to the child, as you hold that one close to your heart and heart chakra. Next time you pick up your baby to feed him, remember that it’s about more than nutrition: it’s the divine nourishment of love itself. It can be anything you make it!
Your turn! Is breastfeeding a spiritual act for you? Share your joys and challenges so that others can learn!
[i] Barker, Robin, Baby Love: Everything you Need to Know about Your New Baby (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2001), p 76, 78.
[ii] Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, Education Begins Before Birth (Fréjus: Prosveta, 1986), p 51.
[iii] Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, Education Begins Before Birth (Fréjus: Prosveta, 1986), p 52.
[iv] Barker, Robin, Baby Love: Everything you Need to Know about Your New Baby (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2001), p 77.
[v] Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, Education Begins Before Birth (Fréjus: Prosveta, 1986), p 51-52.
[vi] Dr. Yitzhak Koch quoted in Angier, Natalie,“Mother's Milk Found to Be Potent Cocktail Of Hormones”, The New York Times, 5/24/94, http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/24/science/mother-s-milk-found-to-be-potent-cocktail-of-hormones.html.
[vii] Angier, Natalie,“Mother's Milk Found to Be Potent Cocktail Of Hormones”, The New York Times, 5/24/94, http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/24/science/mother-s-milk-found-to-be-potent-cocktail-of-hormones.html.
[viii] This is a fascinating subject. The mother’s hormones cross the placenta and recreate in the unborn child the same emotions at the biological/molecular level so that the child really does experience the same emotion. For every emotion there is a corresponding biological aspect. I imagine the same thing would happen with the hormones that are conveyed in breastmilk. You can read prenatal examples from the book: Wirth, Frederick, MD, Prenatal Parenting (New York:Regan Books, 2001), including p 41-42. For more background reading you might also enjoy the slightly technical, Molecules of Emotion by Dr. Candace Pert.