Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Breastfeeding and Theology of the Body

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

What others are saying….

The Theology of the Body is most often applied to the relationship between man and woman, but it also applies in a special way to the nursing relationship between a mother and her baby.  Through the act of breastfeeding, a mother gives of her very self to her baby, giving not only food but love and comfort as well.  This giving relationship reflects the donative meaning of the body.  Our bodies make sense only in light of giving them and using them for others.  And a nursing mother constantly gives her body — her arms, her breasts, her eyes — to her baby.  She is rewarded when her baby begins to smile at her, caress her, and even kick with joy as she prepares to nurse him or her….
The delicate interplay of nutrition, love, and comfort involved when a mother nurses her baby can also provide the benefit of natural postpartum infertility.  There is a form of Natural Family Planning called Ecological Breastfeeding, or eco-breastfeeding.  Eco-breastfeeding is, in fact, the original form of NFP, which often kept the birth interval at 3-5 years in primitive societies.

Maureen Armendariz
NFPI Teacher
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A mother writes:  I read Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood about a year ago and it brought so much peace as it reaffirmed my beliefs about the importance of this bond. Lately I have been trying to research my vocation as wife and mother so that I can cooperate fully with God in my vocation.
I have been saddened by books by good Catholic authors, but they seem to be folks who have children sleeping through the night soon after birth, a modern common parenting theme. This seemed to influence their parenting advice which I didn’t feel fully comfortable with. In my continued research regarding my vocation I was excited to come across works on Theology of the Body and felt this should also be explored with regards to breastfeeding.
I began to read some articles on this theology and ran across a stumbling block that caused me to research more. But after tears and frantic research, I pulled out Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood again and here Sheila so eloquently put into words all that God had led my heart to in my search to resolve this issue. And it seems to boil down to this: that an interpretation of the Theology of the Body which is not applied to Ecological Breastfeeding is certainly incomplete.
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What every woman, man, and Catholic bishop and priest need to know about God’s plan for spacing babies.

Breastfeeding is God’s plan for the nurturing and nourishing the baby.

Breastfeeding protects the baby from certain diseases.  If baby gets sick, it is usually milder with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding protects the mother from certain diseases.

Mother and baby are one biological unit during pregnancy and also during breastfeeding.  Like pregnancy, the breastfeeding keeps the mother with her baby.

The Church promotes systematic NFP through its many programs.  The Church should also promote the natural spacing of births with ecological breastfeeding.  This is the preferred method for couples to space their babies.  Unlike systematic NFP, you do not need a serious reason to use this most natural family planning method which usually requires little or no abstinence.  It’s a win-win-win-win situation with so many benefits involved for the mother and baby, for society, and for the Church.  And it’s following God’s plan!  What are we waiting for?  Let’s get the message out there!
Sheila Kippley

 

 

 

7 Breastfeeding and Theology of the Body

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

. Both acts have two orders: the order of nature and the personal order. In Love and Responsibility, Pope John Paul II also speaks frequently of the marriage relationship. His discourse on the sexual relationship between husband and wife may also apply to the breastfeeding relationship between mother and child. The Pope discusses two orders involved in the sexual relationship: the natural order and the personal order. These two orders, he says, cannot be separated because “each depends upon the other.” The Pope says that the natural order in the sexual relationship has reproduction as its object. The same can be said about breastfeeding, which also has as its object the completion of the reproductive cycle.

Remember that the reproductive cycle ends with breastfeeding, not after childbirth, because the baby’s total dependence upon the mother’s body for protection and nutrition occurs both during pregnancy and during the early months of breastfeeding. In addition, reproduction depends upon the fertility-infertility cycle of the woman. The infertility of the woman during pregnancy continues during breastfeeding for months or a year or two.

The personal order of the sexual relationship between husband and wife has love as its object, and this love is expressed between the two persons involved. The same personal order also applies to breastfeeding. The personal order of the breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby has love as its object, and this love is expressed between the two persons involved.

Thus, the two orders — the natural order and the personal order — of the sexual relationship between man and woman are also present in the breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby. In God’s plan, both relationships have a natural order and a personal order that depend on each other; the objects of each order, for the marriage act and for the breastfeeding act, are reproduction and self-giving love.

Sheila Kippley
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood
Sophia (800-888-9344) is offering a 25% discount to any order for Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood (paperback and eBook) during World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7.  Offer expires Aug. 7, 11:59 PM.  Use promo code WBW25 when ordering.  Get this book for yourself, a priest, a seminarian, an expectant mother and religion teachers.

6 Breastfeeding and Theology of the Body

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

. 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
Sophia (800-888-9344)  is offering a 25% discount to any order for Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood (paperback and eBook) during World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7.  Offer expires Aug. 7, 11:59 PM.  Use promo code WBW25 when ordering.  Get this book for yourself, a priest, a seminarian, an expectant mother and religion teachers.