A Primal Need

In the stillness of the night the dream is real, but far too soon my slumber is awakened and the tiny infant I suckled at my breast is gone.  I feel an innate sadness sweep over me as I realise it was simply a dream.

breast-feeding mother and childMy five children are now grown and some with children of their own, but my primal need to nurture and nourish remains within me and frequently returns to haunt me in the middle of my night.

Imagine that the world had created a new ‘dream product’ to feed and immunize everyone born on earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery, and helped mothers plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer. Then imagine that the world refused to use it.”  ― Frank A. Oski

When my first child was born I observed other mothers reach for bottles of formula with which to feed their newborns. I soon became the odd one out on my maternity ward.

Some even looked at me with distaste as I cradled my first-born to my breast and gave her the sustenance she was due.

There was no greater reward than the delight of  nursing and nourishing, a pleasure I would be privileged to enjoy with each subsequent child.

Humans can learn much by observing the work of Mother nature and this mother and her lamb could lead the way. Although the lamb is getting big, her mother’s milk is still much more than a mid-morning snack.


Written in response to the Daily Word-prompt ‘Snack

6 thoughts on “A Primal Need

  1. gc

    An informative post Susan. I am sure that mothers world wide experience this same sense of loss when their own children have grown and left the nest. Empty nest syndrome is just as important a consideration as post partum separation. Thank you for your article.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. emn

    There is nothing quite as warm as your own home filled with family, voices, laughter, bickering and crowded rooms. I must confess that as much as the extra space of an empty nest is nice, I miss the hubbub. I love preparing food and feeding people and cups of coffee with no particular purpose but to be in proximity. Your post reminds of how motherhood connects us in such a primal way. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Only today my wife and I were discussing breast feeding and how we, in the West, have demonised it. Why should mothers have to hide away, or cover their child’s head with a blanket, to avoid those nearby feeling embarrassed, or awkward. Are men such shallow beasts that they cannot see a breast feeding woman without sexualising the image. (The answer to that is probably YES) However, it is often other women who feel the most aggrieved by what is, after all, basic human, and animal, instinct. The best start for babies, natural resistance to illness and disease, the perfect bonding for Mother and child.
    How can we be so stupid!

    Liked by 1 person

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