Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Lorena Bravo de Guerrero, Toulouse, France
Translated from Spanish by Hanny Ghazi, Saint-Cloud, France
Photo: Maria Griner
Breast milk from the heart.
When I think about breastfeeding, I think that I had it in my blood and, if I want to talk about breastfeeding, I should start by saying that I was breastfed myself for two years and eight months.
Back then, my mother had the support of La Leche League, who helped her successfully breastfeed me, her third baby, in the way she wanted. Breastfeeding was her passion and I remember that when I was a child, she would approach unknown pregnant women on the street to tell them about the benefits of breast milk and about La Leche League.
Many years later, when I was pregnant with my first baby, I was asked at the hospital, “Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle-feed?” It was surprising to me to be asked such a question. It was obvious to me that I would breastfeed my baby: breastfeeding was completely natural to me.
When Ava was born, she latched on strongly to get her “breast milk from the heart,” as I call it, the milk that keeps her warm, puts her in a good mood, helps ease her pain, and many other good things. I had so much milk that I could donate some to a milk bank to be given to premature babies whose mothers could not breastfeed.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of pressure to interrupt breastfeeding; it is still a taboo for some, I think. Fortunately, thanks to the support provided by La Leche League and by my local Leader, I was able to continue breastfeeding, even 28 months later, when I became pregnant with my second child, Evan.
Every time my children nurse, I feel that our bond becomes stronger. It is as if I am transmitting the magic secrets of Mother Nature, our union with the earth and its elements, with the Pachamama [Quechua word for “Mother Earth”], the same secrets they will later pass on to their children, the same way my mother did with me 33 years ago.