Estimated reading time: 1 minute
Alison Jones, Oxford, UK
Photo: Elizabeth Stanley
Ten concepts: mothering through breastfeeding
La Leche League is founded on a philosophy summarized in ten concept statements which all LLL Leaders hold dear.
In a series of poems Alison puts her interpretation of our beliefs into verse. Here is the first one.
1. Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
Mothering through Breastfeeding
Put your baby to the breast, it’s the most natural thing,
a way of mothering that brings you close,
into a dyad, not a triad, with equipment in the way
to make you stay at arm’s length, or keep you reaching
for a prop, to help stop tears and fears that could be salved
with a gentle suckle held close to the heart.
From the start you were together, physically tied, corded as one
as a little being grew inside, and now earthside all is new,
overwhelming, being separate in the body, is the human experience,
but let’s make no pretence; you will not make a rod for your back,
or be breastfeeding at eighteen, like something
from a bad dream, a comedy nightmare, where everyone stares.
Meeting a little one’s needs means much more than feeds
and there’s so much more a breast can do if you let it,
enable comfort, keep a baby happy as you go about your day,
allow you to stay rested as those magical hormones make
you both sleepy when you need to revive, be the ultimate
comfort, keep a new whole person alive; and help them thrive.
Alison Jones is an LLL Leader, a writer, and teacher from Oxford. She is a mother to three children, aged five, three, and nine months. She is passionate about breastfeeding and advocates for women and families.
Alison is our poet in residence on breastfeedingtoday. Hear more of her poems here.