The Spirituality of Breastfeeding - Onespirit Ministers in Connection

The Spirituality of Breastfeeding

Humans need loving care to feel connected. The more we are loved as babies and young children, the easier it is for us to love ourselves, our fellow humans and God. Good loving forms emotionally stable adults who do not fear intimacy and intimacy is the bedrock of human thriving.

We live in two worlds simultaneously: the physical and the spiritual. Life in the physical is challenging because we have needs that must be met and there is danger everywhere. We come from the spiritual into the physical, pre-set to Love and attach to others so we may survive. We come with an underdeveloped nervous system that is easily prone to being wounded by humanities inescapable terror of trying to survive.

There is no end to the ways in which we wound one another; children need protection and support otherwise their capacity to Love is deeply diminished.

“God couldn’t be everywhere, and therefore, God made mothers.”

Rudyard Kipling

Mothers represent God’s Love for us in the physical world until such times we mature and can be in direct relationship with God ourselves. We learn about God through the relationship with our mothers. She is given the tool of breastfeeding through which to express God’s Love. When we are born, we are fed 8-12 times in 24 hours, which in practice means little and often. During the act of breastfeeding, we are held close, we have skin to skin contact, we gaze into the eyes of our mothers, we are rocked and soothed. Our developing nervous system is kept calm by the constant repetitive action of breastfeeding. The longer we are breastfed, the more our capacity to Love is increased.

Breastfeeding not only communicates that we are loved, but that God doesn’t abandon us in time of need. We learn to trust that our needs will be met.  That we are wanted and valued and that we are enough. Slowly over time, breastfeeding helps to build our inner resources and equips us to freely separate from our mothers to build mutually intimate and loving relationships with our family and other people and eventually with the partner and any children we may have of our own. When we are free to Love others unhindered, we are free to Love God and to hear the call to heal the broken world we find ourselves grappling with.

Suzanne is an ordained Interfaith Minister via the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. She has worked for over 20 years as a breastfeeding counselor and trainer for a voluntary organisation offering mother-to-mother support to individuals and groups. She also works as a spiritual counsellor/director and supervisor.  If you would like to make contact, please email

For Breastfeeding Information and Support please visit

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