I often help women, who might be feeling very confused and vulnerable, in my work as a Midwife, I realise how precious the years of motherhood are, and how supporting this passage in a loving way can help in a profound way. I have cared for and cuddled many crying Mums, who for whatever reason don’t feel that they can cope. This feeling is very overwhelming for those women, and can come on at any time during pregnancy and in the weeks and months after they have given birth. Sometimes tears can happen years after an experience. These moments are very, very deep indeed.
In my midwifery practice I try to empower women, building their self-esteem and reminding them that they are wonderful, and unique. I help them to feel that they can be natural with me, and tears, anger, or laughter are all part of this experience. Feelings that come and go like tides in the ocean. I really believe that women are amazing, and when they harness their power, anything is possible and achievable, in a uniquely feminine way. Our power is different to a man’s power, but just as valuable, our power is the ability to LOVE.
Some of the most distressed Mums I have cared for have been those who are unable to breastfeed. I have worked for many years on a busy postnatal ward, where Mums have been up all night with a screaming baby, and unable to do anything at all. Sometimes, night staff have given formula to babies, in a desperate attempt to calm things down. These poor women, in the morning, are often in a near-hallucinatory state of mind. My approach is to go back to the beginning, and that is one to one love.
When I teach breastfeeding, I never start by teaching positions and attachment. I start by stripping babies, down to a nappy, and asking Mum to undo her blouse, and I smile and hand Mum her baby, placing a big blanket over the two. Then I say “Breastfeeding isn’t just food…breastfeeding is everything to your baby, but most of all, it is LOVE”. I help Mum’s and babies to gaze into each other’s eyes, and I encourage Mums to talk or sing to their babies. I leave them for a while and come back to try to proceed to the feeding part….very often, I come back and find babies spontaneously feeding from a smiling Mummy.
Other times, I give some hints and tips on positioning, and in nearly every case, with very few exceptions, my Mums breastfeed successfully. Physiologically speaking, skin-to-skin contact, and other sensory bonding helps to produce a rush of “love” hormones for both Mums and babies….without these, there is no milk which will quench or satisfy a new born. Babies need love, not just milk. Literally, the milk of LOVE.
This is a lesson, that the story of love, is at the heart of all creation. Firstly the story of love between Allah (swt) and Adam (as). Through His love for Adam, He created a companion who Adam could in turn to in love. Through their initial love, the entire of mankind was born, what a beautiful story! Sisters, there is nothing from this story of creation that we should hide from our children. The essence of how we are here is love, and without this biological and spiritual understanding, our children will never be able to know themselves enough to pass on this love to their own children. Remember sisters, milk isn’t just food, it is primarily love. 🙂 Such a wealth of understanding from one simple human act. Alhamdulillah.x
All guest writer articles come from our Muslim Mamas community or from our network of supporters. Some contribute one-off stories; some contribute as anonymous mamas. All experiences and opinions are those of the writers.