The divine value of mother’s milkBy Fudia Muhammad | Last updated: Jun 26, 2013 - 7:24:33 PM
One would be hard pressed in 2013 to find anyone who would attempt to argue against the overwhelming health and nutritional benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby when compared to any of the most popular manufactured baby formulas.
Most reputable organizations in the health industry including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, La Leche League and the Surgeon General all advocate and promote human milk as the best source of nutrition for infants. Even the companies that manufacture baby formulas bear witness to this truth. Similac, for instance, states on its website that “Breastfeeding is the first and best way you can promote your newborn’s health and development.” The list of health benefits for both mother and baby from breastfeeding is extensive; it includes everything from better cognitive development to fewer allergies, to lower risk of cancers and other chronic illnesses. Still, I would argue that the many health benefits discovered by doctors, chemists, nutritionists and scientific researchers (that can easily be found online) are yet just a fraction of the overall picture.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stated, “Anyone who takes a baby from the breast of its mother is committing a crime against humanity.” He also wrote,“When baby nurses from mother’s breast, there is satisfaction for the child, not only in the stomach, but in the mind. As the baby is physically fed, the act of nursing produces a chemical reaction in the brain of the child, resulting in contentment.… When the mother has peace of mind, this is transferred to the child through the milk.… Milk is capable of being the conduit of security or fear, due to the mental condition of the giver.” (Building the Will, Part IV).
One of the definitions of the word ‘divine’ is “of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god” (Merriam-Webster). Mother’s milk is indeed divine. It is not just the best source of nutrition for the baby, but it is the PERFECT food for the baby; created, formulated and designed by He who is Perfect, Allah (God).
Several times in the Holy Qur’an Allah (God) guides the woman to suckle (nurse) her baby for two whole years. He is the Best Knower and with His infinite wisdom, He has created a different combination of ingredients in each mother’s milk that is absolutely perfect for her child. Though similar, no mother has the same breast milk as the next. And no mother produces the exact same milk pregnancy after pregnancy.
That’s right; breast milk is different for each child that comes from the same mother. It is formulated and designed by
Allah (God) so perfectly for that specific baby that the baby is provided with the necessary chemicals and nutrients that he/she needs to develop not only the body, but the mind and spirit, which gives the baby the best start on the road to finding and pursuing his/her purpose in life. Breast milk changes daily along with the rapidly developing body and mind of the baby. This simply cannot be replicated in baby formulas, some of which cover a span of birth to 12 months using the same ingredients. Now, you do not have to be a mother to know that there is a huge difference between a newborn baby and a 12-month-old. This can result in nutritional deficiencies and vulnerability to sickness and disease.
In How To Eat To Live, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated that the reason we have such a great percentage of delinquency among minors is because the child is not fed from his mother’s breast. He also wrote, “A baby nursed from its mother’s breast will love its mother more than the baby fed from the bottle. He loves the bottle…” (How To Eat To Live, Book Two). So sometimes, the baby does not even care if the mother is around as long as the bottle is there, since he is bonded to the bottle and not human life. At the earliest age, we are in fact bonding our children to things instead of life when we deprive them of mother’s divine milk. Our natural love, reverence and respect for humanity can be reinforced through mother’s milk and the bond of nursing. This makes it difficult as we get older to harm another human being because from infancy we are bonded to life and not material possessions.
Minister Farrakhan teaches us that there is a difficulty factor attached to everything of value; the greater the value, the greater the difficulty. How valuable are our children? Yes, making the decision to breastfeed can be a struggle and requires that the mother make certain sacrifices, but I can bear witness that the reward is immeasurable!
(Fudia Muhammad is a member of the Austin, Texas Study Group. She is a happily married mother of four and holds a Masters of Education.)