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Maternal Ambrosia

Published: 2017.08.17 - 15:18:16   /  /  Jessica Ana Galindo Travieso  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

In China, near the border with Tibet, there is an ethnic group that has as the most striking feature the fact that they are a matrilineal society. This type of group is governed by a matriarch who, along with the other main women of the clans, are in charge of managing their economic and social affairs.

Then the descendants of the Mosuo do not "belong" to the father, nor bear their surnames; inheritance passes from mothers to daughters; men take care, first of all, of the children of their sisters, and they keep living in the house of their progenitor, even after being, themselves, parents ... The woman is the one who, after all, decides the operation of her community.

This curious association, for those of us born and living in patriarchal societies, has been structured over the centuries by virtue of specific circumstances of each nucleus. However, a common element that could link them, and it is that only the woman has the ability to guard the gestation of the offspring. A priori, only this element amounts to the so mistakenly called "weak sex" at a higher level. And for more merit, it is not only the mother who is responsible for the intrauterine development of the child, but also is able to provide it with an extraordinary food.

Until well developed in the second half of the twentieth century, there was no comprehensive campaign to raise awareness amongst mothers, families and society about the importance of breastfeeding. The increasing renunciation of this type of feeding to infants led to the mobilization of global health and childhood organizations to increase awareness of the benefits of this substance, and increase the number of mothers who responsibly provide their baby with all the nutrients their body naturally produces.

Breast milk can be considered to be a true and unequaled intelligent food. It is not frivolous propaganda to promote its qualities, effects and protection against affections: the first milk, called colostrum, has a laxative effect that helps the expulsion of the meconium, while at the same time it resolves the requirements of the organs, although not mature; this fluid, depending on the child's age and needs, maintains the appropriate temperature for the intake, and does not present the same composition during the day as at night, not even at the beginning and end of an intake, when it shows higher fat concentration; all the while giving vitamins and minerals, enzymes and hormones, antibodies, reducing the risk of serious allergies, sudden death, obesity, diabetes, in addition to allowing the production of lipids, lactose and proteins, from compounds already present in the organism.

Likewise, the act of breastfeeding brings immeasurable benefits to the mother, since it helps to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, it improves bone mineralization, helps involution of the uterus, it conciliates sleep, and reduces the chances of further suffering of breast and ovarian cancer. All of these are physical benefits that accelerate the recovery of the mother and commence with vigor and nutrition of the offspring.

All these are corporal factors that are worth thanks to breast milk, but there is another component that is thus favored by lactation, and it is the psychological one.

After the birth, only when the mother breastfeeds the baby, it is that two beings are merged into one again, just as, even though the baby is still a fetus, the moment was expected to jump into the world. The pains, the discomfort that can be felt in the first days after the birth, are displaced by the fullness that constitutes having in the arms the creature expected for so many months, keep it protected, sheltered and being nourished by such a nutritious substance.

Psychologically, the fact that the newborn needs milk intakes from time to time, and that demands to be close to the heat of its first habit, prepares the mother for the new stage that begins, in which, predominantly, her child will depend on her and all her care.

It is so vital for the baby to be as soon as possible near his mother, and there are studies that have determined these should be together, at least, the first two hours after birth, so as to favor not only breastfeeding but also tranquility of the baby, so you should also avoid any restlessness for the first few days.

It is said that breastfeeding is learned by imitation, but this is a half-truth. It is also made aware of this act through the instruction on its benefits, through the responsibility that society must feel, health organizations and those responsible for safeguarding the safety of children, their mothers and the whole family.

All those who know of the infinite virtues of that nectar, which come from the breasts of the woman is transmitted to the following generations, must insist that the children enjoy and take advantage of the breastfeeding, obligatorily, at least the first six months of age.

That is why, during this World Breastfeeding Week, the twenty-fifth time that all sorts of factors on this issue is at the center of debate in more than 120 countries, it should be a time to strengthen education of these contents and take initiatives for the best and most efficient awareness on the part of all social groups.

It would be a sacrilege to the feminine nature to deny a gift as beautiful and incredible as it is to be able to breastfeed our children with an unsurpassable formula; a formula which, even after so many scientific advances, continues without improvement. The best gifts that our little ones will receive will inhabit, without going further, in us.

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