One would be hard pressed in 2019 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. In fact, the companies that produce baby formulas also bear witness to this truth! Similac, for instance, states on its website, “We believe that breast milk is the best nutrition for babies.” Nestlé, the parent company of Gerber, states on Gerber’s website – “Nestlé believes breastfeeding offers the best possible start for babies, followed by inclusion of developmental, stage-appropriate feeding choices.”
The list of health benefits for both mother and baby from breastfeeding is extensive – it includes everything from better cognitive development to fewer allergies. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), cancers and other chronic illnesses. The list of advantages is vast; but even more amazing is that these are only the benefits we are aware of – there are many more yet to be realized! And still, we would argue that the many health benefits discovered by doctors, chemists, nutritionists, and researchers are yet just a portion of the overall picture.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “Anyone who takes a baby from the breast of its mother is committing a crime against humanity.” He also stated, “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 Him who is Perfect, Allah (God).
More than once 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 breastmilk as the next. And no mother produces the exact same milk pregnancy after pregnancy. That’s right; breastmilk is different for each baby that comes from the same mother. It is formulated and designed by Allah (God) perfectly for that specific baby, providing him/her with the specific recipe he/she needs to develop – not only the body but the mind and spirit. This gives the baby the best start on the road to health and toward finding and fulfilling his/her divine purpose in life.
Breastmilk changes DAILY, along with the rapidly developing body and brain of the baby. This simply cannot be replicated in baby formulas; some of which cover a span of birth to twelve 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 twelve-month old. This can result in nutritional deficiencies and vulnerability to sickness and disease. It can also lead to spiritual and mental deficits.
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 that 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.
Unfortunately, as mothers, we have to accept responsibility for our own deviance. There was a time not too long ago when the most natural thing to see was a mother and child bonding through the gift of nursing. This is still the way of life in most countries and cultures but has become unusual in America particularly in the Black community. This is yet another sign of our deviation from the path of God. Giving birth to a god does not refer to what is done in the womb alone. It makes no sense to do everything correctly up to this point and then skip over breastfeeding. Breastfeeding reinforces what we put in the mind of our baby while he was in the womb. When we give our baby man-made formula, we stop passing on the “chemistry of our thinking.”
Taking on the responsibility of motherhood means being willing to sacrifice and put our child’s needs above our own wants. A good mother only desires what is best for her children and she does everything possible, without deviating from God, to give her children every advantage for a much better life than she may have had. To deny our children the advantages which come with being breastfed is thoughtless. We must stop making excuses…‘I work; I don’t have time; it’s gross; no one else will be able to feed the baby; it will cramp my style’…Please stop it! For mothers who work, there are breast pumps. This allows the caretaker to bottle-feed breastmilk to the baby while the mother is at work. But it is important for the mother to physically breastfeed her baby when they are together.
Food and drink keep us here, but they also take us away. Before putting anything in our baby’s mouth, we should ask ourselves: Is this going to lengthen my child’s life or shorten it? Because it is one or the other; no grey areas. We demonstrate our love for our children by giving them the best. Similac, Enfamil, Gerber Good Start, cow’s milk, soymilk and whatever else is out there is not the best and some are poison to the baby. A cow cannot rear a human baby. And to put our baby on the enemy’s formula instead of Allah’s (God’s) formula is to say that we trust in man more than God. Every time we put a bottle to our baby’s mouth instead of our breast, we should know that we are not offering the BEST. Allah (God) has created each mother’s breastmilk so potent and powerful that even a sick mother’s milk is better than anything a man can create.
Our babies come through us, but they are not from us; they are from Allah (God). They are His creation. And Allah (God) has already predetermined and prepared the proper substance with which He wants His children to be reared. The Honorable Minister Louis 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 challenge and requires the mother to make certain sacrifices, but every time we follow God, the reward is immeasurable!