Friday, October 30, 2009
Every female mammal has organs which produce milk – a fluid perfectly suited for the nourishment of that particular species’ offspring for several months after birth. The newborn mammal is given a huge boost to his growth and to his immune system through milk.
It would seem that milk feeding increases the likelihood of survival of each offspring, making it possible for mammals to have fewer offspring while still remaining a viable, continuing species. The vast majority of mammal species seem to produce one or two babies per year. This in turn makes it possible for the mother to invest more time training and teaching her offspring. Mammals are of higher intelligence than other species and therefore this nurturing and educating is of greater importance. Mammal parents may spend a year or so mentoring their young. Humans spend about a decade doing so, as is appropriate to our higher intelligence. The human period of child rearing is apparently the longest found in nature.
In summary, the mammary glands make family life possible, something vital for highly intelligent species.When we pick up a glass of milk, we are seeing the foundation of parenting, motherhood and tradition.
More amazing is how the milk of each species is precisely formulated for the benefit of that species. The healthiest milk for human infants is human milk. Even the most high quality infant formulas made artificially are inferior to breast milk. Science cannot yet create a substitute, let alone a superior replacement, for this miraculous liquid. In fact, when a woman gives birth permaturely, her breast milk is specially formulated for a premature baby. How amazing is that?
Poetically, nursing reminds us of the total trust we have in someone else, a trust which we can later have in God “For Thou art He that took me out of the womb; Thou madest me trust when I was upon my mother's breasts. Upon Thee I have been cast from my birth; Thou art my God from my mother's womb.” Psalms 22:10-11
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:01 AM