Breastfeeding Beyond Nutrition

Through understandings from Biodynamic Therapy, and Biodynamic Therapists as Mothers and Grandmothers, comes a distilled series of lessons for feeding your baby and nurturing them physically, emotionally and spiritually – whether you are able to breastfeed or not.

1. Biodynamic presence and non-judgemental attitude

This is where you are just appreciative and you really recognise who you are with and the specialness of that person, even if they are in difficulty, you are also with the ‘bigger’ them. When it comes to your attention that judgement is present, rather than fight it, just allow it to be present, and this allowing is like forgiving the fixedness of judgement the movement of life energy can be restored.

2. Intimate contact and proximity

You probably know the value of this from attachment parenting and from understanding relationships in general – skin to skin contact, baby carrying, and co-sleeping – all draw lessons from breastfeeding and apply them to other parenting situations.

Direct eye to eye contact is also important, but one of the things with newborns is that their eyes are adjusted to find the nipple and then when they have found the nipple, what they need is to see the skin from top of their mother’s breast to her shoulder. So although baby’s eyes aren’t focused, their eyes are relating to mother.

3. Heart Contact

The other very simple, very obvious wise contact comes from the way that you hold a baby when breastfeeding. Whether lying down next to you or being held, baby is either in contact with your heart segment – baby’s body to mother’s left chest or baby’s smaller heart segment is in contact with mother’s right chest. The kindness of this does really bring a deep connection between mother and baby.

Heartmath, the US research and health app company, found:

..electromagnetic signals generated by the heart have the capacity to affect others around us,.. clearly detectable when the mother tuned into the baby. It appears that when the mother placed her attention on the baby that she became more sensitive to the subtle electromagnetic signals generated by the infant’s heart.” 1

In my therapeutic experience, any contact with this segment – the area around a person’s heart – in a peaceful way is as if whole aeons of time can pass and peace between you can really be established. All the drama can melt away and actually you look at the clock and only a minute or two can have passed. The efficiency of this heart contact cannot be underestimated.

4. Physical Engagement

The direct contact between a mother and baby is between the voluntary muscles of the baby and then the involuntary let down and reassurance of the mother. And the baby’s rhythmic pumping of the milk begins to build an electro-magnetic field in which their muscles are developed and every time they go through that process the blood somehow fills in their muscles, they reach a pinnacle of satiation and as they get sated the blood begins to fall away again.

You could say that understanding of these muscles and this oral section (indicates jaw) becomes a lesson for all the other muscles in the rest of baby’s body.

Mona Lisa Boyesen, Leading Biodynamic Therapist and Mother, wrote a paper called ‘the Infant and the Alpha’. She applied this to a baby who was unable to breastfeed and put two bottle teats on top of each other to narrow the flow so that the baby’s mouth could really engage more with the teat. And that more gentle flow, requiring more effort and the right amount of milk seemed to allow the right development. That was a long time ago so many teats are more suitable these days, but do attend to baby’s sucking.

Even if baby is bottle feeding, it is really important that baby’s lips contact flesh. It can come into contact with the breast or the back the hand. Work out a physical understanding that there is something outside itself as well as inside that is alive.

5. Time, staying with, and settling

As you settle into the breastfeeding/nurturing space with your baby, the connection and flow between your heart and your skin and your proximity with baby begins to build a connection between energy and fluid, and as the baby moves from being hungry to more satisfied, a finer and finer biological ordering begins to take place. And so the baby comes into this more refined space which is connected to the alpha brain waves.

6. At this time, it becomes important not to interrupt the baby

There are practical issues sometimes, but if you know this and you value it you can find a time in the day or night, even with other children around, even with other children at another breast, to just allow that peaceful blissful space. It is to do with recognising when baby is no longer demanding, but still present with you.

As baby is sated, but still at the breast it comes into a totally different relationship with its mother which is beyond need but still connected to the heart field which allows the brain, or any residual vigilance, to be able to completely relax.

Gerda Boyesen, Founder of Biodynamic Psychology, from the Esoteric Function of Breastfeeding says:

“The second phase is only esoteric and not physical because the child is full by then. It lies there and the eyes go up, it sucks a little bit and then half sleeps, and then sucks a little bit more and half sleeps. That is the esoteric, that is total happiness, total nirvana, total timelessness. That is where the basic security lies. That is spiritual, it goes into the alpha, it goes into the higher self. That is where the baby reaches heaven and has contact with the cosmos and the universe, the heavenly capacities and qualities are there. it doesn’t have to fight or be desperate. Everything just is, complete trust ”

And of course while the baby is in bliss of course mother can relax and become increasingly synchronised with this bliss, and as there is more and more biological synchrony between mother and baby, and begin to resonate at a similar frequency, you get an harmonic resonance where it is as if another field, which didn’t exist before, comes into being. If I were a physicist I would call it a phase shift.

Wilhem Reich said

‘Superimposition of two energy streams reaches, as a function, far beyond biology’ 2

He called it cosmic superimposition, where the biological energy meets and aligns with the energy of the cosmos, or the energy of the cosmos aligns with the body’s energy.

A baby who can develop in this larger field is by esoteric definition engaged in spiritual development, alongside its other physical and emotional journeys.

7. Carrying and Holding in other situations with Confidence

Of course, as with any other spiritual journey, there are gatherings and openings along the way, just as in the birthing process or in our own spiritual development. And as we all need support when we are not nearest our sacred spaces, we come back to the attachment model of staying alongside these spirits as they incarnate with us in this world.

This esoteric understanding takes us beyond the view given by psychotherapist Melanie Klein3 that breastfeeding is the source of a child’s knowledge of good and bad. It takes us to feeding from the tree of life – where mother introduces us to the great wisdom of our bodies through which we can gain enlightenment.

In the ancient Chinese alchemical texts, translated by Richard Bertshinger as The Secret of Everlasting Life, the ancient sages indicate that such knowledge can only be made known via a teacher.

You could say the first spiritual teacher provided by nature is our mother.

Footnotes:

1 Linda Caviness, Wendy McCarthy, Rollin McCraty and Mike Atkinson 2008

2 God, Ether, and the Devil, Wilhelm Reich

3 Envy and Gratitude, Melanie Klein