Pope Pius XII – On Breastfeeding

I got the following article from ccli.org. The following is taken from Pope Pius XII’s address to the Women of Italian Catholic Action, a group of midwives, October 26, 1941.

Mothers, your sensibility is greater and your love more tender. Therefore, you will keep a vigilant eye upon your babies throughout their infancy, watching over their growth and over the health of their little bodies, for this is flesh of your flesh and the fruit of your womb.

Remember that your children are the adopted sons of God and especially beloved of Christ. Remember that their angels look forever on the face of the heavenly Father; and so you too, as you rear them, must be angels in a like manner, in all your care and vigilance keeping your eyes fixed upon heavenly. It is your task form the cradle to begin their education in soul as well as in body; for if you do not educate them they will begin, for good or ill, to educate themselves.

Many of the moral characteristics which you see in the youth or the man owe their origin to the manner and circumstances of his first upbringing in infancy. Purely organic habits contracted at that time may later prove a serious obstacle to the spiritual life of the soul. And so you will make it your special care in the treatment of your child to observe the prescriptions of a perfect hygiene, so that when it comes to the use of reason its bodily organs and faculties will be healthy and robust and free from distorted tendencies.

This is the reason why, except where quite impossible, it is more desirable that the mother should feed her child at her own breast. Who shall say what mysterious influences are exerted upon the growth of that little creature by the mother upon whom it depends entirely for its development.

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One thought on “Pope Pius XII – On Breastfeeding

  1. asimplesinner April 11, 2008 / 5:12 pm

    I had been playing around with doing a write up of this quote over at The Black Cordelias… It is interesting that the endorphins released in a woman’s body during the period of breastfeeding are the same as what are released during the marital act – feelings of tenderness, comfort and protection.

    It is easy to understand why more of this should be encouraged!

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