The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Breastfeeding


The newborn baby has only three demands. They are: warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breast, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breast feeding satisfies all three. ~Grantly Dick-Read, Childbirth Without Fear, 1959

A baby sucks a finger as instinctively as the breast — but the breast is better for the baby. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard. ~David Allen, unverified

Nursing does not diminish the beauty of a woman's breasts; it enhances their charm by making them look lived in and happy. ~Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)

I have heard men say that a father's feeling towards his child is stronger than a mother's. What will a man not say about women. A man reading this will answer me:  And vice versa. And in many respects he may be equally right. But never, never in his life can a man feel that self-obliterating ecstasy and veneration for the power of life itself that a mother feels when the little human creature she has suffered and feared so much for, is laid in her weak arm, and a greedy little mouth closes over her breast. Surely in that one moment any woman must forgive the man who brought this upon her, even though it means the ruin of her future by ordinary human reckoning. ~Barbra Ring, Før kulden kommer, 1915, translated from the Norwegian by W. Emmé, Into the Dark, 1923

We are willing to give... artificial milk when we cannot do better, but we watch the child anxiously whose wet-nurse is a chemist's pipkin. A pair of substantial mammary glands has the advantage over the two hemispheres of the most learned Professor's brain, in the art of compounding a nutritious fluid for infants. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Scholastic and Bedside Teaching," 1867

There is no substitute for mother's milk. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Breast milk is better than any udder milk! ~Author unknown

...a babe at her breast and a new light in her eyes, the light of the dawn of motherhood. ~Dr. R. V. Pierce's Favorite Prescription advertisement, 1899

      "Don't worry, dear," said my mother... "Why, you've got the finest baby in the world. You mustn't excite yourself; but give your whole mind now to turning yourself as much as possible into an animal, a milch cow, pasturing in the meadow"...
      This is the dawn of motherhood... For this tiny creature all knowledge is summed up in its mother's breast... Its lips have a sweetness beyond words, and their pressure is at once a pain and a delight... The sensation which rises from it, and which penetrates to the very core of my life, baffles all description. It seems a sort of centre whence a myriad joy-bearing rays gladden the heart and soul. To bear a child is nothing; to nourish it is birth renewed every hour.
      Oh!... there is no caress of lover with half the power of those little pink hands, as they stray about, seeking whereby to lay hold on life. And the infant glances, now turned upon the breast, now raised to meet our own! What dreams come to us as we watch the clinging nursling! All our powers, whether of mind or body, are at its service; for it we breathe and think, in it our longings are more than satisfied! The sweet sensation of warmth at the heart, which the sound of his first cry brought to me — like the first ray of sunshine on the earth — came again as I felt the milk flow into his mouth, again as his eyes met mine, and at this moment I have felt it once more as his first smile gave token of a mind working within — for he has laughed, my dear! A laugh, a glance, a bite, a cry — four miracles of gladness which go straight into the heart and strike chords that respond to no other touch. A child is tied to our heartstrings, as the spheres are linked to their creator; we cannot think of God except as a mother's heart writ large. There is nothing visible, nothing perceptible in conception, nor even in pregnancy; it is only in the act of nursing that a woman realizes her motherhood in visible and tangible fashion; it is a joy of every moment. The milk becomes flesh before our eyes; it blossoms into the tips of those delicate flower-like fingers; it expands in tender, transparent nails; it spins the silky tresses; it kicks in the little feet. Oh! those baby feet, how plainly they talk to us! In them the child finds its first language.
      Yes... to feed, to suckle! is a miracle of transformation going on before one's bewildered eyes. Those cries, they go to your heart and not your ears; those smiling eyes and lips, those plunging feet, they speak in words which could not be plainer if God traced them before you in letters of fire! What else is there in the world to care about?... The sweet consciousness of a common life is ample recompense for all the trouble and suffering — for suffering there is. Heaven save you, Louise, from ever knowing the maddening agony of a broken breast which gapes afresh with every pressure of the rosy lips, and is so hard to heal — the heaviest tax perhaps imposed on beauty. ~Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), Letters of Two Brides, 1840, translated by Clara Bell and R. S. Scott, 1899  [De Balzac: "Would it not be a fine thing... if the future antiquarian of dead literatures were to find... this..." Oh, she did! And she loves it. —tg]

Breastfeeding is nature's health plan. ~Author unknown

Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hush'd me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
      My Mother.
~Ann Taylor (1782–1866)

...a little child, born yesterday,
A thing on mother's milk and kisses fed...
~Author unknown, Homeric hymn, "To Mercury," translated from the Greek by Percy Bysshe Shelley

A day came... when the poor widowed girl pressed a child upon her breast... a little boy, as beautiful as a cherub. What a miracle it was to hear its first cry! How she laughed and wept over it — how love, and hope, and prayer woke again in her bosom as the baby nestled there. She was safe... The child was her being. Her existence was a maternal caress... It was her life which the baby drank in from her bosom. Of nights, and when alone, she had stealthy and intense raptures of motherly love, such as God's marvellous care has awarded to the female instinct — joys how far higher and lower than reason — blind beautiful devotions which only women's hearts know. ~William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero, 1848

Dora, your years are an achievement, not something to hide... Your breasts are baby-chewed, your belly shows stretch marks — your decorations of honor, Adorable One. Of valor. They make you more beautiful. ~Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, 1973

A child not suckled by its mother is unfortunate... ~Christian Augustus Struve, Asthenology: or, The Art of Preserving Feeble Life, 1798, translated by William Johnston, 1801, from an updated edition of the original German

Suck, baby, suck! mother's love grows by giving,
Drain the sweet founts that only thrive by wasting...
~Charles Lamb

An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, c.1594  [I, 3, Nurse]

      When the babe, soon after it is born into this cold world, is applied to its mother's bosom; its sense of perceiving warmth is first agreeably affected; next its sense of small is delighted with the odour of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the flavour of it; afterwards the appetites of hunger and of thirst afford pleasure by the possession of their objects, and by the subsequent digestion of the aliment; and lastly, the sense of touch is delighted by the softness and smoothness of the milky fountain, the source of such variety of happiness.
      ....And hence at our maturer years, when any object of vision is presented to us, which by its waving or spiral lines bears any similitude to the form of the female bosom, whether it is found in a landscape with soft gradations of rising and descending surface, or in the forms of some antique vases, or in other works of the pencil or the chisel, we feel a general glow of delight, which seems to influence all our senses; and, if the object be not too large, we experience an attraction to embrace it with our arms, and to salute it with our lips, as we did in our early infancy the bosom of our mother. ~Erasmus Darwin, "Of Instinct," Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life, Vol I, 1794

Mother knows breast. ~Author unknown

A [Wet] Nurse ought to have great Regard to her Diet: It is not enough that she be sober and temperate, her Food should consist of a proper Mixture of Flesh and Vegetables: She should eat one hearty Meal of Flesh-meat every Day, with a good deal of Garden Stuff, and Bread. Thin Broth or Milk would be best for her Breakfast and Supper. Her Drink should be small Beer, or Milk and Water; but upon no Account should she ever touch a drop of Wine or strong Drink, much less any kind of spirituous Liquors: Giving Ale or Brandy to a Nurse is, in effect, giving it to the Child; and it is easy to conclude what would be the Consequence. ~William Cadogan, An Essay upon Nursing, 1748

Breastfeeding is bestfeeding. ~Author unknown

Mother's creed:  Breastfeed. ~Terri Guillemets

All being drinks the mother-dew
Of joy from Nature's holy bosom...
~Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), "Hymn to Joy," translated by Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1844

Abel is Cain's brother and breasts they have sucked the same. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)

Mama Maureen, has no one ever told you how much more sweetly beautiful a full-blown woman is than a maiden? Certainly your lovely breasts have held milk; that's what they're for. Why would I want them to look like marble? — I don't! ~Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, 1973

Skin does not equal sin. ~Author unknown

What a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under the severest penalties! ~Henry David Thoreau

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published 2007 Apr 16
revised 2021 Jul 26
last saved 2023 Nov 17