What God Says About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was created by God's magnificent design for all mammals and he is not silent on the topic of infant feeding.  His children can receive more than food from the breast of their mother. What greater gift can a mother give her child than the gift God has given............breastfeeding.
The biblical perspective of breastfeeding makes references to show breastfeeding to be a joyful, rewarding blessing to both mother and child.


In Isaiah 55, the scriptures declare that His ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts.  His way to provide infant feeding is from mother to child.  In Hosea 4:6 the word states," His  people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."  Choosing   not to breastfeed a child does increase the child's risk of sickness.  If parents are informed of the risk of formula feeding and still choose not to breastfeed, they will not receive all the blessings that God intends for that developing child.
Many people do not breastfeed due to lack of information given to them by their health care providers. This lack of knowledge can lead to a poor choice of infant feeding and increase the morbidity and mortality of our children.



But what do the scriptures have to say? Does God care that we breastfeed? Did he create infant feeding to be done only in privacy? Should Christians be made to feel guilty to nurse? Has the sexual aspect of the breast caused Mothers to feel shame to feed their children in the most nurturing way? Where have we come? From the Lady who came up to Jesus in Luke 11:27 and said, " Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou has sucked." to today with "I can’t believe she is breastfeeding here!" God’s design for breastfeeding is incredible (for every species). It contains everything needed for our babies. It is even different for the premature baby, to meets its specific needs. It changes to meet the needs of the growing infant. Breastmilk is a living substance, gives immunity protection, supports optimal growth and development. The colostrum ( the first milk) lines the gut of the baby to create a seal against pathogens and provides many other important functions.

Let’s Look at The Word of God ( Scriptures are taken from the AMP. , KJV, and NIV)

Genesis 17:1
"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God, (El Shaddai); walk before me and be thou perfect."
El Shaddai is Hebrew;  El means 'Strong One', and Shaddai comes from the  word meaning breast. Here our Father introduces himself as the 'Strong Breasted One'. Understanding the nursing relationship, helps us recognize Him as our "Strong Provider".

This is the only Old Testament name of God derived from a part of the physical body..  How inspiring that God called himself the Strong Breasted One. If God used the word El Shaddai to develop a trusting relationship with Abraham, then what can a nursing infant learn from the nursing relationship?

Psalms 22:9

"Yet you are He who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother’s breasts."
An infant learns trust through nursing and having his needs met consistently and promptly. This is the basis for being able to trust God when he is older. A baby's spirit can also sense the rejection of not being nursed and can cause spiritual wounding.

John 1:3-4
"All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.   In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
Our Father, El Shaddai,  gave his life through Jesus Christ, his son. All we have need of is in Him.

Philippians 4:19
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Our needs are not simply met, but "supplied". An endless flow........We make a demand on The Strong Breasted One by receiving Jesus.

I Peter 2:2-3

"Like newborn babies you should crave - thirst for, earnestly desire- the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation; Since you have [already] tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord."

What a beautiful metaphor! Just as new babies, fed by kind mothers, desire the milk that makes them grow, we should desire the word of God that comes through our kind Lord.   Babies should long for (demand) their mother's milk.  The process of breastfeeding will make them grow both physically, spiritually and emotionally when administered by a kind mother. According to John 1;14 Jesus is the Living Word, and we are to desire Him, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth."

Isaiah 49: 14,15,16
But Zion (Jerusalem, her people seen in captivity) said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. "[And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Yes, they may forget, yet I will not  forget you.  Behold, I have imprinted (tattooed) a picture of you on the palm of each of My hands."
The Lord is promising to be compassionate to his people as a mother is compassionate to her nursing baby  never forgetting to be there to feed it. In verse 15, the word "may" used in the verb form is to denote irony, because it is unheard of for a mother to forget her nursing child. The hormones produced during nursing, promote bonding and strengthen the mother child relationship.

Isaiah 66:10-13

"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her; That ye may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance and brightness of her glory. For this is what the Lord says: I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.  As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

God is depicting Jerusalem as a well loved nursing mother; a mother who provides nourishment and comfort from her breast. He says the people should be delighted with Jerusalem the way a baby enjoys the suckling and sustenance from his mother.  God promises peace and glory to her so that the people will have their physical needs met as a baby does when nursed, they will have security as a baby who is carried on his mother's hip, and they will have joy as a baby does when it is played with in his mother's lap.  God used the word GLORY to symbolize breastmilk!  God clearly has an appreciation for mothers who show their love and compassion for their babies through close physical contact that includes breastfeeding, being carried, and play. When a child nurses, his spirit is being fed as well as his body, and he is learning the character, and affection of God.

I Thessalonians. 2:7-8

"But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children. So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news ( the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us."

Paul depicts a nursing mother as gentle, tender, an having a fond affection for her children that leads to sharing herself and the gospel of God.  Children should be dear to their mother. Parents should be devoted to the success of nursing and not turning back from it.


Numbers 11:12

"Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that You should say to me, Carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father carries the sucking child, to the land which You swore to their fathers[ to give them]? "

God implies the importance of the nursing father. Nurse is used in this verse to mean support, faithful, firm, to build up , to give assurance. Husbands need to demonstrate these characteristics to their wives.   A supportive husband is vital to the mother's happy nursing relationship. Without their approval, the mother may soon quit breastfeeding.  Fathers should prayerfully make breastfeeding a high priority!

Song of Solomon 7:8

"Let your breasts be as clusters of the grapevine, and the scent of your breath like apples..""I resolve I will climb the palm tree, I will grasp its branches. "

I find it fascinating at Solomon's wisdom! How people came from far away places in awe of his knowledge. God gave him wisdom of plants and animals......Even with the study of anatomy of the breast...he was right at relating it to a grapevine. The ductal system of the alveoli in the breast  resembles  a cluster of grapes and branches out like the trees.

Hosea 1:8
"Now when [Gomer] had weaned Loruhamah, she became pregnant again and bore a son."

This scripture supports the benefit of contraception during breastfeeding.

Hosea 9:14
"....give them wombs that miscarry and breast that are dry."

The inability to produce milk was considered a curse.

Genesis 49:25
"By the God of your father Who will help you, and by the Almighty Who will bless you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings lying in the deep beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb."

To have milk..... a blessing!

Joel 2:16
"Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast"

Here it is obvious that nursing publicly and in church is in God's will!

I Samuel 1:21-23

"And Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and remain there as long as he lives. Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him."

Hannah's priority of  nursing her child should be an example to all of us!   She did not wean him until he was around  three to five years of age.    This length of time nursing was common during this time. Moms can reap many benefits today by not thinking of nursing in terms of weeks or months, but instead, nursing for several years! The physical, emotional and spiritual benefits are astounding!

Isaiah 40:11
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young."

Our Lord considers His bosom the place where we would feel most cherished!  What a blessing to be carried by our Lord in His bosom.  Carrying our babies in our bosom is also important because this is where they are most content. Using slings instead of carriers, strollers, playpens, and swings. We need to be attached to our babies, not detached with  these items.

Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
What can be more pure than human milk?...........infant formula? No Way!  Check the label!

Lamentations 4:3,4

"Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness { that desert their young}." The tongue of the nursing babe cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the young children beg for food, but no one gives it to them.
God uses the term cruel for his people not giving suck to their young. We are the only species that feed our young another species milk. You will not find animals refusing to breastfeed their offspring.   If we really think we have to give another species milk to our babies, we should be giving them Orangutan milk!

 Parents getting ready for a newborn should understand the significance of spending time in prayer and seeking God's direction to breastfeed, because this decision could  impact their child's entire life.