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Let's think about a mother who just gave birth to her baby. She's a newborn as well. It doesn't matter if this is her first, or second (or third, fourth…) child. Every birth experience means new life. And every new life needs time to be known.

From a biological and surviving point of view one of the basic worries of this newborn mom will be feeding her baby. Of course her aim won't just be the survival of her baby, but she wants to see her grow healthy and strong. She'll have expectations and, possibly, doubts regarding her capability of taking care of another human being who can't in any way be independent.

We are hardly used to consider this aspect. We have access to loads of opinions and never ending advices about how much a baby must eat, how much weight she has to gain every week, whether it's better to breastfeed or bottle feed, about growth curves, averages, percentages, and other extremely technical and countable informations.

And what about the relation, the bonding?

What about the fact that it's not a robot or a computer who's feeding and taking care of this baby, in which you can upload data and countable or verifiable informations to make it work, but a human being? And I'm not talking about any human being, but this baby's own mother.

Nourishment is a very delicate, intimate and subtle subject to mothers. Whether we're talking about breastfeeding or formula, weaning or healthy food education, when we deal with our children nourishment our most deep and vulnerable emotions come to surface and they deserve to be looked after with love and kindness, especially if we are meeting some unpleasant sensations.

If a mother is in front of doctors, friends, relatives with a squishy, soft, chubby newborn with no appearant chin, wrists or ankles, she'll probably get quiet a clear label: you're doing great mom, you're a good source of nourishment!

But if the baby is just in the average range, or worse below the average, even if she eats regularly, she's healthy, her nappies are regularly wet, the label is quiet clear too, yet it's quiet discouraging: is there something wrong? Perhaps you should feed her more often. Perhaps your not enough…

Enough what? Capable? Productive (of milk)? Nourishing? (and just to be straight and clear, mother's milk cannot become water or poor. It's not possible).

Similar panoramas are to be found during weaning as well: the child eats everything and lot: you're awesome, mom! The child barely tries to eat something: you're spoiling this child.

Growth curves are born to help doctors verify that bottlefed babies had a healthy and steady growth. Once, formula was much less advanced than today. Therefore, assuming that a healthy child or baby has a steady and continuous growth, we don't have to treat him/her as sick if he has a below the average curve. He's simply below average. Let's think about a 25 kids class. There are tall kids and short kids. Would you ever think that a short child is ill?

We are talking about pure statistics.

Let's go back to the importance of the relation and bonding. What is a mother who's still learning to nourish and nurture her baby, living deep inside herself when she gets a label or a disappointed look, even if she's doing the best she can?

As adults, do we all eat the same way? no. Do we all like the same foods? no. Are we always hungry the same? no. Why should it be different for a baby or a child?

Why should we always label or contain in verifiable and countable standards an aspect of life as personal and intimate and relational as nourishment, whose only core should be wellness?

In real life you can't nourish through statistics and numbers. Nourishing and being nourished must be an inclusive aspect of the life of mother and child, of the life of the family, inclusive of the educational resources in which our children are educated, inclusive of the professional net supporting the family.

Eventually, I'd like to focus on how important is that the person who nourish and nurture is well nurtured and nourished. A newborn mother who's still in the vortex of emotions and news needs nurturing and protection. She needs time and space, she needs to be seen and to be recognized in her new role and nourishment source. She deserves to have the chance to discover her new self. She has to be nurtured and welcome, because no one can peacefully and trustfully nourish and nurture if she's not well nurtured and nourished. A newborn mom, can't just occasionally eat, or simply grab the first thing she can reach in the fridge, while she's starving and think that she can go on this way for months. The food she eats must be source of well-being. So, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, neighbours, friends, doulas, cooking for the newborn mother, or bringing some nice food, are more than welcome.

Moreover, we can't forget that nurturing this mother's soul is fundamental too. She needs her emotions to be looked after. She needs to have the chance to do things that make her feel good, whole, peaceful. So, also in this case, friends, doulas, mothers (supporting her, making her laugh, listening to her), a massage, a walk by the sea or in the wood, an afternoon on the sofa reading a book, or watching her favourite series, are much more than welcome.

Everything that makes us feel good is nourishment.