I wrote this post after reading an article in the newspaper about a dairy farm located relatively close to my home in Massachusetts.
A mother’s experience, 20+ years ago, Singapore (where two of my three daughters were born):
Our newborn is up again. It’s 3:00 am. My husband and I lie quietly for a few moments willing our daughter back to sleep. But her cries are persistent. Who knows if she’s hungry, wet, cold or simply distressed and looking for comfort. Regardless, we’ve reached our limit; there’s only so long one can ignore an infant baby’s cries. My husband makes his way to the nursery, returns with our daughter, and lays her beside me. Her whimpers subside. She begins to nurse. At that moment there is no more peaceful sound than the blissful rhythm of our baby sucking.
A mother’s experience, three years ago, Sunshine Dairy Farm, Newbury, MA:
The calf is born. Cold and disoriented her mother nestles close to provide warmth; she guides her baby’s mouth towards her udders. The calf suckles and then falls asleep by her mother. Mother and child remain this way, comforted, nurtured by each other’s presence. The calf awakes and drinks more of the colostrum or “early milk”. This milk is rich in antibodies, essential for the health and growth of the baby calf, but not fit for human consumption. Within 24 hours the calf has done its job and her mother’s udders fill with milk. This, humans can consume and is therefore valuable….