My parents made the next major life step – the winter home in Florida! The move happened last week and with it, plenty of cleaning and purging. As a result, I received a package of childhood memorabilia, including pictures of me and my brothers, yearbooks, health records and a document called “Instructions for Newborn Care: Instructions for Baby Simmons.” I came with instructions! I had to read this right away!
The instructions were written as if personally authored by the pediatrician I remember well, Dr. John T. Burns. His practice was in a converted family home across the street from the hospital where I was born. There was a fish tank in the lobby, nurses with white caps and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon in one of the exam rooms. This is where my mom taught me to sing when I was scared or in pain, and maybe where I first fell in love with the antiseptic smell of hospitals.
True to the time in history, the instructions included only a blurb on breastfeeding, and much of that information was, well, it was 1973 and women were commonly told to strictly limit feeding time and to give “prescribed formula” if needed.
The part of Dr. Burns’ instructions I so appreciate is this: “Feeding is one of the baby’s first pleasant experiences. The baby’s first love for its mother arises primarily from the feeding situation. At feeding time the baby receives nourishment from his food and nourishment from his mother’s love. The food, correctly taken, helps him to grow healthy and strong. The mother’s love, generously given, helps him to feel secure. Help your baby get both kinds of nourishment.”
Thanks Dr. Burns for timeless advice, and thanks Mom and Dad for providing both kinds of nourishment. Enjoy your retirement in Florida!