The Moonflower Story

Several years ago, I led a breastfeeding support meeting titled “My Breastfeeding Garden.” I brought colorful seed packets to the meeting and each mother or mother-to-be took a packet and talked about an aspect of breastfeeding suggested by the seeds. For example, 'sweat peas' reminded us of the lovely scent of a breastfed baby's breath. Watermelons brought up a discussion about engorgement. I had the moonflower packet, and discussed night waking and feeding. It was an lively and creative discussion, evoking happy images of growth and spring.

At home I planted the seeds in our backyard garden. I am at best a haphazard gardener, and I sowed the seeds without much attention to marking what went where. It was engaging to watch different sproutlings produce chamomile, marigolds, thyme, sweat peas, and, yes, even watermelons. Eventually I noticed a hardy green vine winding itself up an old trellis. I could see buds but never saw any flowers blooming. Other flowers showed their petals, produced cuttings for the dinner table or for children's tea parties, and put on a gentle display of colors and shapes all summer long. But that vine was a mystery.

One late night that summer – in those wee hours of the morning when it seems only mothers and fussy children are awake – I paced through the house with my fretful baby daughter, trying to use the soothing combination of holding, singing, rocking, and walking to calm her. I was tired and at my wit's end, and could have used a little soothing myself. I looked out the back window and was amazed to see a huge silver moon glowing over my garden, and a half dozen small white moons glowing back from the flower beds. It was my moonflowers. I stood on the back porch in a pool of moonlight, nursing my daughter in my arms, finding company and peace with those unexpected blooms.

So, why “Moonflower” Lactation Consulting? Because mothers and babies can bloom unexpectedly. I'm here to help.