In Helper by Design: God’s Perfect Plan for Women in Marrage, Elyse Fitzpatrick presents two extreme and opposing views some Christian women hold about what differentiates them from men. One view sees them as completely different from men in every way, while on the other end of the spectrum is the assertion that women are identical to men, the only exception being they’re housed in bodies that gestate, menstruate and lactate.
I have my position with regards to this debate, but today, I’m going to focus on the three uniquely feminine bodily functions just listed.
Of these three, none is as feasible, medically advisable or desirable for a woman to continuously do every second of everyday of her adult life than to lactate. Indeed, it’s impossible for a woman to be pregnant every moment of her life. I’m no gynecologist, but I think perpetual menstruation is also impossible. Both situations would be unnatural and would indicate something being wrong. But making milk is not only possible, but sustainable over the long term, with no adverse effects.
The one thing a woman can continually do that’s a hallmark of her femininity is to produce milk. And yes, it can extend beyond menopause. There’s a 62 year old blog follower and commenter who still lactates for her husband. And I know a 71 year old who still has a supply, and is inducing a larger volume.
So we see that a woman’s ability to lactate transcends her reproductive abilities. I think this, plus the fact that milk induction is possible, are extremely suggestive of another purpose for breast milk besides reproduction.