6. Many couples and priests are extremely grateful for this knowledge because they had never heard about breastfeeding and natural child spacing before. Some couples then use only breastfeeding to space their children.
7. God’s plan through ecological breastfeeding involves no abstinence. On the other hand, some couples using systematic NFP sometimes complain about the abstinence. Every Natural Family Planning program ought to teach the evidence-based Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. It is not sufficient just to recommend breastfeeding in general in a natural family planning course. In such courses, it is essential to distinguish between the kind of breastfeeding that DOES space babies and the kinds that DO NOT or at least greatly limit the duration of breastfeeding amenorrhea.
8. Teachings about “continued” or “extended” breastfeeding are insufficient and backwards because they take us back to the “Total Breastfeeding” talk of the mid-1960s. Such talk ignores all the research done since then. Also some natural family planning organizations tell the exclusively breastfeeding mother to chart a few weeks after childbirth. These organizations seem to ignore the ample research done on exclusive breastfeeding in many sites throughout the world.
9. Catholic bishops need to ensure that every NFP program that is operating under any sort of diocesan approval or endorsement teaches the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. And if bishops really want what is best for their mothers and babies, they need to require them to participate in the right kind of natural family planning course. This is the course that encompasses Catholic moral teaching, the New Evangelization, all the common signs of fertility, and the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. It is not consistent to talk about evidence-based systems of fertility awareness and to ignore the evidence-based Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.
10. Our Catholic bishops and priests need to proclaim authentic Catholic teaching on love, marriage and sexuality including ecological breastfeeding with confidence and joy. When they provide the right kind of practical help, they will be more believable. The right kind of cooperation between the hierarchy and the laity can help the Church to rebuild Christian civilization throughout the world.
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