Archive for the ‘NFPI’ Category

NFP with Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers should do six months of exclusive breastfeeding (no solids and no liquids other than breast milk) and then continue to breastfeed for at least 12 months, or longer if they wish.

The huge problem experienced by many breastfeeding mothers is that even if they want to follow that recommendation, they are so influenced by western cultural breastfeeding practices that their milk supply dwindles and then disappears.  The main reason is that they were not nursing frequently enough.

The bottom line is that if mothers would like to experience six months of exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding for 12 months or longer they need to nurse according to the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding provides a classic example of demand and supply. Suckling is the demand that stimulates the milk supply. The frequent suckling of Ecological Breastfeeding provides that sort of demand for months and months until the nursling is no longer interested. It also typically provides the mother with months of natural infertility (no menstrual cycles).

And that’s why NFP International promotes and teaches Ecological Breastfeeding. We are convinced that parents have both a need and a right to learn about this wonderful way of nourishing and nurturing their babies. Unless they learn these things well before the baby arrives, how are couples going to make informed decisions about the care of their children?

We know that many parents will also appreciate this abstinence-free form of natural baby spacing.

NFP International is currently the only NFP organization in the United States that teaches Ecological Breastfeeding, so we are a distinct minority. We think that the Catholic Church should require every NFP program operating under its auspices to teach Ecological Breastfeeding. We find it difficult to understand why any NFP program would want to avoid this subject. We are convinced that the evidence makes it clear that we provide a great service both to babies and parents. But how are typical young couples going to learn about this if marriage preparation programs avoid it?

August 2017 NFPI newsletter by Stephen Craig, NFPI Executive Director

Natural Family Planning and Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

NFP International  (NFPI) promotes ecological breastfeeding for spacing babies.  We promote it again and again.  Why?  Because no one else is doing it.  Everyone should know this important message.

Ecological breastfeeding spaces babies just because the mother remains with her baby and nurses him frequently day and night.  She is basically following the Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding.  The Seven Standards are maternal behaviors that mothers usually do when they remain with their babies and nurse.  Mother-baby togetherness is the key to the Seven Standards.  The Standards are easy to do when mother and baby remain in close contact.  In fact, some medical doctors call the mother-baby unit one biological unit as in pregnancy, except that the baby has changed positions from the womb to mom’s arms.

NFPI also promotes the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.  See the catalogs at the right of this blog.  Every year I review the breastfeeding research and then summarize the research for that year in a series of blogs.

I don’t know if I will be able to do that this year.  Because of an unfortunate accident to my computer, I lost all my breastfeeding research for this year.  However, I will be able to find and save everything from this point forward.  Perhaps I can also find some of the research published in January—June.

Many folks do not believe breastfeeding works to space babies.  That is the reason I wrote The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.  It’s a short book and very inexpensive; it is available as an ebook as well.  This book’s primary purpose is to provide the research and to show that it does work.  Those interested in natural child spacing should read this book.  Miriam Labbok, a researcher on the Lactational Amenorrhea Method and who was involved on many research publications on this topic, told me that she took this book of mine with her where ever she traveled.  She is no longer among the living, but she was a strong advocate for our efforts.

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding: Is it Contraception or an NFP Method or Neither?

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

It may surprise you, but Ecological Breastfeeding is controversial among Catholics.  Some say breastfeeding is a form of contraception.  They say that a breastfeeding mother is avoiding conception with breastfeeding’s natural suppression of ovulation.  But the baby is nursing not the mother, and every nursing mother knows that she cannot force a baby to nurse.  When Saint John Paul II promoted breastfeeding for health reasons, he also noted its natural child spacing effect.

Others say that breastfeeding can’t be called a natural family planning method because it does not involve charting fertility/infertility or follow a fertility awareness system.  But for about 94% of breastfeeding moms, their first period is all they need by way of fertility awareness.

In reality, Ecological Breastfeeding is definitely a form of natural baby spacing.  That’s why we teach that there are two distinct forms of natural family planning—systematic NFP and Ecological Breastfeeding.  Realistically, couples who learn Ecological Breastfeeding from NFPI and intend to use it as their only “spacer” will probably be charting in the later months of amenorrhea so that they can accurately determine the temperature-based “due date” for their next baby if they achieve pregnancy before their first menses.

I’m reviewing some standards set by a USCCB committee in which it says several times that all phases of the reproductive cycle must be taught.  In a high school physiology class I was taught by a wonderful teacher that the reproductive cycle ended with breastfeeding, not childbirth.  She knew something about the effect that breastfeeding had on inhibiting ovulation.  Of course, eventually menstruation and fertility returns for the nursing mother, and the reproductive cycle can start once again.  It is unfortunate that this has been lost in part of the NFP movement.

Let’s do a survey!  Let’s ask 10 ecologically breastfeeding mothers if they are practicing contraception.  Of course, their answer is NO.  Then let’s ask these same breastfeeding mothers if they are practicing a form of natural family planning.  Of course, their answer would be YES because they are using the most natural form of natural baby spacing—God’s plan for both mother and baby.  However, it seems that some of those involved with NFP in the Church will say the answer to the second question is NO for  eco-breastfeeding mothers.

These mothers are not practicing NFP?  Really?

Any comments on this dilemma are welcome!

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding