Archive for the ‘Ecological Breastfeeding’ Category

Breastfeeding is a public health imperative.

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The breastfeeding rates here in the States and elsewhere are exceptionally low.  The Exclusive Breastfeeding rates for six months are also low…ranging from 14% to 22% depending on location and race.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered 19 recommendations for professionals and support groups in the ultimate goal of improving the breastfeeding rates. (“The Breastfeeding-Friendly Pediatric Office Practice,” April 2017)  The AAP recommends Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first 6 months followed by 1 year or longer of breastfeeding.  In this report the importance of breastfeeding is emphasized “as a public health imperative.”

The huge problem, however, is that without the practice of the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding—or something very close to it—most mothers will have their milk supply way down before 12 months.  This is an exemplary case of demand and supply.  Reduced demand yields reduced or no supply.

One of the benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding is that the mother usually has plenty of milk and is able to nurse for a year or longer.  Ecological Breastfeeding is also an excellent way to space the birth of babies.

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

Breastfeeding: The best choice is no formula.

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Two scientific articles promoting breastfeeding were published May 1, 2017 by the European Respiratory Journal.  One article stressed the benefit of longer breastfeeding or exclusive breastfeeding to reduce the risk of wheezing illness.  

The other article, “Formula one: best is no formula,” stressed the importance of breastfeeding in early life for having healthy lung function.  Why?  Because abnormal lung growth patterns are established early in life.  One factor, besides other factors, responsible for poor lungs is “short duration of breastfeeding.”  As the researchers said:  Breast is best; formula is worst.

Is anyone listening?  Interestingly, the absence of formula is the answer for respiratory outcomes.   “The public health implications are stark.  The extent of use of formula feeds described in this study is nothing short of a disgrace.”  In their opinion, there was no reason why many of these mothers did not breastfeed for more than a year.

“Those nurses, midwives, health visitors and primary care paediatricians who are responsible for the care of babies need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask why their promotion of breast feeding is such a failure.”  Regarding formula, “Maybe it should carry a health warning for specific subgroups.  Overall, the message is stark and clear—get it right in little lungs or it will go wrong and stay wrong in big ones.”

Many studies show the benefits of breastfeeding.  This study goes one step further by greatly reducing the cause of poor health:  no formula feeding for little ones.  

Sheila Kippley
Next week:  a medical release form for not breastfeeding