Almost all mothers can enjoy the natural spacing of their children’s births with ecological breastfeeding. God in His wisdom gave us a way to nourish and nurture our children and to space the birth of our babies.
Mothers who remain with their babies and nurse frequently day and night by following the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding will usually have, on average, 14 to 15 months without any menstruation.
Research has shown that frequent and unrestricted nursing day and night provides natural infertility after childbirth, and that it is the short intervals between feedings that keep the reproductive system at rest. These short intervals are common among those mothers following the Seven Standards. The Seven Standards are simply maternal behaviors associated with an extended period of natural amenorrhea.
I have permission to quote from a breastfeeding survey which arrived recently. The mother lives in Sweden and practiced the Seven Standards with her first baby. Remember, I mentioned above the importance of having short intervals between feedings. She and her husband wanted another child, so they lengthened one interval so that her fertility would return. Here is what she said:
“Baby #1 was 18 months when my husband and I really wanted to have another baby. I was still in breastfeeding amenorrhea. I went to visit a friend and stayed away for 5-6 hours, knowing Baby would be emotionally well with Dad. It was a sudden change in nursing frequency which quickly brought back my period. I was fertile right away after that and conceived. I deliberately “broke out of” amenorrhea so to speak. Previous to this separation, I had never gone so many hours without nursing. My breasts were full and Baby nursed happily on my return. It was the sudden change that brought back my fertility. I made sure it wasn’t gradual because we wanted to conceive.
“After this one experience, though, I continued nursing like before day and night. After getting pregnant I kept nursing, but during the pregnancy the nursings got more and more infrequent. Baby said it tasted funny/yucky. It was painful and uncomfortable for me to nurse and my milk supply dropped. The longest Baby went without nursing during the pregnancy was 5 days, the 5 days prior to delivery.
“Once in labour I nursed Baby and realized I would probably tandem nurse. After the birth of Baby #2, Baby #1 wanted to nurse frequently again. For the first 2 months postpartum, Baby #1 nursed up to 3-4 times a day. At 3 months postpartum Baby #1 nursed once a day, in the mornings (first thing!). At 7.5 months postpartum, Baby #1 would skip his daily nurse once in a while until he stopped altogether at 9.5 months postpartum. He was 3 years, 7 months and 2 weeks old when he nursed for the last time! He still sleeps in our room, but in his own bed.”
Mothers are encouraged to print out the breastfeeding survey, complete their experiences with ecological breastfeeding, and return to NFPI using the address on the survey.