Archive for the ‘First 3 Years’ Category

Natural Family Planning with Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

A breastfeeding survey is an instrument used to determine various factors related to the duration of breastfeeding amenorrhea—the absence of periods while breastfeeding.  We have used such surveys since 1969, and they are the basis for studies published in 1972 and 1986.   Occasionally an explanatory letter accompanies the survey, and that’s what we publish below.  The survey indicated that the mother intentionally decreased the amount of suckling time, decreased the amount of working out, and intentionally gained 5-7 pounds over a six-month period.  She claimed that these factors caused a return of menstruation at 16½ months and the return of her fertility.

This survey came from Missouri, the “Show Me” state, and her experiences certainly showed her the value of Ecological Breastfeeding.  Read her comments below:

Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood has been a wonderful resource and source of inspiration and encouragement for me.  I have read it cover to cover 6 times (so far)!  I also utilize Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing for info as well.  That book fully convicted me to use the Seven Standards.  I feel so bonded with my now 16 month old son.  The connection between breastfeeding and Theology of the Body is apparent to me.  La Leche League and The womanly Art of Breastfeeding have also been invaluable to me.  I love nursing my son and will nurse any future children we are blessed with using the 7 Standards.  I have also read Sheila’s writing on the first 3 years.  As a result, my last day of working outside the home was the day before I went into labor.  Although I loved my job as an RN and was very proud of my 10 year career I know my son will only be small for a short period of time.  Prior to becoming pregnant my husband and I lived only off of his income so that if God ever blessed us with children it would be very easy for me to stay at home.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Our society needs to return to strong families and moral values, and breastfeeding is a big part of that return.  Thank you for your commitment to this important work.  I will pray for you all, and you can pray for my husband and me to be blessed with many more children.”

I thanked her for her survey and she replied:  “Although I knew and know in my heart that staying home with my son is the right choice, it was still hard for me to verbalize to people that ‘I stay home with my son.’  I was very proud of my 10 year nursing career but I am even more proud to do what God is calling me to do.  I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my survey, but I am currently trying to limit the amount of extended suckling my son does but I am NOT trying to wean him. My husband and I are very hopeful for many more children and hope that God will bless us with a pregnancy this month!”  L. P.

Breastfeeding Survey
Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor

Mother and Baby Are One Biological Unit

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Probably the most important part of the biological oneness between mother and baby is their ecological relationship: what affects one affects the other. We see this in the many health benefits for both. By health benefits, I am including the emotional health benefits 7as well as the physical health benefits.

If breastfeeding is shortened and the mother stops nursing during the early weeks or months, then both she and baby lose the many benefits of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization said it well: “Mothers and babies form an inseparable biological and social unit; the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the health and nutrition of the other.”

In addition, quite often the mother soon loses that physical intimate contact with her growing baby when she bottlefeeds. Rare is the mother who holds her baby during the early years when bottlefeeding. Rare is the mother who insists on doing the bottlefeeding herself and who takes her baby with her, but sometimes it happens. The first couple John and I knew who took their baby with them to college faculty parties were bottlefeeding. I admired them because they gave us support for what we were doing with our breastfed baby.
Breast milk or Mother
The value of breastfeeding is heavily emphasized today. Because so many mothers work, much attention is given to pumping milk at work and storing breast milk. This is good, but what gets lost is the mother-baby biological oneness. You can’t give a talk today without someone asking, “What about the working mother?” While there are many mothers who have to work for the basic necessities and who would prefer being home with their baby, there are also many mothers who could stay home and choose not to do so. The pressure today is for those latter mothers to leave their babies and little ones and earn money or follow their career.
But babies do need their mothers. The continuous contact with mom during the early years is the first step towards building a good foundation for life and future relationships. God provides for this essential foundation through the presence of the mother. How does He do
this? With breastfeeding. The breastfeeding relationship ensures that the mother will remain with her baby. As Maria Montessori stressed years ago, prolonged lactation of 1.5 to 3 years is good for the baby because it keeps the mother with her baby.
Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: The Importance of the Mother to the Baby

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

One of the benefits of God’s plan for spacing babies with the right kind of breastfeeding is that the breastfeeding relationship keeps the mother with her baby.  I’d like to share some thoughts on this by Saint John Paul II.

On Human Work: 1981
“To take up paid work outside the home is wrong from the point of view of the good of society and of the family when it contradicts or hinders these primary goals of the mission of a mother.”
“Mothers have an irreplaceable role.”

Address to “Women, Wives, and Mothers,” Familia et Vita, January 1995.
“Women can never be replaced in  begetting and rearing children…  Women as mothers have an irreplaceable role.”
“The children also have a right to the care and concern of those who have begotten them, their mothers in particular.”

The Gospel of Life: 1995
Sincere gift of self by the mother: “daily heroism”  “brave mothers”  “heroic mothers” (86)
Baby: “Every human being” is “an icon of Jesus Christ.” (84)
“The family is the sanctuary of life.” (6, 11, 59, 88, 91, 92, 94)

May 12, 1995 address to scientists at Vatican breastfeeding conference.
“No one can substitute for the mother in this natural activity.”
“This natural activity benefits the child and helps to create the closeness and maternal bonding so necessary for healthy child development….So vital is this interaction between mother and child that my predecessor Pope Pius XII urged Catholic mothers, if at all possible, to nourish their children themselves (Oct. 26, 1941).”

Sheila:  God’s plan for spacing babies has many benefits.  Not only the spacing but also health and emotional benefits for both mother and child.  Let’s pray that our government and our Church with its Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, and teachers will promote ecological breastfeeding because of these many benefits.

Sheila Kippley