Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding Benefits’ Category

Natural Family Planning and Breastfeeding

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

It is unfortunate that when natural family planning is discussed that almost  no one speaks on behalf of the positive alternative of Ecological Breastfeeding.  Maybe some will mention other forms of natural birth spacing, but it is rare if there is a mention of Ecological Breastfeeding.  There is ample research to demonstrate that the pattern of frequent breastfeeding that we term Ecological Breastfeeding postpones the return of fertility.  In some pre-bottlefeeding cultures, breastfeeding produces birth intervals of three to four years with no forms of contraception.  Our research in American culture shows an average return of menstruation between 14 and 15 months for those mothers following the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.  Those Seven Standards are maternal behaviors associated with an extended time of breastfeeding amenorrhea.

My wife has written extensively on this,  but she (and research of others as well) is ignored by the current NFP establishment as well as the anti-abortion establishment.

It has become typical for television coverage of hurricanes in the Caribbean islands to show a young mother complaining that no one is giving her any food for her very young baby when she has God’s own food in her breasts.  It makes me sick to see this.  Why hasn’t the Church done more to educate these folks about breastfeeding for its tremendous health benefits and also for its natural spacing benefit?

We have lots of information on this at our website:  Enjoy!

John Kippley
NFPI President and Volunteer



Breastfeeding and Avoiding Poor Attachment

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

How do you avoid poor attachment with your baby?  (continued from previous blog)

Dr. Ken Magid, a clinical psychologist for 20 years, said that “second to killing someone, isolation is the worst thing we can do” and, therefore, that babies need to be nursed, rocked, swayed, and held.  According to Magid, nurturing is the key.  Having a good outcome for your child begins by “being wanted” as an infant and “being wanted” starts at the breast of the mother.  High-risk children have experienced trauma in their lives, and it usually happens during the first year and a half of life.  The trauma is due to severe stress, said Magid, and these high-risk kids place little value on their lives and no value on other people’s lives.

What researchers have learned is that stress harms brain cells.  During stress the body gives out large doses of cortisol.  Cortisol can shrink the part of the brain responsible for learning.  Cortisol can also stunt the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other by causing the connecting dendrites to atrophy.  Brain cells die in both humans and animals when neglected by their mothers.   That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the mother’s physical presence or contact with her baby protects the baby against these harmful effects.

Isabelle Fox, a psychotherapist for 35 years, compares the effects upon a small child when a total stranger takes care of him to the lack of care of one spouse to another spouse.  She says:  “How important would any married person feel if his or her spouse was seldom home when needed or paid a stranger to take him or her out for dinner or to a movie?”  The child taken care of by others similarly can feel he is of little value to his parents.  In a parenting magazine, The Nurturing Parent, last summer, Dr. Fox asks:  “Is there a noticeable difference in the child parented by a consistent, nurturing caregiver in the crucial pre-verbal years of zero to three years of age?”  She answers “Yes!   I have seen the benefits of a consistent, responsive caregiver, and the disasters when this does not occur.”

I know people, and I’m sure you do also, who are hurting because they feel they have no family that cares about them or who feel their parents show no interest in them.  This situation can be very painful for anyone, even as adults.  As Gerald Campbell [mentioned in last week’s blog] said, “Americans have an aloneness that cannot be tolerated by the human heart.”    And to repeat from last week’s blog,  the proper care of a little one can be summarized with three key words:  Availability, Responsiveness, and Sensitivity.  And those three forms of care by the mother occur more easily with breastfeeding.
(Sheila Kippley:   These last four blogs were part of a keynote address given at LLL So. Calif. State Conference, May 1998.  I feel the importance of the mother’s presence to her baby during the early years  needs to be repeated every few years.)

Breastfeeding and Avoiding Poor Attachment

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

How do we avoid poor attachment with our baby?  Let’s look at what some of the experts are saying about “poor attachments”?  William Gairdner in his book, War Against the Family, says that experts unanimously agree that “poorly attached children are sociopaths in the making.”  So, according to him, how do we avoid having poorly attached children?  Gairdner gives us the answer using 3 key words which pertain to the mother:


He stresses that “the pattern of attachment developed in infancy and early childhood is profoundly influenced by the mother’s ready availability, her responsiveness to his need for comfort and protection, and her sensitivity to her child’s signals.”  In other words, the mother has to be there to read the signals of her baby, and she has to respond to him in a sensitive manner.

He adds that the need for the baby to have this kind of care has been consistently shown to be true based on the work of three researchers, (Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, and Alan Stroufe) each working at 3 different major universities.  Thus mothers must be available, be responsive, and be sensitive.  With breastfeeding these three characteristics are more likely to be present in the mother. 

Gairdner also states:  “Young children need an uninterrupted, intimate, continuous connection with their mothers, especially in the very early months and years.”  We are all here today to celebrate the reality that breastfeeding gives children what they need.

It’s uninterrupted.  The mother has to be there to nurse her child.

It’s intimate.  With breastfeeding there is a special closeness between mother and child.

It’s continuous.  Certainly nursing for one, two, or more years is a continuous event.

And prolonged lactation provides that one consistent person or caregiver that is said to be so important during the early years.

Gerald Campbell from Impact, a group based near D.C., claims that the #1 problem in our society is alienation, an emptiness, “an aloneness that cannot be tolerated by the human heart.”  Campbell lived with the homeless for three years.  He learned that even if you gave them a house and a good job, they would still be lonely.  As he said, what people need isn’t what is worn on their backs, it’s what is in their hearts.   According to Campbell, what people really need is “love, understanding, mercy and compassion, and commitment” from one person who learns to give of self “without any conditions or expectations whatsoever.”   From my viewpoint and from the standpoint of the baby, this one person would be his mother.  And isn’t that what breastfeeding is all about?  A mother learning to give of herself by showing love, understanding and compassion to her baby.

I heard Gerald Campbell speak in September of 1997 and was quite impressed.  He spoke ill of daycare and emphasized the value of the mother’s presence.  In his own words, “Personal relationships–whether within a family, among friends, at work, or with strangers–have become increasingly self-centered….The family today resembles more a collection of detached individuals than a community of love.  Too many Americans feel abandoned and alone.”

According to Campbell, the first three years in the life of a child are crucial.  If the child does not have a mother or that one person who offers consistent care, he says that “eventually, the child will become fearful of all others and, driven by rejection into an egocentric existence, he will succumb to a hedonistic and utilitarian self-indulgence whose emptiness can only be a lifelong burden.”

That’s why the attachment parenting and the breastfeeding that you do during the first three years of life are so important; it can have a lifelong healthy influence on your child.  And they may keep him or her from being a lifelong burden to others.

Sometimes the importance of those first three years comes up unexpectedly.  There was an article on “The Big, Bad Bully” in Psychology Today, their Sept/Oct 1995 issue.  Being a big, bad bully is very common behavior among school-age children, and at that time was almost always ignored by teachers.  The victims suffer physical or verbal abuse, continued social persecution or rejection.  What the researchers found out to their surprise was that they were studying younger and younger age groups for the cause of bullying.  First, they studied aggression in adult criminals, then adolescents, then younger children, and finally two year olds!   As one researcher said:  “If you had told me I was going to be studying two year olds, I would have said you were crazy.”  The researchers learned that bullies are made, not born.  That bullies are formed by “parental behavior or by neglect,” and it “begins in the early caregiver/child interaction.”
(Sheila Kippley, part of keynote address, LLL So. Calif. State Conference, May 1998)
More on attachment next week.