Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding Amenorrhea’ Category

Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

From a French mother:  I will always present your book [The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding] as a document that promotes breastfeeding as a wonderful way of mothering. It’s also a way for spacing babies, but this is a “collateral advantage!”  Here’s my own experience as a breastfeeding mother.  I followed the 7 standards (without knowing your book) not in order to space the birth of my babies (especially because I had my first daughter at 28 years old; thus quite late) but in order to succeed with my breastfeeding.  It has worked so well that my daughter, who is almost 4 years old, still suckles but only in the morning. I went 38 and a half months without menstruation!  My future  newborn is for February.  Our two children will be spaced 4 years apart. I know I gave my best for my first child.

An Italian mother sent me three breastfeeding surveys; her babies were born when she was ages 27, 30,and 33.  She did not follow the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding with her first baby and was working 30 hours a week.

With her second baby she cut back on her job (2 days a week; 5 hours each day).  She exclusively breastfed for 7 months and took a daily nap for 14 months.  The baby slept in a cot near her bed, then the baby was moved into the children’s room when a year old.  However the baby often ended up in the parents’ bed until age 30 months.  First menstruation occurred at 29 months+2 weeks followed by a pregnancy.

With baby #3, she practiced ecological breastfeeding.  A daily nap was still ongoing during this survey.  Baby slept in parents’ bed at night for 32 months.  Exclusive breastfeeding occurred for 6 months+2 weeks.  No bottles, no pacifiers, and no job.  The baby was left in the care of another person once a month at age 2.5 years when the mother had a dinner date with her husband.  First menstruation occurred at 37 months+4 days postpartum.  In her experiences she relied exclusively on breastfeeding amenorrhea; a child was always welcome.

Discussion:  Our society is unfamiliar with the natural spacing of babies via breastfeeding.  If you take nature or God’s natural plan as the norm, for a breastfeeding mother to go 1, 2 or 3 years without menstruation is perfectly normal.  Some mothers’ bodies are more influenced by the breastfeeding, and some are less influenced.  Whether a breastfeeding mother experiences one year postpartum without any menstruation or 3 years without menstruation….all these experiences are normal.

Because our society including many of our churches support mothers who work outside the home, the message of breastfeeding and natural spacing is often ignored even if systematic NFP is taught.  I remember one Protestant mother fighting her church to not provide daycare because it sends the wrong message.

For interested parents, articles at the NFPI website teach the importance of the mother during the early years of life.

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding

Natural Family Planning and Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

Ecological Breastfeeding does make a difference.  

A French mother analyzed how she cared for her four babies.  Following is her own analysis after she completed the NFPI breastfeeding survey for each baby.

Baby 1
Breastfed for 6 months
Exclusive breastfeeding for 2 months
Cultural breastfeeding for 4 months
Amenorrhea duration: 6 months

Baby 2
Breastfed for 12 months
Exclusive breastfeeding for 3.5 months
Then culturally breastfed for 8.5 months
Amenorrhea duration: 9.5 months

Baby 3
Breastfed for 16 months
Ecologically breastfed for 15 months
Then weaned during 1 month
Amenorrhea duration: 15.5 months

Baby 4
Ecologically breastfed for 17.5 months
Amenorrhea duration: 17.5 months

The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding describes the maternal behaviors associated with extended natural infertility.  The main benefit is that this type of natural mothering keeps the mother with her baby.  In our society where the emphasis is often on pumping or the breast milk, one must remember how important the mother is to her baby.  In God’s plan the nurturing and nourishment provided by the mother on a continual basis keeps the mother near her baby.  As we can see, God’s plan is good.
Ecological Breastfeeding:  For those interested in spacing births via ecological breastfeeding, I encourage you to read The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor. It is the latest, up-to-date version on this topic.

Breastfeeding Survey:  Any mother who has done ecological breastfeeding and has had a return of menstruation is invited to complete the NFPI breastfeeding survey.  If a mother believes the Seven Standards did not give her an extended period of breastfeeding infertility, we would like to hear from her also.

Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: The Daily Nap for Natural Spacing

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

When I had little ones I noticed that other moms, even bottle-feeding mothers, would take the phone off the hook and take a short nap.  This was back in the early 60s.  We needed the rest; it refreshed the mother to deal with the rest of the day.   Children in kindergarten in those days took a rug to school so they could lie down for a short rest.  Why not children at home?  When I had a baby, a two-year old, and a  four-year old, we would all get into bed together and rest sometime after lunch.  I would let the four-year old know that we would get up in 30 minutes if she was still awake.  Another mother laid across the only door to the room.  Her other children could not leave the room without waking her.

The Daily Nap became the Fifth Standard of Ecological Breastfeeding.  That afternoon nap with a nursing baby is important.

That was illustrated by 3 surveys I recently received from a mother who used primarily a pattern of ecological breastfeeding for her three babies born when she was ages 27, 32, and 35.

With all 3 babies, this mother did exclusive breastfeeding for 7 months, did extended breastfeeding (6 years, 4 1/4 years and 4.3/4 years), used no schedules, pacifiers or bottles, slept with her babies during the night (for 39 months, 29 months-3 weeks, and 41 months-2 weeks), always left the house with her babies until they were 18, 13 and 14 months old), and relied on breastfeeding amenorrhea with all three babies without conceiving.

This mother was very good about following the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding with her first baby and went 25 month-1 week before the return of her first menstruation.

With her second baby, she did not do the daily nursing naps during the first 6 months postpartum.  At 5 months-2 weeks, she experienced her first menses.  She began the daily nursing nap with the baby and went back into amenorrhea until 16 months postpartum. 

With her third baby, she had some bleeding and began again the daily nursing nap.  She went back into breastfeeding amenorrhea for 3 more months and had her menstruation return at 14 months-2 weeks.  She felt she experienced an early return of menstruation with this baby because he was interested in playing with siblings and grandparents.

I would encourage any mother who is interested in natural child spacing to consider following all the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding and not drop that Fifth Standard of taking the daily nap with your nursing baby.

Comment from the mother of these surveys: “I’m grateful to have had your books available.  I re-read them to troubleshoot, which is how I knew to start napping again. You made a real difference in our lives. Thank you.”

Sheila Kippley
Author: The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding