Archive for January, 2019

Those First 3 Years Are Really Crucial

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters by Erica Komisar (Penguin Random House, 2017) is an informative book for every mother to read. Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or work part-time or full-time as a mother, this book stresses the importance of prioritizing those first 3 years for every child you may have.  Mothers in any of those situations I listed in the first sentence can neglect their young one.   The author works with mothers who have troubled children, and she offers excellent advice for being a better mother.  I would encourage new parents or parent-to-be to read this book.  If you can’t afford it, ask your local public library to stock it.

I don’t agree with everything she says, especially her sleep advice.  However, she offers ways to show an interest in your child.  If you get a nanny, she has a list of questions that a mother should consider asking during an interview.  She describes how mothers have improved their relationship with a troubled child.

Today it is difficult, almost impossible, to find a book emphasizing how important the mother’s presence  is for her child’s healthy development.  It is not the father’s presence that’s needed.  It’s the mother’s presence and her involvement and care for her baby or little one that is much needed.

The research supports the fact that problems with children “are often related to the premature separation of children from their mothers.”   The research, the statistical evidence, and the case experiences by her and her colleagues make a “strong argument that as a society we are failing our children.”

One sentence I highlighted in her book is the following:  “For the past thirty years, researchers have been studying mothers and children across different cultures, and their findings have confirmed what I and my fellow psychoanalysts and therapists have seen in our practices: that infants and toddlers who have the constant and consistent presence of an attentive and sensitive mother are more likely to be emotionally and psychologically healthy children and adolescents.”

Sheila:   Ecological breastfeeding provides the presence of an attentive and sensitive mother for a considerable amount of time after childbirth.  God’s plan of breastfeeding is not limited to the first 6 months.  His plan can last for at least two years and two years of breastfeeding has been promoted by St. John Paul II, UNICEF and WHO.  God’s plan of breastfeeding offers long-term health and emotional benefits to both mother and baby.  More information on the crucial first 3 years is available at NFPI.


The Importance of the First Three Years

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

In 1994 Sister Maria Corazon Cruz Gonzales, E.m.m. wrote “Caring for and Educating a Child from Conception to Three Years Old in the Teachings of the Church.”  This is her doctoral dissertation at the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family.  I want to quote a few sentences from her paper.

“Each newborn infant carries within himself life’s greatest promise: a new hope for the world.  For each tiny baby has the potential to love and be loved, to value himself yet care for others, to develop his unique abilities and talents and one day become a human being who can help change the world—for the better!”

“Love prevails as the vehicle in the development of the child’s sense of trust in others and in himself, an essential in the growth process to produce emotionally stable individuals.”

“The power of love is so strong in the early years of a child’s life that it can make sick babies well, as its absence can make well babies sick.”

In 1991, the Bishops in the Philippines stated “the Christian family is the first school of discipleship and evangelization where the father and the mother are the first catechists of the children.”

And in 1981 when visiting the Philippines, Pope John Paul II taught that the family is the first seminary.  “The family is the ‘Premium Seminarium,’ the first seminary where the faith is nourished and priestly religious and missionary vocations have their origin.  The family has a special charism for transmitting the Faith…”

(Sheila: The power of love and the wellness described above is easily achieved naturally with the oneness of mother and baby with breastfeeding.)

Why Breastfeed for Two Years?

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

The WHO and UNICEF recently (November 2018) listed the benefits for breastfeeding during the second year of life.  The benefits are listed below.

“Children who are not breastfed at 12-23 months of age are about twice as likely to die as those who are breastfed in the second year of life.”

Average breast milk intake at 12-23 months contributes “approximately 35-40% of the young child’s energy needs.”

Continued breastfeeding “during infections reduces the duration of illness and improves nutritional status.”

“The protection of breastfeeding against childhood overweight is strongest for those breastfed for more than one year.  In the U.S. among low-income children, those breastfed for at least 12 months were 28% less likely to be overweight at four years of age than those never breastfed.”

“Breastfeeding for more than 12 months reduces breast cancer by 26%.”

“Continued breastfeeding delays the return to fertility, contributing to longer birth intervals in the absence of contraceptive use.”

“Breastfeeding for more than 12 months reduces breast cancer by 26%.”

“The reduction in ovarian cancer for breastfeeding longer than 12 months was 37%.”

“Each additional year of lifetime duration of breastfeeding was associated with a 9% protection against type 2 diabetes.”

Why breastfeed for two years?  “Because continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond saves lives and promotes the health of both the mother and baby.”

All of these benefits are reasons to practice Ecological Breastfeeding.  In the American culture, mothers who do not do Ecological Breastfeeding (or something close to it) will rarely have a milk supply after 12 months.

Sheila Kippley