Archive for March, 2019

Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Benefits for the Baby

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

The following are the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby as listed at the Cleveland Clinic website under the title  “The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby & for Mom” (last reviewed January 1, 2018).  The benefits for the mother will be listed next week.

Breastfed babies have:

Breast milk provides abundant and easily absorbed nutritional components, antioxidants, enzymes, immune properties, and live antibodies from mother. Mother’s more mature immune system makes antibodies to the germs to which she and her baby have been exposed. These antibodies enter her milk to help protect her baby from illness. Immunoglobulin A coats the lining of the baby’s immature intestines helping germs and allergens from leaking through. Breast milk also contains substances that naturally soothe infants.

Breastfed babies may become healthier children with:

  • Fewer instances of allergieseczema, and asthma
  • Fewer childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphomas
  • Lower risk of type I and II diabetes
  • Fewer instances of Crohn’s disease and colitis
  • Lower rates of respiratory illness
  • Fewer speech and orthodontic problems
  • Fewer cavities
  • Less likelihood of becoming obese later in childhood
  • Improved brain maturation
  • Greater immunity to infection
    Sheila:  Many of these breastfeeding benefits are listed on pages 103 and 104 of our teaching manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, as gathered from the websites of The American Academy of Pediatrics,  The American Academy of Family Physicians and the United States Breastfeeding Committee.  Other breastfeeding benefits researched and published in 2018 were covered at the blogs at NFPandmore.org during the weeks of February.

Natural Family Planning: A Jesuit Speaks Out Against Birth Control, 1925!

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

My father was a good student.  He received two scholarships: 4 years to a Jesuit high school and 4 years to the University of Detroit.  As a result I have the Varsity News published by UD (December 1925).  This magazine has an article on my dad titled “He’s the Best Student in the University.”  In looking through the magazine I noticed an article titled “This Pig-Philosophy” written by Rev. John A McClorey, S.J., a professor of metaphysics, in which he speaks out against birth control.  Following are some quotes from some paragraphs from this article.

(Introduction to the article: “Aroused by the notoriety recently given the tenets of the ‘pig philosophy’—otherwise, advocates of birth control, Fr. McClorey attacked these subversive teachings in an address which he delivered before his classes in the Arts and Science College just before Thanksgiving.  He treated the subject with the frankness, sincerity, force and logic which have made his Lenten and other addresses famous throughout the West.”)

The article begins: “I apologize to you for speaking of birth control.  For though of late it has become quite the ‘respectable’ thing, it is nothing more than what Carlyle would call  ‘Pig Philosophy,’  which emphasizes with the insistence of pornographic degeneracy the unveiled passionateness of Sex.  Why should I speak equably, with chill and measured detachment in the presence of an evil that is striking at children, the home, the nation and the race?”

“Through the leadership of Charles Bradlaugh, Annie Besant, Dr. Drisdale and Dr. Dunlop, its chief apostles, birth control has been identified with atheism.  The bishops of the Anglican church, convened at Lambeth a few years ago, condemned it.  Dean Inge does not represent his church.  At the time of Bradlaugh’s propaganda, birth control was condemned from every Protestant pulpit of England.”

“Birth control is an unnatural vice because by physical or chemical means it directly and intentionally frustrates the primary end of marriage.  If an exception could be made to the natural law against it, it could not be made by men and women under the law, but by God, the Author of the law.  We may control nature, not frustrate it.  But birth control is birth frustration.”

“The program of birth controllers is a direct and powerful appeal to sexual indulgence.  They are letting loose a devouring force which will drive men to the quest of pleasure without regard for children even when children are needed.  Besides, birth control leads to physical sterility.   Catholics, by the mere force of unimpeded fecundity, will predominate everywhere if their non-Catholic brethren practice this vice.  Catholics would like to be important in the world, but not at the cost of Protestant race-suicide.  Mr Merick Booth, a Protestant scientist, holds up this danger to Protestants.  If the white people of America and Europe practice birth control, the ‘Oriental Peril’ will be actualized,  for most of the people of Asia abominate this vice as an unnatural crime.”

“Birth control destroys mutual marital affection and respect.  Affection in marriage is spontaneous, not counting the cost; hence it is dissipated by the cool calculation and preventive foresight of birth control.  Birth control destroys mutual respect.  For it is what Bernard Shaw calls ‘Reciprocal Masturbation.’  Birth controllers who surfeit themselves with sexual delight, then defeat the reproductive purpose and consequence of that delight, are more unnatural and disgusting than the ancient aristocracy of Rome who used to feast to repletion, then take an emetic (pardon the reference), vomit and return to another feast.”

“Some men practice onanism out of a chivalric regard for the safety and comfort of their wives.  But such chivalry destroys the very motive of chivalry.  For, in the last analysis, the reason why men have a knightly regard for women is because they are mothers, actually or in prospect.  Women must carry half the burden of life.  Men fight the elements, carry on business and wage war—women must bear and rear children.  If they won’t, they will become mere ornaments of society, and very expensive ones at that.  A woman despises a man who shirks battle; a man must despise a woman who shirks birth.  If a husband wishes to spare his wife in the name of chivalry, let her be wise enough to decline his indulgence that she may insure his chivalry.”

“Birth control is in contradiction to Christ charity. ‘The survival of the fittest’ is plausable. But Christ did not act on that principle.  On the contrary, He was the Friend of the down-and-out—the poor, the lame, the sick, the deaf and dumb, the lepers, the weak-minded, the vicious, the possessed.  He took care of them, saw that they survived, and bettered them.  He did not wish to extinguish them by birth control or any other means.”

“But birth controllers flatter the rich, assuring them that the uncontrolled fecundity of the poor, and their own cupidity, is responsible for misery and poverty.  Indeed, they go further into the vice of positive cruelty.  For since they do not want an unfit future race; since the unfortunate can procreate only an unfit future race; since the unfortunate will do so if they are sheltered and made comfortable by the charity of the rich, therefore the rich ought to withhold their charity and let the flotsam and jetsam of humanity perish out of hand.  This diabolical doctrine can be found in Mrs. Sanger’s latest book.”

“Christ brought into the world a thing which had not been here before, the sweetest thing on earth: Mercy and compassion in the hearts of the well-to-do towards the victims of fate, and peace, self-respect and humility in the hearts of the unfortunate.  This may be called the beautiful soul of Christianity.  And its body has been an improved and ever improving condition among the masses of Christianity.  If we practice the charity of Christ, we shall not enjoy, it is true, the perfect prosperity of a bourgeois heaven on earth proposed by birth controllers, but we shall have a condition of decent sufficiency.”

Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding, A Fertility-Awareness-Based Method

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

In discussions about birth control and especially about natural family planning, a frequently used term is Fertility-Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs).  These “methods” use a woman’s natural signs of fertility and infertility to become aware of the fertile and infertile times of the menstrual cycle.

The signs usually mentioned are these: cervical mucus, basal body temperatures and the  presence or absence of menstruation.  The signs almost always omitted are the cervix changes and breastfeeding amenorrhea—the lack of menstruation while breastfeeding.  Those promoting FABMs refer to some studies back to the 80s but ignore ecological breastfeeding research published in the 80s and 90s.  

The failure to list Ecological Breastfeeding may be based on a misunderstanding, that is, not recognizing the importance of the absence or presence of menstruation while breastfeeding.  The reality is that the absence of menses while breastfeeding is an excellent sign of infertility.  When it is used for fertility awareness, it is called either the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) or Ecological Breastfeeding, and each has its own rules. When mothers follow the rules of LAM, they may experience up to six months of post-partum amenorrhea.  This method has been well researched over the years and is very effective when followed.

Ecological Breastfeeding also has its rules called the Seven Standards.  The frequent nursing of eco-breastfeeding may extend the amenorrhea for many months and even well into the second year.  The absence of menses is certainly a sign of infertility.

When menstruation returns while breastfeeding, that’s a sign that fertility has returned or will soon return.  In a low percentage of cases, the first ovulation occurs before the first menses.  Mothers eager to achieve pregnancy, however, may have to wait on nature and experience a few cycles before a pregnancy is achieved.  Pregnancy is easily recognized by the temperature sign when it remains elevated for three weeks.  Observant mothers can use the mucus and cervix signs to detect ovulation prior to menses.

Our two studies (1972 and 1986) had the same conclusion: American ecologically breastfeeding mothers experience, on average, 14 to 15 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea.  Two mothers have translated my breastfeeding books, one in Italian and another in French (observed on the home page of NFPandmore.org).  The Italian mother experienced 37 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea; the French mother, 16 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea.  One critic claimed that the mother who experienced 37 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea must have been in premenopause.  Not so.  She was 33 when this third baby was born and was looking forward to another pregnancy.  I want to stress that their situations are not unusual according to nature’s norms, but are normal and healthy.

All couples have a right to learn about the benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding as well as its natural birth spacing.  All the health benefits of breastfeeding plus the spacing benefit are maximized by Ecological Breastfeeding. 

The natural spacing benefit of ecological breastfeeding should be taught in all natural family planning (NFP) courses.  Every woman and every man have a basic human right to be informed about this part of God’s order of creation.

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding