Some working mothers have found a way to bring their baby to work, or their business allows them to work from home. One Cincinnati doctor (written up many years ago in the local newspaper) always took her baby with her to visit her elderly patients. There are also those mothers who decide to stay home because of their baby. Here is one such story.
I graduated from medical school in summer 2008 and was 6 months pregnant. I took a year of maternity leave and practiced ecological breastfeeding with my son. I had read Sheila’s book on the Seven Standards…but mothering him in that way just sprung forth from my heart as the most natural and integral way to love him. I remember feeling so distressed at times while breastfeeding him at the thought that I “had” to leave him and return to my medical work when he was a mere 9 months old. It felt like it was a great betrayal of his love, reliance and trust for me, and my heart was torn at the thought of separating from him. Our breastfeeding relationship was really at the heart of this; those moments of close quiet intimacy dozens of times a day helped intertwine our hearts.
I did return to work as a doctor because it was what everyone expected of me, as a 25 year old who had just spent 6 years of her life at medical school.
However I only lasted 6 weeks; my son was distraught, I missed him painfully and the separation from each other was adversely affecting his behaviour and our close relationship. I just couldn’t do it any more; I wanted to be physically available for him whenever he might need me.
Totally quitting medical work was a pretty huge step, and while I had the unconditional support (and encouragement) from my husband, other members of my family always made me feel that I had taken the ‘loser’ option of being a stay-at-home ‘no-one’; a mere mother when I could’ve been a ‘great doctor’ with an admirable career.
I carried on breastfeeding my son and remained in lactational amenorrhoea for 22 months and then immediately conceived again! I carried on breastfeeding my first child throughout my second pregnancy. My second son was born 3 weeks ago. I am now breastfeeding both of them and I know that the breastfeeding has been an irreplaceable source of reassurance of my love for my oldest child (now 2yrs 7months) during this time of change with the arrival of a sibling.
“Breastfeeding has a very definite effect on child spacing. With my bottlefed children I conceived again at 8 months after childbirth despite other contraceptives. It has been 15 months since the last baby was born. No period yet.”
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.
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, Battle-Scarred, and Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach are 40% off through August 7 at lulu.com.
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.