Natural Family Planning and the DDP Standards

The USCCB Diocesan Development Plan has certain standards for teaching natural family planning. Below is John’s writing on the need to have the DDP Standards modified to include Ecological Breastfeeding and the merits of breastfeeding. Below are his written concerns to the director of the DDP.

1.  The Standards need to recognize that there are two distinct form of birth spacing—Ecological Breastfeeding and Systematic NFP.  The current definition of NFP does not include Ecological Breastfeeding, and thus it does not correspond to the full reality.

2.  In addition, the current Standard dealing with breastfeeding deals with it more as a charting problem than something to be encouraged and as the healthiest form of baby care.  Not only teachers but every client should know the tremendous health benefits of breastfeeding AND that the frequency of Ecological Breastfeeding actually DOES act as an abstinence-free  natural baby spacer.

I am convinced that the Church has a responsibility to share in the public health effort to increase breastfeeding of any sort and secondly to extend its duration.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently came out with another effort to promoted breastfeeding.  Also, a recent Dutch journal dealing with lung health opposed formula-feeding strongly for families with a history of asthma.  It speculated whether formula should be by prescription-only for such families.

And, if the Church has a responsibility to inform its members about the health benefits of breastfeeding, where can that be done better than in pre-marriage preparation and especially within a required NFP course?

John F. Kippley

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