A Cardinal on Breastfeeding for Spacing Births

“For many years the value of breastfeeding has been recognized especially in terms of the close bond it establishes between a mother and her child and the health benefits of a natural form of nourishing infants.  It is therefore heartening to see a revived interest in this natural form of nurturing.  However, there is another dimension of breastfeeding that is not as widely known, that is, choosing breastfeeding as a natural means for spacing births. 
       Used in this way, breastfeeding has been found to be of particular value, not only in various traditional cultures, where such an approach has been known for centuries, but in the wider world.  As one of the natural ways for regulating fertility, breastfeeding thus takes its place among various methods that constitute the ‘authentic alternative’ to contraception, and so it remains a subject for research and study.
       When, in the light of serious reasons, a husband and wife decide to postpone the birth of their next child, they must nevertheless remain open to God’s gift of new life.  Therefore, in making the next decision about the method of spacing births, they will draw on what the Creator has provided within the body of a woman.  They will respect God’s plan for life and love and say ‘yes’ to the Lord of life.  As Pope John Paul II teaches…they are acting as ‘ministers’ of God’s plan (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 32).
       As they serve the divine plan and cooperate with the Creator, the natural benefits of the cycles and processes that God provides are soon evident.  These benefits are particularly obvious in the nurturing and nourishing of breastfeeding.  Here we have a tangible example of the positive value of the natural way of transmitting human life.”

–Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, then President of the Pontifical Council  for the Family, from his Foreword for Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley. 

Cardinal Lopez Trujillo is now deceased, but he was a true friend of breastfeeding mothers.  He not only wrote the Foreword of two of my breastfeeding books (Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing and Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood) but in each case he took the initiative. At the time of the above writing and his two Forewords, he was President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. We need more bishops and cardinals who encourage breastfeeding as it impacts the family in so many ways.  Breastfeeding has also brought some couples to the practice of the Catholic faith.

At the NFPI website a few have searched for Fr. W. D. Virtue’s work on breastfeeding.  This is only available through NFPI and is not online.  Father’s chapter on “Breastfeeding and Bonding” (98 pages) is available on 81/2″ by 11″ 3-hole paper for $20 to cover our cost of printing and mailing.   Mail to NFPI: P. O. Box 11216; Cincinnati OH 45211.

Next week: Pope John Paul II on Spacing Births

Sheila Kippley
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood

One Response to “A Cardinal on Breastfeeding for Spacing Births”

  1. ann says:

    Sheila – This is beautiful; thanks for printing these here. I don’t believe that I ever read the Forewords to the books. Let me know if we can quote this blog and your prior one in talks we give. I am so impressed by their writing styles.
    SHEILA: Anyone may use the quotes, but original source should be given.