Breastfeeding: The best choice is no formula.

June 4th, 2017

Two scientific articles promoting breastfeeding were published May 1, 2017 by the European Respiratory Journal.  One article stressed the benefit of longer breastfeeding or exclusive breastfeeding to reduce the risk of wheezing illness.  

The other article, “Formula one: best is no formula,” stressed the importance of breastfeeding in early life for having healthy lung function.  Why?  Because abnormal lung growth patterns are established early in life.  One factor, besides other factors, responsible for poor lungs is “short duration of breastfeeding.”  As the researchers said:  Breast is best; formula is worst.

Is anyone listening?  Interestingly, the absence of formula is the answer for respiratory outcomes.   “The public health implications are stark.  The extent of use of formula feeds described in this study is nothing short of a disgrace.”  In their opinion, there was no reason why many of these mothers did not breastfeed for more than a year.

“Those nurses, midwives, health visitors and primary care paediatricians who are responsible for the care of babies need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask why their promotion of breast feeding is such a failure.”  Regarding formula, “Maybe it should carry a health warning for specific subgroups.  Overall, the message is stark and clear—get it right in little lungs or it will go wrong and stay wrong in big ones.”

Many studies show the benefits of breastfeeding.  This study goes one step further by greatly reducing the cause of poor health:  no formula feeding for little ones.  

Sheila Kippley
Next week:  a medical release form for not breastfeeding

Mother and Baby Are One Biological Unit

May 28th, 2017

Probably the most important part of the biological oneness between mother and baby is their ecological relationship: what affects one affects the other. We see this in the many health benefits for both. By health benefits, I am including the emotional health benefits 7as well as the physical health benefits.

If breastfeeding is shortened and the mother stops nursing during the early weeks or months, then both she and baby lose the many benefits of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization said it well: “Mothers and babies form an inseparable biological and social unit; the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the health and nutrition of the other.”

In addition, quite often the mother soon loses that physical intimate contact with her growing baby when she bottlefeeds. Rare is the mother who holds her baby during the early years when bottlefeeding. Rare is the mother who insists on doing the bottlefeeding herself and who takes her baby with her, but sometimes it happens. The first couple John and I knew who took their baby with them to college faculty parties were bottlefeeding. I admired them because they gave us support for what we were doing with our breastfed baby.
Breast milk or Mother
The value of breastfeeding is heavily emphasized today. Because so many mothers work, much attention is given to pumping milk at work and storing breast milk. This is good, but what gets lost is the mother-baby biological oneness. You can’t give a talk today without someone asking, “What about the working mother?” While there are many mothers who have to work for the basic necessities and who would prefer being home with their baby, there are also many mothers who could stay home and choose not to do so. The pressure today is for those latter mothers to leave their babies and little ones and earn money or follow their career.
But babies do need their mothers. The continuous contact with mom during the early years is the first step towards building a good foundation for life and future relationships. God provides for this essential foundation through the presence of the mother. How does He do
this? With breastfeeding. The breastfeeding relationship ensures that the mother will remain with her baby. As Maria Montessori stressed years ago, prolonged lactation of 1.5 to 3 years is good for the baby because it keeps the mother with her baby.
Sheila Kippley

A New Birth Control Commission?

May 21st, 2017

The week of May 13th started wonderfully with widespread efforts to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Fatima.  The work week was quickly dimmed, however, by reports that Pope Francis is thinking about convening a special commission to examine Humanae Vitae.  But then it occurred to me that a well-balanced commission could serve the Church and world very well.

Let’s hear the arguments for marital contraception and/or contraception-in-general.  Are there any arguments whose logic does not amount to a full scale abandonment of the basic principles of Christian morality and the acceptance of situation ethics?  The arguments that I have seen for the acceptance of marital contraception cannot say a firm NO to marital sodomy or sodomy-in-general.

Then let’s hear the arguments for marital chastity and for chastity-in-general.  Let the world hear the arguments of St. John Paul II in favor of traditional morality and in support of Humanae Vitae in particular.  Let the world see the sociological evidence marshalled by Mary Eberstadt and others regarding the effects of the Pill and contraception-in-general—amounting to a wholesale defense of the prophetic warnings of Pope Paul VI in H. V. 17.

Let the world hear the very simple argument that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be a marriage act, and that within marriage it ought to be a true marriage act, affirming once again their covenant of love “for better and for worse” including the imagined worse of possible pregnancy.  Let the world see that the entire sexual revolution results from thinking we can take apart what God has put together in the marriage act.  Who knows?  That might help many non-Catholic Christians to accept the pre-1930 anti-contraception teaching of their respective communions.

Let the world hear the testimony of converts who entered the Church at least indirectly through the teaching of Humanae Vitae.

Let the world hear the facts behind the assertion that Ecological Breastfeeding is a natural form of baby spacing.

Let the world know that 13 months before Humanae Vitae a German doctor published a study of natural family planning that found a 99% level of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy.  Did the German bishops and theologians bring this to the attention of Pope Paul VI or did they suppress it as they prepared to dissent?

I don’t know who the Pope would invite to be on such a commission, but there are some who definitely should be on the commission.  The absence of people who have defended and explained the teaching of Humanae Vitae would be a clear sign that the Pope was not interested in a fair commission, and that would only increase the divisions already started by his Amoris Laetitia.  Perhaps Pope Francis would benefit as much as anyone from hearing a clear headed, loving, and passionate defense of Humanae Vitae.  So bring on the commission.  With the right membership, it could be helpful; without the right membership it would be a disaster.

And, of course, any benefits from an open discussion of Humanae Vitae would have to get through the filtering process of the liberal and hedonistic media even to reach the masses.  And once heard, those benefits would depend upon being received in minds and hearts willing to hear that the teaching of Christ about the daily cross applies to sexuality as well every other aspect of life.
— John F. Kippley