Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Natural Family Planning: Who Should Practice NFP?

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Who should practice ecological breastfeeding?
Both national and international health agencies urge that all babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.  Ecological breastfeeding offers the best opportunity for maintaining a good milk supply for the first six months and beyond.  That’s why we believe that every couple with a new baby should try to practice ecological breastfeeding.  It offers significant health and psychological advantages to mother and baby alike.  Eco-breastfeeding usually provides a lengthy time of infertility, and many couples are ready to seek pregnancy when fertility returns.

Ecological breastfeeding requires close mother-baby contact, and this is good for both mother and baby.  It is the kind of care that best helps babies to thrive.  We like to think of it as God’s own plan for baby-care and baby-spacing, but it generally precludes working outside the home or being excessively busy with a home-based business.  The proper care of babies takes time.  The combination of mothering and homemaking is a full-time job. You need certain conditions to justify additional spacing of babies with systematic NFP, but you do not need any sort of “spacing” reasons to breastfeed.  With ecological breastfeeding, you are doing what is best for your baby, and it is your baby’s frequent and unrestricted suckling that postpones the return of fertility.

Is it okay to hope for extended infertility with eco-breastfeeding?
Certainly. The extended infertility of ecological breastfeeding is a normal, God-given side effect of following God’s plan for baby care, and it is good and proper to hope for this along with all the other normal good effects of breastfeeding.

Who should practice systematic NFP?
We need to be clear.  Systematic natural family planning is not “Catholic Birth Control.”  Christian marriage is a sacrament in which the spouses are called to be generous to each other and to be generous with God in having children and raising them in the ways of the Lord.  Marriage is for family.

Children are gifts from God.  Most Christian married couples can assume that much of the time, perhaps even most of the time, God is calling them to be generous and to invite another child to share family life on this earth and to share eternity with Him.  The knowledge of systematic NFP is also a gift from God, and couples should use it generously, not selfishly. (above from page 6, NFPI manual)

John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach

Motherhood: The Highest Calling

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

In the evening of July 24, I happened to turn on talk radio while working in the kitchen and began listening to Dave Ramsey’s talk show on finances.  Mr. Ramsey is a popular national radio personality and a personal money-management expert who, to me, seems to stress being debt-free.  Several questions that night dealt with finances so that the mother could stay home with her children.

He listed the expenses a working mother with young children incurs, and it came to $25,000— similar to what the experts were saying about ten years ago.

I was especially impressed with his emphasis on the importance of being there for your children.  As he said, “the highest calling is motherhood.”  And he repeated himself, that he could think of no higher calling.  Thank you, Mr. Ramsey.  It is so rare to hear that kind of statement today.  I’m sure it was appreciated by many mothers who hope to stay home with their children.

Sheila Kippley

9. The Importance of Fathers

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

What about the father?  David Blankenhorn wrote a book, Fatherless America, to show the importance of the father.  At the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars convention in 1999, he called the father “that first significant other” or “the first encounter with an intimate other,” Here he means “other than mother.”  In spite of his promotion of good fathers, Mr. Blankenhorn stressed the importance of the mother-baby relationship during the first three years of life.

Dr. Herbert Ratner was a public health doctor,a convert to the Catholic faith who gave many talks to the laity on marriage and family, and a strong advocate of breastfeeding and good parenting. At a Catholic Physicians Guild of Chicago in 1997, he made the following comments on fathers:
“I will give you two words that characterize what fathers have to offer their children, and these apply to parents in general. Love and time. The father  “romances” each new child by delighting in and falling in love with the newborn. In addition, the male gives moral and emotional support by appreciating the nurturing mother and is customarily the provider and the
protector of the mother and child. With the passage of time, he contributes more and more to the emotional, intellectual, and moral formation of the child.”

A father is (or ought to be) an invaluable support for his wife.  His love and support can help her feel good about herself as she devotes herself to the task of good mothering and to breastfeeding. Behind most successful breastfeeding mothers is a good husband and dad who offers spiritual and emotional support to his wife and who provides for her and the children so that she can be there to raise their children. Dads can enjoy their little ones through many activities. They can hold, play, walk, dance, bathe, dress, read, sing, whistle, teach, and pray when spending time with their baby. Dads can form close relationships with their children by spending time with them. Any child today is especially lucky when he has a mom and dad who love him dearly and express that love in simple ways.

Beginning July 22 through August 7th, the following printed books will be available at 30% discount at
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, the 1974 Harper & Row classic edition
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach (coil version)
Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive
This sale is being offered from the start of NFP Week and goes through World Breastfeeding Week.

Sheila Kippley
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding
The Crucial First Three Years