Archive for the ‘NFP Week 2011’ Category

Ecological Breastfeeding Should Be Taught

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Below Dr. Dominic Pedulla recently stressed the need for NFP teachers to teach ecological breastfeeding.  This is followed by John’s commentary on the same subject.

It is a good thing for all NFP providers, even those outside of symptothermal methodology, to start putting ecological breastfeeding (EBF) on their radar screen. It’s a thing of enormous importance which should not be ignored, and it transcends merely the day-to-day signs of fertility and their monitoring, however undeniably important these latter are…. in general part of a woman’s happiness and sense of well-being — which the practitioner ought not to forget — will be based on the extent to which she’s satisfying her baby’s needs herself, and satisfying her own needs to engage in fully self-emptying love for the sake of the child.

Dominic M. Pedulla MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh
Interventional Cardiologist, Endovascular Diplomate, Varicose Vein Specialist, Noncontraceptive Family Planning Consultant, Family Planning Researcher
Medical Director, The Oklahoma Vein and Endovascular Center
Executive Director, The Edith Stein Foundation

Is it reasonable to breastfeed one’s baby?  Certainly all the science on this subject indicates that breastfeeding is the best baby-care, both nutritionally and psychologically.  What about ecological breastfeeding according to the Seven Standards?  All the 7 standards are is a brief statement of maternal behaviors that collectively facilitate mother-baby togetherness and frequent suckling.  The evidence shows that frequent suckling is the core factor in both extended breastfeeding infertility and long-term duration of breastfeeding.  The evidence also shows that many of the benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related.  In short, a strong case can be made that eco-bf is best for the baby.

What about those difficult cases?  Doesn’t that experience apply also to the practice of systematic NFP and to marriage itself?  Hasn’t almost every married person on this List had the experience of marital disillusionment at some point?  That’s the feeling that “If I felt this way about my spouse two months before our marriage there wouldn’t have been any marriage.”  I’ve asked that of many groups, and no one with much marital experience denies it.  The standard repertoire of Catholic opponents of Humanae Vitae is a recitation of the frustrations with both abstinence and fertility awareness observations & recordings.  Do we let such comments discourage us from recommending marriage or systematic NFP?

Dr. Pedulla is advocating that ecological breastfeeding is a reasoned approach that everyone should be well informed about.  He doesn’t expect everyone to do it, just as we don’t expect everyone to accept the teaching of Humanae Vitae.  But we still do our best to let people know about HV and systematic NFP.  The point is that a couple cannot choose to do either systematic NFP or eco-breastfeeding unless they are well informed about each of them.  Thus I thank Dr. Pedulla for urging that every NFP program should be adequately informing their students about the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.  Only with such knowledge can the students make an informed choice.

John F. Kippley

During World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) we will blog daily on breastfeeding and natural child spacing.  We continue to offer our lulu books and ebooks at a 40% discount at through August 7.

Theology of the Body easily explained

Friday, July 29th, 2011

In his Letter to Families from Pope John Paul II, published in February 1994, almost 10 years after the last TOB lecture, “Responsible Fatherhood and Motherhood,” the Pope wrote:

“In the conjugal act, husband and wife are called to confirm in a responsible way the mutual gift of self which they have made to each other in the marriage covenant.  The logic of the total gift of self to the other involves a potential openness to procreation: in this way the marriage is called to even greater fulfillment as a family.” (emphasis his, n.12, “Responsible Fatherhood and Motherhood.”)

When I read this some 15 years ago, I was delighted.  Since well before Humanae Vitae I have been advocating the covenant theology of sexuality as an understandable way to explain and defend the received teaching affirmed by that encyclical.  The key idea can be stated in 17 words:  “Sexual intercourse is intended by God to be at least implicitly a renewal of the marriage covenant.”  It seems to me that the Pope was saying essentially the same thing.  Obviously, the concept that the marriage act ought to be renewal of the marriage covenant lends itself to considerable expansion about what is actually entailed in that covenant—such as fidelity, permanence, and not only basic openness to life but a call to generosity, and the love so well described by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.  I submit that in his 1994 teaching, Pope John Paul II gave us an authoritative and summary interpretation of his Theology of the Body.

I understand the “renewal of the marriage covenant” concept to mean that anticipation of the marriage act ideally would focus attention on the marriage covenant.  For example, it might elicit an examination of conscience such as “Is there anything in my behavior to my spouse today or during the last week that reflects the self-giving love I promised on our wedding day?  Have I taken my spouse for granted?  Have I done anything that my spouse would recognize as caring love?  Etc.”  That’s the ideal.  More practically, “Have I done anything that contradicts our marriage covenant?”  By the way, the words “at least implicitly” are very important.  The spouses do not have to be thinking in these terms.  If the spouses have not done anything to contradict the marriage covenant, such as contraceptive behaviors, they are at least implicitly renewing it.

While the culture places almost exclusive emphasis on copulation under any circumstances—with mutual consent as the only proviso, the “renewal of the marriage covenant” places the emphasis on the marriage covenant and the meaning and the challenge it offers from the wedding day till death parts the spouses.  I think that’s exactly what the Pope was saying in 1994.  At the least, it offers educators the opportunity to teach these things in a way that can be easily understood and remembered.

For more information on the covenant theology of sexuality, read Sex and the Marriage Covenant.

John F. Kippley

Ecological Breastfeeding is a form of Natural Family Planning

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The Church and NFP teachers have been too silent on a method of natural family planning that has many benefits and requires no abstinence!  It is truly God’s own plan for spacing babies, his plan for the natural spacing of births.

I am amazed at the silence on birth control today by the Catholic media and by bishops when they are being interviewed.  It’s popular for bishops or influential Catholics to be asked questions about same-sex marriage, Catholic pro-choice politicians, immigration, homosexuality, etc., but rarely is the subject of birth control a topic.

Some natural family planning teachers ignore the Lactational Amenorrhea Method  except for the first 56 postpartum days, and almost all of them ignore the best way to space babies via ecological breastfeeding.  All engaged and married couples should be taught all their options: all the fertility signs and their rules, the Lactational Amenorrhea Method and ecological breastfeeding.  Eliminating the teaching of the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding is an injustice to those couples.

To learn more about ecological breastfeeding, read The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor.  During World Breastfeeding Week, it is available at a 40% discount at through August 7.  It’s an easy read and costs very little.  Buy a copy for a friend, a relative, a priest, or a Church library. 

Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, and Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive (John’s memoirs) are also available at a 40% discount through August 7.

Want another discount off your order at today and tomorrow only, July 28th and 29th?  Write in the code, TIME305, after selecting books and get 25% off your order!

Sheila Kippley