Archive for the ‘WBW 2015’ Category

8. Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Saturday, August 8th, 2015


6. Many couples and priests are extremely grateful for this knowledge because they had never heard about breastfeeding and natural child spacing before. Some couples then use only breastfeeding to space their children.

7.  God’s plan through ecological breastfeeding involves no abstinence. On the other hand, some couples using systematic NFP sometimes complain about the abstinence.  Every Natural Family Planning program ought to teach the evidence-based Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. It is not sufficient just to recommend breastfeeding in general in a natural family planning course. In such courses, it is essential to distinguish between the kind of breastfeeding that DOES space babies and the kinds that DO NOT or at least greatly limit the duration of breastfeeding amenorrhea.

8. Teachings about “continued” or “extended” breastfeeding are insufficient and backwards because they take us back to the “Total Breastfeeding” talk of the mid-1960s. Such talk ignores all the research done since then. Also some natural family planning organizations tell the exclusively breastfeeding mother to chart a few weeks after childbirth. These organizations seem to ignore the ample research done on exclusive breastfeeding in many sites throughout the world.

9. Catholic bishops need to ensure that every NFP program that is operating under any sort of diocesan approval or endorsement teaches the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. And if bishops really want what is best for their mothers and babies, they need to require them to participate in the right kind of natural family planning course. This is the course that encompasses Catholic moral teaching, the New Evangelization, all the common signs of fertility, and the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. It is not consistent to talk about evidence-based systems of fertility awareness and to ignore the evidence-based Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.

10. Our Catholic bishops and priests need to proclaim authentic Catholic teaching on love, marriage and sexuality including ecological breastfeeding with confidence and joy. When they provide the right kind of practical help, they will be more believable. The right kind of cooperation between the hierarchy and the laity can help the Church to rebuild Christian civilization throughout the world.

This article and its footnotes are available at this website.

7. Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Friday, August 7th, 2015


1. When teaching about breastfeeding and its relationship with natural baby spacing, it is imperative to distinguish the types of breastfeeding. The kind of breastfeeding that is common in Western culture provides very little postponement of the return of fertility and is not associated with natural baby spacing.

2. Ecological Breastfeeding IS a form of natural baby spacing. The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding are maternal behaviors associated with an extended breastfeeding amenorrhea, a time without menstruation after childbirth. The two key factors are mother-baby togetherness and frequent and unrestricted suckling. For an ecologically breastfeeding mother to go one or two years without menstruation is perfectly normal. To experience breastfeeding amenorrhea beyond two years is not abnormal and is typical in some cultures.

3. Every woman and every man have a God-given right to learn the wonderful health benefits that God has built into the breastfeeding relationship and how these are maximized through ecological breastfeeding.  Ecological breastfeeding offers many benefits to both mother and baby, even years later after the breastfeeding has ceased. In the NFP International user’s manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, you will find a list of 21 very specific health advantages for babies plus another six general advantages such as fewer sick days and higher scores on cognitive and IQ tests at school age. You will also find two lists of advantages for breastfeeding mothers.

More benefits of breastfeeding are discovered every year. At the website of NFP International, in the upper right corner for “blogs”, you can find the Breastfeeding Research articles for the years 2013 and 2014.

4. Every woman and every man have a basic God-given right to know about the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. This option should be taught to older students and couples world-wide, especially in the Catholic Church.

5. Because natural birth spacing through ecological breastfeeding is important for the well-being of babies and mothers, the Catholic Church should be insisting that every engaged couple learn about ecological breastfeeding well before they are married. When couples realize the benefits of mother-baby togetherness, this can influence some of the decisions they make. To afford living on one income after the first baby comes, they may decide to live in a lower priced house and to buy less expensive furniture.  No one can force such decisions, but if they want to do what is best for their children, many well informed couples might order their priorities accordingly.

4. Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding are as follows:
1)  Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. Don’t offer your baby other liquids and solids, not even water.
2)  Pacify or comfort your baby at your breasts.
3)  Don’t use bottles and don’t use pacifiers.
4)  Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
5)  Sleep with your baby for daily-nap feedings.
6)  Nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules.
7)  Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.
The two key factors for natural child spacing are 1) mother-baby togetherness and 2) frequent and unrestricted suckling. If these two key factors are present, it is easy to follow the Seven Standards because the mother remains with her baby. Mother and baby are in essence one biological unit. It is important for everyone present to remember that these specific mothering practices are important in God’s plan for natural baby spacing.

We tried to eliminate one or more of the Standards – one by one – in our research, and we found that each Standard is important. Sometime after six or eight months, the mother will no longer be doing exclusive breastfeeding so the Seven Standards become Six Standards. We found that breastfeeding amenorrhea can continue for a number of months if the Six Standards are still followed, but dropping any one of those Standards invites fertility to return.

Bed-sharing between mother and baby is extremely important for maintaining breastfeeding amenorrhea.  In communities where such bed-sharing between mother and baby is a common practice, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is almost unknown. We encourage couples interested in natural child spacing with ecological breastfeeding to review the safe bed-sharing guidelines at the website of NFP International.

Here we want to emphasize that Nature intends for mother and baby to be one, a biological unit. The World Health Organization described this oneness 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.”

Some people are quick to say “We know breastfeeding does not work for spacing babies.” This is because parents in many countries adopt cultural practices which interfere with God’s plan for mother and baby. They use early solids or liquids or formula, pacifiers, bottles, strict schedules, babysitters, and other practices that restrict the amount of breastfeeding at the breast. Such practices give breastfeeding and natural child spacing a bad name. We’re here today to tell you that breastfeeding when done right does work as a natural birth spacer.

From July 19th to the evening of August 7th (NFP Awareness Week through World Breastfeeding Week) anyone can purchase the following printed books at a 40% discount at lulu:
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach (coil edition preferred for learners)
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor
Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing