Archive for the ‘First 3 Years’ Category

The Crucial First Three Years for the Child

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

What is so important about the breastfeeding—especially ecological breastfeeding and prolonged lactation—is that it gives a baby both the nurturing and the best nutrition. Prolonged lactation naturally provides those two realities that make such a positive difference! And, most importantly, prolonged lactation keeps the mother available and hopefully responsive and sensitive to her baby’s needs during those crucial first three years of life.

Following are a few good quotes from the experts on the importance of the mother’s presence during the early years of her child.

One thing we have learned about children in the past few decades is that they do best in early infancy if they are principally cared for by their own mothers. Given a reasonably stable household and a level of economic stability where the children can receive all the emotional and physical benefits offered to the general population, mothers responding to their own children are still best.” Dana Raphael, The Tender Gift: Breastfeeding, p. 168.

“When I review all the information available to us today, then I conclude that the mother is the best caretaker for the child, particularly during its infancy…As I have said, there are cases where surrogate mothers are necessary, but all things being equal, there is no substitute for a child’s own parents, especially his mother.” Bennett Olshaker, M.D., The Child as a Work of Art, p. pp. 39-40.

The child’s social development is always retarded if the child does not have a single main mother figure constantly about him, i.e., a person who has enough time and motherly love for the child. In this sentence, every word is equally important. Single does not mean two, three or four persons. Constant means always the same person. Motherly means a person, who shows all of the behavior toward the child, which we designate as ‘motherly.’ Main mother figure means that secondary mother figures (father, brothers, sisters, grandparents) may support the main mother figure, but not substitute for her. Person means that the respective adult has to support the child with his whole being and has to have time for the child.” Theodore Hellbrügge, Child and Family, 1979.

Mother and child are inseparable… For the mother has to feed her child, and therefore she cannot leave him at home when she goes out. To this need for food is added their mutual fondness and love. In this way, the child’s need for nutrition, and the love that unites these two beings, both combine in solving the problem of the child’s adaptation to the world, and this happens in the most natural way possible. Mother and child are one. Except where civilization has broken down this custom, no mother ever entrusts her child to someone else… Another point is the custom of prolonging the period of maternal feeding. Sometimes this lasts for a year and a half; sometimes for two, or even three years. This has nothing to do with the child’s nutritional needs, because for some time he has been able to assimilate other kinds of food; but prolonged lactation requires the mother to remain with her child, and this satisfies her unconscious need to give her offspring the help of a full social life on which to construct his mind.” Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, pp 105-106.

While feminists and other day care advocates have repeatedly asserted that government must ensure access to ‘affordable, high-quality day care’ for all who want it, they assuredly are not referring to the only child care we know of that fits that description. What is needed is for someone to make the argument for the best (in fact the only workable) system of child care the world has known: mom.” Brian Robertson, There’s No Place Like Work, p. 32.

One mother wrote of her fears of staying home along as a child because her mother worked.  She also said she had no one to show an interest in her as a child and to be a champion for her when she needed one.  In her eyes, mothering is “the most important job…that literally saves lives.”  As she said:  “I would live in a dirt shack before I would not be there for my kids.”  Cincinnati mother

Andrew Payton Thomas in his book, Crime and the Sacking of America, says that children are neglected so that adults can have bigger homes and better cars.  He continues:  “The rise of daycare in modern America says some painful things about us as parents and as a nation and culture, things that are easier for adults to leave unsaid.  But the truth is always worth telling, and it is this: Many American parents today simply do not wish to raise their own children.  Indeed, never before in history have a people become so intensely individualistic that their love for their children can be purchased so cheaply…Children are taught, literally from the cradle, that life is looking out for #1.”

“I urge you not to delegate the primary child-rearing task to anyone else during your child’s first three years of life.” Burton White, The Family in America, February 1991.

Conclusion:  More information on this topic is available at the NFPI website at

Sheila:  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.


Natural Family Planning: Ecological Breastfeeding and Activities

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

I recently read an article about athletes breastfeeding and taking a break during the game in order to breastfeed or pump.

That article brought back memories for me.  My sport was competitive tennis, and I was very fortunate to receive a tennis scholarship at an excellent private Catholic high school.  In those days there was no women’s tennis at the college level, but I was too busy anyway.

Then I got married.  My husband encouraged me to play in a tournament in which I lost to a woman who was 4 or 5 months pregnant.  When we lived in Salina, Kansas, John continued to encourage my tennis again.  I remember one tournament especially well. I split sets in the finals and used the 10 minute rest before the start of the 3rd set to go back to the car to breastfeed our third child.  She was at least two years old.

When we arrived in Cincinnati, again my husband insisted on my entering an indoor Heart tournament, 1978.  My audience (husband and four children) watched and I still have my trophy—a wine decanter.

My point is that a nursing mother can do many things with the support of her husband, and she can feel comfortable doing many activities with her nursing baby or toddler.  I camped, helped pattern a young paralyzed girl, taught dental health to kindergarten classes, taught a series of mothering classes, taught NFP classes, and wherever I went, I always had any breastfed child with me.  When I taught the mothering class, my three-year-old came with me, but I had to promise that I would not tell the class she was still breastfeeding.  When I went to kindergarten classes to teach dental health, I had 2 little kids with me.  The lesson was short and they were well behaved.

Breastfeeding can be done with little skin showing; once a mother gains confidence nursing modestly in public, she can do whatever she chooses and simply take her little ones along.

Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: Eco-Breastfeeding, the Early Years and Crime

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Advice regarding a Child’s Healthy Foundation
My advice to mothers is this:  Listen to your hearts.  Love your babies; hold your babies; read to your babies; sing to your babies; be there for them.

Ignore the advice of society’s control freaks.  Nurse your baby frequently.  Nurse your baby to sleep.  Nurse your baby all through the night in your bed with all the proper precautions and recommendations set by the experts.  Take your baby with you to meetings or shopping and to church.  Take the baby with you to weddings.

Be one with your baby.  Stay attached.  Remember that breastfeeding is a continuation of pregnancy.  There are many similarities between breastfeeding and pregnancy, but the most important one is the oneness a mother has with her baby.  Society needs to protect this oneness.  Our churches need to promote and protect this oneness.  Our husbands need to appreciate its value.

It is encouraging to see a psychiatrist like Dr. Elliott Barker teaching the importance of breastfeeding to society at large as well as to the individual mother with her baby.  May we renew our efforts to do what we can to promote breastfeeding and to help nursing moms and their families.  Let’s give our children that healthy foundation!
(This series has ended.  Adapted from a luncheon talk given at the LLL Eastern Pennsylvania Area Conference, October 2000)
Sheila Kippley