Archive for the ‘First 3 Years’ Category

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

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

The Research
The importance of the early years was the topic of an entire issue of Newsweek, the Spring-Summer issue in 1997.  This special edition stressed the critical first three years of life and that breastfeeding and the physical reassurances such as cuddling and rocking stimulate brain growth and show a baby that he is loved and valued.

Research shows that when a baby is stressed or lacks maternal care his brain is coated with a large dose of cortisol.  Cortisol can shrink the learning center of the brain, and cortisol can cause the dendrites to atrophy.  This helps to explain why cortisol is associated with severely delayed development.  This is why we have seen on television orphaned babies rocking in their cribs or teens moving constantly in what is called the “dance of neglect.”

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the mother protects her baby against these harmful effects just by her presence.  With breastfeeding, mothers are present and a breastfeeding mother soon learns that her baby thrives on maternal intimacy, that her baby loves to be with her.

One of my favorite books is The War Against the Family by William Gairdner because he states how we can have healthy individuals in our society.  In his opinion, the kind of care needed for healthy individuals depends on the mother providing a care that is uninterrupted, intimate, and continuous for her child during the early months and early years.  This kind of care is almost always provided to each child if his mother breastfeeds him as nature intended.

Next week:  Advice regarding a child’s healthy foundation
Sheila Kippley

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

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

A Foundation in Raising Children
Raising children is the most important work we do as parents.  Almost all of us want children who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.  Thus, our top priority as parents is to raise our children as best we can.

One of the concerns stressed at a brain-research conference I attended was that the kind of care you give to your children may come back to you.  It is these children who become teenagers and eventually may become our caregivers as we age.  They are the ones who will be in the voting booth deciding our future.

As one workshop speaker said:  What kind of care do you want in your last years?  Will your face be cleaned with a fresh washcloth or a soiled one?  Will your bedpan be empty or full?  Will you be spanked when you dribble accidentally?

If we want caring children who are also caring as adults, a helpful step to achieving that goal as parents, whether breastfeeding or not, is to nurture our babies well during the first three years of life.  I do not want to rule out the exceptions, the wonderful conversions that occur, but, by and large, the treatment children receive in their first three years has a great affect on their later lives.

A building needs a foundation.  Our children also need a foundation.  That foundation is built in the first three years of life.  Our job isn’t over after childbirth.  Nor is it over after they celebrate their third birthday.  But experts keep telling us that it’s what the mother (and soon the father) does during those early years that is so important and determines whether we give our children a healthy start or a troubling start in life.

Next week: The Research
Sheila Kippley

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

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Lots of solutions are offered for crime prevention.  With the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, one solution I have not heard of is the mother-infant relationship during the early years of the infant’s life.  The next 4 blogs will be on that solution.

The study of a maximum-security prison:  I want to mention the work of Dr. Elliott Barker, a Canadian psychiatrist.  Dr. Barker worked with 300 of the most dangerous persons in Ontario.  They were at a maximum-security prison, all criminally insane.

He is convinced that criminal behavior is due to the lack of good care during the first three years of life.  He helped to form a group called the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children because he believes that crime can be fought by promoting proper nurturing during the first three years of life.

According to Dr. Barker, the greatest cruelty that you can do to human beings is to harm them so emotionally that they can never form an affectionate relationship with another human being, that they can never trust another person, and that they can never have capacity for empathy.

Dr. Barker developed videos and teaching materials for the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, a group he wanted to reach before they drop out of school.  What did he teach them?  That the most important job they will ever do as parents is to raise their children and that the times during pregnancy and the first three years of life are so important.  This is when the life-foundation is set.

Dr. Barker had a simple four-point program for crime prevention:
1) Mother, father, and baby have a positive birth experience.
2) The mother should breastfeed and continue to breastfeed as long as her baby wants it.
3) The parents should avoid separation from their baby because frequent changes in caregiving are bad for the baby.
4) Spacing between the births of babies is desirable.

Please note that I am not saying that even the best of mothering in the first three years will eliminate crime.  How we wish it would, but we remember that breastfed Cain murdered his breastfed brother, Abel.  However, society does need to listen to the psychiatrists who find themselves examining the first three years for the clues on how to raise normal children and to avoid raising future psychopaths.

Next week: A foundation in raising children
Sheila Kippley