Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding Amenorrhea’ Category

Natural Family Planning: The Daily Nap for Natural Spacing

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

When I had little ones I noticed that other moms, even bottle-feeding mothers, would take the phone off the hook and take a short nap.  This was back in the early 60s.  We needed the rest; it refreshed the mother to deal with the rest of the day.   Children in kindergarten in those days took a rug to school so they could lie down for a short rest.  Why not children at home?  When I had a baby, a two-year old, and a  four-year old, we would all get into bed together and rest sometime after lunch.  I would let the four-year old know that we would get up in 30 minutes if she was still awake.  Another mother laid across the only door to the room.  Her other children could not leave the room without waking her.

The Daily Nap became the Fifth Standard of Ecological Breastfeeding.  That afternoon nap with a nursing baby is important.

That was illustrated by 3 surveys I recently received from a mother who used primarily a pattern of ecological breastfeeding for her three babies born when she was ages 27, 32, and 35.

With all 3 babies, this mother did exclusive breastfeeding for 7 months, did extended breastfeeding (6 years, 4 1/4 years and 4.3/4 years), used no schedules, pacifiers or bottles, slept with her babies during the night (for 39 months, 29 months-3 weeks, and 41 months-2 weeks), always left the house with her babies until they were 18, 13 and 14 months old), and relied on breastfeeding amenorrhea with all three babies without conceiving.

This mother was very good about following the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding with her first baby and went 25 month-1 week before the return of her first menstruation.

With her second baby, she did not do the daily nursing naps during the first 6 months postpartum.  At 5 months-2 weeks, she experienced her first menses.  She began the daily nursing nap with the baby and went back into amenorrhea until 16 months postpartum. 

With her third baby, she had some bleeding and began again the daily nursing nap.  She went back into breastfeeding amenorrhea for 3 more months and had her menstruation return at 14 months-2 weeks.  She felt she experienced an early return of menstruation with this baby because he was interested in playing with siblings and grandparents.

I would encourage any mother who is interested in natural child spacing to consider following all the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding and not drop that Fifth Standard of taking the daily nap with your nursing baby.

Comment from the mother of these surveys: “I’m grateful to have had your books available.  I re-read them to troubleshoot, which is how I knew to start napping again. You made a real difference in our lives. Thank you.”

Sheila Kippley
Author: The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding