Archive for the ‘WBW 2019’ Category

Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Spaces Babies

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

The mother who sleeps with her baby during the night is involved in a pattern of unrestricted breastfeeding.  By taking care of her baby’s needs for closeness, cuddling, and skin contact during the night, she provides the opportunity for her baby to nurse as often as he pleases.

Dr. Peter Howie, working with a research team in Edinburgh, Scotland, found that those nursing mothers who ovulated earlier nursed the least amount during the day, reduced the nursing times the fastest, introduced other foods quickly, and gave up the night feedings rapidly.  On the other hand, the nursing mothers who ovulated later continued to give night feedings, nursed more often, introduced other foods slowly, and reduced their nursing times gradually.

Martha and Dr. Bill Sears in their recent work, The Breastfeeding Book, say: “Sleep with your baby for night feedings.  Extended breastfeeding infertility is associated with night feedings.” (page 73) They promote the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding in their new book.

Another couple, Donna and Dr. Bill Taylor were involved in several scientific publications in the 1990s dealing with ecological breastfeeding and have shown the importance of night feedings for extended breastfeeding infertility.  “Stated positively, when babies (1) sleep with the mother, (2) are held close to the mother’s body, and (3) accompany her everywhere, the resulting easy access to the breast may be a causative factor in the ecology of breast-feeding’s contraceptive effect.” (Journal of Biosocial Science, 1999)

Witnesses below:

  • Mother A had three babies who did not use pacifiers. The mother nursed exclusively during the early months and continued to nurse for one year. She sat up at night to nurse her babies and then placed them in a crib.  By the fifth to sixth month postpartum, all three babies were sleeping through the night and her periods returned at 7 or 8 months after childbirth with each baby.  With baby #4, she read my book on natural child spacing, bought a king-size bed and slept with her baby.  She had her first period at 20 months postpartum while breastfeeding.  Bedsharing made the difference.
  • Mother B nursed her first baby who slept through the night. Her menstruation returned at 4 months postpartum. With baby #2, she slept with her baby and nursed throughout the night.  She was still without any menstrual cycles at 21 months postpartum.
  • Mother C weaned her earlier children between 3 to 7 months postpartum and her fertility soon returned. She decided to do ecological breastfeeding and sleep with her next baby. With eco-breastfeeding, her periods returned when her baby was 26 months old.
  • Mother D had a very interesting situation with bedsharing. Her periods returned at 2 months after childbirth and occurred on a regular basis while breastfeeding her second baby. Her baby slept in another room, but that situation changed when her husband went on a business trip for three months.  While he was gone, she brought her baby (now about 8 months old) and another child to bed with her.  The baby nursed during the night and she had no menstruation for three months.  Her husband returned home, the children left her bed, and she had some spotting the next month and observed the signs of returning fertility.

The Benefits
Breastfeeding protects against SIDS.  In addition, unexplained infant death “is virtually unknown across 95% of the world.”  In one study researchers found “a third of white babies were put to sleep alone, compared with only one in 25 Asian babies.”  The Asians had a low cot death while Britain had between 400-500 cot deaths a year.  SIDS was “virtually unheard of in India.”   In Hong Kong “only about two babies a year died from cot death in the colony which had an annual birth rate of 70,000.  The cot death rate is 23 times lower than UK’s.”  In this study “it’s apparent that bed-sharing here is common while the cot death rate is low.” (“Bed-sharing may cut cot deaths,” The Sunday Times, October 8, 1995)

In my book, The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding, there are another 20 benefits listed for the practice of bed-sharing between mother and baby besides providing the mother with a continuous ample milk supply and extended breastfeeding amenorrhea.
Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding
Safe bed-sharing guidelines are available at the above book and on the home page of NFPI, links.





Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Spaces Babies

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

This is the last daily blog for the World Breastfeeding Week which began August 1st.  If you want to start at the beginning of this series of blogs on breastfeeding and the natural spacing of babies, scroll down and check “Older Entries.”.

Below are some witnesses showing that natural spacing with breastfeeding does work!

“I am currently nursing my 17 month old and I have not had a period yet.”

“My son nurses on and off during the nights.  He is 22 months old and I had not had a period yet.”

“I read your book Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing when I was pregnant and I found it very inspiring and helpful.  I went 21 months without cycling after my first was born and 25 months after my second was born.  My third son is 7 months old and I am not cycling yet.  My husband and I do not really use the mucus method or the symptom thermal method.  I have found that breastfeeding is enough.”

“I’m new at NFP.  I didn’t practice ecological breastfeeding with my daughter and got pregnant with our son when our daughter was 6 months old.  I’m still nursing my son who is 13 months old and JUST got my cycle back.  I’ve been charting for a week now and I’m loving it.  So many of my friends use medical ways to control their fertility.  I feel it is so harmful to the body.  I’m so thankful for groups like this and glad I googled NFP.”

“I appreciated your encouragement to continue following child-led weaning.  I had a period a couple of days after writing to you.  It was the first one following 26 months of amenorrhea.  I was ecstatic, almost as excited as I was at age 14 when I had my first menstrual period!  I began charting immediately, ovulated and conceived.  I did wean our son during my pregnancy, but at a pace that suited us both.”

“The other day someone was complaining of cramps and discomfort with her period, and I mentioned that since my first baby I have never had all that cramping and pain with my periods.  Then I said: ‘But come to think of it, I’ve had so few periods.’  And my friend said, ‘You know, you are the truly liberated woman!’  How true!  So far I have had 11 periods in over 8 years.  That is with three babies.  Our 15 month old is nursing and I haven’t had a period yet.”

Not Just for Catholics

The most Seven Standard books sold are in groups of 100 and 200 to an Amish bookstore.  Below are comments from women of other faiths.

“You may wonder if I am of a faith that does not condone birth control means.  No, I am not, and I have in fact taken the pill for a year and a half between my two children.  My boys are over three years apart, as I remained sterile for nearly a year after those pills.  So I’ve found breastfeeding a lovely blessing in every way, and the infertility is only a convenient side effect.  We’ve decided on a third child at the earliest possible date—considering the breastfeeding situation, of course.”

“As a Protestant, ecological breastfeeding had never been presented to my husband and me as a logical way to have a family.  Our sweet little one is nine days old, and she will be the first one not to have a pacifier.  Many of my acquaintances are put right on the IUD after their first baby, and I think it’s a shame when God intended His way of spacing little ones.”

“My religion, Islam, encourages breastfeeding for two years and, according to some Muslim scholars, allows birth control to be practiced within that two-year period.  I feel that so many people ignore breastfeeding as a form of natural child spacing.  The techniques you describe are entirely compatible with my religion.”

“My daughter is 13 months old and we’re enjoying the breastfeeding relationship. I like the amenorrhea, and my husband and I are pleased with the absence of artificial birth control.  I am enjoying full-time mothering following four years as a social worker.  My husband is a new family practice physician.  He promotes breastfeeding at every opportunity and out of personal conviction does not prescribe the Pill nor fit IUDs for patients.”

“My husband is a pastor so we have many outside obligations to fulfill.  We take our seven-month-old baby everywhere and when she is hungry or needs pacifying, I am there with her.

Regarding breastfeeding, I was amazingly alone in my decisions to do this.  Even so-called “progressive” mothers rely on formula and/or pacifiers.  But I have found great support in women of my grandmother’s age.”

End of series for World Breastfeeding Week.
Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding




Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Spaces Babies

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Mother-baby togetherness is important for natural child spacing.  In a Rwanda study, breastfeeding mothers had different conception rates depending on their lifestyles, but the bottle-feeding mothers’ conception rates were the same, whether the mothers lived in the city or in the country.  Why the difference in conception rates among the breastfeeding mothers?  Seventy-five percent (75%) of the city breastfeeding mothers conceived between 6 and 15 months after childbirth, while 75% of the rural breastfeeding mothers conceived between 24 and 29 months after childbirth.  According to the researchers, the reason the country mothers conceived much later was due to the amount of physical contact these mothers had with their babies.  The country mothers remained with their babies while the city mothers were leaving their babies with others. (Bonte, et al., International Journal of Fertility, 1974)

The frequency of breastfeeding, short intervals between feedings, and night feedings— all these factors have been proven to be extremely important for natural child spacing. [ample footnotes for these factors in NFP manual mentioned below.]

Because the research is so substantial, we believe that those involved with natural family planning, the family, the health of our nation, and the Church should teach the important health and baby-spacing benefits of ecological breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for all these reasons should especially be promoted among the poor. As Dr. Ruth Lawrence says:

Breastfeeding is the most precious gift a mother can give her infant.
If there is illness or infection, it may be a life-saving gift.
If there is poverty, it may be the only gift. (Breastfeeding Medicine, October 23, 2007)

The above is taken from the NFPI users’ manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, page 110.

Tomorrow:  Witnesses
Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding