Archive for June, 2020

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