Ecological Breastfeeding Should Be Taught

Below Dr. Dominic Pedulla recently stressed the need for NFP teachers to teach ecological breastfeeding.  This is followed by John’s commentary on the same subject.

It is a good thing for all NFP providers, even those outside of symptothermal methodology, to start putting ecological breastfeeding (EBF) on their radar screen. It’s a thing of enormous importance which should not be ignored, and it transcends merely the day-to-day signs of fertility and their monitoring, however undeniably important these latter are…. in general part of a woman’s happiness and sense of well-being — which the practitioner ought not to forget — will be based on the extent to which she’s satisfying her baby’s needs herself, and satisfying her own needs to engage in fully self-emptying love for the sake of the child.

Dominic M. Pedulla MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh
Interventional Cardiologist, Endovascular Diplomate, Varicose Vein Specialist, Noncontraceptive Family Planning Consultant, Family Planning Researcher
Medical Director, The Oklahoma Vein and Endovascular Center
Executive Director, The Edith Stein Foundation

Is it reasonable to breastfeed one’s baby?  Certainly all the science on this subject indicates that breastfeeding is the best baby-care, both nutritionally and psychologically.  What about ecological breastfeeding according to the Seven Standards?  All the 7 standards are is a brief statement of maternal behaviors that collectively facilitate mother-baby togetherness and frequent suckling.  The evidence shows that frequent suckling is the core factor in both extended breastfeeding infertility and long-term duration of breastfeeding.  The evidence also shows that many of the benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related.  In short, a strong case can be made that eco-bf is best for the baby.

What about those difficult cases?  Doesn’t that experience apply also to the practice of systematic NFP and to marriage itself?  Hasn’t almost every married person on this List had the experience of marital disillusionment at some point?  That’s the feeling that “If I felt this way about my spouse two months before our marriage there wouldn’t have been any marriage.”  I’ve asked that of many groups, and no one with much marital experience denies it.  The standard repertoire of Catholic opponents of Humanae Vitae is a recitation of the frustrations with both abstinence and fertility awareness observations & recordings.  Do we let such comments discourage us from recommending marriage or systematic NFP?

Dr. Pedulla is advocating that ecological breastfeeding is a reasoned approach that everyone should be well informed about.  He doesn’t expect everyone to do it, just as we don’t expect everyone to accept the teaching of Humanae Vitae.  But we still do our best to let people know about HV and systematic NFP.  The point is that a couple cannot choose to do either systematic NFP or eco-breastfeeding unless they are well informed about each of them.  Thus I thank Dr. Pedulla for urging that every NFP program should be adequately informing their students about the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.  Only with such knowledge can the students make an informed choice.

John F. Kippley

During World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) we will blog daily on breastfeeding and natural child spacing.  We continue to offer our lulu books and ebooks at a 40% discount at through August 7.

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