3. Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Before we continue, we need to define three kinds of breastfeeding: cultural, exclusive and ecological breastfeeding. They are all defined by maternal behaviors.

Cultural breastfeeding is also known as token or partial breastfeeding. With cultural breastfeeding, mothers supplement breastfeeding with formula and early baby foods or liquids, use bottles and pacifiers, and may follow strict schedules and try to get the baby to sleep through the night. Mother-baby separation with babysitters is often characteristic of cultural breastfeeding. All of these cultural practices interfere with the natural spacing of children due to the lack of frequent and unrestricted nursing. Cultural nursing almost never delays the return of fertility.

Exclusive breastfeeding was called total or wholly breastfeeding in the 1960s. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is recommended by many medical associations world-wide because this type of breastfeeding offers many benefits to both mother and baby. Exclusive breastfeeding means the mother offers the baby only her milk and only at the breast. Repeated research has shown that exclusive breastfeeding is highly effective in avoiding pregnancy, and now it is called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method. Amenorrhea means the absence of periods. The Lactational Amenorrhea Method has 3 requirements:
1)    The baby must receive only breast milk and directly from the breasts. No other liquid or foods are given.
2)    The baby must be less than 6 months old.
3)    After 56 days postpartum, the mother must be in amenorrhea.
This exclusive breastfeeding method offers the mother at least a 98 to 99 percent rate of infertility before her first menstruation until her baby reaches 6 months of age.  Some research has shown that about 50% of the breastfeeding mothers doing exclusive breastfeeding had their first period return before six months postpartum.  Thus those who promote the Lactational Amenorrhea Method today usually stress two teachings: 1) what is meant by exclusive breastfeeding and 2) the need for frequent nursing day and night. With these emphases, over 80% of mothers were in amenorrhea at 6 months using exclusive breastfeeding.

Ecological breastfeeding is basically natural mothering.  Mother and baby are one, and the mother uses her breasts to satisfy the baby’s hunger and suckling needs. Eventually the baby requires other foods but the nursing continues. This is the only type of breastfeeding associated with an extended amenorrhea after childbirth; it is the only pattern of breastfeeding associated with the natural spacing of births. Ecological breastfeeding is dependent on certain maternal behaviors.  We call these maternal behaviors The Seven Standards.

From July 19th to the evening of August 7th (NFP Awareness Week through World Breastfeeding Week) anyone can purchase the following printed books at a 40% discount at lulu:
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach (coil edition preferred for learners)
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor
Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing
An additional 10% discount is offered by lulu through the end of today, August 3rd.  Code when ordering is INTERNET.  Thus anyone ordering a Kippley print book can receive a 50% discount today.

Comments are closed.