7. Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing


1. When teaching about breastfeeding and its relationship with natural baby spacing, it is imperative to distinguish the types of breastfeeding. The kind of breastfeeding that is common in Western culture provides very little postponement of the return of fertility and is not associated with natural baby spacing.

2. Ecological Breastfeeding IS a form of natural baby spacing. The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding are maternal behaviors associated with an extended breastfeeding amenorrhea, a time without menstruation after childbirth. The two key factors are mother-baby togetherness and frequent and unrestricted suckling. For an ecologically breastfeeding mother to go one or two years without menstruation is perfectly normal. To experience breastfeeding amenorrhea beyond two years is not abnormal and is typical in some cultures.

3. Every woman and every man have a God-given right to learn the wonderful health benefits that God has built into the breastfeeding relationship and how these are maximized through ecological breastfeeding.  Ecological breastfeeding offers many benefits to both mother and baby, even years later after the breastfeeding has ceased. In the NFP International user’s manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, you will find a list of 21 very specific health advantages for babies plus another six general advantages such as fewer sick days and higher scores on cognitive and IQ tests at school age. You will also find two lists of advantages for breastfeeding mothers.

More benefits of breastfeeding are discovered every year. At the website of NFP International, in the upper right corner for “blogs”, you can find the Breastfeeding Research articles for the years 2013 and 2014.

4. Every woman and every man have a basic God-given right to know about the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding. This option should be taught to older students and couples world-wide, especially in the Catholic Church.

5. Because natural birth spacing through ecological breastfeeding is important for the well-being of babies and mothers, the Catholic Church should be insisting that every engaged couple learn about ecological breastfeeding well before they are married. When couples realize the benefits of mother-baby togetherness, this can influence some of the decisions they make. To afford living on one income after the first baby comes, they may decide to live in a lower priced house and to buy less expensive furniture.  No one can force such decisions, but if they want to do what is best for their children, many well informed couples might order their priorities accordingly.

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