Natural Family Planning: Benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding

Why should every young woman, prospective bride, and expectant mother be well informed about the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding?  Here’s the case.

For couples desiring a family, the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding should be taught as an option. The Seven Standards are maternal behaviors that encourage mother-baby togetherness and frequent and unrestricted suckling.  It is God’s plan for spacing babies with many benefits for both mother and baby—even years after the breastfeeding has ceased. And no abstinence is required. Mothers doing ecological breastfeeding average 14 to 15 months without menstruation. To go 1, 2 and sometimes even 3 years without menstruation due to eco-breastfeeding is normal while having an early postpartum period would be an exception.

Breastfeeding is not just about nutritious breast-milk. It is also God’s plan for information and protection. A baby is born with a weak immune system, so the mother is the primary immune system for her baby. If and when a baby gets a “bug,” it is transmitted to the mother via suckling. That’s the “information” part of the system. The mother reacts, produces antibodies, and transmits them as she nourishes her baby at her breasts. If the mother gets a bug, she also transmits her subsequent antibodies to her breastfeeding baby. That’s the “protection” part of the system.  From the perspective of science, it’s a great system. From the perspective of faith, it’s a divinely designed mother/baby ecology.

The health advantages of breastfeeding are tremendous. Mothers who breastfeed their babies will likely reduce their risk of having breast cancer, ovarian cancer, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, endometrial cancer, thyroid cancer, lupus, and osteoporosis.   Babies benefit from breastfeeding in reducing their risk of allergies, asthma, autoimmune thyroid disease, botulism, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, ear infections, eczema, gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, obesity, respiratory tract infections, sudden infant death syndrome, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, and urinary tract infections.  Obviously many of these benefits for mother and baby show up years later after the breastfeeding has ceased.

Emphasis in recent months has been on the benefits of breastfeeding to the environment because of the environmental hazards of manufacturing baby formulas.   In the October 2, 2019 issue of the British Medical Journal, according to UK researchers, if mothers in the UK switched to exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, that would reduce carbon emissions equivalent to reducing road traffic by 50,000 to 77,500 cars each year.  A 2016 study “showed emissions from just six Asia Pacific countries were equivalent to 6 billion miles of car travel.” (International Breastfeeding Journal, Nov. 27, 2019)

A 2020 study showed that breastfeeding mothers vaccinate their babies against malaria because antigens against this disease are found in their milk.  As the researchers said, “the presence of malaria antigen (proteins) in breast milk stimulates anti-malarial immune defense and reduces malaria risk in breastfed infants. This would be a way to naturally vaccinate infants.” JAMA Pediatrics, January 7, 2020)

In October, a UNICEF report lamented that one-third of children under age five are malnourished…while two thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets.  Further, only 2 in 5 infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed as recommended.  One conclusion:  Breastfeeding could save the lives of 820,000 children every year worldwide.

When a mother follows the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding, she is likely to have an extended breastfeeding experience.  When a mother breastfeeds exclusively for six months and continues to nurse for two years as recommended by many medical organizations, health outcomes are improved.

All of the above is why I am convinced that every young woman, prospective bride and expectant mother should be taught all these benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding.

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor
Also available at Nature’s Warehouse…usually at a discount; last seen a 34% discount.


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