Natural Family Planning with Ecological Breastfeeding

November 22nd, 2020

God’s way of baby spacing through breastfeeding needs advocates.  The benefits of breastfeeding have been researched and researched and new benefits are added each year.  With regard to breastfeeding being a natural baby spacer, there is no scientific doubt on this issue.

Why do many nursing mothers have an early return of fertility?

The primary reason is that they do not follow the frequent nursing pattern of eco-breastfeeding.  Many breastfeeding mothers offer early supplements and use pacifiers or bottles and strict schedules; these practices have long been associated with an early return of fertility.

On the other hand, natural child spacing has been demonstrated in certain areas of the world where mothers at one time breastfed for an extended length of time.  Among the Canadian Eskimos, traditional breastfeeding kept the Eskimo family small—three or four children.  Conception occurred among the traditional breastfeeding Eskimo mothers at 20 to 30 months after childbirth.  The use of the bottle among breastfeeding Eskimo mothers, however, reduced the frequency and duration of breastfeeding, and these mothers were conceiving 2 to 4 months after childbirth.  (NFPI teaching manual, page 110)

Sheila Kippley

Speak to Your Children by Mary Lee Dey

November 15th, 2020

Do you want to have “79 handy conversations” with your children as they grow?  Do you want to “raise dynamic Catholic leaders on truth and life issues for a better world?”  If your answer is “yes” to both questions, then this book is for you. 

The author volunteered for Birthright Crisis Pregnancy for 21 years and found many girls needed knowledge on how to make good marriages for themselves and their future families.  The book begins with “Family Fun Time” for 2 to 10 year olds so that children bond with their parents.  The goal is that the children, as teenagers, will listen to their parents as parents make use of later chapters.

Mrs. Dey also taught natural family planning and is a former teacher for NFP International.  In her own words, Mary has this to say about her book.  “For those under five, the conversations are about love and discipline; for older children, the discussions are on faith and respect; and for teens, the focus is on decision-making and defending faith and life, and on rejecting peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, depression, violence, and much more.”

The book is available at https://www.iuniverse.com/en/search?query=Speak+to+Your+Children (or iuniverse.com) and is in English and Spanish. It has the Imprimatur.

In a review my husband said:  “Overall, you have a very good resource for parents.  I am sure that parents who use this with their children will be doing a favor for themselves as well as their children.”

Sheila Kippley

2. A Universal Core of Natural Family Planning Instruction

November 8th, 2020

Your Right to Know: A Universal Core for NFP Instruction (continued from last week)

Speaking of resistance to change, I understand that an American doctor-promoter of Calendar Rhythm went to his death sill believing that nothing more was needed. I am grateful that in 1935 Father Wilhelm Hillebrand used the temperature-based research of Dr. T. H. van de Velde and insisted that an elevated temperature pattern was needed to cross-check the rhythm calculations, thus correcting the weakest part of the Calendar Rhythm system. What motivated Father Hillebrand was not any sort of doctor-based dogma but simply wanting what would best help his parishioners. I think he provides an example for our bishops and priests today.

As reported in my commentary on relative effectiveness, the US Bishops sponsored a scientific study by independent researchers that concluded, “Results of this study show the STM to be superior to the OM of NFP in terms of use-effectiveness.” Then, almost all the couples who had been in the OM side of the study asked to be trained in the STM, and they were trained. It seems to me that the bishops should be making sure that couples today have that same opportunity.

I have no objection whatsoever to a couple choosing to use a single-sign system after they have been adequately taught how to use additional signs in a cross-checking way. That is their right. I insist only that they receive adequate instruction so that they are truly free to choose one way or the other.

We are all familiar with the saying of Jesus in John 8:32, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” While it is certainly true that he was speaking about himself, that latter phrase can also be applied to many areas.

In urging a universal core, I am urging only that these words, “and the truth will make you free” apply to the science and art of natural family planning. Couples deserve to know the full truth so that they can exercise their Christian freedom to choose, among morally valid alternatives, what they believe is best for them and their babies.

Near the top of this commentary, I quoted Luke 11:46: “Woe to you also, scholars of the law, for you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burden with one of your fingers.”

In providing the full truth, bishops and their collaborators certainly will be helping to lift the burden of living the truths affirmed by Humanae Vitae. In fact, great numbers of couples who accept and live out the full truth that includes generosity and ecological breastfeeding will find that the whole package is much more of a blessing than a burden.

John F. Kippley