Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

First Standard of Ecological Breastfeeding by Judith

Last time I talked about ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding and the distinction between it and other modes of breastfeeding.  The Seven Standards are maternal behaviours associated with breastfeeding infertility.  As defined in Sheila Kippley's book The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor  ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding  is  "a form of nursing in which the mother fulfils her baby's needs for frequent suckling and her full-time presence and in which the child's frequent suckling postpones the return of the mother's fertility."

There are seven standards to follow and the first is to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding is when you give only your milk to your baby directly from your breast for the first six months. Most babies need frequent suckling day and night. A mother who breastfeeds only for nutrition may not be satisfying her baby's emotional needs.

Exclusive breastfeeding is 98-99% effective in postponing pregnancy when three conditions are met.

The baby has not reached 6 months of age.

Mother has had no menstrual bleeding after the 56th day postpartum.

The breastfeeding needs to be truly "exclusive" breastfeeding.

If your baby turns 6 months, or you have menstrual bleeding after 8 weeks postpartum, or you are no longer giving your baby anything but your milk, the effectiveness of the exclusive breastfeeding rule no longer applies. This rule is known as the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM); it has been heavily researched and La Leche League has taught it since the Sixties. Also according to research which can be found in The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding, you can ignore any vaginal bleeding in the first 8 weeks, if you are truly "exclusively" breastfeeding .

However exclusive breastfeeding is only one part of the seven standard equation in ECOLOGICAL BREASTFEEDING used to postpone the mother's fertility and which simultaneously also meets the baby's emotional and nutritional needs at the breast.

From personal experience it is so worth the effort to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. For me personally I had difficulties for the first month or two in learning to breastfeed comfortably, but once I got into a rhythm it was wonderful. We had no bottles of milk to heat and could travel easily anywhere...even on a plane to London where my daughter could suckle as the plane took off and so alleviate her ears from popping!

If you would like to learn more about this first standard of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, or you would like to look up the scientific research behind it, please  go to Kippley's website  and search "breastfeeding infertility research."  You can also look up where you can join the Catholic Nursing Mothers League for online support.

Next time we will look at the second standard of ecological breastfeeding so until then slan go foill!


Disclaimer: I am a breastfeeding mother who has used the Seven Standards and experienced 21 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea.  No claim is made that ecological breastfeeding is 100% in avoiding pregnancy.   For health issues, see a competent health professional.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Catholic Nursing Mothers League and Ecological Breastfeeding

Catholic Nursing Mother League and Ecological Breastfeeding
Hello there! My name is Judith Dunne and I am a breastfeeding mother to my almost 21-month- old daughter. I live in Ireland and love being a part of CNML. I promoted their work, along with the work of John and Sheila Kippley,last February at a Divine Mercy Conference in Dublin. While there, the editor from “The Open Door”, a weekly parish newsletter based in Maynooth, not far from Dublin, asked me if I would be interested in writing a column on CNML and Ecological Breastfeeding, and I have been doing that weekly since. The blogs to follow are an adaptation from my weekly columns. See
I discovered CNML quite by accident at a conference in Knock while pregnant with my baby daughter. My husband and I were staying at a B & B, and I met a lovely mother who had a few children with her. She recommended to me the author “Sheila Kippley” and that I would find one of her books in the Guadalupe Centre. I found her book there called “Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood”.
I was very keen to breastfeed my soon- to- be- born baby,and in this book it was mentioned – and this  is what intrigued me – that there are “Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding” that anyone can follow regardless of religion or belief system and that are beneficial to both mother and baby. This is what I propose to discuss over the next few months in this column. Ecological Breastfeeding is a type of breastfeeding that can give a more extended amenorrhea (the absence of menstrual periods) than other modes of breastfeeding. So it can be used as a natural form of child spacing as well as giving all the other nutritional, emotional and psychological benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby, such as increasing the bond between mother and baby through the love   hormone oxytocin, and prolactin,and decreasing the mother’s risk of developing different cancers, particularly breast cancer.
The scientific research in relation to amenorrhea is available most specifically in Sheila Kippley’s book  “The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding-The Frequency Factor”. Her other book  “Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing” is also excellent in the “how to” approach of everyday living as a breastfeeding mother and the different scenarios in which you might find yourself.  I highly recommend both books, and you can also look up more details at Until next time when I will discuss the first standard of ecological breastfeeding, slan gofoill (bye for now)!