Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Judith's essay on the THIRD Standard of Eco-breastfeeding

Hi again! Last time I talked about the second standard in ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding which is to pacify your baby at your breast. The third standard is to NOT use bottles and pacifiers. Of course some babies are sick and the only way they can be fed is via the mother's expressed milk through a tube when they are born. But there are wonderful examples on the La Leche League website of how, with perseverance and God's grace, premature infants learn to suckle at their mother's breast and don't, or won't with time, need to use bottles or tubes.

Some mothers have to work, but there are many ways to keep up the breastfeeding relationship by, for example, working part-time, close to home whereby there is very little need to express milk as mothers can get to see their child/children at lunchtime. Fortunately I am able to be a full-time homemaker at the moment so I can be there for my daughter. I have never had to use a bottle yet, thank God.  The advantage of not using a bottle is that you know how your baby is by having him or her close to you at regular intervals to be nursed. Society says that you should get a young baby to learn how to take a bottle so you are not 'tied down', but it doesn't really work because mothers are going to worry even if they leave their baby with someone else!  There are always other ways for mommy to take a break. I love to swim, for example, so what I used to do, was take my baby's godmother or my husband to the pool, nurse my baby to sleep before I hopped in and nurse her afterwards if she woke up. She is now older and eating solids so I can leave her for two or three hours with her daddy or my parents- in- law, and she is not stressed during that period.

Sometimes people think you might "spoil" a child by offering the breast whenever the baby wants, but Sheila Kippley has an excellent article among others at on the importance of breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding. A baby cannot be spoiled at such a young age. One sees the effect of not being held enough in Romanian orphanages where babies rock themselves constantly due to the high levels of cortisol released from not being held.  Being breastfed regularly, ensures the mother-baby contact necessary for good brain development. Obviously if the mother makes a conscious effort to be the main bottle giver when breastfeeding doesn't work for her, and she holds her baby often, this is extremely beneficial for the child.

If mothers need to express milk because they are working for longer periods away from their baby and they are thinking of natural child spacing, it is recommended that you pump one breast at a time at a slower rate so that the pumping resembles that of your nursing baby. This will increase your chances of remaining in amenorrhea for a longer time period.

At one point I expressed enough milk to freeze in case of an emergency where I might be in an accident or wasn't able to nurse her. However, I did only one expression a day so that it would not upset the milk supply or take up too much of my time.

As always if you would like to do you your own research on the Seven Standards of ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding, please go to Kippley's website  and search for their books and materials.  You can also look up where you can join the Catholic Nursing Mothers League for online support. Until next time, when we will discuss the fourth standard of ecological breastfeeding, slan go foill!


Disclaimer: I am a breastfeeding mother who has used the Seven Standards and experienced 23 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea to date.  No claim is made that ecological breastfeeding is 100% effective in avoiding pregnancy.   For health issues, see a competent health professional.