Monday, November 4, 2013
Seventh Standard of Ecological Breastfeeding
After looking last time at the sixth standard of ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding which is to nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules, we will discuss the seventh standard.
The seventh standard of ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding is to avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby. I made a mistake or two in this regard not long after my baby was born. I really wanted to get out for some food shopping, and I thought I would be much quicker going on my own. I was also a little perfectionist, not just giving my husband a list of things to get...it really wouldn't have mattered if he had gotten the "wrong" brand of food! Anyway, I nursed my little girl to sleep, put her in the moses basket and off I went leaving her in the care of her daddy. Put the situation into context: both of us first time parents and baby wakens. Well, daddy doesn't have what mommy has, I get stuck in traffic on the way home, and needless to say I arrived back to find the two of them a little traumatized! It is funny looking back, and I don't think my baby suffered any long- term consequences, but on a regular basis it wouldn't have been a good idea particularly at that young age.
With regard to natural child spacing, the evidence also shows that following this standard increases the likelihood of a longer period of amenorrhea. Again the studies are available in chapter seven of The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding by Sheila Kippley. I might add that many of the health benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related, so the frequent nursing of eco-breastfeeding helps to maximize these benefits.
I am conscious as I write this that for some women it is necessary that they work outside the home. Many women keep up the nursing relationship by nursing during the night, just before they leave for work and when they come home in the evening.
Even for mothers who can and do choose the mother-baby togetherness route, it is tiring at times. However, that is where our Catholic faith is a wonderful resource, in fact THE resource from which all our activity stems. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4;13). He gives grace for each moment of the day.
Until next time, I would encourage you to look up Kippley's website www.nfpandmore.org and/or www.catholicbreastfeeding.org for information and support. God bless Judith!
Disclaimer: I am a breastfeeding mother who has used the Seven Standards and experienced 25 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.