Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus

Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus
Nursing Madonna (wikimedia commons)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Summary of the Seven Standards by Judith


Last time we discussed the seventh standard of ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding which is to avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby. This week we will recap on all seven standards of ecological breastfeeding.

Firstly the definition of ecological breastfeeding: " it is the form of nursing in which the mother fulfills 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".  (see The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding by Sheila Kippley)

The Seven Standards are as follows:

1.Breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months.

2. Pacify your baby at your breasts.

3. Don't use bottles or pacifiers.

4. Sleep with your baby for night feedings.

5. Sleep with your baby for a daily nap feeding.

6. Nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules

7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.

It must be noted that as mothers we should never hinder our babies from developing and weaning if that is what is best for the baby. For example, if a baby or toddler is taking well to solids, we should not restrict this activity in order to fulfil a selfish need to stay in amenorrhea.

Personally speaking I have found that some days my daughter will eat all around her, and other days she just wants my breastmilk. I trust her to know what she needs. A while ago for example, with her molar teeth coming up, she sometimes nursed both for comfort and nutrition and it made me so happy to see her in less pain as a result of nursing.

Another benefit of continuing to nurse my toddler is that if she gets sick (which rarely happens-- she has only had two 24- hour tummy bugs, thank God, since she was born) but when she was off her food, I knew my breastmilk was giving her antibodies, hydration and comfort. What a gift!

Until another 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 2 years and more of breastfeeding amenorrhea.  No claim is made that ecological breastfeeding is 100% effective in avoiding pregnancy.   For health issues, see a competent health professional.

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.