Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Did You Know That Kangaroos Tandem Nurse Their Babies?

 (wikimedia commons)


My kids and I watched a cool documentary today about red kangaroos.  I would like to share it with you!  

An unborn kangaroo's baby - a joey - gestates for just 34 days and then after birth makes its way to the mother's pouch.  Once it arrives, it attaches to one of her nipples and suckles constantly for more than two months straight!  At that same time, the mother kangaroo could also have an older joey that is fully developed and does not need to stay in her pouch 24/7.  However, this joey may still nurse and has its own nipple inside the pouch.  Each nipple - the one for the newborn joey and the one for the older joey - provide different types of milk!  If you would like to read more about this fascinating topic, go to this website.

Although humans are different than kangaroos, human milk does change over time as the baby nurses.  The first milk is colostrum which is high in protein, immunities, and beta carotene.  Colostrum is low in water, fat and volume.  Then over the next three weeks or so breast milk increases in fat, carbohydrate and calories.  Breast milk gets fattier as a nursing session goes on, and the volume of milk is greater at night.

After a premature birth, breast milk stays higher in protein for a month compared to the amount found after a full term birth. 

As the baby gets older, the mother's milk changes.  After about 18 months, breast milk has less carbohydrates.  At age two, breast milk tends to have more protein and fat.  If the toddler increases how much he or she nurses, the amount of protein and fat actually decrease!  Also, breast milk has 60% more calories per ounce when the child is two or older compared to when the child was 12 months old.  As the child nurses less often as he or she gets older, breast milk has a greater concentration of immunities, too. Sometimes moms are told by well meaning friends or even healthcare providers that breast milk at age one or two is not beneficial anymore.  However, as you can see, breast milk at any age has value!

I hope you have found this as fascinating as I do!

(1) Breast Milk Changes During Prolonged Lactation

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Ways to Help Moms and Babies during Formula Shortages

It can be scary being a mom during a formula shortage!  Here are a few ways we can all help:

1) Pray!  Prayer is often the last thing we do even though it should be the first.  I am guilty of this, too!

2) Consider becoming a CNML mentor and help encourage and give breastfeeding information to pregnant and nursing moms.  

3) If you are currently a nursing mom, consider donating your breastmilk to a milk bank or possibly donating your milk to a friend or family member.

4) Help fellow moms find a local lactation consultant if they are thinking of relactating.  You can also refer moms to CNML at

5) If you see formula on your local grocery store's shelves -particularly the specialty formulas needed for certain health conditions - let fellow moms know.  You could even offer to pick up a can for someone when you are shopping at stores out of town.

6) Here are some great links to share with moms struggling during the shortage: 

With the Baby Formula Shortage, What Should I Do If I Cannot Find Any?

Infant Feeding in Emergencies

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom

                                                      (wikimedia commons)

Did you know that breastfeeding isn’t just good for babies but moms, too?  

1. Breastfeeding helps mom’s body recover from pregnancy and birth more quickly, and it helps her uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnancy size.  It also helps with the delivery of the placenta.

2. Breastfeeding helps mom lose weight.  

3. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.

4. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of osteoporosis.

5. Breastfeeding helps with natural child spacing especially if the mom and baby practice ecological breastfeeding.

6. Breastfeeding saves mom money - possibly up to $3000 a year.

7. Breastfeeding moms get more sleep on average.

8. Breastfeeding makes it easier to handle tantrums and when baby is out of sorts which makes things just a little easier on mom.

9. The hormone prolactin, released during breastfeeding, helps mom relax.

10.  Breastfeeding encourages extra cuddles with baby which is good for mom’s heart ❤️ 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Breastfeeding and Motherhood as a Ministry

Breastfeeding and mothering are wonderful gifts that you give to your family.  All those precious drops of “liquid gold,” all those moments of nursing and cuddling your baby, all those wonderful books you read to your child, all those hundreds of meals you cook for your family, and all those bedtime prayers that you share with your child are your ministry to them.  Those activities nourish their bodies, minds, and souls.  I know to the world you may not seem like you are doing anything significant, but in God’s eyes and in the eyes of your family, you are doing life-giving, important, holy work!  And I want to add that if your primary occupation is breastfeeding, mothering and homemaking, rest assured that your role is honorable and valuable!

(If you need any suggestions for encouraging books about mothering, please send me a message and I will email you a list of my favorites!)

Saturday, April 2, 2022

New Ecological Breastfeeding Website

CNML has decided to expand our promotion of ecological breastfeeding to those who are not Catholic. We have a new site that is solely dedicated to providing information and support for the ecological breastfeeding lifestyle.  Although there will not any obvious references to the Catholic faith, it will remain truly Catholic. I am working on copying many of the articles and links about ecological breastfeeding over to the new website.  Then I will also write new articles in the future and add them to both websites.  It is a still a work in progress, but we are excited about its potential! If you have suggestions for making it more wonderful, please send us a message!

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Parenting Styles, The 7 Baby B’s of Attachment Parenting, and Breastfeeding

This month at our online meeting we discussed parenting styles, the 7 Baby B’s and their affect on breastfeeding.  CNML mentor, Christelle Hagen, led the meeting and presented the following diagram about the four main parenting styles which is based on the work of Diana Baumrind, Eleanor Maccoby, and John Martin:

(Image created by Francyne Zeltser)

Each parenting style has its pros and cons but most research points to the ideal parenting style being the authoritative. This parenting style involves setting clear expectations for your child but also involves being open to discuss and work with your child. During our discussion most of the moms said they practiced a mix of parenting styles, and everyone said they were hoping to become better moms!  The moms also agreed that the authoritative style seemed like the best way to parent.

Dr. Sears encourages attachment parenting in his books and on his website.  He lists 7 B’s that comprise attachment parenting: birth bonding, breastfeeding, baby wearing, bedding close to baby, belief in the language value of baby’s cry, beware of baby trainers, and balance. If you notice, many of the Baby B’s are also aspects of ecological breastfeeding, and all the Baby B’s benefit the breastfeeding relationship and encourage a plentiful milk supply.  However, even if you do not follow all of the Baby B’s, you can still have a successful and rewarding breastfeeding relationship!  Sometimes traumatic births or premature births delay bonding or some moms find it difficult to wear their babies.  These moms can still nurse their babies and have a good milk supply.  Following the Baby B’s just helps increase your likelihood of breastfeeding success and a good bonding experience.

Parenting styles can negatively or positively affect breastfeeding.  For instance, if a mom follows a more authoritarian parenting style with her baby, she may create a very strict feeding schedule for her baby that she does not violate even if her baby appears hungry.  This could lead to a decrease in milk supply.  Another example might be a mom who is very permissive.  She nurses her toddler whenever he wants -  day and night - and never puts her toddler down long enough so she can even take a 5 minute shower.  She is starting to grow resentful of motherhood.  It is wonderful that she is still nursing her toddler and that she is so attentive to him, but their relationship is out of balance. She is ignoring her own needs.

If you would like to join us for our next online meeting, go to St. Croix Birth and Parenting to register. We look forward to meeting you and chatting about breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood!