So may I suggest a Prayer of the Faithful like this: “For a rebirth of chastity, for a stop to contraception, for a stop to abortion, and for a culture of life, let us pray to the Lord.” Implicit in that is a prayer that engaged couples will be chaste and that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding. And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons.
I thought this was very interesting. Thankfully we have gotten to the point where "most" faithful Catholics recognize the importance of breastfeeding and at least do so for the first several months. Actually, *most* Americans in general breastfeed, at least initially. Studies tell us that the initiation rate of breastfeeding is around 70%, however the duration is still low and at 6 months only 30% are still breastfeeding and only 14% at 12 months.
As Catholics, I think we are called to "do more" than the general population.
The Catechism of The Catholic Church states that
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:
I firmly believe that the teaching of NFP MUST be taught in conjunction with ecological breastfeeding. Ecological breastfeeding teaches us that "natural child spacing" (that is a child spacing of 2.5-4 years) IS possible. Since the catechism teaches us that NFP is permissible for the use of "just" reasons (and there is MUCH debate about what THAT entails). With the use of ecological breastfeeding, the need for NFP is greatly reduced.
So, I join the Kippley's in their prayer....that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding. And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons.