My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Breastfeeding and Birth Control

This is an excerpt from Permission to Mother:

Barbara’s breastfeeding is going well. Her OB wants to insert an IUD at her six week check-up. Susan said her OB will only give her the mini-pill. Rhonda said her OB wanted to give her a shot of Depo right after her baby was born. For women who exclusively breastfeed and have not resumed having a menstrual period, breastfeeding is an excellent form of birth control for the first six months of a new baby’s life. However, women are often not presented with this option. I can remember being told in my training, “Breastfeeding is good birth control for the population, but not for the individual.” Over and over women are indoctrinated, “If you don’t use prescription birth control you will get pregnant.” As a result, physicians give “individuals” birth control out of fear that another pregnancy may occur. Birth control is not without side effects including potential compromise to milk supply. Amenorrhea is a pleasant benefit for many exclusively breastfeeding mother. The hurry to make a non-cycling women cycle without careful counseling is disturbing. I have never understood the rush for OB’s to prescribe birth control. Birth is good for their business!

Ecologic breastfeeding is good birth control for women who are instructed properly. I also find that women who enjoy breastfeeding usually enjoy mothering more and want more babies eventually. I encourage women to learn more about lactational amenorrhea, child spacing, and natural family planning. The Couple to Couple League International offers information, books and classes.


Courtney said...

This is a topic close to my heart as we do not believe in BC. Thank you for posting this. Especially about side effects. It agrivates me that doctors prescribe them without telling the women what can happen. So many women are so uninformed!

I was thinking how thankful to God I am for allowing me to find you as our doctor. You have been such a blessing. I NEVER thought I would have a doctor who supports all of my views!!! Not to mention one who sees me and my kids. We all adore you!!

Sheila Kippley said...

CCL has a new teaching program that no longer teaches eco-breastfeeding. One can learn about the new CCL changes by going to our blog at (upper right corner)and hit CCL under ecological breastfeeding and STM (right side of blog). We have recently blogged about a serious mistake in the new CCL manual concerning their only rule for exclusive breastfeeding. Since I was the co-founder of CCL, all of these changes are disappointing, and CCL's failure thus far to insert a corrections sheet into the new manual, I believe, is not responsible. I believe this rule could result in unintended pregnancies. The researcher involved in many of the studies for Lactational Amenorrhea Method, Miriam Labbok, also blogged about this due to her concern. Soon we will be blogging about all the teachings CCL has dropped in their new course of instruction.
By the way, the CCL website has not been changed for a long time and still shows the promotion of ecological breastfeeding. I have been there several times since their new manual came out and their new manual was not there on the Home Page. It might be there soon, but in the recent past the website has been giving the wrong impression.
For free, short, and easy-to-read instructions on the Seven Standards of eco-breastfeeding and systematic NFP, go to the NFP manual on the Home Page of the above website.
Sheila Kippley, volunteer, NFP International,, author of "Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood" and "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing"

Permission to Mother said...

Thanks for sharing this information! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I will check out your blog (and study it) and encourage my readers too, also. I'll let you know if I have any questions. I'm sure I will.


Permission to Mother said...


Thanks again for posting.

In my office, I introduce women to nfp, but by no means am I the expert and teach it. I mostly make referrals to your book and our local ccli instructors. I didn't know about your website and blog. I will add it to resourceson my blog.

In my book I just introduce the idea of nfp and I don't go in more detail. The purpose is just to let women know they have more options than their OBs give them. Women are truly happy to have me empower them with this direction.

Your book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, is one of the few I choose(!) to have available in my office for resale and set out in the waiting room for exposure. Does the book need an insert? I am asking since it refers to ecological bf on the cover.

Here it is on my webstore:


Sheila Kippley said...

Denise, Thanks for promoting the book Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing; this book does not need an insert. Some might want to get the instructions for the Seven Standards of Eco-breastfeeding by downloading Part 3of the free, short, and easy-to-understand NFP manual at
I mentioned the need to insert a corrections sheet only for the new CCL manual "The Art of Natural Family Planning: Sudent Guide" that just came out. The only breastfeeding rule given for natural infertility in this new manual is the exclusive breastfeeding rule. CCL failed to mention the absence of menstruation is required. Here is their statement on page 161: "Some studies show that 97% of mothers who exclusively breastfeed can be assured of postpaprtum infertility for at least six months." This is also implied on page 254. This mistake could cause unintended pregnancies. Three persons blogged on this concern November 18. CCL's definition of "exclusive breastfeeding" in the new manual could be improved also. My husband talked to the CCL Executive Director by phone yesterday. So far CCL has not seen the need to insert a corrections sheet in their new Student Guide. Again this is the subject of my blog this Sunday at the above website. Sheila

Permission to Mother said...

I checked out your blog. I didn't know how much there was to say on nfp. My "mothers" and site visitors will benefit so much from your contribution.
I do agree with the absence of mestruation rule and incorporate that in my postpartum counseling.
Courtney has also continued this dialogue on her blog at:


Permission to Mother said...

I was thinking more about this and shared some of my thoughts with a friend more intimately familiar with CCLI's teaching than I am.

This is what I learned: the new manual is only meant to be basics of the method, in order to trim down on the size of the old manual (not a lot of details about those special scenarios like teens, postpartum & BF, anovulatory, chronic medication and peri-menopause). CCLI is supposed to teach ALL those special scenario classes separately. That way classes can be tailored for those at different stages and phases at which time more information will be given and not burden couples with information non-applicable to them.

This is an opportunity to expand on my original post and let site visitors (who are not all bf mothers) know that nfp is not just for bf, amenorrhic, <6 month postpartum women, but can be applied through all our fertile years. I encourage you to check out the links!

Catalina said...

I agree with Courtney! I am 10 months post partum and still no cycle and thank God Dr. Punger gave me the info about all the side effects!!! Plus, it feels right to not be taking anything my body doesn't "need".

gentledoula said...

Psalms 127:3 reads, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward."

If I knew G_d wanted to bless me with, say, a million dollars, would I be looking for a way to prevent His blessing? or to find the best timing for His gift? No way. More likely I would accept His gift of a million dollars with open arms, like NOW.

When G_d tells us that children are His gift, we can rest in the knowledge that He wants to bless us in ways we can't even imagine at this stage of our lives. He has the best "control" for birth control. Is this always an easy decision for couples to arrive at? From experience, I can say a resounding, "NO!" But if we truly seek God's wisdom, He will give it to us.

Visit to see more spiritual precedence in the area of birth control. This site very closely mirrors my own views on this personal topic. I don't have all the answers ... but I know Who does.

Permission to Mother said...

I have continued my thoughts at the top of the blog, b/c I wanted to provide hyperlinks and length. I've been thinking about the wealth of information here.

This is the URL:

Your comments and ideas as always are appreciated.


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