The 7 Standards

It's World Breastfeeding week and all over the web you will find awesome articles about breastfeeding. I love this topic and could talk about it for hours but since I'm still pretty new at it, I'm going to try and take the "listen before you speak" approach and let some of the more experienced mommas pass on their wisdom instead of rambling on myself.

But I do want to share a couple resources I've found helpful. For those newer to my blog, it may seem like I am comfortable with being odd, and I am to an extent. But I'm also a rule follower. I hated skipping classes in college, I don't like to jaywalk, and it even took Craig a while to convince me it was okay to change a recipe (and thank goodness he released me from that stronghold!).

The problem is, with kids, I don't like "the rules." According to the rules, I'm "supposed" to have a baby in the hospital, I'm "supposed" to give her a bunch of shots, I'm "supposed" to put her in a crib, and when she gets to be about 5 years old, I'm "supposed" to send her off to spend her days with a bunch of other 5 year olds. So Craig and I have decided not to follow whoever's rules those are and do things our own way and I'm glad, but I also miss my rules.

But when I decided to do cue/ecological/demand* feeding I thought I would be giving up the rules. Schedulers have rules. Cue Feeders just feed the baby when it is hungry. Most cue feeders probably like that but as a first time mom, I felt insecure without rules. So I found it quite reassuring to read the "7 Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding." They reminded me that I was doing the right thing because I was "following the rules" and I thought I'd pass them along.

1. Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; don't use other liquids and solids.
2. Pacify your baby at your breasts.
3. Don't use bottles and pacifiers. I actually tried to not follow this completely by giving her a pacifier. I didn't really want to except I knew we would be driving to my parents' house a lot and it would make the car trip easier. Turns out, she won't take one - at all. She gets very mad if I even suggest such a thing.
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.

*Technically, cue feeding and ecological feeding are different, cue feeding is just feeding whenever the baby cues you while ecological feeding is feeding whenever the baby cues you in order to hold off the return of fertility but in practice, they are pretty much the same. And don't even get me started on why I hate the term "demand feeding" - or maybe you should, I've got a pretty good rant ready to spout out whenever the need arises and it might be entertaining.


  1. Thanks for promoting the Seven Standards! I'm also promoting them during World Breastfeeding Week, one Standards a day this week, at www.NFPandmore.org. Every woman deserves to know this option.
    Sheila Kippley, author of The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor.

  2. that super model Giselle has stated that breastfeeding during the first 6 months should be a world wide law. It made me think of you. Although, many people are really upset with her, which I think is dumb. Even if one doesn't agree, she has the right to say it.

  3. I hadn't heard that about Giselle, weird. While I definitely do NOT think it should be a law, I do find it sad that the numbers of babies exclusively breastfeed during their first 6 months is so low (less than 40% globally). While here in America we have access to clean water and healthy food so those babies who aren't breastfeed are not likely to die, it is estimated that as many as 1.5 million lives could be saved around the world if that was at 100%.

    Even worse, some companies are doing it on purpose: http://www.breastfeeding.com/advocacy/advocacy_boycott.html


    Any people wonder why we need lactivists?