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Breastfeeding + Sex = Immoral | Catholic Life

Breastfeeding + Sex = Immoral

Note: this post is sarcastic and not serious.

It is deeply disturbing to note the number of otherwise faithful Catholics who have no problem with engaging in sexual intercourse within months of the wife giving birth, and even while she is still breastfeeding! This, of course, was not always the case as faithful Christians used to believe that it was wrong to engage in conjugal intercourse while a woman was pregnant or breastfeeding.

But now Catholics disregard tradition and selfishly engage in a practice which results in abortions. We all know that women who nurse are unlikely to get pregnant. But what most people ignore is the fact that many (all?!) women’s hormones take some time to regulate after pregnancy and breastfeeding. This means that once she begins to ovulate the luteal phase is often too short to sustain pregnancy (luteal phase defect).

In the postpartum women, 32% of first cycles were anovulatory, and among ovulatory cycles, 73% had abnormally low luteal phase PdG excretion or short luteal phases. In second and subsequent cycles, 15% were anovulatory and 26% had luteal phase abnormalities. Source

Breastfeeding, of course, only prolongs the process of getting hormones back in balance. This means that women are extending the amount of time during which they may have sex while their bodies cannot sustain pregnancy, therefore causing abortions.

Your NFP teacher may tell you that you are “naturally infertile” and unlikely to get pregnant in the first few cycles after giving birth or as long as you are breastfeeding, but unless she is exceptionally informed and honest, she won’t tell you that the reason is that your body is incapable of sustaining pregnancy. Look around you. You know all of your friends who have babies 13 months apart? Well that is just because their bodies somehow managed to overcome the odds and sustain life. But most women who have sex within months of pregnancy or nursing simply end up with abortions they never knew about.

It is immoral to have sex before your hormones have returned to normal. You may disregard this fact, but if you do so you are killing your babies.

Note: please remember, this was all sarcastic. I will return to seriousness in the comment section should you wish to discuss it and the logic behind telling women that they may not use artificial hormones for pain management.

16 Responses to “Breastfeeding + Sex = Immoral”

  1. Mike Baldwin 18. Dec, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Nice to read the writings of a thinking Catholic.

  2. Justin 18. Dec, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    I noted your note at the beginning of this post after I read the post. I will not then post my original comment to the post that I wanted to post.

    • Rae 18. Dec, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

      I just added another bold note at the end. Does that seem better?

      • Justin 18. Dec, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

        It was fine at the top. Maybe just not as small. Actually I was a little disappointed to see that it was sarcastic. I was looking forward to a nice discussion here about this. But alas, it is no longer necessary.

        • Rae 18. Dec, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

          Okay, just made it larger. And if you’re still itching for a fight you could scroll down to my last post (which I assume you’d disagree with) and comment on that. :-)

          • Justin 18. Dec, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

            Not looking for a fight. Too tired for that. As for your last post on the pill, from my understanding the church does allow using the pill for other medical reasons. Personally I am not informed enough to post any opinion on it. I am on the fence with the use of the pill for other medical purposes. My wife, when we were dating was told she should use it for her acne and she refused it. That is the only experience I have with this issue. At that time pregnancy was not an issue anyway.

            Sorry, no fight from me on that. BTW a good healthy debate is well, good and healthy sometimes.

            • Helen 19. Dec, 2010 at 1:48 am #

              I can’t think of any moral reasons to refuse use of the pill for pain management or acne control, but I can definitely think of some health reasons. I’ve known people who refuse to use the pill because they were afraid it was against the rules. Now, that’s not using your conscience, formed well and in accordance with the teaching authority of the Church; it’s living in fear!

              • Rae 19. Dec, 2010 at 6:32 am #

                I’m actually quite opposed to the pill for health reasons, but the fact is that many women (including myself, at one point) do not have better options available to them. I got to the point where I was willing to accept guaranteed breast cancer in order to be able to function, though blood clots still scared me when I dealt with a new feeling of pain in one of my legs for the first time.

                And just to clarify, I’m not disagreeing with you at all, just chiming in.

                • Helen 19. Dec, 2010 at 10:50 am #

                  Totally with you. It’s a balancing act. I’ve been diagnosed with the pill for therapeutic reasons, but, as it turned out, I was able to visit a medical doctor (an NFP doctor, actually), who was able to treat me alternatively. But that was me. There are certain things that require therapy but the negative effects of the pill could very well outweigh any positive ones. But of course when the positives outweigh the negatives, and you don’t have a doctor nearby who offers alternative therapy, or can’t afford said doctor, the choice is clear. I think that’s the case with a lot of medication- you don’t want to use it unless you absolutely have to, and it can be a very good thing for many.

                • Helen 19. Dec, 2010 at 10:51 am #

                  *Or there IS no alternative therapy.

            • Rae 19. Dec, 2010 at 6:32 am #

              I agree. :-)

  3. Kelly 01. Aug, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I was looking for a real answer to this question. What is the Catholic stance on having sex during breastfeeding when one knows her luteal phase is most likely too short to sustain pregnancy?

    Also, I don’t think it would be considered an abortion, but more of a miscarriage because the death was unintended. In other words, if the baby did survive then a faithful couple would be open to this new life. But if the baby died, it is more of an unfortunate consequence of a short luteal phase due to breastfeeding.

    Regardless, I still wonder whether it is immoral to have sex during this time if it is known that a baby is very unlikely to survive. Any Catholic answers would be appreciated!

    • Allicia F 02. Aug, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Barb has is pretty good.

      as far as my opinion/understanding- First of all you don’t know how long your luteal phase will be until its done, so there is always the possibility that an act could result in a sustainable pregnancy. I mean eventually your cycle will return, who knows if its that month. On the other side, it would seem to me that as long as the ‘miscarriage’ wasn’t the intended result of having sex at a fertile time you aren’t imposing any immorality into it. If a couple decides they are open to life and act upon it that can’t be immoral.

  4. Barb 02. Aug, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    As I understand it, openness to life does not presuppose continual fertility. It just means openness to the possibility. It doesn’t even mean “actively seeking” pregnancy but rather placing no physical or chemical barriers in the way of the creation of a new life. Sex has both unitive and procreative sides, and even if the procreative is eliminated through infertility or after menopause, the unitive part is still very important.

  5. KristinD 02. Aug, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I also believe that part of the short luteal phase during the postpartum time can additionally indicate a weak or insufficient ovulation. Sometimes a short luteal phase is the only issue and yes early miscarriage could occur, but it’s also not uncommon, especially during the postpartum time from what I understand, that ovulation itself is weak and produces an egg that is under developed and unable to be fertilized. Because of the weak ovulation the corpus luteum does not produce enough progesterone and leads to the short LP. A person’s chart can give clues to this, but just wanted to throw out a reminder that at times the short LP is just a symptom of an issue happening earlier in the cycle.

  6. Kelly 09. Aug, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Thank you Barb, Kristin, and Allicia for your answers. They do help me a lot.

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