Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category

A question about breastfeeding

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Another message I thought you might enjoy. My response follows the message below.

Dear Katie,

I read your book, The Garden of Fertility. It’s great! Very helpful. We are loosely following a Weston Price diet, taking our butter and codliver oil every day, eating no sugar or processed foods, eating plenty of grass fed meat and raw butter and eggs and fermented foods and organic vegetables. We don’t have nearly enough organ meats or bone stock. I have 2 children, one is 5 and one is two and a half.

I’m still nursing the youngest a bit. He’s small for his age, though his big brother isn’t, but my husband and I aren’t really that big either, so I expect it’s genes rather than diet related, but who really knows? He’s very healthy and bright and lovely. His teeth are closer together than his brother’s but there are still spaces between them.

We started our version of the WAP diet a few months before getting pregnant with him. Before that we were macrobiotic for many years, although I started eating cheese, yoghurt, lamb and chicken when I became pregnant with my first. I nursed the first right through my second pregnancy and just to go to sleep at night for a couple of months after the second was born. I’ve never really been able to find anything about how long “traditional” people nursed their babies, and if they nursed when pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or if there was a period of time before getting pregnant where they were no longer nursing in order to build up their reserves again. Do you know? I’m just wondering about getting pregnant again and if I should stop nursing entirely and wait a while before I try. Do you have any opinion about this? I just want to make sure I’m doing the best thing particularly as it’s my third. I’m sorry to throw so much information at you. I’m not sure if you can help, but I’d be really interested in anything you had to say. Thanks!


Thank you for your email. I do not know how long people breastfed in traditional cultures. I can recommend two books: “Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent” by Meredith Small. You might also enjoy “Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection” by Sarah Blaffer Herdy.

I will also say that I have questions about how the number of children that a woman has and the space between her children have been affected by the phenomenal changes on our planet in the last 150 years. Quality food is much more difficult to get. We are all experiencing increased population density, and technology can rule the pace of our lives. How do these factors affect creating healthy families and healthy child-spacing? I don’t know! I do know that I do have questions.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness on these matters.

Very best,

Katie Singer