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  #1  
Old Jan 15, '10, 10:51 am
joeflow joeflow is offline
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Default Post-partum NFP Charting

So my wife is just over 2 months post-partum, and we are looking to resume intercourse, but she really doesn't want to get pregnant for atleast several more months, since she student teaches in the fall.

We used the Billings Ovulation method before we got pregnant, and are looking to use some form of NFP now, but I am having a hard time finding good info about it.

She is breastfeeding exclusively, but we don't want to depend on LAM or ecological breastfeeding since 1)sometimes the feedings can be 4-5 hours apart at night and 2)it's possible she's returning to her cycle since she had very slippery CM 3 days in a row earlier this week.

So can we chart the CM just like before, and use that as a reliable indicator while she is still breastfeeding? Are there any other reliable indicators we can use as well (i.e. ovulation predictor sticks) I understand temperature may not be the best idea since she awakens so often to breastfeed.

Any help is appreciated. We've gotten pretty good at abstaining these last 2 months, so we would love even just a couple days a month we could make love.
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Old Jan 15, '10, 11:13 am
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Lil_M Lil_M is offline
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Smile Re: Post-partum NFP Charting

Everyone's going to say this, so I'll be first I'd make an appt. with your instructor. I'm SO glad I went after I had my baby because I was so rusty on all the rules after only 9 months!

If you're using Billings (I use Creighton, very similar) then I'd stick with it. I can't imagine trying to temp with a baby interrupting sleep. I don't think there would be much success using OPKs given the unpredictability of postpartum fertility- you'd have to use them every day, and they don't give you enough advance notice if you're trying to avoid. Usually it's wait 3 days after the appearance of fertile mucus, and the evening of the 4th dry (or non-peak type) is safe.
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Old Jan 15, '10, 11:45 am
Em_in_FL Em_in_FL is offline
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Default Re: Post-partum NFP Charting

Yes - as Lil_M said, see if you can make an appointment with your instructor if you're a little rusty on all the postpartum rules.

I use sympto-thermal, but still the cervical mucous sign is very important during the postpartum months. I also never wanted to rely on Eco-BF'ing (even though I exclusively BF), so I was always very meticulous with my charting. Personally, in the challenging postpartum months, I found the cervical position sign (used in the sympto-thermal method) to by my MOST useful sign. I often had confusing mucous and temperature patterns during that time and the cervical position really cleared up the confusion - for me. But I was very successful - detecting my first postpartum ovulations after all three of my pregnancies without a problem...

Good luck!
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Old Jan 15, '10, 2:40 pm
joeflow joeflow is offline
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Default Re: Post-partum NFP Charting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Em_in_FL View Post
Yes - as Lil_M said, see if you can make an appointment with your instructor if you're a little rusty on all the postpartum rules.

I use sympto-thermal, but still the cervical mucous sign is very important during the postpartum months. I also never wanted to rely on Eco-BF'ing (even though I exclusively BF), so I was always very meticulous with my charting. Personally, in the challenging postpartum months, I found the cervical position sign (used in the sympto-thermal method) to by my MOST useful sign. I often had confusing mucous and temperature patterns during that time and the cervical position really cleared up the confusion - for me. But I was very successful - detecting my first postpartum ovulations after all three of my pregnancies without a problem...

Good luck!
Yes, we plan on meeting with our instructor when we can get time.

But until then, post partum, are the CM readings all over the place, or is there still actually a pattern, just maybe different than before? Is that kind of abrupt change right before/during the fertile phase still happen post partum?
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Old Jan 15, '10, 6:30 pm
ChelseaRae ChelseaRae is offline
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Default Re: Post-partum NFP Charting

We use Billings and I'm currently breastfeeding.

Your wife will have to chart for at least 2 weeks (with no intercourse) to establish a new Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP) and then, if you continue to use billings you will use the early day rules until she starts to bleed.

That being said, I would highly recommend you set up a follow up with your instructor, breastfeeding women tend to be very fertile and it is important to keep contact with your instructor until your wife feels comfortable charting during this time. You don't need to do any other cross checks with temperature or anything like that while charting, Billings is extremely effective when used correctly.
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Old Jan 16, '10, 6:41 am
Em_in_FL Em_in_FL is offline
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Default Re: Post-partum NFP Charting

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeflow View Post
Yes, we plan on meeting with our instructor when we can get time.

But until then, post partum, are the CM readings all over the place, or is there still actually a pattern, just maybe different than before? Is that kind of abrupt change right before/during the fertile phase still happen post partum?
Unless she's having a regular cycle, no - there would be no rhyme, reason, or pattern to the CM signs. You have to chart on a day by day basis looking at the signs as they come.

For me, personally, when I was able to detect my postpartum ovulations, there was no pattern before it happened. I simply noticed that it increased in quantity and fertile quality (slippery, stretchy, clear, like egg-whites), and also it was correlating with my cervical position sign (open, soft, high). I had several on-off patches of mucous and cervical position like this, but when I finally ovulated it was even MORE... and then a few days after those signs dissipated I was able to cross-check with the temperature sign, which only shows a sustained elevated temperature if progesterone has been released - and that only happens after ovulation. So the temperature sign confirmed what I already guessed in the mucous and cervical position signs...

HTH!
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