Do You Use Natural Family Planning


#1

How long have you been using Natural Family Planning? Who trained you? Are you still a member of that group? Are you an instructor?

I have been using NFP for 12 years. We have 4 children. Couple to Couple League trained us. Yes, we are still a member. They are a very helpful group. No, I do not instruct but have guided some women in trying to get pregnant.

Jen


#2

[quote=Jenlyn]How long have you been using Natural Family Planning? Who trained you? Are you still a member of that group? Are you an instructor?

I have been using NFP for 12 years. We have 4 children. Couple to Couple League trained us. Yes, we are still a member. They are a very helpful group. No, I do not instruct but have guided some women in trying to get pregnant.

Jen
[/quote]

We’ve been using nfp for just over a year as we got married last winter. We took classes from CCL which were a great help, and I read up on nfp a great deal on my own (and still do). We’re still members but not instructors…we’ve talked about the possibility of teaching nfp through CCL but it’s not something we feel called to at this point. We teach indirectly though. My husband teaches religion at a Catholic school and he has a unit on theology of the body for his students; plus he gets asked about the morality of contraception frequently. I’ll share a little about nfp when female co-workers bring up birth control and want to know “what I’m using”. We don’t have any children yet but hopefully it won’t be too much longer :slight_smile:


#3

I took three classes in NPF in September 2003. I have been charting since then. It was from a lady who had been using it for 20+ years. I am not a member of any kind of NFP group, but I do have many friends and family members who use NFP and who are supportive of our decision to use it. My doctor is also NFP only.

I got married last spring and must admit, although I know exactly how to use NFP - I am purposely sloppy with it. My husband and I felt that it was too scientific. It was hard for us to see where faith came in. The decision to be less rigid with it has made a huge difference for us in our relationship with each other and with God.


#4

[quote=Jenlyn]How long have you been using Natural Family Planning? Who trained you? Are you still a member of that group? Are you an instructor?

I have been using NFP for 12 years. We have 4 children. Couple to Couple League trained us. Yes, we are still a member. They are a very helpful group. No, I do not instruct but have guided some women in trying to get pregnant.

Jen
[/quote]

I am getting married in August and will be attending my first NFP class on Monday. I am going to learn the Creighton Method. I’m excited about learning it!


#5

[quote=1ke]I am getting married in August and will be attending my first NFP class on Monday. I am going to learn the Creighton Method. I’m excited about learning it!
[/quote]

My wife and I also use the Creighton Method. We’ll be relearning it soon, since we just had our second and got out of the practice for nine months. We found it to be far easier than the Sympto-thermal method taught by CCL. Observations required much less discipline, or at least it seemed so to us. It definitely worked for us to avoid. We didn’t really use it to acheive, we basically just abandoned the method.

Whatever method you use, there is a certain joy in knowing that you’re following God’s plan and being in tune with the rhythms of your (or your wife’s) body. For us, this more than makes up for the difficulty of periodic abstinence.


#6

My wife and I have been using NFP (Symto-Theramal Method as taught by the Couple to Couple League) for one year. We started using it after our fourth child was born. I has both strengthend our marriage and my wife is so excited to actually understand how her body works. She is also very upset that no one ever taught this stuff to her in all her years of public school “Health Education”. She learned alot about other forms of birth controll, but how her body worked was relegated to one day of class. I am glad she, and I, had this opportunity.

Glory to the Father who wills men’s salvation, Glory to the Son who willed it and Glory to the Holy Spirit who inspires us to live it.

God Bless,
Ross


#7

You people must have lots of lovemaking! How it’s a sacrifice to abstain during the fertile period. (not trying to be mean here!)

We make love once, maybe twice a month. . my wife does not physically enjoy it. Should we still attend NFP classes, or with that infrequency is there a pretty wide window as to infertile times?


#8

[quote=ppcpilot]We make love once, maybe twice a month. . my wife does not physically enjoy it. Should we still attend NFP classes, or with that infrequency is there a pretty wide window as to infertile times?
[/quote]

Generally, you only have to abstain for about a week or so every month (depending upon how strict you want to be).

Unsolicited advice, which I am somewhat reluctant to give: seek help about whatever sexual issues there might be. There are books that could be helpful.


#9

pilot, I’m learning (slowly) women are wired a bit different than us.

Two tips you may or may not have already heard. Visual cues have little or no effect on them. They need emotional turn-ons to precede the physical. Do silly, ‘pointless’ romantic things once in a while. I’m a total hypocrite here since I’m bad at this myself, just can’t seem to get it through my thick skull how/why my wife responds so dramatically to things like a flower, card, surprise date, a no TV wine/cheese night, etc.

Second, buy a tube of KY jelly (I confess to being unable to bring a tube of ‘Astroglide’ to the checkout) for, um, lubrication. It will likely dramatically reduce her discomfort. This is especially helpful for NFP folks since the non-fertile time is often one with little or no natural lube.

It tough to be frank about such things. I hope somebody says something helpful to reward you for your honesty. It’s a sacrifice because one of those times she feels receptive might BE during the fertile times! Ouch. Thus, you have to work extra hard at the relationship to increase the odds during the dry times.

On topic, Yes. We’ve used the Billing Method for our 5 years of marriage. Totally effective both ways. The first month we decided to be open, we got pregnant with our first. The next time, it took until the third month. We’re blessed with some serious fertility! Hope we also get enough maturity and patience to be open to more…


#10

[quote=manualman]pilot, I’m learning (slowly) women are wired a bit different than us.

Two tips you may or may not have already heard. Visual cues have little or no effect on them. They need emotional turn-ons to precede the physical. Do silly, ‘pointless’ romantic things once in a while. I’m a total hypocrite here since I’m bad at this myself, just can’t seem to get it through my thick skull how/why my wife responds so dramatically to things like a flower, card, surprise date, a no TV wine/cheese night, etc.

Second, buy a tube of KY jelly (I confess to being unable to bring a tube of ‘Astroglide’ to the checkout) for, um, lubrication. It will likely dramatically reduce her discomfort. This is especially helpful for NFP folks since the non-fertile time is often one with little or no natural lube.
[/quote]

Coming from the female side, you definitely have it figured out. The little extra’s that you do, you may think they are unimportant, help. Your second point is right on as well!.:thumbsup:

Jen


#11

[quote=ppcpilot]You people must have lots of lovemaking! How it’s a sacrifice to abstain during the fertile period. (not trying to be mean here!)

We make love once, maybe twice a month. . my wife does not physically enjoy it. Should we still attend NFP classes, or with that infrequency is there a pretty wide window as to infertile times?
[/quote]

You should attend NFP classes. The information presented is invaluable to a marriage. My wife and I attended after my second child was born. It helped our spiritual life more than I could have imagined. That in itself was worth it.

If you are Catholic, you are required to accept children as the Holy Spirit prompts. Knowing that ‘this moment of sexual inspiration’ could be a ‘moment of life creating inspiration’ is very powerful in a relationship. We found that most of the time it makes the decision to proceed easier.

We also found that NFP helped us to “let go and let God” more often. Our 4 children (+one more due in March) teach us lessons in humility daily!

Peace.


#12

My husband and I have been married for a little over 2 years. I was on birth control prior to marriage because of severe cramps. I tried everything!!! I was still using it when I got married, but am not the best at taking it regularly enough and now have an 18 month old and one on the way! We have considered NFP, but are concerned that we will “agree” to way too many kids for us. I had my 1st one C-section and am planning on the next one being one too. My doctor has warned me against too many C-sections. I am not sure what is best for me and my family. Please no judgement replies!! I love my kids and originally wanted 4, but I am not wanting to go against my doctor’s advice.


#13

Hi kmeg, welcome to the forums. :wave: I have had three C-sections thus far to deliver my three gorgeous boys. When I expressed concern to my obstetrician about this possibly hindering my desire to have a large family he said (quote) “Don’t let a third C-section stop you from having more children. I have mothers returning for their fourth, fifth and sixth C-sections. Don’t stop having babies!” :slight_smile: I know that there are many ob’s that have a conservative view point on how many C-sections a woman should have, but I just thought it might be interesting to hear that there is no “magic standard number”. From what I understand it is best decided on a case by case basis, taking into account the health of the individual. If you were hoping to have more dear children you could always seek a second opinion. :slight_smile:

I haven’t actually gotten around to learning NFP yet. I’ve been meaning to because I would like to learn more about my own body and I may need it to help me fall pregnant in the future.

But when I converted and my DH reverted to the Church we decided to leave our family size completely in God’s hands. The month following this decision we fell pregnant with our dear little boy Tom, now 14 months old. :slight_smile:

One of our reasons for not avoiding pregnancy in any way is in reparation for our past use of artificial birth control. When we were protestants we believed that there was nothing wrong with ABC. As we looked into the teachings of the Catholic Church we learned that it is indeed a mortal sin.

We were shocked to find that once upon a time all churches agreed that ABC was completely against the will of God, was morally reprehensable and that this was supported biblically. We learnt that one by one the protestant denominations fell to pressure from their congregations to allow ABC and thus change their previous interpretations of scripture on this issue.

One Church alone has stood against this pressure and upheld the teachings of Christ. This was actually one of the things that made the Church so attractive to us - it was an unmoveable rock guarding the 2,000 year old teachings of Our Lord.

It is sometimes difficult for my husband and I to find the faith to completely trust God in our family size. Our eldest son is five and is severely intellectually and physically disabled. Next comes our two year old - a wild handful - make that two handfuls! :rolleyes: Then our “easy one” (thankyou Lord!) Tom. :angel1: I am a ‘stay at home Mum’ so we are doing it on one income. I do worry about things like the budget, how to meet everyone’s needs, coping with all the stress and strain of family life, staying sane :smiley: etc etc .

However God has provided the grace and the resources with each new arrival…as they arrived! God has been truly merciful and good to us poor sinners.

I really hope you do not consider this to be a “judgement post” as it is merely the story of our family thus far. Hopefully God has many more little blessings to send us and we will have more to add to our story. :slight_smile:


#14

My husband and I took the class fall of 2005 while we were engaged. Couple to Couple League trained us as well. We haven’t really “left” the group but never had any questions thus far. We’re not instructors since we’ve only been married 4 months. I had been sort of “tracking” my cycles for a while by then (I had very regular cycles and my parents were great advocates of NFP so I knew the basics). My husband learned so much and was amazed. We planned on using NFP once we got married, because we felt we could not afford to have a child and me be able to stay at home (we have a lot of debt).

Wedding came, honeymoon followed, I was fertile and we laughed, said, “God it’s in your hands” and didn’t think we’d get pregnant on the first try. We figured we’d start after the honeymoon. Then God laughed, blessed us with a child and helped us out financially and we’re expecting this April! :smiley:

However, we plan to practice ecological breastfeeding and NFP is inevitable to a certain point no matter what since I can’t help but know when I’m fertile and when I’m not regardless now. :slight_smile:


#15

We’ve been married almost 6 years (already!?!), and have been using the Sympto-Thermal method of NFP the entire time…

We were taught through our diocese… they use a small, generic text… and I just loved the simplicity. It was only about 40 pages long and really easy to understand…

After learning more about NFP online, I discovered the Couple to Couple league and ordered their book as another resource, but I personally did not like that book. It was way too long and overwhelming. NFP does not have to be that difficult to learn!

We have two children and hope to have more in the future. I loved using the ST method while I was breastfeeding in order to see my cycles return.
I didn’t attempt “ecological BF’ing” because it didn’t suit me at all… but still BF my boys to 13+ and 17+ months of age!

I’m not an instructor… but may look into it in the future (hopefully using the say text we learned with!) once I’m not so busy with the kids.
But I have helped a LOT of women online with tracking their cycles and exposing them to NFP… I LOVE IT! :thumbsup:


#16

Thanks for that info. I am 27 and my husband is 26. I am afraid to leave it all in God’s hands because at our rate we could have more than we can financially handle. I love my kids and if I thought we could handle it I’d have 20, but I also love my husband and don’t want to strain our marriage with financial burden. I think I have decided to use NFP after the birth of this child and see how it goes. I am praying that God will help us to stick with it better than I did with ABC. I think that if it becomes a joint responsability then maybe it will be easier. My husband is on board with me which is great!! I am so lucky to have him!!


#17

That’s wonderful kmeg!!! :smiley: I am sure God will answer your prayers and assist you in NFP. Your dear husband sounds gorgeous - what a catch! :slight_smile: God bless you all.


#18

I’d like to point out another method of NFP: the Standard Days Method.

natural-family-planning.info/

This method was invented at Georgetown University in the late 1090’s. It is perhaps the easiest quickest method to learn (but not the most effective). It’s effectiveness when followed correctly is estimated at about 95%.

Ron


#19

Married 6 years, used Billings Method NFP whole time. First month we DIDN’T try to avoid, we had baby#1. Second baby took ~5 months of trying. 3rd baby (in progress) came about by experimenting to see what would happen if we cheated the early day rules by 1 day. Those rules are spot ON!!! :slight_smile: Obviously, we were ambivalent about how serious our serious reason was.

Doctors would probably consider this baby an instance of ‘failed’ NFP since we didn’t ‘plan’ it. I consider it a success of church teaching since our natural fertility and passions beat out our marginal worries about finances and emotional capcity (to go through it again!). Just as God designed it to work.


#20

Dude, i can totally relate to the purposely sloppy with it thing. The way i see it, we could probably afford another one. I have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mommy, and i don’t think God would create life without providing for it. I think our children will benefit, too, from the fact that there are many siblings to play with and learn to share things with instead of being an only child who gets showered with all sorts of material things but is left spiritually unnourished. I love my husband and the most important thing we can provide our kids is a loving two parent household. After a recent novena to the Blessed Mother, God blessed us with a home of our own and a new job with higher pay for my husband. We aren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination, but we have all our needs and many of our wants provided for by the Lord just because we trust in Him.
To anyone afraid of having more than you can provide for, I say let go and let God. In the Bible He blessed men with a full quiver. He never cursed any man with so many mouths to feed that they all died impoverished. Sterility was a curse, not fertility. The love between God the Father and God the Son was so great that it formed another person, the Holy Spirit. Children are a lot like that. What in this world can you have that is greater?
NFP is great because you can use it to achieve as well as postpone pregnancy, but i am partial to the Russian Roulette method of family “planning”.


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