How to begin NFP and which method best to use


Hello everyone.

After marrying this past November, my husband and I were blessed with a baby, who we are expecting to meet face to face this August. Before marrying, we attended a NFP class offered through pre-Cana. In that class, we learned about the cervical mucus method. Now, I have been reading about the basal body temperature method. From what I have learned thus far, it seems a couple would benefit the most by using both methods to accurately track the wife’s fertile and infertile days. Is that true? I would really appreciate the advice and wisdom from those couples on this forum who have and/or currently are using an NFP method. I would like to know, which method do you use? Is one more effective than the other? And also, could someone help explain to me how I should begin tracking my fertility and infertility after pregnancy? I read on some NFP sites that the wife should begin keeping a record of her temperature and/or mucus 3 months prior to actually practicing it. Is that true? Would my husband and I have to abstain for 3 months so I could figure out my cycle?

Thank you for your help.


My DH and I learned the Sympto-Thermal method as taught by the Couple to Couple League. I charted about 6 months before we got married and liked the temperature taking aspect of it the best. I am not good with interpreting cervical fluid, so I really depended a lot on the temp taking. I thought it was cool to see my temperatures rise and fall. I knew the exact day my period was going to start because when I woke up, I had a low temp after 2 weeks of high temps. I kept the thermometer on top of my alarm clock so when I hit the snooze it was the first thing I touched.

We practiced NFP for like 10 days after the wedding. :rolleyes: What can I say? We were excited to be with each other after 3.5 years of abstinence. We did not plan our child, but we knew we were taking a chance based on my charts.

Post partum charting is very challenging and I can honestly say that I am not looking forward to it and am afraid of conceiving too soon after DS will be born. I’ll really need to bone up on the cervical fluid!

Two books to recommend,

The Art of NFP and Taking Charge of Your Fertility


Congratulations on your marriage and pregnancy, from a fellow pregnant newlywed!

Yes, absolutely take a class in the Sympto-Thermal method (uses all the available natural signs to pinpoint fertility). And yes, it will be more challenging to chart after giving birth, but not impossible. NFP works on a month by month basis, so having a ‘history’ of data is helpful but not essential. I don’t think extensive abstinence would be necessary.

Are you considering breastfeeding your baby? Besides teh innumerable other benefits, ecological breastfeeding has a natural child-spacing effect (can delay the return of your fertility). A good NFP class should cover this. We took our class through the Couple to Couple League and were very pleased with the instruction.

Best wishes to you!


Hmmm… probably not important, but just in case anyone is familiar with the screen name RAR… that last post and this one are NOT by RAR, but by his wife (me), who apparently doesn’t know how to un-log him from CAF and log myself (TripleR) in before submitting posts.

Wouldn’t want anyone to think RAR was a pregnant newlywed wife!


We use the NFP after the first child and between child 2 - 8 for 10 years.After the child Nr.8 ,we use the Calendar method:) ,with abstain during the fertile times.We have 12 childs now and we want more!:thumbsup:


First off… congratulations on your marriage and your new baby!

I want to let you know right off… that learning NFP immediately after having a baby is going to be challenging, but certainly not impossible. Actually, your knowledge of the mucous method may be extremely helpful during this postpartum time, as your wife will not necessarily have a regular cycle immediately after having the baby (especially if she’s breastfeeding… her fertility will be delayed even further).

Learning the sympto-thermal method will be extremely helpful in the long run… at least in my opinion… because I’m a person that likes having lots of DATA to work with… and that’s all this method gives you, is some additional data points in order to feel confident in your ability to track her fertility.

One thing that was especially helpful to me in those postpartum months was the cervical position sign. The temperature sign is not extremely useful at first except for verifying that ovulation already has occurred - it’s a secondary sign to cross-check the primary signs of cervical mucous and position.

Here are some great resources on the sympto-thermal method: (this has a free how-to manual on the site) (this site is not religiously based, so ignore the parts where it mentions using a barrier method during the fertile phase - however it is very scientifically sound and explains the biology behind the method extremely well… GREAT book!) (The couple to couple league is a great resource)…

Hope that helps a little! Good luck on your journey and God bless!


You will get lots of advice and probably get several opinions on which method is the best.

My suggestion is find out what kind of instruction is offered in your area. Sometimes you’ll find that there are teachers of one method nearby but not another.

Personally I think it’s worth it to have a teacher who can help you. I also think it’s a good idea to have your husband attend at least some classes with you.

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