New Catholic/ New Mom and NFP

My husband and I have just come into the Catholic Church. Two months later, I gave birth to our first child (on December 29). We’re very happy to be new parents but, the whole NFP charting is very difficult to start while nursing and having just given birth 2 months ago. I would have started charting earlier but, I didn’t even know NFP existed … then, we became Catholic while pregnant. I also have major depression so, one baby is really all I feel I can handle. It’s also what my psychiatrist feels I can handle but, he doesn’t understand the whole NFP thing anyway. I’m trying to monitor discharge, temperature and cervical position but, things are still changing. Does anyone have suggestions about what I should do? I’m “open” to more children but, I don’t think I can handle Irish twins indefinitely. I feel I need some time to figure out my cycle but, if I always end up pregnant, I’m not going to have a chance to do that.

Thanks, Rhonda

**I don’t really have any helpful advice for you as I am also a convert who is trying to make sense of my post partum cycles (19 months now!). I charted successfully for over a year before conceiving and am having tons of trouble now so I don’t think you would have necessarily been any better off learning NFP before you did…

I just want to offer you my prayers and I hope that someone knowledgeable will chime in soon to give you some good advice!**

**P.S.

Welcome to the Church and congrats on your little blessing!!!**:slight_smile:

Yes, welcome to the Chuch and congratulations on your baby! My husband and I are going to have our honeymoon baby in August and I am too wondering how to begin charting during and after breastfeeding, so any advice would help and be greatly appreciated.

Welcome Rhonda and congrats on your new baby!

Well, you’ve jumped in head first here, haven’t you? There is one upside… NFP only gets easier after this stage (postpartum charting is the most difficult of all)!

I have been successful in using NFP postpartum after my previous 2 pregnancies… so it’s definitely possible. So stick around here and ask LOTS of questions! We love helping each other out!

Here’s my experience… (everyone is so unique, but hearing experiences may help)…
Temperature readings are not a lot of help before you’ve ovulated, which is difficult to determine when you don’t have a cycle. I had very fluctuating temperatures and I know that’s a very common thing.
Mucous patterns are also hard to track, but definitely stay on top of charting those. Pay particular attention to the QUALITY of the mucous (color, thickness, stretchiness)… these are important in determining your fertility.
The cervical checks, in particular, were the best indicator for me. They were difficult to figure out, but once I did it’s made NFP much easier. I would often have patches of very fertile-looking mucous (clear, very stretchy)… but the cervical checks were vital in determining if I was actually ovulating… most times my cervix was closed up tight, so that was my comforting sign.
After my 2 pregnancies I was able to detect my first postpartum ovulation at 5 1/2 and 7 1/2 months postpartum. I was SHOCKED at how OBVIOUS it was. The amount & quality of the mucous was enormous, and the cervical change was SO CLEAR. I was able to cross check that this was indeed ovulation by noticing a definite temperature rise… and then, within the next 2-3 weeks, I experienced my first postpartum period. The first several cycles were VERY abnormal… 21 days one month, 60 days the next… but still, I was able to get a grasp of where I was in my cycle. After 6 or so cycles, it started to get more normal (ranging only from 30-38 days)…

Anyway… that’s my experience. It IS very hard, but if you keep up your charting, go to your NFP teacher with ALL your questions, and ask questions here as often as you need to… hopefully things will work out for you too!

God bless and good luck!!!

Emily,
Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s good to have a “real life” example of how it COULD go. It’s VERY helpful. I actually don’t have an NFP instructor yet. I’m sure there’s one at our church but, with everything happening at once, the books are as far as I’ve managed to come. And, I don’t know alot of Catholic women who actually practice NFP so, it’s hard to get feed back.

It's also nice to know others have the same issue.  

-Rhonda (new mom to Eve Marie):slight_smile:

UGH, it’s been hard finding people at my parish that actually practice NFP too! Sorta frustrating!
Actually, I’m not sure we even have an NFP instructor at our parish… we took diocesan classes and had to travel to other parishes in the diocese for the classes. Sad, huh?
So if you don’t find support at your parish, contact your diocese!!!

Congrats again on little Eve (LOVE her name!)…

You might want to Google the Couple to Couple league or Creighton model and go to their web sights. Both will help you find someone to help you start practicing NFP. Yes I also found NFP hard to practice after my first was born. I eventually did find that the Creighton Model worked best for me due to how my body works and I was just frustrated with my temps going wild with breastfeeding. I do wish you all the best and it does get easier over time:D .

Couple to Couple League

Order their home study course if you cannot find a local teacher and you can consult with instructors over the phone. They know all the ins and outs of special situations like yours.

Also- are you breastfeeding? This can delay your fertility for years at a time if done continuously. Ask the CCL people about that.

Congratulations on your baby! May God bless and keep you and your husband close and comforted.

My wife and I are users and new teachers of the Billings Ovulation Method (“BOM”).

My wife and I strongly believe in BOM, which (in our opinion) is more simple and reliable than other methods, including STM. We looked at the couple-to-couple league stuff after we got it in the mail, and it scared the **** out of us. Too much detail and not as accurate. The three or four indicators they use can cause cross-conflicts and self doubt. BOM teaches one indicator, sensation (no touching), which is the most reliable. (Ok. To other posters: I do not want to debate my opinion on this. I understand and fully accept that others feel differently, and that other methods work wonderfully for others.)

Multiple indicators only make charting more difficult. BOM has one indicator. There’s no touching, measuring, stretching, testing, math, etc.

BOM works for any type of cycle, including post partum. Please consult a BOM teacher in your area. Here’s a website to learn more about BOM: boma-usa.org/
you can also check out woomb.org/

You can also search for an instructor from these websites. You can also call or email the association.

May God bless you.

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