NFP Home Study Course from CCLI


#1

Hello -

Here is a situation I need help with from those of you experienced with NFP Sympto Thermal. **Or especially for anyone who is a NFP teacher. (kind of long, sorry.)

My husband and I are expecting our first. After the baby we want to completely use NFP for our family planning. I am not sure when I should start learning the NFP since I have no cycles to chart right now. Also, I am nervous that it will be hard to learn it effectively after birth when my cycles and fertility could be abnormal. I do plan on breastfeeding exclusively if possible, so I know that will help delay my return of fertility - but that in itself is not foolproof. I really am not thinking I am ready to start my adventure in parenting by having a set of “Irish Twins” right off the bat.

I have had some people say I should start learning it now and then when my cycles do return I will be ready to apply it on a practical level. I am just nervous. I want to be doing the right thing and hubby and I are truly truly against artificial contraception. I am just hoping I can transition into this method without a lot of risk. (Even though yes we would welcome another new little life with an open heart and thanks from God for the blessing - we would rather it be a little later though if possible)

So here is another hitch in the plan. The NFP sessions in our area are limited. With the time I am due, husband’s work, and other extenuating circumstances -we cannot attend a series of sessions taught by a professional. I think we are going to order the NFP Home Study Course available through the Couple to Couple League. Does anyone else have experience with this course? We would be willing to work hard at it and be dedicated, but I am not sure if it would be as thorough as being taught in person. Or more room for error if we teach ourselves. :confused:

Oh, somebody help! Let me know what you think please!


#2

I would highly recommend you go over to Delphi Forums and go to the NFPTalk board.

www.delphiforums.com and then look up NFPTalk. You’ll have to join to be able to post, but there are a number of very experienced teachers at that board and you will likely get a better response there.


#3

crobynb,

I’ve used NFP for 10 years and I highly reccomend it. I actually taught myself (before I was even married) and have had great success but I have heard others say they really needed to be taught and have the guidance of another couple. Either way it’s a very worthwhile thing to know and it will definately work to strengthen your marriage and family. I have to also reccomend checking out this product…

totallycatholic.com/nfp.htm

I’ve been using it for the past 2 years and it’s absolutely the best purchase I have ever made. It’s not at all necessary to have to successfully practice NFP but it just makes it a little bit easier for me.

God bless and congratulations on being a mommy :slight_smile:


#4

Wow! You are in the EXACT situation we were in. I had just gone off the pill (about 24 hours) when I got pg. At that point we didn’t know. We started NFP (didn’t do the class - wouldn’t suggest doing it that way) the next day and discovered I was pg about 6 weeks later.

Anyway, with the class schedual offered, we started our class when DD was 6 weeks old. It was SUPER SUPER SUPER hard to learn when you have no real cycle. What’s sticky? What’s dry? You want me to put my fingers WHERE?!

I got my first postpg period day 115 days after giving birth (bottlefeeding). By the time my first period came, I was an expert on mucus! The hardest part though, was wondering if we could have sex and not get prego. There wasn’t a whole lot of info to go on and we weren’t willing to risk it. So we went 3 months without. Ugh… But once we did, it was like our honeymoon all over again!

I would wait until the baby is born the take the classes. Otherwise, you wont be able to see the different kinds of mucus. Plus, I liked being able to go to the class and ask my teachers questions rather than having to make a phone call and fax my chart.

Hope this helps!


#5

Forgive my ignorance . . . :o They show you different kinds of mucus? :o Or are we talking illustrations in the book? Because we would have all the same class materials just without the teacher. So I am wondering if there is “stuff” that will be shown/discussed in person that I would otherwise be missing out on with the Home Study Course.


#6

Does anyone else have experience with this course? We would be willing to work hard at it and be dedicated, but I am not sure if it would be as thorough as being taught in person. Or more room for error if we teach ourselves.

For what it’s worth, I did the self-study and it was pretty easy to follow. You send in your first few charts and they give you feedback on your determinations and calculations. They also sent me the names and phone numbers of NFP teachers who could provide additional assistanct over the phone or by mail. So you are not doing it all by yourself.

As I remember, if you are pregnant, you are basically starting out just getting into the routine of temperature taking and observations. Some of the observations you couldn’t even do until after the baby comes. You can email CCLI and ask for their recommendation on when and how to start the charting.

Best of everything with you new baby!!!


#7

[quote=crobynb]Forgive my ignorance . . . :o They show you different kinds of mucus? :o Or are we talking illustrations in the book? Because we would have all the same class materials just without the teacher. So I am wondering if there is “stuff” that will be shown/discussed in person that I would otherwise be missing out on with the Home Study Course.
[/quote]

I learned the Creighton Model, and I had an instructor. The main benefit of the instructor, in my opinion, is the ability to review your charts with them and discuss your interpretations of mucus. My instructor would review whether I had interpreted something correctly or incorrectly based on the method and my actual chart. You can’t do this from home-study. Also, they explain it in a way that the book can’t.


#8

[quote=crobynb] They show you different kinds of mucus? :o Or are we talking illustrations in the book?
[/quote]

I guess, for me, it was easier to ask questions face to face and (this sounds so silly) use drawings or other ways to describe mucus. Really, that was the hardest thing for me. But after that first cycle back on, I finally saw the range of mucus, from dry to very stretchy.

I would say that it depends on your personal learning style. I need someone to talk to me as well as have a book to follow. I would have been lost with the at home course.

I was also thinking, I think I remember our teachers mentioning something about couples who cannot pay for the course and CCL having a program set up for it. Look into it! :slight_smile:


#9

Well hubby and I are both visual learners by way of book primarily. So, having the auditory presentation by a teacher really would not have much greater of an impact I think. The Home study costs a little more, but that is okay. It is the time schedule of NFP classes in our area that are not meshing for us, not the cost ( I have budgeted for it :smiley: ).

Also, I have heard such good things about the Creighton method, but I dont think that would be feasible for us. I looked at the website and searched for the nearest center. It is way far away - like almost over 3 hours and I just dont think we could handle that. Especially not with as many follow up sessions that are part of the program.

I agree that having someone to talk to face to face with questions would be more personal and comforting. But, I guess if they do provide you with access to instructors to talk to via phone or email along with the chart checking - that should be sufficient. I hope!!! :eek:

Thanks everyone for your great feedback - keep it coming! I truly appreciate your time and help. Hubby and I have much to learn about this new aspect in our lives.


#10

[quote=crobynb]Well hubby and I are both visual learners by way of book primarily. So, having the auditory presentation by a teacher really would not have much greater of an impact I think. The Home study costs a little more, but that is okay. It is the time schedule of NFP classes in our area that are not meshing for us, not the cost ( I have budgeted for it :smiley: ).

Also, I have heard such good things about the Creighton method, but I dont think that would be feasible for us. I looked at the website and searched for the nearest center. It is way far away - like almost over 3 hours and I just dont think we could handle that. Especially not with as many follow up sessions that are part of the program.

I agree that having someone to talk to face to face with questions would be more personal and comforting. But, I guess if they do provide you with access to instructors to talk to via phone or email along with the chart checking - that should be sufficient. I hope!!! :eek:

Thanks everyone for your great feedback - keep it coming! I truly appreciate your time and help. Hubby and I have much to learn about this new aspect in our lives.
[/quote]

Creighton instructors will also teach long-distance, just FYI.


#11

We chose the Ovulation Method instead of the STM because it seems to be much more effective during lactation. It’s also simpler to learn and use (no temperatures, calculations, etc.). I’m not sure if I’d recommend “distance learning” of the Creighton model, but there are other versions of the OM that seem well-suited for home-study. For instance, Family of the Americas Foundation has multimedia self-study materials, and Billings has an online course where you can interact with an instructor.

The major difference between the various OMs is that Creighton is a standardized model that’s also used for various medical purposes (diagnosis of hormonal disorders, etc.), so the user is expected to be very specific about describing the mucus in detail. Since the Billings and FAF models are only designed to be used for NFP, the charting is very simple, and the observations are more general and subjective. With these methods, the important thing is for you to become familiar with your own normal pattern, whatever it happens to be. Of course, they still provide mucus pictures for those who find them helpful. (FAF even posts the pictures on the front page of their site! That might be a bit TMI for the casual passer-by… :eek: :stuck_out_tongue: )

Whichever method you choose, I’d definitely suggest reading about it beforehand. If you think you have a busy schedule now… just wait! :smiley:


#12

I started the Home Study Course right after the birth of our 3rd child. The NFP classes are not offered in our area. I was overwhelmed at first, because the size of the book, but after we jumped in, made phone calls and sent emails to the teachers, it was easier than I expected. I really have enjoyed the “extra” material that comes with it, such as why ABC is soo terribly wrong for us.
God Bless you


#13

One more thing, the NFP course also has wonderful material about drugs you may be taking/or have to take and how they can “mask” fertility signs or give “false” fertility signs. And, in the book you have a chance to interpret charts and signs.


#14

[quote=crobynb]Well hubby and I are both visual learners by way of book primarily. So, having the auditory presentation by a teacher really would not have much greater of an impact I think. The Home study costs a little more, but that is okay. It is the time schedule of NFP classes in our area that are not meshing for us, not the cost ( I have budgeted for it :smiley: ).

.
[/quote]

My wife says that you can buy the book and thermometer from ccli.org separately for a lesser price, if that is a concern for anyone.


#15

[quote=maryceleste] I’m not sure if I’d recommend “distance learning” of the Creighton model, but there are other versions of the OM that seem well-suited for home-study.
[/quote]

I see no reason to avoid Creighton because of distance learning.


#16

[quote=1ke]I see no reason to avoid Creighton because of distance learning.
[/quote]

I’m sure it can be learned just fine. It just seems like, due to the extra level of precision, there would be more situations where you’d want to have ready access to the instructor.

When you chart with Billings or FAF, you only have to use the colored stamps: red, brown, white, and (for some women) yellow. That’s the full extent of your decision-making. You can also record a subjective description of the mucus, but the way you describe it isn’t important; it’s just a way to help you get a sense of your own pattern.

With Creighton, you have to use the colored stamps, AND record a precise description of the mucus, using their special codes. I can’t find my materials to check, but I think, when you add up all the different combinations (color, sensation, stretchiness, etc.), there are about 64 or 128 different classifications. :stuck_out_tongue: If the woman has a medical problem that could be helped by using Creighton, then I think it would be great to learn. Personally, though, I think it’s not worth the extra fuss for the average couple who’s just trying to space pregnancies a few extra months apart.

Then again, I have a strong preference to avoid “medicalizing” life’s normal processes, like conception and childbirth. If you’re the sort of person who’d always feel more comfortable with, say, an OB instead of a midwife, I guess I can see how you’d prefer Creighton. :slight_smile:


#17

[quote=maryceleste] I’m sure it can be learned just fine. It just seems like, due to the extra level of precision, there would be more situations where you’d want to have ready access to the instructor.
[/quote]

I did not find this to be the case at all.

[quote=maryceleste] With Creighton, you have to use the colored stamps, AND record a precise description of the mucus, using their special codes. I can’t find my materials to check, but I think, when you add up all the different combinations (color, sensation, stretchiness, etc.), there are about 64 or 128 different classifications. :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

No, not nearly that many. It is very easy. I use Creighton.

[quote=maryceleste] If the woman has a medical problem that could be helped by using Creighton, then I think it would be great to learn. Personally, though, I think it’s not worth the extra fuss for the average couple who’s just trying to space pregnancies a few extra months apart.
[/quote]

IMHO the precision is what makes the method so effective for both TTC and TTA. And, some women have no idea they even have a problem until they chart.

I know BOM and STM are also effective, and I’m sure they are also easy to learn. I was just pointing out that Creighton is not any harder to learn long distance than any other method-- and STM to me is the most complex of all with all their “rules”. Stickers are very easy.

[quote=maryceleste] Then again, I have a strong preference to avoid “medicalizing” life’s normal processes, like conception and childbirth. If you’re the sort of person who’d always feel more comfortable with, say, an OB instead of a midwife, I guess I can see how you’d prefer Creighton. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Using Creighton does not “medicalize” life’s normal processes, nor does it have any correlation to preference for OB versus midwife. I think you have overgeneralized quite a bit with this statement.

Bottom line: All the methods are effective, and all the methods can be learned long distance.


#18

[quote=1ke]Using Creighton does not “medicalize” life’s normal processes
[/quote]

I wasn’t referring to using it – but, in my experience, learning Creighton had a distinctly medical feel to it. I guess it was different for you. :slight_smile:

In our case, the clinic was in a hospital, the instructor was a nurse, there was a lot of jargon (NaProTechnology, VDRS, etc.) and the materials were issued to us with a strict warning not to skip ahead in the book, or to try charting until it had been explained to us. There was a general tone of “we’re the professionals, and will dispense information to you as we deem necessary.” We found this approach quite off-putting, compared to our previous NFP experiences of meeting with a teaching couple in a church or home, and using materials that were freely available to everyone.

Maybe “medicalizing” is the wrong word. I certainly don’t mean to say that they treated the woman’s fertility as if it were pathological – quite the opposite. :slight_smile: It was just a little too “official” and “professional” for our liking.


#19

[quote=maryceleste]I wasn’t referring to using it – but, in my experience, learning Creighton had a distinctly medical feel to it. I guess it was different for you. :slight_smile:

In our case, the clinic was in a hospital, the instructor was a nurse, there was a lot of jargon (NaProTechnology, VDRS, etc.) and the materials were issued to us with a strict warning not to skip ahead in the book, or to try charting until it had been explained to us. There was a general tone of “we’re the professionals, and will dispense information to you as we deem necessary.” We found this approach quite off-putting, compared to our previous NFP experiences of meeting with a teaching couple in a church or home, and using materials that were freely available to everyone.

Maybe “medicalizing” is the wrong word. I certainly don’t mean to say that they treated the woman’s fertility as if it were pathological – quite the opposite. :slight_smile: It was just a little too “official” and “professional” for our liking.
[/quote]

That is an atypical Creighton experience, IMHO. I know many Creighton method adherents and none were taught like this. My own instruction was at a Birthright office-- my instructor used it on the off hours for her teaching-- and none of those types of things were said to me. I read the whole book between meetings 1 and 2.

Thanks for clearing up where your perception has come from. My experience w/Creighton has been totally different.


#20

I’ve been doing the Creighton Model for over 1 year now. I love it and thank God for this everyday! How awesome is this amazing way of knowing our bodies!Napro docs were able to figure out things that the other OBGYN couldnt! Thank God!!


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