Check out this great TED talk on how your body’s data can empower you to better advocate for yourself and partner with your medical care providers in making the best decisions possible for YOU!
Most people have heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP) or Fertility Education, however, many wonder how it differs from contraceptive devices and birth control pills. It can seem that in both cases the end result appears the same: a family spaced to best fit its needs. But I assure you, fertility education is different. It is different in approach, outlook, and freedom. Using fertility education is empowering and freeing in ways contraceptives, by design, are incapable of.
Fear permeates our lives in sly, stealthy, even deadly ways when it comes to the fertility of a healthy, naturally functioning woman. When our secular culture talks to us about sex we hear that we need to protect ourselves and be safe. These aren’t words of empowerment or acceptance of one’s natural, healthy abilities. These are words meant to evoke fear. The contraceptive culture wants us to be afraid because if we are afraid we will look to contraception to be saved. In this, we are teaching our daughters to fear their bodies and what they are capable of, not understand them.
Fertility Education, however, embraces these natural feminine abilities in a holistic way. A healthy, fertile woman is not made to hide, or shut down that very feminine, and often very healthy, part of her body. Rather, she is treated with respect and trained with a system that promotes healing and health. By its very nature, Fertility Education recognizes on a cyclical basis, the ability for the couple to co-create new life. Through mutual discernment the couple is able to avoid or achieve pregnancy using a system that is based in knowledge, not fear.
July 21st-27th is NFP Awareness Week. I would encourage you all to learn more about the truth and beauty of Fertility Education, and to share the good news with others!
The postpartum return to fertility can be a particularly confusing time for the NFP user. Many statistics and general guidelines are given for the typical return to fertility timeline. But as women we aren’t generalizations, we are unique individuals. I’m not implying that statistics aren’t important; they absolutely are. But it’s important to take a close look at your unique situation to decide where you fit within the curve. This will help determine what you can most likely expect in those early weeks and will guide you through this time as an individual not a generalization.
One of the best things you can do during the postpartum time (or any fertility transition for that matter) is work closely with your instructor. As SymptoPro instructors your initial class fee is the only fee you will ever pay us for instruction or support. We are here for you at any point of your reproductive life and we look forward to helping you though these transitions as they arise. Please, Please, Please, don’t hesitate to contact us! If I sound like I’m begging it’s because I am! So often women struggle and dwell in confusion because they don’t want to bother their instructor. Don’t struggle! Talk to us! We are here to help and we want to hear from you.
The ideal time to contact your instructor is prior to your baby’s birth. We can let you know the basic guidelines for the early postpartum time and tell you when to contact us should plans change. (ex. planning to exclusively breastfeed but needing to give formula somewhere along the way) That being said most couples won’t resume sexual activity for several weeks postpartum so if you aren’t able to chat with us before the birth, it’s not necessarily going to change anything early on.
When we do initially talk the first thing we will discuss is how your baby is, or will be, fed and pacified. We’ll work together to determine which category you and your little one fall into, ranging from exclusively formula feeding to intensively breastfeeding. Then we’ll let you know what you are likely to see over the next few weeks and possibly months. If anything changes or you start experiencing fertile characteristics or sensations we will begin to touch base regularly, closely guiding you through any confusion you may encounter.
Common Postpartum Charting May Include
Early Return to fertility: This is especially so in bottle fed babies though not exclusive to that category.
Extended Infertility with no or few fertile symptoms: This is most likely to occur in women who qualify for LAM or adhere to Ecological Breastfeeding Guidelines though again exceptions exist.
Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP): This is an infertile time when estrogen levels become suspended at a consistently unchanging level producing the exact same type and quantity of cervical fluid every day for an extended period of time. Your instructor is trained in recognizing these patterns which, with proper protocol can be considered infertile.
Mucus Patches: Mucus sensations and tissue characteristics come and go though ovulation does not occur. These often ramp up, occurring more frequently near the initial postpartum ovulation which is confirmed by using the Sympto-Thermal Rule. Your instructor will tell you how best to handle these patches.
Breakthrough Bleeding: Any bleeding not preceded by ovulation. All bleeding in the postpartum time (after the initial postpartum lochia) which is NOT preceded by a confirmed thermal shift should be treated as breakthrough bleeding and considered possibly fertile.
Any transition in fertility can be difficult but you need not do it alone. Your instructor is trained to help you navigate this often ambiguous time as easily and effectively as possible, taking into account your unique circumstances.
If you have any questions about the postpartum time you’d like us to discuss, drop a note in the combox and we’ll do our best!
A sneak peek:
Birth Control and Migraines Don’t Mix: A new study published indicates a link between women who have migraines taking combined oral contraception pills and blood clots.
Waking Up From The Pill: A long (but worth it) article about the unforeseen complications on the price of “sexual freedom.”
Blog Series on NFP: Carrots For Michaelmas is hosting a series of guest post by women sharing their experience using NFP.
And Many More!!! Check it out!