Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NFP Resources for Nursing Mothers

At some point, either while still breastfeeding or after weaning, a woman's fertility will return.  At first, she may just have patches of mucus days if she had previously been dry or she may start experiencing patches of more fertile type mucus against the background of continuous, tacky or sticky type mucus.  After prayer and discussion, a couple may decide they should practice natural family planning to postpone pregnancy.

There are several NFP methods, fortunately, from which couples can choose.  The most ecological breastfeeding friendly option is the sympto-thermal method taught through NFP International.  The sympto-thermal method involves the use of the mucus sign, the temperature sign and also checking the cervix if desired.  The most recent scientific study on the sympto-thermal method determined its effectiveness to be 99.6% in postponing pregnancy if used according to the rules.  NFP International includes ecological breastfeeding as part of the total NFP package and they are the discoverers, if you will, of ecological breastfeeding.  Here is a link:

Another less known NFP method that some women have found helpful is the Marquette Method. This form of NFP observes the mucus sign and uses a fertility monitor to track fertility.  Here is a link to their fertility monitor instruction page for breastfeeding mothers:

There are several mucus only methods available.  The advantage of the Creighton Model is that women with continuous peak type mucus can chart successfully.  Peak type mucus is the kind one usually experiences close to ovulation, so you can see why this can potentially make charting difficult.  Here is a link to their site:

Written by Gina M. Peterson, BS IBCLC

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