How Do We Use NFP While Breastfeeding?

Question

My wife and I would like to know how to successfully practice NFP during the nursing phase. We have been in NFP for six+ years now and have three kids close together. The first two we planned that way, the third was a surprise due to inaccuracy with using the method.
We are at a place now where we would appreciate a little break before ever having a fourth. We use condoms — not preferable but we feel necessary for right now — for fear of not practicing the method correctly with the changes/differences in her cycle during nursing.

She exclusively breastfeeds and for the most part feeds on demand, although I would not put us in the ecological breastfeeding category.

Appreciate any support/advice you have.

Aaron

Answer

Dear Aaron,

NFP is effective when used during breastfeeding. When fertility returns following the birth of a child, the woman will observe cervical mucus, alerting you both that the day is fertile. If it is your intention to avoid pregnancy during breastfeeding, relations should be reserved to the end of the day, for it is only after completing the observations for the day that the couple will know if it is fertile or infertile. If she has not observed any cervical mucus at any time throughout the day, then at the end of the day the couple can be confident fertility has not yet returned, and the day is infertile. The key is working closely with an NFP teacher to learn, or review, the observational routine and correct charting and interpretation of the chart.

Contact your NFP Teacher for a consultation to review your chart and the correct application of the method for you, in your individual circumstance. Depending on the method you use, you can either attend a refresher course specifically for breastfeeding, or schedule individual appointments to guide you through this time.

You are invited to call CANFP at 831-443-3746 for help in locating an instructor, if you do not already have one, or to discuss further.

Sheila St. John

Answered By:

Sheila St. John
Sheila St. John is the Executive Director of the California Association of Natural Family Planning, coordinating the non-profit’s education and advocacy efforts throughout the state. Initially attracted to NFP as a healthy, effective method for planning families, drug, device and surgery free, her passion for NFP has grown over the last 42 years as she has journeyed with the over 900 couples she has personally instructed in its use, and been privileged to witness its role in overcoming infertility, women’s health, and the transformation that occurs in lives of men, women, and families, when we embrace God’s design for love and life.

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