Did you know that this week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week?
I have vested interested in this week because I’m an advocate of Natural Family Planning. My interest in NFP developed as I was completing my nursing degree. As a nursing student I was not taught much about the intricacies of women’s reproductive systems. For example, not a word was mentioned about the fact that women are infertile more than fertile – pretty basic knowledge. Instead we were repeatedly taught about different forms of contraceptions and even though there was emphasis on having an open mind to alternative medicines, Natural Family Planning didn’t qualify. I have heard that this information bias is a common phenomenon even among medical schools.
Because of the information I received in nursing school (or lack thereof) and because of my own personal interest (I was getting married) I started looking into NFP and was surprised by what I found. A lot of NFP research and information exist, yet most people still equate NFP with the Rhythm Method. The errors of the Rhythm method have been long exposed and since then researchers, physicians, and nurses have developed many other forms of NFP, some of which are as effective at preventing pregnancy as chemical forms.
Armed with this new knowledge I decided to learn more about a particular type of NFP, the Billings Ovulation Method. I liked the simplicity and effectiveness of this method so much that I decided to become accredited to teach it – and that’s what I do!
So why do I advocate NFP? Simple, I am convinced that it is healthier for the body, mind and spirit. While I could easily ramble on about physiology and theology, I won’t. I know that there are fabulous resources out there that cover these topics and I would be happy to share them with you.
Below is the 2010 poster developed by the USCCB for NFP Awareness Week. Look for it in your Catholic parish. Not there? Chat with your priest 🙂