are the basics of Natural Family Planning?
are two basic forms of Natural Family Planning (NFP). The oldest form
of NFP is ecological breastfeeding. It is still widely practiced in
certain parts of the world, and it is making a comeback in the United
States. The key factor of ecological breastfeeding is frequent
suckling. It requires no fertility awareness or periodic abstinence.
The term "ecological breastfeeding" was developed to sharply
distinguish this form of baby care from "cultural breastfeeding" which
provides little or no natural infertility.
second form of Natural Family Planning is Systematic NFP and is based
on daily fertility awareness. It can be used both to achieve and to
avoid or postpone pregnancy. When used to avoid pregnancy, the basic
"method" is abstinence from the sexual intercourse during the fertile
time. Technically, this form of NFP is best called "systematic" NFP,
but today it is common to use the generic term "NFP" to mean only the
systematic form without reference to ecological breastfeeding.
you have not had cycles shorter than 26 days in the past two years;
abstain from sexual intercourse beginning with Cycle Day 10 until Cycle
day 18. This is based on a 28 day cycle with ovulation occurring mid
way through. (note: not every woman's cycle is 28 days with ovulation
occurring on day 14, in fact very few women have this type of cycle and
cycles tend to vary slightly from month to month)
sexual intercourse every other day from Cycle day 10 until Cycle day
18. Keep track of your waking temperature.
A thermal shift of 18 days provides you with a 99% probability that you
are pregnant. To estimate your due date, determine the first day of
sustained thermal shift, subtract seven days, and add nine months.
Breastfeeding and Child Spacing.
Frequent and unrestricted nursing is the primary factor in producing
natural lactation amenorrhea and infertility. (Lactation amenorrhea is
the absence of menstruation due to breastfeeding.)
Ecological breastfeeding (EBF) almost always provides this frequent
nursing and natural infertility. It is that type of baby care which
follows the natural mother-baby relationship. It avoids the use of
artifacts and mother substitutes; it follows the baby-initiated
patterns. EBF is the norm and offers many built-in benefits, one of
which is extended natural infertility. In essence, a lengthy postpartum
amenorrhea is the expected norm.
I of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Seven Standards
phase almost invariably produces natural infertility as long as the
program is complete. Phase I usually lasts six months. The key to
natural infertility is frequent and unrestricted nursing. The following
Seven Standards help to ensure this frequent nursing.
Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; don't use
other liquids and solids.
your baby at your breasts.
Don't use bottles and pacifiers.
Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
Sleep with your baby for a daily-nap feeding.
Nurse frequently day and night, and avoid schedules.
Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your
Phase II of Ecological Breastfeeding
- Phase II of EBF begins when your
baby starts taking solids or liquids other than breast milk.
- You begin to give liquids when
your baby shows an interest in the cup, usually after six months.
- Aside from Standard #1, exclusive
breastfeeding, the other Six Standards of Phase I will remain
operative until the baby gradually loses interest in breastfeeding.
Phase II is a very gradual program in which the amount of nursing is 1)
not decreased at all at first, and 2) lessened only gradually at baby's
pace. Phase II is frequently longer than Phase I with regard to natural
infertility if the EBF program is followed with continued frequent and
First 6 Months.
The first 8 weeks postpartum for the exclusively breastfeeding mother
are so infertile that in 1988 scientists agreed that any vaginal
bleeding during the first 56 days postpartum can be ignored for
determining amenorrhea or fertility for the exclusively breastfeeding
mother. This rule would also apply to the EBF mother.
the first 3 months postpartum, the chance of pregnancy occurring is
practically nil if the EBF mother remains in amenorrhea. During the
next 3 months postpartum, there is only a 1% chance of pregnancy if the
EBF mother continues to remain in amenorrhea.
For the nursing mother there is about a 6% chance of pregnancy
occurring prior to the first menstruation. This assumes no fertility
awareness and unrestricted intercourse. This risk can be reduced to
close to 1% through the techniques of systematic natural family
planning -- observing the signs of fertility and abstaining accordingly.
70% of EBF mothers experience their first menstruation between 9 and 20
months postpartum. The average return of menstruation for EBF mothers
is between 14 and 15 months.
Natural Spacing by Breastfeeding Alone
those couples who desire 18 to 30 months between the births of their
children, ecological breastfeeding should be sufficient.
BREASTFEEDING AND NATURAL CHILD SPACING Author: Kippley,
Other Websites With Fertility and Natural Family
Awareness Method (FAM)
With Our Fertility
- an ovulation prediction program that uses menstrual cycle information
to generate your personal fertility calendar, and lets you choose the
gender of your baby.
My Monthly Cycles
WebMD.com Fertility Center
material in this website is provided for information purposes only.
This information is not a substitute for, medical diagnosis, medical
advice, or medical treatment prescription. Consult your health care
provider for more information. If you are in Pittsburgh and
midwife, send email to PghMidwife (at) naturalattachment.com