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Forum: Natural Family Planning and FAM


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May 13th, 2007, 11:39 AM
craz453's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 4,138
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I am an NFP mommy, currently, but right now I do not know what to do. I have 5 babes my last babe was born in Dec 06 and we exclusively breastfeed. I had one cycle in march and have not had one since, I have taking a pg test and it was negative, but without my cycles I do not know how to chart anything and I do not know wether I am back in that bf induced infertlity or not. BTW we use Symto-Thermal method. Can anyone help me?

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May 13th, 2007, 12:07 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,397
I teach the Billings Ovulation Method, not STM - but will answer what I can. I know we have a teacher from the Couple to Couple League floating around here, hopefully she can pop in and fill you in on the rest!

Once you have experienced any bleeding, you are no longer in a state of breastfeeding infertility - however, you can still experience some irregularity for awhile. For some, it's irregular until they wean completely. For others, just those first few cycles are irregular and then it seems to even itself out even before they wean.

Charting during the return of fertility can be more confusing than normal, but with a little assistance it can be made far less confusing. Do you have an instructor you could meet with for a little post partum NFP refresher?

The simplest thing you can do at this point is follow this one rule - when you have 4 days in a row which are dry (you FEEL nothing and SEE nothing), you are infertile and can safely use alternating evenings for intercourse as long as you remain dry. Any change you observe, whether the presence of mucus or bleeding - abstain until you have 4 full dry days again, and can go back to using alternating evenings. This can be done no matter where you are in your cycle, no matter where you are in the return of fertility. It depends which form of the Sympto Thermal Method you are using, but I believe the Couple to Couple League calls this the "patch rule". If you own The Art of Natural Family Planning (the CCL textbook), you can read up on that rule. If you are using Northwest Family Services STM, I don't know what the rule is called, but you can likely call them and ask to speak with an instructor.

Many breastfeeding women have vaginal discharge that is similar to mucus, but it's infertile. If that is the case, you will need the assistance of an instructor to properly evaluate what is truly fertile for you and what isn't, so that you can effectively avoid pregnancy without abstaining more than is necessary. With Billings, we call this the Basic Infertile Pattern of Discharge. I believe CCL calls it "background mucus" - also something you can read up on in The Art Of Natural Family Planning if that's the system you are using.

Hope that helps! Welcome to the NFP/FAM board!
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