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Discussion Starter #1
I though this might be the right forum to start a conversation about natural family planning... I am pregnant now with our second child due in February. Our son is 3 1/2 and I was on the pill until we started trying this time. After this baby I am seriously considering forgoing any type of hormonal or barrier method birth control and just using a "timing my cycle" approach. I am wary of putting hormones into my body unnecessarily. Also, preventing another pregnancy is not a necessity at this time for us, if I were to unexpectedly get pregnant, we are of the mindset that it would be a blessing and we'd find a way to make it work.
So, I was just wondering about other's experiences with timing your cycle. Did it work well for you? Do you have any tips to share?
 

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I did it for about 15 years before I got married and I was terrified the entire time that I would get pregnant. I just could not afford a doctor visit and the pills. I couldn't afford kids either so dealing with an accident wasn't an option for me.

I think it's a very personal choice if you want to be fertile or not. And if you want to deal with the menses.
 

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I don't feel scared of getting pregnant again after this baby, in fact we have plans for a 3rd child in the future, the issue is just timing. If we decided to stop at 2 and definitely not want the risk of having any more, then we'd have to reevaluate I suppose.
 

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DD was natural planned and 20 months later DS arrived. I was done having breach babies by then.

With the second c-section I told them to tie me off while they are in there.
 

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Tracking your fertility isn't difficult, controlling yourself is. Unfortunately, your fertility and your sex drive are on the same cycle. We used this method after my son was born, I got pregnant again when he was 5 months old. I knew it was a fertile day, I just couldn't stop myself.
 

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Yep, nature is pretty smart to make us want "it" during the time we are fertile huh? lol My midwife mentioned that issue at my last prenatal appointment, I'd like to think we could behave, but who knows! :) I'm also researching the facts surrounding breastfeeding and ovulation. I plan to breastfeed for at least six months, and I am reading that as long as you nurse the baby at least every 4 hrs during the day and 6 hrs at night that you are relatively protected from ovulating. As far as I recall, I was on that kind of a feeding schedule with DS until he was at least a few months old. Hmmmm....
 

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Congrats on your soon-to-be new addition!!

A good book to read about this is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler (she explains the Fertility Awareness Method). Another good book is The Art of Natural Family Planning by John and Sheila Kippley.

The difference between the two is, for the Fertility Awareness Method, you can use barrier methods on your fertile days. For the Natural Family Planning method, you practice abstinence those days.
 
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I'm also researching the facts surrounding breastfeeding and ovulation. I plan to breastfeed for at least six months, and I am reading that as long as you nurse the baby at least every 4 hrs during the day and 6 hrs at night that you are relatively protected from ovulating. As far as I recall, I was on that kind of a feeding schedule with DS until he was at least a few months old. Hmmmm....
Our bodies do funny stuff after pregnancy and while nursing. If I were you, to be on the safe side, I would still track and chart my cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much for the book suggestions! I've been looking for books on the subject. Is either book religiously based? I am choosing natural family planning for health and wellbeing reasons, not moral ones so it would be easier for me to relate to a nonreligious book. I am finding myself turned off by some of the websites I am finding because I feel like they are preaching to me in a pushy way.
 

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Thanks so much for the book suggestions! I've been looking for books on the subject. Is either book religiously based? I am choosing natural family planning for health and wellbeing reasons, not moral ones so it would be easier for me to relate to a nonreligious book. I am finding myself turned off by some of the websites I am finding because I feel like they are preaching to me in a pushy way.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is not religious based at all. From what I remember, The Art of Natural Family Planning is more religious based. I don't own that book; I borrowed it years ago from a friend, so I can't flip through it to remember correctly.
 
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I was going to recommend the same book. It's very good. And yes, my kids were planned. I'm not an advertisement for NFP failure.
 
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I was going to recommend the same book. It's very good. And yes, my kids were planned. I'm not an advertisement for NFP failure.

Good to know it works! Did you struggle with this method at all? What are the ups and downs in your opinion?
 

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I understand the no hormone thing. Personally I couldn't look after a toddler, baby and household while remembering to chart and to behave myself.;).
 

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I used a form of NFP while I was trying to conceive.

I agree- Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an awesome book. I learned so much about my body and cycles- it was truly fascinating.

I also suggest using www.fertilityfriend.com They have free charting software for you to use (a whole lot easier than trying to chart your temps by yourself). You just enter in your temps and the software picks up patterns. After a few months, it's pretty easy to see the patterns and get a better idea of when your fertile time is.
 

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How does the NFP method work if you have irregular cycles? I ask because I do not want to take hormones after baby #2 is born, but having #3 immediately after may not be the best route for us :)
Do you have to be the clockwork type of gal to use this method?
 

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Sorry don't know what an NFP is? Been awhile since pregnant. We tracked my ovulation cycles w/ a meter and strips. And of course the 8-10 days after the first day of your cycle gig. We knew about the effects of antibiotics but the sperm staying viable after "delivery thing was new then. Maybe non spermicidal protection for 3 month to let your body rest then don't worry. If you go that route though I suggest no alcohol. otc drugs,cigs or anything else that might hurt a baby if you were unexpectantly preg. JMHO.
 

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How does the NFP method work if you have irregular cycles? I ask because I do not want to take hormones after baby #2 is born, but having #3 immediately after may not be the best route for us :)
Do you have to be the clockwork type of gal to use this method?
I don't see why you couldn't use this method. FAM and NFP are based on how your body works, not a hard and fast rule that everyone ovulates every 14 days.

That said, I would read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and decide for yourself if this method would work for you.

Above all remember, the rules MUST be followed for this method to work.
 

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Sorry don't know what an NFP is? Been awhile since pregnant. We tracked my ovulation cycles w/ a meter and strips. And of course the 8-10 days after the first day of your cycle gig. We knew about the effects of antibiotics but the sperm staying viable after "delivery thing was new then. Maybe non spermicidal protection for 3 month to let your body rest then don't worry. If you go that route though I suggest no alcohol. otc drugs,cigs or anything else that might hurt a baby if you were unexpectantly preg. JMHO.
NFP=Natural Family Planning
 

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I've used NFP for 6 years, and never had a surprise pregnancy. The first couple of months, you'll need to refer back to the book often so that you know the "rules," but once you get the hang of it, it's very easy.
 
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