Natural Family planning a better option for child spacing
Bringing up a child is a major task and responsibility in life, so both Men and women must be involved as parents and should plan before conception.
For the couple to manage today’s way of life, there is a need to space their children and as a midwife and parent I advise you to go for Natural Family planning method (NFP) also known as the Fertility awareness method.
In health terms NFP is a method of achieving or post ponding pregnancy based on observations of certain naturally occurring signs in a woman which indicate fertile and infertile phases of her menstrual cycle during her reproductive years.
NFP is possible for any woman in her child bearing age. That is 13-45 years and basically for couples who are willing to abstain from sexual intercourse in the fertile days. It involves male participation because there is need for open communication between couples, understanding faithfulness, respect and supporting one another.
NFP Is divided into three sub methods that is LAM (Lactation Amenorrhea Method), SDM (Standard day method or cycle beads) and the Two day method.
LAM: This method is for Breast feeding mothers who have not yet resumed their menstrual periods after giving birth and are supposed to breast feed exclusively for six months.
SDM or Cycle Beads: the couple has to keep record of the days in a woman’s cycle. The marker is moved along the beads on a daily basis to mark the first day of the period on a calendar and noted to identify the fertile and infertile days. This is normally used by women who have regular menstrual periods when the shortest menstrual cycle is 26 days and the longest cycle is 32 days. Avoid having sex from day 8 to day 20 of your menstrual cycle.
The Two Day Method; the couple recognizes the fertile days in a woman’s cycle by using mucus secretions, basal Temperature and the opening of the cervix as signs of fertility. There are other minor signs which include; Increased libido in women, Breast tenderness, abdominal pain, bloating, ovulation pain and a few more.
Its effectiveness lies in getting proper counseling and training from an NFP specialist, careful observations of fertility and infertility days plus the menstrual cycles.
Key points to note:
- It is possible to avoid pregnancy by having sex only during the woman’s infertile days.
- NFP is most effective if couples learn and fully understand as well as doing the right thing.
- Most women can use NFP as long as they receive guidelines and support.