NFP Tip #1: Learn from a Real Live Human

NFP Tip #1: Learn from a Real Live Human July 21, 2014

It’s NFP Awareness Week.  We are aware.  Fifteen years aware, which I think in NFP years is about 387 years. We’ve used NFP both to conceive and to avoid pregnancy.  It works, and it’s good for your body and good for your marriage.

NFP can also be frustrating, and there are some things you can do to make it less frustrating and more successful.  Hence my list of NFP tips. I’ll start with #1 today and work my way through the list.  You’ll have seen most of these other places– not because I’m copying but because they are true.  Wisdom in a multitude of counselors, all that.

FYI – The book you want on NFP, in addition to your how-to tutorials, is Simcha Fisher’s excellent The Sinner’s Guide to NFP.  Simcha’s hosting a giant giveway this week with very many cool prizes, some of them directly related to NFP (ex: fertility monitors), some only indirectly related (ex: my book), and some particularly suited to those who’d rather forget NFP altogether.


My Number One Most Important Tip for Successful NFP: Learn from a Real Live Human

People often ask, “What method should I learn?”  It’s a good question, because the many various methods do have their strong points.  The method that fits your body best is going to be the method you stick with in the long run. {Cue foreshadowing music for tip #2.}

But when you are first starting to learn NFP, you don’t need the most-customized method.  Later you can have that.  First you need to learn one method, any method, with rock-solid reliability.  The way to develop that confidence and certainty is to work with an experienced instructor.

Here’s a directory of instructors around the US.

Ideally you’ll meet in person with someone local.  If there simply isn’t someone local, then learning long-distance is a good second choice.  It isn’t ideal, but if it’s all you have, it is better than nothing.

Don’t Cut and Run Too Early

So you found a real live human, you’ve charted for a few months, and you’re starting to get the hang of things.  Don’t let your instructor out of your clutches yet.  Continue with live-person assistance until:

  • You and your spouse are 100% happy with your ability to avoid or achieve pregnancy.
  • You’ve gotten through post-partum craziness at least once.

It might be a long time between when you first master NFP (whether to avoid, achieve, or both) and when you find yourself with a newborn baby and a serious reason to postpone pregnancy.  Okay, that’s fine.  Hunt down that instructor, or a different instructor.  Life with a new baby is hard enough without trying to figure out post-partum NFP on your own.

As long as you’re 100% confident of your NFP-using ability, you can pretty much coast on your own.  But any time you hit a nebulous “Now What??” moment, find an instructor.  Nothing beats real humans for helping you make sense of the crazy.


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