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#1 of 4 Old 03-24-2004, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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DD is 7mo old and I think I should be thinking about family planning and stuff. I really want to try natural methods. I used to be on the pill but don't want to go on it anymore. Condoms are a PITA and irritating to me. I don't really want to stick anything (diaphragm, cervical cap) inside me. So what to do? Charting seems like a pain, but if it's the way I gotta do it then I'll be committed to it.

I need help with all of these abbreviations, are they in a sticky or archived somewhere?

Also, I had an emergency D&C 4 weeks postpartum. Will that affect any of this charting business? Do you think it's affecting the return of AF? I know people go way longer than 7mo before PPAF (am I right in guessing that this is postpartum AF??), but it seems like AF may never return right now. Good thing, I'm in no hurry.

I would really like to conceive my next baby when DD is older than 2yo and weaned. I don't want to tandem nurse if I can help it.

Philosophical question: aren't all of these natural family planning conventions, like charting and cycle beads and whatever else, just ways to get around not having sex? I mean, I like sex as much as the next person (although i have been decidely lacking in libido since DD's birth), but many traditional cultures say NO sex during the entire nursing period, or the kind of sex (forgetting the name right now) where the man's penis is between the woman's legs, not inside the vagina. So it's not so much LAM that's preventing fertility, but LAM in combination with abstinence will pretty much guarantee no conception. So why is not having sex not an option in modern times? Is it a media/culture thing?

Thanks for any info!

~ Belinda, single 35 yr old WAHM to two super-cute DDs 8/17/03 and 1/27/07 heartbeat.gif
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#2 of 4 Old 03-25-2004, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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how "safe" is it to take samples of your cervical mucus? i ask because during pregnancy it's a general rule not to stick fingers up there more than necessary, but maybe it's different if they're your own fingers vs. someone else's (birth attendant).

i guess my concern is introduction of bacteria and stuff. and you're supposed to do this every day??? one woman on another list thinks that her diaphragm use is related to her UTIs. don't know whether it's the diaphragm itself or the insertion factor or what.

~ Belinda, single 35 yr old WAHM to two super-cute DDs 8/17/03 and 1/27/07 heartbeat.gif
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#3 of 4 Old 03-25-2004, 11:46 PM
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checking cervical fluid- I don't do internal checks very often, they are too confusing, particularily when you are in LAM. You can just WIPE with folded toilet paper. If it feels consistently DRY (or no sensation), you are probably infertile. If there is a change to a slippery sensation, you better abstain 3 days past your peak day. There's more to it than that, so you might want to read taking change of your fertility or the art of natural family planning. Also, Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, I think it is??

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#4 of 4 Old 03-26-2004, 03:12 PM
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To answer your philosophical question, there are two main camps of family planning: Natural Family Planning (or NFP), which does advocate abstaining from sexual intercourse during your fertile time, and Fertility Awareness Method (or FAM), which advocates at a minimum using a barrier method during your fertile time but recommends abstaining if you are absolute in your desire to avoid pregnancy.

I'm not that familiar with NFP, which is taught by the Couple to Couple League (as well as others) and is often faith-based. I am very familiar with FAM and have read Toni Weschler's book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and used it for about 8 months to avoid pregnancy and then for about 6 months to achieve pregnancy. I would definitely recommend getting a hold of this book if you have any inclination about the biology of what's going on when you are having a menstrual cycle. She explains the hormonal and physical elements of how a female body prepares for ovulation and pregnancy and then resets itself for the next month in a very simple yet thorough way. She also sets out her 4 rules for fertility awareness and gives tons of examples of different women's charts and stories. The appendix of the book also has a questions section that is awesome -- I consulted it many times.

Charting my cycles was a simple routine to add to my day, and my partner happened to really enjoy knowing where my body was in its cycle. Many mornings he would ask me what my temperature was that morning and when I was supposed to ovulate. When we were trying to become pregnant, it also made the responsibility on both of us.

mama-to-be in late spring 2004!
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